Books Library Issues Media

A shot across the bow

If you had any doubts that Amazon’s Lending Library was eventually going to compete with public libraries, here’s where your doubts get shattered. From Amazon’s homepage today, on the announcement of all 7 Harry Potter books entering the Kindle Lending Library program:

With traditional library lending, the library buys a certain number of e-book copies of a particular title. If all of those are checked out, you have to get on a waiting list….the wait can sometimes be months.

With the Kindle Owners Lending Library, there are no due dates, you can borrow as frequently as once a month, and there are no limits on how many people can borow the same title…

The full image of the announcement is included after the click:

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

5 replies on “A shot across the bow”

I have to say that the line,”as frequently as once a month” still makes me chuckle. But I guess they are selling it as guaranteed, no lines no wait, for these seven books with the implication of others. So, it’s once a month no problem versus “roll the dice” with the public library. I still think this a bit of turd polishing…

You don’t have to wait in line, but you have to pay $79 per year for it, in addition to the purchase of a Kindle. Since your local library is a funded resource, you don’t have to pay additional to borrow that title you may never read again. And you can usually get it in a format that doesn’t require the purchase of a specific device.

With, you get one book a month. Ok, then what do I do for the other 27 days? I’m not saying kindle is a poor resource… it’s simply one available. I wouldn’t give up radio for TV (or vice versa). I’m sorry this has to be a competition between the library and amazon. What do you advise patrons/customers do? I truly do want to support libraries and access, but I’m not sure of the best action to get that across to anyone. TIA for your help.


One way to support libraries is to sign the petition at Since the largest publishers are restricting library access to the most popular titles and authors, that means that you cannot borrow it from the library. You have to purchase it from somewhere or go through a paid subscription like Amazon Prime.

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