In a digital world, whats the difference between a loan and a purchase?
Why differentiate a "loan" from a "purchase"?
Any attempt to manipulate a market tends to cause problems and any attempt to fit an old model onto a new market tends to cause problems.
Rather than discussing libabry loans of ebooks, I suggest we go back to first principals; what book sales are supposed to achieve:
A fair income for a popular author to incentivise tha author to write more.
A fair income for the publisher to do the work they do - editing, advertising, commissioning artwork etc.
A fair commission for the website selling/loaning the book.
Ability for a low income reader to access literature.
It amazes me that online booksellers get away with selling an ebook at hardback prices when the hardback is the only book available, and then selling it at the paperback price when only a paperback is available.
If the cost of manufacturing and shipping the book is taken out of the price of an ebook, then surely the ebook would be sufficiently cheap that libraries would become redundant for the majority of people.
The cost of running the libraries could then be spent on providing the unemplyed / retired etc. with free books or discounts.