Although this article pertains to only one U.S. state, I suspect it reflects a growing trend amongst public libraries in North America:
“Libraries can barely keep up with rocketing demand for electronic books as more people turn to Kindles, Nooks and Ipads for reading.Wisconsin libraries in 2010 loaned out e-books 27,320 times compared to 1,609 times in 2009, according to state data.”
“Interest will likely grow even faster after Amazon announced earlier this month that it would begin allowing libraries to lend e-books compatible with its popular Kindle device, a reversal from the company’s previous policy.”
One of the challenges highlighted in the article pertains to the willingness of publishers to allow ebooks to circulate: “Not all publishing companies want to allow lending of e-books, and some want to put limits on the number of times an e-book can be borrowed before the library must buy a new copy. HarperCollins, for example, allows e-books to be checked out only 26 times before they expire.” From a cataloguing perspective, this growth in ebooks and digital media in general poses some interesting challenges, since I’ve observed that many of these records do not come with compatible MARC records, which may create a two-tiered catalogue system. In our local library, for example, digital media are not fully integrated into the MARC records; a clear example is the lack of authority control for names and subject headings.
Libraries flooded by demand for e-books | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.