I was invited to take part in a Bookseller podcast the other evening, along with Peter Brantley, director at the not-for-profit library The Internet Archive, Stephanie Duncan, digital director of the Bloomsbury Group, who is responsible for Public Library Online: an initiative that gets around some of these issues by using a licensing model And finally, Tim Coates, founder of Bilbary (or ‘library’ mispelt), who is offering an alternative solution, that could see libraries or patrons pay for each book rented.
The blurb for the show says: "It’s the debate that is well overdue. The issue over how libraries should loan e- books is generating noise all over. The discussion has laid bare the real allegiances across the trade, as it impacts on all parts—-booksellers, publishers, authors, and of course librarians. Consensus has broken down, with some calling for librarians to simply circumvent publishers and digitize books direct. It’s a mess: a job for The Naked Book."
You can follow the link to listen - it's about an hour, or I've got it below.