(Click for a larger view. Comic courtesy of Matt Forcum)
Thousands of libraries across the country are now allowing patrons to check out a virtually unlimited number of books. Literally.
“Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” said Jay Marine, the director of the Amazon Kindle, in a press release from September 21st, 2011. “Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we’re excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country.”
Contrary to the standard that has been set with printed books, patrons who check out Kindle e-books are encouraged to digitally mark up the document. Marine assured Kindle users that “your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book.”
The Kindle rollout may be the single largest of its kind, but they are not the only e-readers available from libraries.
A library in Wisconsin announced this week it would be allowing patrons to check out iPads for 7 days. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, Wis., said the devices come with more than 1,000 ebook titles, 10 audiobooks and then some. “The goal of the iPad lending program,” according to the library’s website, “is to provide library customers with opportunities to gain familiarity and comfort with new technology that allows them to make use of alternative methods of enjoying the written and spoken word and to more fully explore the Internet and its vast resources.”
The Mentor Public Library in Mentor, Ohio, has Nooks available for checkout, as well as iPads and laptops.
Patrons at Darien Library in Connecticut have an iPad mounted in the children’s section. The library recently introduced early literacy iPad kits, which come “pre-loaded with librarian-selected apps and eBooks designed to stimulate early literacy skills.” The kits also include information for parents about how to use these devices with their children.
With that being said, would you prefer to check out your books from the library in their printed form or through your e-reader of choice? Please feel free to share your thoughts, and to let us know if your library is a part of the Kindle program or offers other mobile devices.
- AllThingsD: Check Out What You Can Check Out at a Wisconsin Library: An Apple iPad
- Mashable: Amazon Kindle Ebooks Now Available in 11,000 Libraries
- Mashable: Wisconsin Library Now Lending Out iPads
- Float Mobile Learning: Pushing Mobile at New York Public Library