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Publishers and libraries still trying to work out e-book lending
July 29, 2012 | 10:37 pm

The Economist has an article which summarizes the current state of affairs around e-book library lending. Publishers have an awkward relationship with libraries when it comes to allowing books to be lent, since someone who borrows a book may not have any need to buy it after reading it, which could account (at least in the publishers’ minds) for lost revenue. Publishers were also upset when Overdrive began partnering with Amazon for Kindle library lending, including an offer to “buy this book” after the checkout expired. It also mentions Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library for Prime subscribers. ...

Douglas County Libraries in Colorado builds its own e-book lending system
May 11, 2012 | 12:04 am

DCLtogo150BoingBoing has a brief but interesting piece from a representative of Douglas County Libraries in Colorado (which we mentioned in March), which has created its own e-book lending system by dealing directly with publishers, rather than relying on a third party such as Overdrive to mediate between them. DCL has cut deals with over 800 publishers to have their works lent through DCL’s system. The library doesn’t rely only on its own system, however; it also offers books from the Overdrive and 3M platforms, as well as Freegal music. The books are available through the physical branch locations, or...

3M launches library e-book and e-reader program
April 29, 2012 | 4:15 pm

0426_3m_660Is there room in the library e-book field for a competitor to Overdrive? Wired reports that tape and media manufacturer 3M thinks so, and is launching a library e-book lending initiative called the 3M Cloud Library with 40 publishers (including Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Wiley) and over 100,000 titles. (Last year we covered 3M’s investment in the txtr e-book company and its plans to create a library program.) The biggest difference to the Overdrive model is that it will also be producing its own e-ink e-reader devices that libraries can buy and lend out to patrons with the...

OverDrive suspends library pre-sales of Harry Potter e-books
March 21, 2012 | 12:56 am

Found via eBookNewser: OverDrive has temporarily postponed library pre-sales of the forthcoming Harry Potter e-books. Overdrive Public Relations and Social Media Specialist Michael Lovett writes: We’re excited about the forthcoming launch of Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks for library lending. We’re working with Pottermore to introduce this compelling series, and as part of the process of coordinating launch plans with Pottermore, we have temporarily suspended pre-sales and display of these titles at library websites. This is only a postponement, and libraries will soon be able to resume pre-ordering the titles in preparation for launch in...

E-book checkouts from libraries takes off
January 20, 2012 | 10:15 pm

We lately mentioned the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle owner lending library rogram, but iPads and Kindles have another popular lending option that is also exploding. OverDrive reported that traffic to its “virtual branch” websites more than doubled last year, seeing a 130% increase. While much of that increase can be attributed to e-readers, OverDrive also saw a 22% rise in traffic from smartphones and tablets. The increase in lending might be good news for libraries, but it is unclear whether publishers will find it so. If a lent e-book displaces a sale, as some publishers seem to believe, that...

Penguin extends library e-book restrictions to downloadable audiobooks
January 19, 2012 | 2:30 am

We previously mentioned Penguin’s decision to stop making new e-book titles available to libraries in the USA and the UK. The Digital Shift reports that decision extends to downloadable digital audiobooks as well. A message from Overdrive yesterday explains this applies to audiobook titles released after 11/14/2011. In an apparently unrelated move, Amazon-owned BrillianceAudio will also stop offering downloadable audiobook titles. It’s not clear exactly why Penguin is doing this. The reason the company gave for its e-book restrictions was “concerns about the security of the copyright of its authors.” It has not given any explanation for this audiobook restriction. As...

Kindle e-books not actually available at all 11,000 libraries yet, but soon will be
September 21, 2011 | 7:39 pm

Earlier today we linked Amazon’s press release stating that its Kindle e-books were available in 11,000 libraries nationwide. In some respects Amazon may have jumped the gun a little, as I found when I went looking for these books via my own local library (which lends out Overdrive e-books). I didn’t find anything for the Kindle, so I used the contact form to email an inquiry about it. A librarian replied that “our [Overdrive] representative has told us that we can expect Kindle books within the next week,” and linked me to Overdrive’s own press release on the matter....

Seattle area libraries test Kindle e-book lending program
September 20, 2011 | 5:09 pm

kindle-library-lendingAmazon’s convenience store package drops aren’t the only new thing it’s testing in Seattle. Reports are surfacing that Seattle area libraries are the first to get to try Amazon’s new Overdrive-based Kindle library lending program. Patrons with Kindles can download time-limited-license e-books in Amazon’s AZW format via WiFi or USB. The books can be checked out from one’s own home via Amazon’s website, but require a library card from the library making the lend. It’s not clear to me that there’s anything particularly special about this program compared to other Overdrive library e-book lending, save that the Kindle and...

OverDrive CEO drops hint that Kindle library lending launches in September
August 2, 2011 | 2:13 pm

When Amazon promised to introduce its Kindle format to public libraries earlier this year, the company would only say that it would come before the end of 2011. There's still been no official announcement, but now OverDrive's own CEO Steve Potash has dropped a not-too-subtle hint that September is the launch month: Throughout the conference, CEO Steve Potash, looking like a kid with a delicious secret, kept saying "soon" and, "I'm not allowed to announce a date yet." During the final session, he delivered a broad hint, by summarizing the main points of his "Crystal Ball Report" : Streamlining (both downloading...

“OverDrive mobile sites remember library card number” by Sue Polanka
July 23, 2011 | 8:05 am

From an OverDrive blog post: The days of having to dig your library card out when you’re trying to download an eBook at the doctor’s office (or park, or airport terminal, or a bar mitzvah) are over. With the latest update to OverDrive-powered mobile sites, users will have the option for their devices to store their library card numbers. Starting now, when customers check out a title, the device will have a box where they can check “Remember me on this device.” The device will then hold the characters in its memory for 90 days after each use. This is...

3M working on its own ereader device for libraries
July 10, 2011 | 11:42 am

20110710-114609.jpgNext 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...

OverDrive announces DRM-free ebook option for all library customers
July 6, 2011 | 11:59 am

Overdriveblogs.com writes that after a successful recent beta-testing period, starting today the company is rolling out a DRM-free ebook option to all libraries. Here's a list of some of the publishers who are participating (although territory issues may impact availability in some cases): AMG Bold Strokes Books Books to Go Now Carina Press Gideon Informatics Joe Konrath KBS Microsoft Press O’Reilly Media Rock Nook Romance Divine LLC Rosenfeld Media Sher Music Simonelli Editore TidBITS University Press of Colorado Wildside Press More from the blog post: "All DRM-free eBooks are available under the one-copy/one-user model, which means you can add a copy to your collection and one user at a time can borrow the title from the library. Just...