Kindle owners to be able to download books from North Olympic Peninsula libraries

By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News

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Owners of the Kindle e-reader from Amazon.com will be able to download e-books from North Olympic Peninsula public libraries later this year.

Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday that it’s working with OverDrive Inc., which runs e-book systems for some 11,000 public libraries nationwide — including the North Olympic Library System in Clallam County and the Jefferson County Library and Port Townsend Public Library — to make the system compatible with the Kindle.

“Amazon hasn’t been interested in working with libraries until now,” said Paula Barnes, director of the Clallam County system that operates libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay.

“It’s a wonderful thing.

“We’ve been hoping that this would happen.”

Most of the nation’s public libraries, including all on the Peninsula, already provide e-books, which work with nearly all e-readers, such as the Sony e-reader or the Barnes & Noble Nook — except the Kindle.

Kindle owners can only download books purchased through Amazon.

“Right now, Kindle and Amazon do not allow their owners to download books from libraries,” said Cris Wilson, adult services librarian at the Port Townsend Library.

“It’s not the libraries. It’s not the software that we have; it’s Amazon, which only makes it possible for owners to purchase books from them,” Wilson said.

Patrons of the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock now can download e-books to Nook and Sony e-readers as well as to the iPad and iPhone and Android phones, said Ray Serebrin, library director.

“We’re not doing anything for Kindles right now, but we’re going to,” Serebrin said.

“All the titles that we have purchased — we have 1,500 so far — will be available in Kindle format later this year.”

When will the change be in place?

“We don’t know when, but what we’re hearing through the grapevine is that it’s going to be sooner rather than later,” Barnes said.

She speculated that Kindle owners could download library books by sometime this fall.

“We’re all conscious of the holiday shopping season,” she said.

“We saw a big jump in the purchase of e-book readers last fall.

“I would imagine they would want it in place by then.”

Also by then, Barnes expects all public libraries on the Peninsula to lend not only e-books, but some devices for reading electronic books as well.

Saying that Jefferson County public libraries may be ahead of Clallam County public libraries in this respect, Barnes said, “By the fall, we’ll all be doing it,” offering devices as well e-books.

According to OverDrive, once the deal is in place, Kindle e-books will have the same lending terms as existing library e-books.

Most libraries lend their books out for three weeks at a time. The e-books on Kindle will no longer open after that period of time.

Libraries have a limited number of “copies” of each e-book, so borrowers sometimes must wait for popular titles.

OverDrive said borrowers will browse for titles on PCs or phones and can then choose to have them delivered to a Kindle or Amazon’s Kindle applications for other devices, including phones and PCs.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc., which is based in Seattle, increased $5.05, or 2.8 percent, to close Wednesday at $183.87.

For more information about what’s available at Peninsula libraries, contact them at:

■ Port Townsend Library, 1220 Lawrence St., 360-385-3181, www.ptpubliclibrary.org, ptlibrary@cityofpt.us.

■ Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Ave., Port Hadlock, 360-385-6544, www.jclibrary.info.

■ North Olympic Library System, 2210 S. Peabody St., Port Angeles, 360-417-8500, www.nols.org; Port Angeles Library, same address and phone number, PortAngeles@nols.org; Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave., 360-683-1161, Sequim@nols.org; Forks Library, 171 S. Forks Ave., 360-374-6402, Forks@nols.org; Clallam Bay Library, 16990 state Highway 112, 360-963-2414, ClallamBay@nols.org.

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Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or leah.leach@peninsuladailynews.com.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Last modified: April 21. 2011 12:12AM
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