An area of ebooks that is generating both excitement and confusion is that of lending books using eReaders. The Kindle still doesn’t have the ability for library loans, although it is now possible for individuals in the United States to loan each other books. Lending is a big selling point for the Nook and the Sony brand of eReaders.
However, eReader owners are finding that actually using their devices to borrow books from the library is a much more complicated procedure as this NPR article indicates. According to the article, despite all the new software to read library books on devices,
… I’m sad to report that reading library e-books is still more hassle than buying them. The whole process could be smoother, and there are questions about how libraries are going about the transition to the e-book world.
The questions about how libraries make that transition is the focus of an interesting article from librarian Meredith Wolfwater talking about the state of e-lending for libraries today. It is a long, but thought-provoking read that shows us how far we have to go to make eBook availability through the library a viable option.
And most sources tend to agree on this one: According to a recent study, 32% of participants said that library lending was important to them.
So now it’s your turn: Is the ability to borrow library books important to you? Is it a deal-breaker in choosing an eReader?