December 5, 2020

Beta Underway: New Help Page on the Amazon.com Website With Info About Kindle/OverDrive Access

UPDATE:  The Beta is OVER. Amazon Library Lending Now Available to All Users

Direct to an Amazon.com “Help Page”

Here’s How the Page Opens:

You’ll soon be able to borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States to read on any generation Kindle device, free Kindle app, or in your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader. Public library books for Kindle provide the same unique features as Kindle and Kindle books, including Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights and last page read, real page numbers, and more.

Public library books for Kindle will be available at more than 11,000 libraries in the United States which work with OverDrive. From any computer, you can visit the webpage of an eligible local library, search for a book, and select a Kindle edition. Availability of books and length of loan will vary by library. Check with your local library for more information about borrowing Kindle books or to see what books are available.

As to when “soon” is. No info is provided.

UPDATE: Library Journal has much more and reports that the King County Library System and Seattle Public Library (ONLY) are now beta testing Kindle lending.

INFOdocket Comment:

We sure hope OverDrive partner libraries and consortia are getting ready to provide access to more copies of books for online borrowing. What we’ve personally experienced with OverDrive loans has been far from positive in terms of finding books that we want to read when we want to read them. In most cases, when we’ve found things to read they were not available to access electronically for anywhere from two to four weeks (if not longer). Friends and family across the U.S. have told us they same thing after we’ve explained that this service was available from their local library.

We all know that we’re living in a time when users want the content they want/need when they are looking for it and don’t want it if it takes to long to get even if it might save the money. They’ll either take what they can get or go ahead buy it.

If demand continues to increase (as it surely will after Kindle access becomes available) MANY unhappy library users are likely to be found throughout the US who want something they can’t have for some period of time. This will likely reinforce the belief that all of this is just to much hassle and it’s just easier (and faster) to purchase the ebook direct from Amazon.com.

So, in the end this entire process has the potential to do the opposite of what many are hoping it will do. We best be prepared so it doesn’t happen.

Also, someone better begin to inform the public (potential users) and the media that every book for sale from Amazon.com eBook for Kindle will NOT be available for library borrowing. Confusion about this will also undermine the value of the program.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share