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Amazon to Launch Library Lending Program for Kindle Books

Allowing students to access select textbooks on Kindle devices and apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The Kindle Library Lending Program will allow students to access electronic textbooks on the Amazon Kindle, as well as a variety of other devices that support the Kindle app.

    Let go of that guilt, Young Scholar.  You weren't lying when you told the parents your new iPhone was for school. 

    Starting later this year, participating university and college campus libraries will carry Kindle books, which can be read on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone

    "We're doing a little something extra here," said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle in an announcement.  "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...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..." 

    In addition to Whispersync technology, Kindle books will feature real page numbers that will correspond to actual print additions. An earlier version of the Kindle -- used in a 2009 Arizona State University e-textbook experiment supported by Amazon -- featured location numbers, which participants said were long and sometimes awkward to type on small keyboards.

    "More colleges and schools worldwide are looking into providing students with e-books than ever before," said Dan Stasiewski, a representative for OverDrive -- Amazon's partner in the new library lending program.

    A March 2011 OnCampus Electronic Book and E-Reader Device Report backs Stasiewski's claim: the results show a 6 percent increase in e-book purchases when compared to a similar study conducted in October 2010.

    The report also shows that print textbooks remain preferred media option among this demographic. 75 percent of the 655 students surveyed said that, if the choice was entirely theirs, they would select a print textbook.

    Virginia Community Colleges' libraries currently provide audiobooks, music, and video via OverDrive, which was involved in an e-book debate earlier this year when HarperCollins decided to limit the number of times libraries may lend its e-books to 26.  Many observers wonder  what licensing restrictions will apply and what content will be available through the new lending program.  

    More than 11,000 public and educational libraries are currently set to participate in the Kindle Library Lending Program.  It is not immediately clear whether any D.C. area schools are included in this figure.


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