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iPads can be borrowed for 7-days

Just when most of the tech heads out there are getting used to the idea of local libraries lending eBooks that can be read on eReaders, one library is taking things even further. 

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is thought to be the first in the country to have iPad tablets for lending. The library states that the goal of the lending program is to provide library users with opportunities to gain familiarity and comfort with new technology and to allow them to use alternative means to read and explore the web.

The library is offering tablets with four-hour loan periods in the library and has other iPads that are being offered on a 7-day take home loan.

To borrow the iPad, the user needs a valid library card and must be at least 18. An overdue iPad will cost the user $10 per day and there is no grace period. There is also another $25 fine if the iPad is returned in a drop box or by any other method than directly to the library staff.

If the iPad is lent out and then broken or damaged by the user, the borrower will be liable for as much as $1,020 to replace the iPad and accessories. That fee also counts if the iPad is stolen while in the borrower's possession. The library also has the right to take the borrower to court if they don’t pay late fees or cover any damages.

The iPads do come with the power cord and adapter, a carry case, protective skin, a screen protector, and the instructions. The user can also check out a keyboard dock as an option.

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Bad idea
By Joz on 9/23/2011 5:13:08 PM , Rating: 5
To quote a meme...

Bad idea is bad.

RE: Bad idea
By Hakuryu on 9/23/2011 5:33:04 PM , Rating: 5
The only way libraries will continue to exist is for them to modernize. My library has DVD's, CD's, video games, books on tape/cd/ebooks, and even has a free Napster like service where you can download songs legally at home.

Then they have the gadgets, like things you can plug into your outlets to see power usage, tiny ebook devices with headphones and a battery, and much more. I wouldn't be surprised if iPads came next.

This library is always busy. Sometimes the two parking lots are full for hours. If you have the typical crappy library (I move around alot, and most of them are bad), then renting iPads is probably a bad idea to you, but personally I find the idea intriguing.

RE: Bad idea
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2011 7:41:49 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know where you live, but pretty much every library I know of owes it's existence to public money. Tax dollars. Is buying a bunch of iPads REALLY necessary in economic times like this when every county and province SHOULD be doing all it can to balance their budgets?

RE: Bad idea
By phantom505 on 9/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bad idea
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2011 7:53:31 PM , Rating: 1
Oh please, libraries are NOT essential for education anymore. Hell when I was in school we had the Internet even, I didn't even have to use a library. Today? Please!

Your class warfare arguments are stupid. What does being wealthy and taxes have to do with anything!? You absolutely NEED an iPad to get an education? lmao, when did this happen? I personally feel the iPad is overpriced as hell, but you hardly have to be "wealthy" to afford internet access and a wifi iPad.

iPads are a toy, not an educational tool anyway. Hey kids, for 10 bucks a day you can play Angry Birds!!! I guess maybe you'll learn trajectory physics?

Test scores get worst and worst, and idiots like you think we need to throw more and more money at the problem. Yeah, I'm so sure that's the answer. Playing Angry Birds and watching porn courtesy of the publicly funded library, what an education!

RE: Bad idea
By chemist1 on 9/23/2011 8:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Oh please, libraries are NOT essential for education anymore. Hell when I was in school we had the Internet even, I didn't even have to use a library. Today? Please!"

I disagree, and strongly. First, libraries permit access to material typically not available for free on the web (books whose copyrights are still in force). And why would you want to be able to access non-fiction books, say, instead of reading an online article? Well, non-fiction books offer a depth of treatment of a subject, and a sophistication of presentation, that is not typically available online. There's a world of difference between a Wikipedia article on finite element analysis, or french cooking, vs. a reference work written by an expert who sweated blood and tears writing it, thinking deeply about how to get the presentation just right; plus it's been edited, gone through many drafts in attempt to perfect it, etc.

Second, even if a breadth of copyrighted books were available for free online, exploring a topic in a library offers an experience completely different from exploring a topic online. When I needed to learn more about tree graphs, I went my university library, and found about five books on tree graphs specifically, and many more on graph theory generally, all shelved together. I then pulled up a stool and paged through them. Within several minutes of reading one can easily figure out which treatment works for you and which doesn't.

And the same principles that apply to doing research on finite element analysis or tree graphs in a university library apply to doing research on french cooking, or bicycle maintenance, or dinosaurs, or local fauna, or home improvement, in a public library.

And this also applies if you are in a public library looking for a fiction book within a certain genre -- there's nothing like reading the first few pages of several books to find which catches your fancy.

RE: Bad idea
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2011 8:50:05 PM , Rating: 5
Whoa there. I'm not anti-Library or anything. I'm just questioning why they really need pads, and also why did they have to pick THE most expensive one on the market? It's just another example of the utter inability of Government to be frugal or spend money that isn't theirs wisely.

