Amazon doesn’t want to kill local libraries, or at least that’s what its newest venture would seem to indicate. A new partnership with OverDrive, slated to launch later this year, will allow patrons to borrow e-books from local libraries to read on their Kindles.
According to a press release, the Kindle Library Lending program will allow readers to borrow from over 11,000 public libraries to use on their Kindle devices or free Kindle smartphone apps. The electronic library books will even support Amazon’s new Whispersync technology, which allows users to take reading notes in the margin.
Exact details of how the process would work weren’t released, and neither was a launch date, but if I had to speculate I would say we’re looking closer to the end of summer. A bit overdue, but a nice move nonetheless.
Though Amazon doesn’t disclose how many Kindles have actually sold, it touts the e-reader as its “best selling product of all time.” Total sales for 2010 have been estimated to be anywhere from 5.4 million to 8 million.
Read the full press release after the jump.
(via USA Today)
More on TIME.com:
SEATTLE, Apr 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
(NASDAQ: AMZN)– Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.
“We’re excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Customers tell us they love Kindle for its Pearl e-ink display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight, up to a month of battery life, and Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights and last page read between their Kindle and free Kindle apps.”
Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
With Kindle Library Lending, customers can take advantage of all of the unique features of Kindle and Kindle books, including:
- Paper-like Pearl electronic-ink display
- No glare even in bright sunlight
- Lighter than a paperback – weighs just 8.5 ounces and holds up to 3,500 books
- Up to one month of battery life with wireless off
- Read everywhere with free Kindle apps for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone
- Whispersync technology wirelessly sync your books, notes, highlights, and last page read across Kindle and free Kindle reading apps
- Real Page Numbers – easily reference passages with page numbers that correspond to actual print editions
Amazon is working with OverDrive, the leading provider of digital content solutions for over 11,000 public and educational libraries in the United States, to bring a seamless library borrowing experience to Kindle customers. “We are excited to be working with Amazon to offer Kindle Library Lending to the millions of customers who read on Kindle and Kindle apps,” said Steve Potash, CEO, OverDrive. “We hear librarians and patrons rave about Kindle, so we are thrilled that we can be part of bringing library books to the unparalleled experience of reading on Kindle.”
Kindle Library Lending will be available later this year for Kindle and free Kindle app users. To learn more about Kindle go to www.amazon.com/kindle.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk,www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, andwww.amazon.it. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc. Media Hotline, 206-266-7180 www.amazon.com/pr