Thousands of America’s libraries got better today with Amazon rolling out the Kindle Library Lending program to 11,000 libraries.
This means that members of several thousand of America’s county and town libraries like yours truly will be able to borrow Kindle e-books and read them either on the Kindle e-reader or on competing devices like iPad, iPhone and PC that have the Kindle application installed.
The only drawback we see here is that borrowers will also be asked to sign up for an Amazon account, a cheap way for the company to get hold of customers’ information.
Here’s a relevant excerpt from the Amazon announcement:
Customers will use their local library’s website to search for and select a book to borrow. Once they choose a book, customers can choose to “Send to Kindle” and will be redirected to Amazon.com to login to their Amazon.com account and the book will be delivered to the device they select via Wi-Fi, or can be transferred via USB. Customers can check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, as well as in their web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Borrowers of Kindle e-books are supposed to be able to:
* Wirelessly sync their books, notes, highlights, and last page read across Kindle and free Kindle reading apps
* Have access to real Page Numbers to let them easily reference passages with page numbers that correspond to actual print editions
* Share favorite passages with their Facebook and Twitter friends
* See what other Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in the books
* Be able to use public notes to share notes
For details, check out your local library’s web site. We checked ours and didn’t see any reference to a Kindle Library Lending program. 🙁