First, libraries permit access to material typically not available for free on the web (books whose copyrights are still in force).

Again, I'm not against libraries at all. A library iPad isn't going to allow you to access copyrighted books from free either, correct? In this case an e-reader would make more sense.

I could actually get behind e-readers for libraries because they are relatively cheap at this point and their only function is to promote literature. iPads? Not so much.

RE: Bad idea
By Josh7289 on 9/23/2011 9:20:00 PM , Rating: 1
If the government is "[utterly unable] ... to be frugal or spend money that isn't theirs," then why do we have libraries in the first place? How about public roads, fire departments, police forces, Medicare/Medicaid, environmental protections, employee protections, etc. etc.?

Government does far more good than it does harm. And this iPad case is simply an interesting experiment. Maybe it'll turn out to be something beneficial for the public. Hell, if people rack up overdue charges enough maybe it'll even be profitable :P

RE: Bad idea
By ebakke on 9/24/2011 1:28:10 AM , Rating: 2
Government does far more good than it does harm.
That is a value judgement, and not a statement of fact. As such, I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree.

RE: Bad idea
By insurgent on 9/24/2011 9:19:06 AM , Rating: 2
You miss reclaimer's point, why does it have to be an iPad? If it has to be a tablet for keeping up with modern times, there are cheaper alternatives that will work well as an educational tool. Feels more like "we're-cool-we-lend-iPads" mentality, and as such it's a waste of taxpayer's money.

RE: Bad idea
By BZDTemp on 9/24/2011 10:10:04 AM , Rating: 2
Going with iPads is, unfortunately, the logical choice as it is the de facto tablet standard and it is what people knows. Remember the library is not getting them to cater for the first movers as they will likely already have them instead it is about providing a service to the broader public.

Besides you need to look at the bigger picture. Why can't a library be cool. If offering iPads bring in people that normally don't use the library it benefits us all. Just as it does putting tech in the hands of people which would usually not become users.

RE: Bad idea
By Solandri on 9/25/2011 1:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
Going with iPads is, unfortunately, the logical choice as it is the de facto tablet standard and it is what people knows.

I disagree. The logic in the preceding posts is that (1) libraries need to loan out things like tablets to keep up with technology, and (2) libraries are still relevant because they store lots of copyrighted material which you can't get online.

From that reasoning, they should be loaning out e-readers like the Nook and Kindle, not tablets. What's the primary advantage of a tablet over an e-reader? You can do stuff on the web with them. But doing stuff on the web contradicts (2). A library would essentially be loaning people iPads so they could use the library less, thus contributing to its own demise.

The logical conclusion from (1) and (2) is that libraries should be loaning out e-readers which can hold and display copyrighted books, but cannot do stuff on the web (except perhaps borrow more books from the library).

RE: Bad idea
By BZDTemp on 9/25/2011 11:05:58 AM , Rating: 1
You got it wrong (and you "logic" is not real logic more like Erasmus Montanus logic).

You're thinking of libraries as businesses which then needs to steer it's customers away from the competition but libraries are not businesses.

Libraries are a service created to give the people access to information of all sorts which of course includes all things digital. This means ebooks, which e-readers can handle, but also video, educational apps and the internet (which has been a library tool since before the www).

Libraries are more than books. Here is an example on how my local library is more when combined with the internet (and I'm not talking about the online booking system which lets me borrow stuff from every library in the country). The library subscribes to online scientific magazine services to whom they give us users access through their website, the library also subscribes to a music service and a movie service which all accessible for those with computers and that is where the iPads come into play since not everyone has a computer.

RE: Bad idea
By StanO360 on 9/23/2011 8:21:21 PM , Rating: 4
There is nothing that an iPad can do that a $500 pc cannot do just as efficiently at the library. Read a ebook, again a $120-$140 Nook is better as an ebook, the library can get 4 for 1 iPad. This is just weird.

This has nothing to do with education, this is government largesse. Unless you define having an iPad the pinnacle of culture. FYI the top 15% of incomes pay about 65% of taxes, so they do pay for the privledge. They also have the most expensive homes and pay the highest property tax.

RE: Bad idea
By BZDTemp on 9/24/2011 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 1
Do tell - how good are the colors on the Nook? How good is it with comic books? And how about video - is the Nook a good video player?

Libraries is about information in all it's forms not "just" the printed word. Now I am no Apple fan but I do get why the library bought those iPads which by the way did not really come to much money when looking a the bigger picture. I'm sure the library spends more money on books about religion which is really wasteful.

