HarperCollins has announced that its ebooks will only be able to be checked out by library patrons 26 times before a library would have to re-purchase the ebook title if they want to lend it again. This has caused an outcry among librarians who have, in some cases, started boycotting Harper Collins ebooks.
I understand that in the publishers mind this is their way of trying to approximate for wear and tear on printed books which might require a library to repurchase copies which have been extremely well read but I thought 26 seemed to be a fairly low figure, even before watching this video by the Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma in which Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods was checked out 120 times and still going strong.
You would think there would be a better way to do this. Even if they just charged a dollar or two more for library version of the ebook which would offer unlimited lending, publishers would win on some longer tail titles and the libraries would continue to get their value for dollar on the popular titles. Whatever the solution libraries and publishes are going to have to find a better one if we ever want to be able to borrow ebooks like we do their paper cousins.