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Kindle and libraries November 20, 2007

Posted by lrobinson in technology.
Tags: , ,


Has anyone seen the latest Newsweek?

I watched Charlie Rose last night. Jeff Bezos was talking about Amazon’s new product the Kindle – to start a fire. It is Amazon’s new stand alone (no computer needed) reading device (a.k.a. the new book).

They talk a bit about libraries and the societal implications of having every book digitized and available for download on the Kindle within five years (I get the sense that he might realize how utterly crazy that goal is).

…something to watch.



1. gr8libs - November 20, 2007

I also watched Charlie Rose with Jeff Bezos talking about the new product, the Kindle, and where it fits in with Amazon’s three major lines of service. Fascinating! I thought what Jeff Bezos said about customer experience was very relevant to libraries.

2. cpetersc - November 20, 2007

I agree that the ability to download directly to your e-reader from any location with cell phone coverage is a huge improvement over earlier e-readers where you had to download e-books to your PC and then sync up with your e-reader. I’ll wait a while before I buy one myself, but if it’s reliable and readable, I’ll probably get one. It’d be nice if the price drops a bit too. From a library perspective, the savings in shelf space would be tremendous. And the fact that Amazon saves backup copies of all your books means that libraries would have to worry about losing the hardware, but they wouldn’t have to worry about lost or damaged books! I wonder how the program works with multiple devices. If a library buys one copy, can they download it to multiple Kindles? If the books are tied to a single device, what if that device breaks? I’ll be curious to see if Amazon has considered this and other library-related cases.

On the downside, if you care about design issues, most of the reviewers say that the Kindle has the elegance and flair of a Soviet-era housing complex. Also, you can’t read pdf’s on a Kindle (big drawback), though you can read Word documents. Finally, Sprint’s wireless network is probably the worst among the major carriers, so you’ll probably find a lot of dead spots where you can’t download books or magazines. But even if Kindle doesn’t sell, sooner or later an e-reader will take off and libraries will have to deal with the implications.

3. elindberg - November 20, 2007

I think we (Library Development) should consider buying one. It would be a legitimate purchase. We used to buy ebooks, when they first came out, so we could advise and consult with libraries who were considering going that route. We also loaned them out so the libraries could try them out before jumping in.

4. rsimmons - November 21, 2007

I heard the NPR story and they interviewed a video rental store clerk who described matching videos and viewer’s interest as “the old fashioned way” … a viewer’s advisor similar to a reader’s advisor.

5. Will - January 24, 2008

Here’s Stephen King’s take on the Kindle: Basically he LIKES it (but he doesn’t think it will replace the printed book).


6. lrobinson - January 30, 2008

Here is one librarian’s reaction to the kindle: Never Mind Legal Issues; Kindle not good choice for most libraries – http://rochellejustrochelle.typepad.com/copilot/2008/01/never-mind-lega.html

7. Will - February 20, 2008

Here’s Rochell’s Tinfoil Racoon blog’s latest on Kindle: you can loan it EMPTY!


And here’s Karen Schneider’s Free Range Librarian take on the Kindle: http://freerangelibrarian.com/2007/11/19/kindle-doesnt-light-my-fire/

8. Will - March 21, 2008

Here’s another Kindle review: http://lifehacker.com/370333/how-the-kindle-saves-you-time-if-not-money

The reason I mention this one is that it points out a feature that I hadn’t really focused on before: Having a Kindle is a form of instant free Interent access wherever you are, much better than surfing on a cell phone!

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