Hm, interesting experiment going on in Sparta, NJ.
“The new Kindle ebook reader from Amazon.com is certainly not oriented for the library borrowing model, given that books purchased are limited to the device itself. But that hasn’t stopped the Sparta Public Library, NJ, in an affluent suburb 50 miles west of New York City, from buying two $399 Kindles and preparing to loan them to patrons. “[Director Carol Boutilier] is very proactive; she wants us to be on the leading edge of any technology,” explained assistant director Diane Lapsley. Unlike many libraries, Sparta doesn’t shy away from loaning devices along with content; it previously circulated iPods loaded with audiobooks as well as an earlier generation of ebook reader.”
This arrangement is esentially setting up a “try before you buy” for Amazon. Not a bad deal for them – to promote usage, I would think they would be starting lending programs across the country….Another interesting model would be to expect the patrons to purchase the Kindle themselves. The library could work out a DRM arrangement with Amazon, enabling patrons to “borrow” the books they want, and have the books “disappear” from the device when they are due, with the option to renew.
This could be the thing that cuts down on dues, increases circulation and reduces wait times.