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Libraries of all types have taken the plunge of lending ebook readers to their patrons, yet controversy remains. As far back as 2007, the Sparta, N.J., Public Library was one of the first to dip its toes into then unknown waters ( Many others have followed suit. In fact, Library Journal's 2011 "Ebook Penetration and Use" surveys ( found that 12% of academic libraries, 15% of public libraries, and 17% of school libraries are lending e-readers. They lend Kindles, NOOKs, iPads, and Sony Readers of all shapes and sizes. Some are for classroom use, and others are for full-blown lending programs.

The Library Journal survey also showed that in the academic library, Kindle is the device of choice by a margin of 2 to 1. While a variety of libraries are testing the devices and services, many others are holding out, questioning the legal, ethical, practical, and economic factors.