Exciting news from SU's Smith library: they now have five Kindle e-readers for circulation to the campus community. This is a great way for people to try them out and see if this technology could be a good fit. Additionally, it allows the libraries to electronically purchase a title once yet make it available to five people at once.
Any SU professor, staff member, or student can reserve a Kindle by visiting the library's Kindle page. You can select up to three titles from the SLC's e-book collection, which presently consists mostly of popular fiction like 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. They note that the collection will be user driven, so people can request the purchase of particular titles that interest them.
I myself am on the waiting list, and look forward to playing with a Kindle in about 3 weeks. I believe that these particular e-readers are black and white only, which means they might not have great use for art history in particular. Maybe in the future though- I would have loved to have had Stokstad's mammoth History of Art on a sleek Kindle when lugging it to class in the early 2000's! We've already started to dabble into image flashcards for smart phones, but a similar setup on a slightly larger e-reader could be very useful to students. The popularity of the iPad means that competing devices will probably start to add new features.
But even for those not concerned with what e-readers could do for the field of art history, the SU Library has provided a really welcome opportunity to try out new technology before investing personal money into it.