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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BYU library lends Kindles to university faculty

Recently, the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University initiated a Kindle loaning pilot program for university faculty. According to a posting on the Shaping Libraries blog, the program began because the library had to frequently cancel faculty requests for books that were new or popular and could not be borrowed from another library. The library personnel realized that they could fill an additional 10% of these requests by purchasing a Kindle. The library has since purchased three Kindles and has found that the faculty enjoy the device for leisure reading but not for scholarly work. Gerrit van Dyk, the library’s document delivery services manager commented, "Scholarly work is complicated by the lack of pagination and the difficulty in archiving annotations for personal use." He went on to say, “Those who have used the device say they would check out another title through the Kindle if available in the future.” If the pilot is successful, the university plans to buy more devices and expand the offering to students and staff.

For other libraries considering Kindle pilots, BYU recommends contacting Amazon directly for loaning permission. According to an article from the Library Journal, there have been mixed responses from Amazon when asked if libraries can loan the devices. In April, Amazon told the Library Journal that lending is impermissible but BYU did receive a verbal OK from an Amazon rep noting that the Amazon Kindle: License Agreement and Terms of Use was sufficient. However, Amazon would not provide a written response at BYU’s request.

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