As my coworker David wrote about previously, the moment many
have been waiting for has arrived. The Kindle works with the Overdrive
product MyMediaMall. The long awaited collaboration with
the library ebook offering is now in sync with the ebook device
that started the explosion of ereading.
Quite frankly I'm impressed. The process of gettng a free
library ebook onto the Kindle device is pretty simple, and
Kindle users are used to simple and seamless. If you already own
a Kindle, try the service by going to MyMediaMall.net and choose
a Kindle title. If you don't own a Kindle and you are considering
the purchase of a device, there's no reason to ignore this one.
All of us in public libraries have been scorning the giant online bookseller
for years for keeping Kindle proprietary. We hate to say no to patrons,
and as Kindle users came to the library we had to turn many away when
it came to borrowing a library ebook. Maybe Jeff Bezos, the chief of Amazon,
couldn't bear our wrath any longer.
Well, that's probably not the case. More likely Amazon sees
a benefit, at this point, to giving it away for free. The library product directs
the user to Amazon.com where the ebook is loaded onto the Kindle
through the Kindle owner's account. Pretty smart marketing, but Amazon
didn't get to be Amazon by accident.
But what does all this mean for libraries? I think great things.
This new development makes the conversation about libraries
and downloadable media louder. The big huge
for-profit giant is giving a great big nod to information access,
sharing, borrowing and giving it away for free --
the mission of the not-for-profit public library.