2/20/09 Update with conflicting information from Kindle support at end of this post.
Since Amazon is fixing to birth the bouncing baby Kindle 2, discussions about loaning Kindles to library patrons, including the legality of doing so, are cropping up on blogs, email lists and elsewhere. My Kindle posts from last year are getting lots of action, and it seems only responsible to update them. I've been looking for information and articles following up on the libraries that decided to loan Kindles, but most of what comes up are the gee-whiz articles from last year. Thankfully, I received a new comment on an old Kindle post about one library's successful Kindle program. After a few emails back and forth between Mary White, Director of Howe Library in Hanover, NH, I decided to give her a ring and get the full scoop.
- Three Kindles, funded with money donated in memory of a long-time library volunteer
- Each Kindle has the same 13 titles, including best sellers, local authors and book club selections
- Check-out period is one week, no renewals (currently, there is a wait list of 60+ patrons)
- The Howe account is deactivated on all the machines, so patrons cannot load new content
- Because they are a big-ticket item, borrowers must be 18 or older and sign an agreement that they are financially responsible for loss or damage.
Thank you for asking about using kindles in libraries. As stated in the terms of service, a library issuing loaded or unloaded kindles to individuals is against the TOS.
I have emails out to a couple people who are working directly with Amazon and who have been told that it's a-ok for libraries to check out Kindles. Stay tuned!