Amazon launches Kindle Library Lending program

Last April, Amazon announced the Kindle Library Lending program would let Kindle users borrow books from more than 11,000 U.S. libraries. Today, the program officially launched at all participating libraries.

Users can search their local library's website, and when they find a book, they can choose "Send to Kindle," which then redirects them through and syncs their book down to their e-reader or Kindle app for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, or to the browser-based Kindle Cloud Reader.

Like Sony's Reader Library Program, this lending program is powered by solutions from Ohio-based digital distribution company OverDrive, but Amazon's program is more squarely aimed at its strongest competitor in the e-book space, Barnes and Noble. The Nook e-reader has been able to download public library books through OverDrive and Adobe Digital Editions for well over a year already.

Now, both Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook allow public library borrowing, user-to-user book lending and textbook rentals.

The only problem is that Barnes and Noble's e-book prices remain much higher than Amazon's.

Despite Amazon's announcement today, all of the libraries we checked at random today for the Kindle Library Lending Program (Baltimore County Public Libraries, Kentucky Libraries Unbound, Suffolk County (NY) Live-brary, and Marin County (CA) Free Library's MARINet) all still had "coming soon" banners for the service.

Photo:Songquan Deng /

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