Friday, 22 April 2011

Kindle readers to borrow e-books from libraries

American owners of the e-book reader, Kindle, will soon be able to borrow e-books from their local libraries...and...scribble in the margins!

On Wednesday 20th April, announced that it would allow Kindle users to borrow e-books from more than 11,000 American libraries. This announcement follows news of similar agreements drawn up by Kindle's rivals, notably the Sony Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

The move was welcomed by American librarians. "Anyone who works with the public has encountered the discouragement people feel when you have to tell them that Amazon does not allow library ebooks on the Kindle," stated library manager Bobbi L Newman in his blog. "It's SO exciting to see that Kindle users will now have access to library ebooks (especially when we know that library books usage actually drives sales up). Plus that note-taking ability they mentioned is a big reason I bought my Kindle! Very excited to see it on library books."

Roberta A Stevens, the president of the American Library Association, told the New York Times that Amazon's move into library lending as "all but inevitable". "I can't say that I'm surprised," she said. "They were just shutting off a whole part of the marketplace. It's just logical that this would happen." haven't released the exact date that ebook library lending will come into play in the US, but it is rumoured to be before the end of the year.

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