I had a feeling this would come eventually: Amazon announces library lending for the Kindle. Over 11,000 libraries are going to be linked to the Kindle universe “later this year” and according to the press release:
Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
I am presuming that if your local library does not have digital lending, you are SOL. And of course, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster authors hoping for patron action on your books, you’re also SOL since those two publishers do not allow library lending of digital books… which means if you’re looking to borrow some Bosoms, you and I are both shit out of luck there, huh? Poo.
I’m also building a bar for the librarians who will have to answer patron questions about library borrowing on the Kindle though – it’s time for more tech support! Given the strength of Amazon in that department, perhaps my alcohol budget for Tech Support Librarian will be rather modest.
Despite the limitations, though, I think this is rather awesome. Personally, I wish the book we wrote was available for borrowing digitally, but I have to say, I love what this means in terms of access to books for readers who are on a limited budget for book buying. If you’re a Kindle user, do you think you’ll take advantage of this program?