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Amazon Announces Kindle Library Lending

This morning Amazon published a press release announcing a Kindle Library Lending feature that will launch later this year. The retail behemoth has teamed up with digital content solutions provider OverDrive to create “a seamless library borrowing experience.” Kindle Library Lending will allow readers to checkout Kindle eBooks free of charge from 11,000 libraries across the U.S. The feature will work on all versions of the Kindle as well as the free Kindle apps that are now currently available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Mac and PC. Kindle customers will also be happy to know that the Whispersync technology will still work with the borrowed eBooks.

“We’re doing a little something extra here,” states Amazon Kindle Director Jay Marine in the release. “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.”

Kindle users already have a limited ability to lend books; they can loan one book to a friend for 14 days. Unlike public libraries that loan out most books for about three weeks, Kindle Library Lending will also have more restrictions. The lending time will be “generally 7-14 days,” though that time could vary depending on the library, Amazon spokesperson Kinley Campbell tells Ars Technica. The tech blog points out a couple of independent Kindle eBook lending services such as Lendle and Book Lending, and theorizes that the launch of Kindle Library Lending is Amazon’s attempt to push “users towards libraries with more restrictive terms.”

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