Kindle library lending program kicks off

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Amazon has just launched a new initiative that will allow Kindle owners to "check out" e-books from library websites.

It's a pretty cool feature. Here's how it works - users will log onto the site of a participating library, search for a book, and if an e-book version is available, a "Send to Kindle" option will be active.

Once users choose that, they'll need to enter a valid library card number, and then the transaction will be completed through Amazon's servers. All of this happens at no charge to the end user.

There are an astounding 11,000 participating libraries, meaning pretty much if you have a library card, you can take advantage of the program.

Libraries each set their own "loan" times, but after the digital book's "due date," it will become inactive unless the user decides to check it out again.

And unlike traditional library books, the Kindle lending program encourages users to take notes while reading.

"Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so 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," said Amazon in a statement.

Once the book rental expires, users will still be able to see their notes, and if they check out the same book again, they'll appear automatically.