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April, 2011

Amazon has announced that it will begin offering ebook lending through local libraries on its Kindle later this year.  The ebook lending will be organized through OverDrive, a popular ebook sharing platform that is used by over 11,000 local libraries and has already been adopted by other ebook readers such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader.  Through this platform, local libraries can buy subscription rights to ebook, and members of the library can then use their library accounts to “check out” these ebooks.  Users are allowed access to the ebook for 2 weeks, after this period their access is locked unless they renew the download through the library.  The ebooks work like regular book check outs in that when one user has the ebook “checked out”, no other users can download it through the library until the 2 week download period is up and the book is “returned”.  Through the Kindle, users can made annotations and add bookmarks with their Whispersync system.  These annotations and bookmarks will carry over to the next time the user “checks out” the book.  The move by Amazon to bring Kindle to OverDrive is seen as a way to bring ebook readers back into libraries and expand library’s membership base.  For more information, see CNN.

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