Tues. June 23, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm, DIRC training room
Kindle and Ebooks for libraries
Nicole Hennig & Theresa Tobin
Kindle2 features & capabilities
- feature overview: product video (6 minutes, 22 seconds)
- best features (in my opinion):
- carry many books with you in a small package
- long battery life, lasts for days
- read in bright sunlight, easy on the eyes
- 6 font sizes to choose from
- The Kindle Store: large content selection, download new books anytime in less than 60 seconds (over 285,000 books as of June 2009)
(demo - search Kindle store and download a sample of a book)
- books are cheaper than print copies, most are $9.99, some a bit more -- usually $14.99
- free sample available for all titles (usually the whole first chapter!)
- Amazon keeps backup copies of your books on their servers, you can delete and re-download them anytime
- you can email any PDF document to your device (one place to store them all)
- free Kindle iPhone app means you can also read your books in your iPhone (with back-lighting and color)
- syncing between iPhone Kindle and the Kindle iself... it remembers where you left off reading and offers to bring you to the same page
- no need to be in wifi zone (uses Sprint Whispernet... cell phone network, with no monthly fees)
- built-in dictionary
- access to Wikipedia
- holds about 1,500 books
- worst features (in my opinion):
- web browsing is awkward (it's an experimental feature)
- no color display yet
- DRM from Amazon means your content is not readable elsewhere (except for Kindle iPhone app)
- blog subscriptions cost money (when you could read them for free online)
- newspapers good, but browsing experience is not the greatest (compared to physical newspaper or web browsing experience)
- need external light source to read in dark rooms (carry a booklight) (also an advantage, see above about reading in bright sunlight)
- not all books are available in Kindle format (yet.... but the selection is growing fast!)
- text-to-speech OK, but nothing special (computer voice)
- a bit pricey still: $359
KIndle iPhone app
[Pass around the Kindles for people to try, during that, show how the account management works on the web site, using "manage your account".]
Kindle DX - product page
- larger screen (9.7" diagonal)
- price: $489
- rotating display (auto-rotate to landscape from portrait)
- video demo
- view charts, tables and maps more clearly (native support for complex PDFs)
- holds 3,500 books and documents
- aimed towards business users and some academic uses (experimental program at several universities for textbooks)
- University of Washington KIndle DX pilot program
- Universities with pilot programs this fall for textbooks on Kindle DX: Arizona State University,
Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. See WSJ article: Amazon to launch Kindle for textbooks.
Some other ebook devices
- Plastic Logic reader - video demo
MIT's Humanities library - Kindle loan program
- Theresa will describe the Kindle loan program and how it's going.
- Q & A about the program
What other libraries are doing + future possibilities
- Howe Library (Hanover, NH) - Amazon Kindle: Try it Out!
(details on their service)
- Mixed answers to "Is it OK for a library to lend a Kindle?" - Library Journal, April 7, 2009
- Loaning Kindle to patrons a no-no for libraries? - a blogger tries to find out the truth, with no clear answer
- Facebook group: Ebook readers in libraries
- Libraries, eBooks and the mobile web: a long ways to go - library users are conservative in their opinions in a survey from Cambridge University, but others recommend libraries should explore ebooks and mobile devices as a way to remain relevant
- Libraries lending out Kindles (a long list)
How the Kindle has changed my reading habits
(thoughts from Nicole)
- Bookstore browsing is still fun... bookstore as showroom. I browse in stores, look up titles on my Kindle, download the free first chapter, read samples later and purchase from Amazon if interested. (see "amazon remembers" app story below, if you have an iPhone)
- I prefer to buy books in Kindle format if available (books that are mainly text).
- I still enjoy owning printed books that are mainly visual: art/design/decorating/cookbooks/graphic novels, etc. I buy those mainly from local indie bookstores (in order to help support them).
- I care less about owning books and more about getting easy access to them.
- I enjoy having a smaller collection of physical books at home (easier to move).
- I never have to decide which book to bring with me on any given day (always have all my reading with me). I've always enjoyed reading several books at once.
- Travel is great! Just bring the Kindle and/or iPhone. No books to lug around.
Questions and discussion
- how might this change reading habits? book delivery? article delivery?
- how might this change bookstores?
- what opportunities can you imagine for libraries?
- is Kindle the killer device that will change reading, like the iPod is for music listening?
- what about DRM? (iTunes store eventually made mp3's DRM-free)
- Amazon's new Kindle DX means business - Business Week, June 10, 2009
- What can you get for $.99? An excellent, yet independently-published Kindle book called "Uncubicled" - interesting comments about self-publishing in the Kindle format