Today Amazon and OverDrive announced the Kindle Library Lending program, which will enable Kindle customers to borrow and enjoy eBooks from our library, school, and college partners in the United States. The program is scheduled for launch later this year, and will significantly increase the value of the investments that libraries have made in OverDrive-powered eBook catalogs.

Many of our partners will immediately receive inquiries about this new program, so here is a brief introduction into what can be expected when the program launches:

The Kindle Library Lending program will integrate into your existing OverDrive-powered ‘Virtual Branch’ website.

Your existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers. As you add new eBooks to your collection, those titles will also be available in Kindle format for lending to Kindle and Kindle reading apps. Your library will not need to purchase any additional units to have Kindle compatibility. This will work for your existing copies and units.

A user will be able to browse for titles on any desktop or mobile operating system, check out a title with a library card, and then select Kindle as the delivery destination. The borrowed title will then be able to be enjoyed using any Kindle device and all of Amazon’s free Kindle Reading Apps.

The Kindle eBook titles borrowed from a library will carry the same rules and policies as all our other eBooks.

The Kindle Library Lending program will support publishers’ existing lending models.

Your users’ confidential information will be protected.

The Kindle Library Lending program is only available for libraries, schools, and colleges in the United States.

We’re thrilled that our library, school, and college partners will be able to provide Kindle customers with access to eBooks from their digital collections. And we look forward to providing you with more information on the launch of the Kindle Library Lending program as it becomes available.

Karen Estrovich is manager of content sales for OverDrive.

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