Cory Doctorow, a columnist and sci-fi author, tackles the question of how e-books should work at libraries in his Locus Online column:
Unlike every other channel for e-books, libraries are not the publishers’ competitors. They don’t want to sell devices. They don’t want to win over customers to a particular cloud. They just want readers to read, writers to write, and publishers to sell. They deserve a better deal than they’re getting.
Even at a small library like this one, we have patrons asking about e-books, and at our current budget and their current prices, we simply cannot afford an e-book collection. We do provide our patrons with some e-books through the Kansas State Library, though, so if that’s what you’re looking for at least we have a current possibility for you. However, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for books, e-books, and libraries ….