Thought for Friday

Kindle 3

Kindle 3

Library books via the Kindle in the US, will the service arrive in the UK any time soon?

Over on Wired is a report on Amazon’s April announcement that US owners of the Kindle will be able to borrow e-books from their local libraries.

Wired goes on to say:

It’s a good thing for readers, because they’ve got access to more free content. It’s a good thing (I hope) for libraries, who can reach or reconnect with a wide range of patrons in different media. (Let’s hope whatever deal they struck with Amazon doesn’t prove ruinous, or gets slashed back by budget-busting administrative and government crusaders.)

Over in The Guardian was a quote from the American Libraries Association:

A recent report revealed research showing that 72% of public libraries offer ebooks and 5% of American adults own an ebook reader. The ALA said that ebooks account for only a small percentage of borrowed items from most libraries, but they are the fastest-growing segment: the Chicago Public Library, it said, doubled its circulation of ebooks from 17,000 in 2009 to more than 36,000 in 2010.

I don’t know if Amazon has plans to introduce this facility via UK libraries and I wonder whether it would be a good thing for our libraries or not, particularly the way local libraries are currently facing such severe cuts. Maybe this is a way to provide libraries with much-needed revenue.

… and the BBC had this to say:

Nevertheless, the dominant position of Kindle in the e-book market is likely to raise the profile of library lending.

“I am in favour of anything that gives readers an opportunity to read more books via a library system,” said Phil Bradley, vice president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

If any librarians reading this post have an opinion on this topic, perhaps you could respond to this post.

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