This week Amazon announced that they would be providing e-books to libraries through Overdrive, which already offers an e-book lending service to 11,000 American libraries, including San Diego County Library. Amazon said the lending system would launch later in the year.
Until now Kindle owners have been unable to download titles because the device uses a unique file format used only by Kindle. Borrowed books would be available on Amazon’s Kindle reader as well as other devices running the Kindle software, including iPads and Android tablets.
Anyone wanting to borrow a publication would need to have a library account or card at their local library system.
Titles are downloaded through the library’s website and are automatically removed after a set number of days, with a maximum loan time of three weeks.
Overdrive has been in business for several years and offers hundreds of thousands of books to readers whose devices use the e-pub file format. (This includes Sony, Nook, and most other e-readers but the Kindle.) Many are currently available through SDCL’s online catalog.
The fact that Amazon and Overdrive are forming a partnership is great news, but there are many unanswered questions about how this new arrangement will work in libraries.
Nevertheless, the dominant position of Kindle in the e-book market is likely to raise the profile of library lending.
Many at San Diego County Library are excited about the possibilities inherent in the Kindle/Overdrive agreement. No details of release dates, titles, or prices have been publicized by Amazon or Overdrive, so our Collection Development librarians will stay alert to what becomes available to the public libraries market. (Amazon & BBC World News)
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