As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections. Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge. Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?
It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is to act as a mobile storefront.
It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement. There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.
A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store. I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service. Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.
I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side. There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration. In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.
The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library. I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection. If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.