Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazon's Kindle And Library E-book Provider Overdrive to Join Forces

The big news in N.J. library land is that Amazon and Overdrive have agreed to play nicely together. Having poured through the muckety-muck techno-babble and press releases so you don't have to, BHPL blog offers this explanation to library users:
If you have a Kindle e-reader from Amazon, up until now you had to buy your e-books strictly through Amazon and were not able to download the ebooks that NJ libraries contract for with a service called Overdrive, or as we call it here in Joisy, "ListenNJ."
Recent gobbledygook press releases have indicated that "later this year" Kindle owners will be able to get free e-books through their local library website, just as owners of Nooks, Sony Readers and other hand-held, e-book reading devices already do. So that's good news all around. Libraries support the idea of sharing resources, buying cooperatively so that our patrons can borrow materials for free. That model has worked since Melville Dewey and Andrew Carnegie were just a twinkle in their daddy's eyes, so we are glad Amazon has joined in. We will keep you updated on this situation and we at the Reference Desk are really glad we can now tell Kindle owners that their new purchase or foray into the future of books, ie: deciding to buy a Kindle instead of another e-reader, does not leave them out in the e-book cold protected only by their Amazon account and a credit card.

Here is the press release:

4-21-11 From Overdrive:
Kindle Library Lending and OverDrive – What it means for libraries and schools
Amazon and OverDrive announced the Kindle Library Lending program, which will enable Kindle customers to borrow and enjoy eBooks from our library, school, and college partners in the United States. The program is scheduled for launch later this year, and will significantly increase the value of the investments that libraries have made in OverDrive-powered eBook catalogs.
Many of our partners will immediately receive inquiries about this new program, so here is a brief introduction into what can be expected when the program launches:
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.
We’re thrilled that our library, school, and college partners will be able to provide Kindle customers with access to eBooks from their digital collections. And we look forward to providing you with more information on the launch of the Kindle Library Lending program as it becomes available.
Karen Estrovich is manager of content sales for OverDrive.

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