After the mass exodus of e-book readers, public libraries will once again be relevant following the announcement that Kindle will provide library lending to 11,000 library participants. Amazon announced that later this year they’ll be introducing a Lending Library so Kindle users can check out books from their local library. Titles will be downloaded through your local library's website and automatically removed once the lending period is over. Amazon currently offers two-week Kindle-to-Kindle lending, with the only down side being that when you lend a book to a friend or family member, you (the e-book owner) can’t access the title during that same two-week period. One added bonus to the new lending program is that readers will be able to take notes in the margins, like a real book. When your loan time is up, the notes will disappear from the library’s copy, but if you check the e-book out again, or decide to purchase it, your notes will reappear along with any additional bookmarks you might have made.
I’m hoping that my library is one of those 11,000 libraries participating. I already visit my library regularly, because even though I own a Kindle, there is nothing that quite beats the weight and feel of a book in your hands as you flip through its pages. While this news seemingly makes libraries a little bit hipper and current, I doubt libraries are suffering in attendance. I’d hazard a guess that libraries are already quite the rage given today’s economy, and the fact that as gas, food and housing prices go up, disposable income for guilty pleasures like books and DVDs goes down.