Getting Library Books on Your Kindle

UPDATE #2: Looks like the Kindle library lending options are live for the JCLC system!

UPDATE : OverDrive has released a statement saying that the library system will work with WhisperSync to push notes, bookmarks, etc. to the ebook if you buy it or check it out again. But you still can only download library ebooks via WiFi or the USB cable. /stop/

News broke today that Amazon officially started letting people, in select parts of Washington state, check out and read library books on their Kindles. This program is in partnership with OverDrive, which is a good move I think, but Amazon should have worked harder to integrate. For starters, they’re wrapping all of the ePubs in their proproetary .tpz format. Whatever. But the “ugh” part really kicks in during checkout.

Checking out JCLC books via the OverDrive app is a painless one, once you get the Adobe DRM straight. But Amazon has added a couple more clicks and a couple more steps to the process. So to read library books on your Kindle you:

  1. log in to your library
  2. check out book
  3. which take you to where you have to log in there
  4. check out book there which lets you download the file
  5. hook your Kindle up via USB, drag and drop the Kindle library book


Now I don’t live in Seattle and have yet to do this myself. I’m very thankful to the Seattle Times crew and their detailed photos and coverage.

I am not a software engineer and I’m sure it’s very hard to get the big independent systems to work together on something as complicated as checking out files that need to expire. But it’s Amazon! If anyone has the customer-centered focus, skills and dollars, to bring harmony to the library>>OverDrive>>Kindle>>library cycle, it’s them.

No word yet on when the rest of the country might get the service, but no doubt Kindle users will be very glad to have access to their library’s ebook collections, no matter how cumbersome the checkout process gets.

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