Amazon Kindle Book Loans Debut at 11,000 Libraries

Local libraries and Amazon team up to offer Kindle customers access to books on loan. What would Eratosthenes think?

Fast receding into the past are the days when borrowing a book meant keeping quiet and navigating cavernous stacks. Online retail giant is expanding the selection of books available on its best-selling Kindle e-reader to more than 11,000 local libraries across the United States-meaning that Kindle and Kindle application customers can now borrow Kindle books without ever having to sift through rows of books or negotiate with stern-voiced librarians.

When users borrow a Kindle library book, they'll have all the features included with Kindle books, including Whispersync, which automatically synchronizes their margin notes, highlights and bookmarks, and provides real page numbers and, of course, Facebook and Twitter integration. Customers will use their local library's Website to search for and select a book to borrow. Users can borrow Kindle books from a local library's Website that offers digital services from OverDrive and then check out a Kindle book using a valid library card. The user then clicks on "Get for Kindle" and signs in to their Amazon account to have the book delivered to the Kindle or reading application. Once they choose a book, the publication will be delivered to the device they select via a WiFi connection, or it can be transferred via USB.

"Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries," said Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle. "Libraries are a critical part of our communities, and we're excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country. We're even doing a little extra here: Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book."

Marine noted that after customers check out a Kindle book from their local library, they can start reading on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle application for Google Android devices, the Apple iPad tablet, iPod Touch or iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry smartphone or Windows Phone, as well as in their Web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader. When borrowing a Kindle book from their local library, customers can take advantage of the unique qualities of Kindle books, including Popular Highlights, which shows users what Amazon's community of Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in a user's books.

"This is a welcome day for Kindle users in libraries everywhere and especially our Kindle users here at The Seattle Public Library," said Marcellus Turner, city librarian for The Seattle Public Library (the main branch of which is probably the most futuristic spot in the country to read a book in any format). "We're thrilled that Amazon is offering such a new approach to library e-books that enhances the reader experience."