Penguin and Libraries; Common Ground on Kindle Lending

A new theory on why Penguin has pulled the plug on library lending of their ebooks came out in today’s Publishers’ Lunch. Surprisingly, it’s an issue that also concerns libraries.

According to the story, publishers are upset because OverDrive sends library users to Amazon’s site for Kindle downloading, essentially making Amazon the administrator of library lending and thus not “governed by publishers’ contracts with Amazon or OverDrive.”

Libraries, also, have expressed concern about sending users to Amazon. California librarian Sarah Houghton recorded a comment on the subject in October, in which she states, “when you check out a Kindle book from Overdrive, it dumps you out on the Amazon web site, and you conclude the transaction there. The transaction ends with a pitch for you to buy more books.” She also expresses concern about the data that Amazon gleans from library users. This subject was also explored by librarian Bobbi Newman on her blog post, Public Library eBooks on the Amazon Kindle – We Got Screwed.