Yes, We Kindle: Now You Can Check Out an Amazon Title From a Dallas Public Library

I've yet to make the transition to Kindle; I was reminded of yet another reason why over the weekend, which I'll explain later. But when a colleague, peeking over my shoulder, saw the news release in the in-box late yesterday -- the one from the city titled "Kindle e-book downloads now available at the Dallas Public Library" -- he was positively ... well, not giddy, not exactly. More like: "Hunh, that's cool."

Indeed: Amazon's decision to partner with some 11,000 U.S. libraries is a new-as-of-last-month and for-the-most-part-acclaimed development. And it's one very much in sync with what the library's already begun doing as it transitions to The Digital Age: In May 2010, we checked out DPL's then-freshly sealed e-deal with OverDrive, the same company through whom the Amazon deal's made possible.

Corinne Hill, the interim director of the library system since June 2010, has long been proselytizing the need to reconcile the brick-and-mortar library of the past with a more connected future. This, she says in the city's release, is one more step in that direction: "Readers never have to leave their homes," says Hill. "They'll have three weeks to read the book before it electronically returns itself to the library. And there are no late fees."

The Dallas Public Library says it presently "stocks" more than 4,600 titled available for Kindle browsing; they're all free, so long as you've got your library card. (Or your kid's.) Line forms here.

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ahoy m8
ahoy m8

I didn't notice that the Dallas library was having an identity crisis.  My branch is always bustling.  I think there's something very tactile about reading, and some will always prefer browsing actual pages in bookstores and libraries, especially for small children.  My tween kids reserve their books online but really enjoy browsing as well.  There is a sense of occasion about going to the library.  The PCs also seem to get a lot of use in our branch.  I would love to see reference material that can't be checked out put on line, though.  That would be a huge convenience vs. going through the Central stacks.


kindle was late to the game -- Nookie could already download.  Works great.


I find it interesting how libraries are having an identity crisis as they cope with the eventual transition to digital. Will they become "community spaces" like the one discussed in Bishop Arts? I know the Central Library has some valuable historic photos and even an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, but those things belong in a museum of some sort... maybe in Fair Park or in the Arts District where they could draw many more visitors. 


Of course there will always be a preference for paper books, but will we (the taxpayers of Dallas) think it's worth the expense to keep branches open simply because of a preference?

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