As for how much the rich pay in taxes in actuality they get off cheap. The US as a society would function much better if the middle class was better off and the rich did a bit more for the common greater good.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2011 3:36:39 PM , Rating: 1
Why because learning about religion is worthless? Maybe you don't give a shit but many people in the US are religious and care. It's also a libraries job to cover all information. Not just what the vast minority of atheists approve of.

And the US would be better of as a society if everyone worked hard for what they had like the majority of the rich do instead of trying to demonize the rich as being responsible for taking care of those who don't want to work hard.

RE: Bad idea
By BZDTemp on 9/24/2011 7:31:18 PM , Rating: 1
Why because learning about religion is worthless? Maybe you don't give a shit but many people in the US are religious and care. It's also a libraries job to cover all information. Not just what the vast minority of atheists approve of.

Well from my perspective Religion is no better than believing in Voodoo, witchcraft or dices which why I'd say information on such topics should not be payed by public money.

As for demonizing the rich that is so not what I am doing. However the US would be a better place if some of the rich were a little less rich, so that the middle class and especially the poor could have a better life. I think it's shameful that so many in the US are living in the street and with the wealth in society as a whole that should not be necessary. Even some of the rich people are saying they should pay more tax.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2011 9:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
And voodoo and witchcraft are covered in libraries as well.

You are demonizing the rich. You are saying that the rich are too rich and that it is a bad thing. I say congratulations to them.

As far as the rich saying they should pay more taxes you are mainly referring to Warren Buffet. A man who says that while filing a lawsuit in order to pay even less taxes. He doesn't care what happens because he knows he'll still be rich in the end of it all. But he's doing his damnedest to make sure others don't get to as far as he has.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2011 3:33:38 PM , Rating: 1
There is nothing a PC can do that a book can't either.

God I remember when school research involved spending hours in the library looking through encyclopedias and books to get different sources of information for your papers.

And actually the top 10% pay 70% of income taxes while the top 2% pay 40-45% I believe it is.

RE: Bad idea
By abscode on 9/24/2011 9:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Invalid comparison. If someone earns 25,000 per year and some one else earns 25,000,000 and both pay 30%, the person making the 25 mil pays 100000% more but not a larger portion of their earnings. Individual tax liability as a percentage is a better comparison.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2011 9:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have nothing against closing tax loopholes. But saying the rich don't pay taxes is a foolish comparison. If those like Warren Buffet want to pay more in taxes, they are able to. They choose not to.

And the fact remains that the wealthy pay the vast majority of taxes while half the country has zero or negative tax liability. What is fair then? The top 10% pay 100% of taxes and the other 90% pay nothing or get money back?

Want everyone to pay a truly fair share(as I do)? Support the Fair Tax. Can only afford necessities (as the poor supposedly only can while still having high def TVs, iPhones, and designer jeans)? You pay no tax. But when you go buy something nonessential, you pay tax. No matter where the income comes from. No tax refunds. No loop holes. No bloated government agency required to manage it. No deductions.

But liberals will never support it because you can't redistribute wealth with it. And that's exactly what our current tax system is now. You have millions of people who get thousands of dollars back every year who already pay very little to nothing in.

RE: Bad idea
By Solandri on 9/25/2011 2:45:39 AM , Rating: 1
Individual tax liability as a percentage is a better comparison.

The thing is, those numbers are readily available from the IRS. It's just that practically nobody bothers to check them. They just assume that their pre-supposed belief is correct - that the rich aren't paying their fair share of taxes. Here's the individual income tax liability as a percentage of income for each income bracket (2009):,...

4.8% - $1 to $4,999
2.6% - $5,000 to $9,999
2.3% - $10,000 to $14,999
3.0% - $15,000 to $19,999
4.5% - $20,000 to $24,999
5.4% - $25,000 to $29,000
6.0% - $30,000 to $39,000
6.8% - $40,000 to $49,000
7.7% - $50,000 to $74,999
8.5% - $75,000 to $99,999
11.9% - $100,000 to $199,999
19.6% - $200,000 to $499,999
24.4% - $500,000 to $999,999
25.3% - $1 million to $$1.5 million
25.6% - $1.5 million to $2 million
25.8% - $2 million to $5 million
25.4% - $5 million to $10 million
22.6% - $10 million or more

Surprise! The rich are already paying a helluva lot more of their income in taxes than the middle and lower classes. Maybe Warren Buffet pays a smaller percentage of taxes than his secretary, but that would make him (and/or his secretary) an outlier. Basing tax policy on him would be like basing Welfare policy on the guy who bought steak and lobster with his food stamps. Don't believe me? Maybe you'll believe the AP.

