US library loans out iPads

26 Sep 2011

The Apple iPad

Users of the L.E. Philips Memorial Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA, can now check out iPads for a week.

The library’s iPads – the result of a contribution from the Presto Foundation – can also be used within the library for a period of four hours, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Users who wish to check out an iPad can also place one on hold.

Each of the tablet computers are Wi-Fi compatible and pre-loaded with at least 1,000 classic e-book titles, 10 audiobooks and dozens of free apps and shortcuts to websites.

“The goal of the iPad lending program is to provide library customers with opportunities to gain familiarity and comfort with new technology that allows them to make use of alternative methods of enjoying the written and spoken word and to more fully explore the internet and its vast resources,” the library said on its website.

Late returns of the iPads aren’t exactly tolerated. If an iPad is returned three days late, then the user will have to pay the full retail price for the tablet, and “no return is possible”, TechCrunch reported.

Users also face a US$25 fee if they return the iPad in the outdoor book return or return them at “area grocery stores”.