Brigham Young Library Tests Kindle as ILL Option for Faculty
Amazon rep, in contrast to some other company statements, gives verbal OK to lending devices
Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 06/10/2009
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- Three Kindles purchased
- Used for titles too new/popular for ILL
- Lesson: contact Amazon directly re permission
Faculty members at Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, UT, have a new alternative to interlibrary loan (ILL): the Amazon Kindle. The Harold B. Lee Library has purchased three ebook readers for the pilot, expecting the items chosen to be either very new or very popular titles—titles that in some cases the library has been unable to get through ILL.
Brigham Young is one of the first academic libraries to lend Kindles, and while Amazon has told LJ lending is impermissible, its customer service reps have provided more variable advice.
More details about pilot
The pilot began a month ago, so only a few titles have circulated. Books on the Kindle book cost $9.99-$14.99, which is less in most cases than borrowing from another library, which can cost closer to $30, he said. (The Kindle costs $359.) The loan period is three weeks, with two renewals possible if there is no queue of Kindle requests.
"Most of the faculty like the device for leisure reading (which is what we expected),” van Dyk reported. “Scholarly work is complicated by the lack of pagination and the difficulty in archiving annotations for personal use. Those who have used the device say they would check out another title through the Kindle if available in the future.”
Library staff load only the text requested and the Kindle User Guide to the devices. When the Kindle is returned, the old text is removed. “What makes Amazon's system so attractive to libraries is that libraries can retain access to content on the web through their library or department Amazon account,” van Dyk observed. “In this way staff can quickly load content to a selected device for circulation.”
"So far we are limiting the service to faculty only but this is just to keep the demand down,” van Dyk wrote on his Shaping Libraries blog. “If it takes off we will buy more devices and open it up to other university populations (staff, grad students, etc).”
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