I work in a library, so I often get questions about how the Kindle Library Lending program works. It is a new program so it hasn’t really gotten too popular yet, but it shows promise of being a great success.
The program is currently available in roughly 11,000 libraries. For North Carolina, there is a North Carolina Digital Library that is a local subset of OverDrive that includes the Kindle e-books. I’m sure there are equivalents in other states. The Kindle Library Lending program is a partnership with OverDrive, the website that handles most digital library books, including ones for the Nook and iPad.
On a participating library’s main page, there is usually a widget or ad saying that they have books available for the Kindle. Once you click on the link, you’ll be taken to the library’s Overdrive account. For most libraries, you will need to enter your library card number. Different libraries have different ID’s needed to get in.
Click “Get for Kindle.” Then, you’ll go to the your Amazon account where you can download the book to any Kindle supported device. That includes the Kindle itself, as well as all of its apps for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.
One thing to note: Public Library books on Kindle can only be downloaded via Wi-Fi. They cannot be downloaded via the Kindle’s 3G connection. Wi-Fi is easy to find these days, but if you can’t get to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can hook up your Kindle to the computer via a USB cord.
Loan periods depend on the library. Loan periods are usually for about three weeks for regular books, so I’m sure it will be similar with a Kindle book. When the expiration date is up, the book will disappear from your Kindle. So, no worries about having to remember to return it on time.
Kindle Library Lending is available in a lot of libraries in the US, but not in all of them yet. I am hoping that it will be available at my local public library in the near future so I can take advantage of the program first hand.
The role of e-books is increasing rapidly in libraries. This goes a long way in breaking the stereotypical image of a library being a large, quiet building full of dusty books. In reality they are constantly working to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and on new ways to reach out to their patrons. The Kindle lending program is just one small example.
The Kindle lending program brings the library to you, and this allows people who can’t get to a library to have access to their favorite books. For more information on the program, check out the Amazon Kindle Lending program FAQ on Amazon’s website.