Thousands of US Libraries Get Kindle eBooks

Dennis Faas's picture

Amazon and libraries across the United States have partnered up in offering a new service that will allow Americans to borrow ebooks for the online retailer's popular e-reader, Kindle. Approximately 11,000 libraries are involved in the project, which is being called the Kindle Lending Library.

Amazon says its new service will be administered by OverDrive, a digital information provider that currently loans ebook services to the thousands of libraries involved in the project. OverDrive is also responsible for similar services rendered to owners of Sony's Reader device.

eBook Customization Options Available

The Kindle Lending Library allows Kindle users to not only borrow ebooks through the designated libraries, but also to include annotations and bookmarks. These customizations won't be visible to other borrowers of the same ebook, but will re-appear should one decide to borrow the book a second time.

"We're excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries," noted Jay Marine, an executive in Amazon's Kindle division. (Source:

The Kindle Lending Library will launch sometime later in 2011 and will be available to owners of every version of the handheld e-reader.

Kindle Distancing Itself From Pack

So, what kind of an impact will the service have?

Well, it should produce a bigger gap between Amazon and its many competitors, including Apple and Sony. Amazon has already opened up a considerable lead in this market via several important distinctions, such as giving Kindle users the ability to view documents and ebooks on Windows PCs and Macs, as well as iPhones, Windows phones, Android headsets, and BlackBerry devices.

Still, this isn't the first service of its kind to be introduced by an e-reader manufacturer. Barnes & Noble unveiled a similar program when it released its Nook reader some time ago. (Source:

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