Kindle books to be loaned from libraries later this year

Can be read on Kindle or devices with Kindle reader

Amazon said Wednesday that its popular Kindle e-reader will allow customers to borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 U.S. libraries starting later this year.

That feature has been possible with the Barnes and Noble Nook device since that device's launch; its absence on Kindle, and with Kindle books read on other devices, has rankled many book enthusiasts, including librarians, who offered online book reading for years.

Amazon said the new service will allow a customer to check out a Kindle book from a local library, reading it on a number of devices that support the Kindle reader. If that same book is checked out again or purchased from Amazon, the customer's bookmarks and notes will be preserved.

Amazon is working on its Kindle Library Lending project with OverDrive, which provides digital scanning of books and other content for U.S. public and school libraries.

No date for the launch was announced.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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