There’s good news for residents of budget-strapped city governments that may be considering cutting library hours and locations. Well, good news if you’re a Kindle reader.
Amazon announced yesterday it has changed company policy, and Kindle users will gain access this year to e-books from the more than 11,000 public libraries across the country.
“We’re excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle at Amazon, said in an article in The New York Times.
Kindle owners have been frustrated by Amazon’s policy to disallow access to library e-books while Nook, Sony and smartphone users happily perused their checked-out literature. The change in policy will bring much needed relief to librarians faced with angry Kindle clients.
“That’s always the question we get — you lend out e-books? How can I get them on my Kindle?” Ingvild Herfindahl, the children’s librarian at the Kasson Public Library in Kasson, Minn., told the Times. “People will be thrilled.”
While publishers remain leary of e-book lending, the e-reader public has thoroughly embraced the practice. The New York Public Library reported an increase of 36 percent in e-book checkout in one year.
According to a poll by Harris Interactive, 8 percent of Americans own an e-reader with market growth expected to result in 12 percent of the population owning a device within the year.