As you have probably heard, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is launching a new Library Lending program later this year for the Kindle. Other e-readers including the Nook have have allowed library lending for awhile because they don’t have the digital rights restrictions that Amazon has.
Amazon is working with OverDrive, the company responsible for providing e-book content in libraries. OverDrive recently released an update that will allow the transition to Kindle Library Lending to run much smoother.
According to a June 15 press release, OverDrive’s latest update, called OverDrive WIN will include the following features:
- Eliminate the need for librarians and readers to deal with various eBook file formats
- Reduce library staff time for collection development and help-desk support
- Offer support for Kindle Library Lending coming later this year, in addition to every major operating system, reading device, and mobile platform
- Add hundreds of thousands of in-copyright eBook and digital audiobook records with free “eBook Samples” for immediate access on reading devices and platforms
- Enable patron driven acquisition, an opt-in program that will allow readers to immediately borrow a title, recommend to a library, or ‘Want It Now’ from online booksellers
- Provide new ‘always available’ eBook collections for simultaneous access of romance, self-help, young adult, children’s, and other materials
- Launch ‘Open eBook’ titles, free of DRM
For the whole press release and more information about the latest OverDrive update, click here.
From a librarian’s standpoint, I think that OverDrive has done a good job in striving to be more user friendly. Since the Kindle is the most popular e-reader, the Kindle Library Lending program will open up opportunities for so many more people. It also brings the library to the user, not the other way around. I think this is awesome because there are plenty of people out there who can’t get to a library for one reason or another.
The biggest barrier will be trying to figure out how to monitor the amount of e-books being checked out. When you have a physical book, you purchase one book, sometimes several if the book is particularly popular, and the patrons can only check them out if they are available.
With e-books, many patrons can potentially check out one book simultaneously. There needs to be a balance, and libraries, OverDrive, and Amazon are all working on this.
Kindle Library Lending will be such a great relief for Kindle users who are frustrated with rising e-book prices. One thing to note is that if you do decide to purchase a book that you’ve checked out, you retain your highlights and annotations.
I am excited to see where e-book lending leads us, and how it will fulfill its role in bringing libraries into the digital book world.