A comment on this answer of mine about e-book lending suggested that it would be better to talk to a lawyer. The situation is as follows: My head of school asked me to explore means of providing our core text books in electronic form to our students. I talked to Library services and IT services and they recommended iPads with standard consumer licensed e-book versions installed. I passed this information on to my head of school, who instructed the school manager to buy the iPads, copies of the books, and other associated hardware needed for running an iPad lending service. Have I, my head of school, or my school manager been negligent for not consulting a lawyer in this manner? Should academics really be consulting university lawyers on a regular basis?
Well, first of all it's good to check the license yourself. Here you will find that it says that
(i) You shall be authorized to use the iBooks Store Products only for personal, noncommercial use.
So, in this case it wouldn't even have been necessary to contact a university lawyer for the simple reason that the license is incredibly clear. In cases where it isn't you should at all times contact a university lawyer or contact the company in question itself, because in general IT and library personnel are not trained in legal matters (I just dropped by the library to ask). Now a valid argument could be made that it's the libraries responsibility to ask the university lawyer instead of you, but that's up to the mechanisms within your institution, the core issue remaining that one should be consulted somewhere down the line.
As to the question of negligence, I think (as a non-lawyer) you might be attributed negligence for not reading the license yourself, but not for not consulting a lawyer and just asking library/IT personnel. Still, it all depends on who was technically responsible for what and how the question towards the library people was phrased.
Additionally for future reference in case people find this through Google, the license also says
So not only would you need permission from Apple, but also from the third party selling every single individual book.