I didn't get many responses to the above... but here are the ones I did get!
Thank you to those who contributed, particularly Siobhan from Surrey Libraries who sent through an amazing, detailed evaluation of their eBook Pilot.
This doesn't of course preclude preloading of titles onto a device, but it does mean that the account has to be completely cleared from the device and then a new account loaded up between each loan, all of which add to the time taken to process the loans (ie it becomes a more expensive service).
I also seem to recall that it is not easy to get a borrower history of loans to each individual borrower, so it's tricky to make sure you don't preload with something they have already read (unless you do the download at the customers' home - wifi access permitting).
Claire, I haven't been involved in the e-reader lending for a while, we gave up on it. Preloading could work and we may go back down this road. The problem we had was with Adobe Digital Editions, Adobe limit the number of registrations linked to each device and you can't clear and start again - this creates a problem if you are going to lend the device and allow the borrowers to upload their own choice of books. I think the limit is 6 registrations so 6 borrowers.....per device. The alternative is to set the devices up using the library PC and either preload by genre or whatever or ask the customer to select titles which staff preload before the device is issued.
At Surrey Libraries following the closure of our Mobile Library service we ran a pilot lending eReaders to our ex mobile library users (many of them were housebound). I have attached a report on the pilot that we ran however it was not successful as many of the readers were not confident PC users and had very old computers which had problems with downloading the Adobe Digital Editions Software required. At the end of the pilot the eReaders we had were about to go out of warranty and so we then gifted the eReaders to the readers that were still using them.
If anybody would like a copy of Surrey's report, just let me know and - as long as it's ok with Siobhan - I'll send it on.