I'm actually in favor of the proposed tax increase on those with incomes $1 million or higher. It acts kinda like the AMT so catches the millionaires who are paying less than their secretaries. But I think the way Obama and his followers are selling it to the American people - as if all or most or even a significant fraction of millionaires pay less than their secretaries - is outright dishonest and disgraceful.

Another thing you have to remember is that the income tax is graduated. If you make $50k, that puts you in the 25% bracket. But that does not mean you pay 25% of your income in taxes.

You pay nothing for the first $5,800 (standard deduction)
You pay 10% for the next $8,350 ($835)
15% for the next $25,600 ($3,840)
25% for the next $10,250 ($2,562.50)
For a total of $7,237.50 in taxes

That's an overall tax rate of 14.475% assuming no other deductions. With other deductions, you can see from the first table that Americans making $50k-$75k average just 7.7% in federal income taxes. So worst case you have to be making slightly over $50k to be paying more in taxes than the 15% capital gains tax. And the average American who pays more than 15% of his income in federal income taxes is making somewhere around $160k.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2011 7:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
Even with deductions I paid well over 7%. It was about 12%.

Maybe married people with kids pay that much. But not single people.

That's also not looking at Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and state taxes. Which are another 7% just in state income tax. Plus I'd say about $5000 in the rest. So when it's all said and done, I pay about 25% of my income in taxes.

Meanwhile a high school drop out slut with 3 kids from different fathers and a minimum wage job gets a multitude of government benefits year round. Then gets a several thousand dollar tax REFUND despite paying pretty much no taxes. Ending the tax year with probably a 30-40% NEGATIVE tax liability.

No the rich owe no more than they're already paying. If Warren Buffet thinks he doesn't pay enough taxes, he can pay more. The vast majority though pay enough.

RE: Bad idea
By someguy123 on 9/23/2011 9:42:42 PM , Rating: 3
If your interest is in education....distributing ipads is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

do people really need libraries distributing facebook and youtube? because that's all that these things will be used for. they should be distributing ereaders.

RE: Bad idea
By Meinolf on 9/26/2011 9:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Angry Birds.

RE: Bad idea
By computergeek485 on 9/23/2011 11:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you live, but pretty much every library I know of owes it's existence to public money. Tax dollars. Is buying a bunch of iPads REALLY necessary in economic times like this when every county and province SHOULD be doing all it can to balance their budgets?

The only thing our library uses tax dollars for is paying the staff, every other thing is paid for through donations, late fees, and massive trust funds donated to the library (they only use the interest off of those).

RE: Bad idea
By ClownPuncher on 9/23/2011 7:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
A Kindle or somesuch would make more sense, IMO. Getting your other media on an iPad is fine, but I wouldn't offer a take home loan, just in-library.

RE: Bad idea
By StanO360 on 9/23/2011 8:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
Why even that? There is nothing that the library should be responsible for that can be done on an iPad that can't be done on the computers in most libraries. If they want to lend ebooks then Nooks are far cheaper and for reading better too.

RE: Bad idea
By Lord 666 on 9/23/2011 8:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
At the community college I teach at, they loan iPads, Kindles, and Nooks. Don't know the borrowing stats, but I think it's a good idea in general

RE: Bad idea
By BZDTemp on 9/24/2011 10:01:12 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. It has been possible to lend iPads for more than a year around these parts and for instance MP3 players have been available for years and why not.

Some libraries here will let you lend art like paintings and sculptures - it's all about delivering knowledge and culture to the people which help make people smarter so it benefits society. Tax money well spend.

I suppose
By Sahrin on 9/24/2011 12:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
The fact that Apple and the iOS platform are antithetical to the open access ideals of public libraries is completely lost on Wisconsin.

By The0ne on 9/23/2011 8:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
I thought WI was in bad shape, worse in the nation? Man, those electric batteries must be really really popular to bring the state back!

The idea of buying IPADs sucks.
By Roy2001 on 9/24/2011 10:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
For one IPAD you can get 2 Amazon soon to release color kindle or 2 Nook colors, or you can get 4 Kindle3 or Nook2. IPAD is not for library but e-Readers are!

More importantly, e-Reader is NOT ready for library system yet. They abuse/waste tax money!

By Tony Swash on 9/24/2011 7:29:49 PM , Rating: 1
Most libraries have had PCs (Windows and Macs) for a long time. It makes sense to allow people who can't afford a computer access to one and it helps travellers travelling light (I have used plenty of library PCs when on the road in the remoter parts of the American west). So why not iPads which are easier to use for most people and with which you can do almost everything that most people want to do on a PC. Lending them is just an extension of what libraries have been doing with IT kit for a long while, which is making it available to all. In a very few years iPads/tablets will cheaper, much more powerful and ubiquitous and borrowing one from the library may well be very common place.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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