A friend asked me what applications I see for Kindles in libraries. Assuming the Kindle comes down in price (a lot), libraries could load them up with public domain classics and such, and lend them out. I'd probably recommend against purchases by libraries of DRM'd content.
12/1 - BTW, what are some libraries' experiences using ebook readers with the public? I know ebooks themselves haven't been great. I've tried "borrowing" ebooks from libraries with varying success, but don't know if libraries have been letting folks borrow ebook reading equipment loaded with content. I've read of experiments with iPod shuffles and audio, but don't know how that's been going lately. Commenters?
Added 12/6 - I'd think libraries would have a better shot using XO laptops with patrons. See Teleread that links to Brewster Kahle's YouTube video. It's more durable (virtually indestructible), can use a hand crank for power, and supports more formats. It doesn't have the EVDO, but does have built in wireless. And for now through Dec 31, every library that buys one automatically sends one to a child in a developing nation. (I have that reversed, but that's the way I'm looking at it in this context.) Knowing library procurement red tape, may be best for nimble Friends groups to go out and buy a few for their libraries/children in developing nations for the holidays.