Digital lending picked up momentum when Amazon enabled lending for its Kindle at 11,000 local libraries, bringing in a wave of new ebook library users.
Developers are now working with the libraries to develop an app which allows people to borrow ebooks on their smartphones.
Douglas County Libraries in Colorado - where ebook lending has grown about 1,200 percent since February 2010 - is developing its own app which releases this month. The app is supposed to allow patrons to browse, check out and read books.
The ebook lending evolution is hampered by the ongoing concerns of publishers who worry library digital distribution could hurt their bottom line. Ebooks are the fastest-growing segment of their business.
Some major publishers, such as Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hatchette, refuse to sell ebooks to libraries.
Meanwhile, readers can't get enough of ebook lending. Library Journal reports public libraries increased their offerings by 185 percent this year.
According to USA Today, the New York Public Library has quadrupled its ebook budget since 2009 and plans to spend $1 million this year, while the Seattle Public Library's ebook circulation grew by 92 percent in 2010.