Loaning Kindles

Listened in on a Kindle Loan program at the Handheld Librarian conference today.  Panelists from university and public libraries discussed their current Kindle loan programs.  Some highlights included:

  • Each school had between 4 and 8 Kindles for loan, mostly Kindle 1 and 2
  • Circulation staff handled the loan/fines and the downloading of titles
  • Program started as an ILL service, asking patrons with ILL requests if they were open to using the Kindle/ebook (about 1/2 were willing to during the pilot)
  • Some just check out the Kindle as equipment and the patrons login to their own Amazon account and buy their own books
  • They Deregistered the Kindle before checking it out
  • The Kindle had a bib record and titles purchased were added in the notes field.  Titles could be searched via keyword, but not title and no FRBR benefits.
  • Titles were in the local bib record only, not transferred as OCLC holdings.
  • They did not accept Kindle titles as gift books once patrons returned the borrowed Kindle, where they downloaded their own content.
  • The academic library did not want to upgrade to the Kindle DX because they didn’t want to get in the textbook business
  • When asked about licensing and copyright….well, “the terms of service at Amazon are gray”….panelists responded with their institutions “philosophy” about this grayness – stating, if they had purchased the print copy they would loan it, so they are doing the same with the ebook – format shouldn’t matter