Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Public Library Books on the Kindle

Update: OverDrive has sent out a press release stating that all library partners will have Kindle formats available within the next week.

Well, I knew that the rumors about Kindle book availability through OverDrive were saying they would be available in September. I was still surprised to see this blog post in my Google Reader that it is already live (in beta) in a couple libraries.

So, of course this morning I checked our digital books site to see if we had a pleasant surprise - no joy yet. Then I ran over to the King County Library System website, which is one of two known libraries (along with Seattle Public Library) that has this live right now, to take a look at the implementation.

The Kindle format displays as another format along with the other ebooks. It appears we do not have to purchase a specific "Kindle" format. Looking at KCLS, whether they have just an EPUB or PDF format, or both, the Kindle format is displayed.

Other information available shows that patrons will be taken from the library website to Amazon to get the library loan. Also, Kindle wireless downloads will only be available through wifi. If you have an older, 3G-only Kindle, you will have to sync through a USB cable, similar to many other ereaders.

I know that Kindle owners in our system will rejoice when we have this service available. I also believe that it is important to be able to serve multiple formats of titles, similar to the way that our libraries already have multiple copies in different formats and languages. However, I personally have an undercurrent of fear of disservice because I foresee the holds ratios growing exponentially with the availability (which I discussed over at my other blog when this was first announced).

I will definitely be posting after our system goes live. Stay tuned!

Other Links:

Amazon: Public Library Books for Kindle
King County Library System Kindle Basics Help Page

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