If you want a video synopsis of the news along with some interesting critical questions, try the Newsy coverage here.
- The Kindle Library Lending program will integrate into your existing OverDrive-powered ‘Virtual Branch’ website.
- Your existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers. As you add new eBooks to your collection, those titles will also be available in Kindle format for lending to Kindle and Kindle reading apps. Your library will not need to purchase any additional units to have Kindle compatibility. This will work for your existing copies and units.
- A user will be able to browse for titles on any desktop or mobile operating system, check out a title with a library card, and then select Kindle as the delivery destination. The borrowed title will then be able to be enjoyed using any Kindle device and all of Amazon’s free Kindle Reading Apps.
- The Kindle eBook titles borrowed from a library will carry the same rules and policies as all our other eBooks.
- The Kindle Library Lending program will support publishers’ existing lending models.
- Your users’ confidential information will be protected.
- The Kindle Library Lending program is only available for libraries, schools, and colleges in the United States.
With this expansion of the relationship between ebooks and libraries, we take another step in the evolution of libraries' roles. Librarians increasingly expect that locations will hold fewer physical books but increasingly transition to being local community centers. You already see this happening with increases in things such as family movie nights, local activity discounts/passes, and teen programs.
Will taxpayers continue to fund libraries when they've essentially become community resource centers? Perhaps not as libraries per se. This is why I wonder if existing library facilities will start to fall under different state and/or county programs (such as regional recreation centers) and ebook assets will ultimately be managed by a highly centralized entity, such as the Library of Congress. If budgets don't improve, increasing consolidation and centralization would seem to be the only way library lending will thrive.