Next month, 3M’s recent investment in German ebook device company txtr will bear fruit in a pilot program in Minneapolis. TwinCities.com reports that the library system there will test 3M’s new cloud-based ebook library lending service using cloud-connected kiosks and custom ereader devices that users who don’t own any hardware will be able to check out.
Allowing library patrons to check out an actual e-reader does come with some security concerns. But the St. Paul libraries are comfortable with the risk.
“Our biggest focus is giving access to people who can’t afford them,” said Sheree Savage, a spokeswoman for the St. Paul libraries. With any library materials, security is always a concern, she said. But the 3M e-reader only can be used to read materials available from the library, so this reduces the chance that someone might walk off with it, she said.
Update 12 July 2011: I over-abbreviated this post, and left out some useful and necessary details. Here they are for future readers:
- Txtr is providing the operating system, but not the hardware, according to the article cited.
- It’s the St. Paul Public Library System that’s participating in the program.
You can read the full article at TwinCities.com