I think Barbara was having a vent in good blogger style. Being a vent, some of her points get a bit mingled.
The clearest and most important point she made was
Used as a supplement to traditional collection development (which is already patron-driven, in that we have always tried to match choices to expressed or even inarticulate needs) it makes a certain amount of sense--provided your patrons will use e-books[my italics]
In fact, what else is there to say? I'd say that sums up a reasonable point-of-view.
Barbara was concerned about some speakers' enthusiasm for the method of acquisition, although she didn't identify anyone who is using it as their *sole* method of collection building. I can see how people can get enthusiastic - being able to put titles before our patrons before we buy them, being able to offer a loan (at a loan price) and only choose to buy if an item is borrowed a few times and we think it might have continuing value - this sounds wonderful. Of course how wonderful depends how much it costs us simply for access to the database of ebooks (which I'm not in postion to know), and how well suited the database is to our likely needs (which I'm guessing is tailored to the library's profile) - but the principle is promising.
More frustrating in my course is that the next question presents false dichotomy and does not even follow from the above reading or any prior in the unit: "should librarians choose what they think people should be reading (or viewing or listening to) rather than what they want" as if the answer is not obviously NO in response to the "should" in most cases but also "it depends" because of course it is possible that there is a library somewhere whose collection development is based solely upon a specific curriculum of readings for a specified purpose in a narrowly focussed organisation, and in that unlikely library "what they want" simply wouldn't arise.
"should"? - is this deception, obfuscation or muddy communication? does the question mean obliged, duty-bound, propriety-bound, expected, could, would or something else?
"rather than"? is such an either/or likely to arise?
"what they want"? a want articulated? like a request?
It is not a real question. When, if the budget has not run out and the "want" is within the parameters of collection development for the library and patrons are permitted to make a request, would a librarian ever be forced to choose between a valid request and some other collection appropriate item?