The Sony E-Reader has had the capability to allow libraries to loan e-books to their customers for a while now. It seems Amazon wants in on this action and are now going to allow libraries to loan Kindle e-books:
SEATTLE, Apr 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — (NASDAQ: AMZN)– Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.
What I really like about how Amazon is going about this is any highlights or annotations you make on a rented book will be saved:
Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
I’d say that’s pretty important because it would be a huge pain in the ass to lose any notes made on a book because the loan expired.