It’s inevitable. Libraries are evolving with the times, too. Amazon’s new service will push e-book usage in libraries to an unprecedented level.
Kindle users are now able to borrow from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States to read on any generation Kindle device, free Kindle app, or web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
According to Mashable writer Lauren Indvik, “Unlike Amazon’s current ebook lending feature, which only allows users to lend books for a single two-week period, Kindle Library Lending allows users to check out books multiple times. Users’ annotations and bookmarks will be preserved between checkouts using Whispersync.”
All you need to get started is an Amazon account. Users can visit their local library’s website and select a book to be sent to their Kindle via wi-fi or USB. All books will be Whispersync-enabled, allowing for the automatic syncronization of their margin notes, highlights, bookmarks, page numbers, Twitter and Facebook integration. Users will also be sent a reminder email three days before the end of their loan period.
Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007, but has waited years to introduce library lending. Barnes & Noble introduced library lending when it launched Nook in 2009.
But is the lending service good or bad? An ebook can be borrowed an unlimited number of times as compared to a paperback which will wear and tear after several years. So good, right?
How does this affect writers and publishers? Writers won’t receive any royalties with every library loan, as the library would only need one (at most three books if it’s in demand) for its shelves. While it does generate some buzz around a title, the financial effect of digital library lending is clear. If people can get the book at the library, they won’t buy it.
Navigating digital content is still a tricky path when it comes to big names in publishing such as Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and HarperCollins. The three companies have refused to allow libraries to lend their ebooks.
More information about borrowing Kindle books from libraries is available online at amazon.com/kindle/publiclibraries.