the Kindle lending experience from a patron’s perspective “a wolf in book’s clothing”

Cuneiform tablet on Kindle
[Kindle image by Tim Spalding, thanks Tim!]

I went to a staff meeting on Friday at the local library where I sometimes work. We did some strategic planning, some walking around the building looking at stuff that could be improved, and some “how to download various digital media format” exercises. We use Overdrive via Listen Up Vermont which gives us access to audiobooks and ebooks in EPUB and Kindle formats. I’m pretty okay at this sort of thing so we clicked around and saw how stuff worked and had a few little glitches but basically stuff was okay. I’ve been following the Amazon book lending story through the blogs the past few weeks and I’ve been skeptical but more curious than anything. I don’t have a Kindle but I’ve seen how popular they are and I was curious how this would all work. Well, as some bloggers have pointed out, it sort of doesn’t. Or, rather, it seems to require compromises to our systems and more importantly to our professional values. I’m hoping these issues can be resolved, but honestly if we can’t lend with some modicum of patron privacy, we shouldn’t be lending.

This is all leading up to an email exchange I had with a reader who was wondering the best way to raise concerns with his librarian about the user experience of borrowing a Kindle book from his library to use with the Kindle app on a non-Kindle device. Apparently, while the process to obtain the book wasn’t too difficult, the process to actually get RID of the book once returned [without a lot of pesky "hey maybe you should BUY this" cajoling] was actually fairly difficult. The default settings are, not surprisingly, strongly urging that the patron purchase (not renewal, not some sort of overdue notification) the book that they have just “returned.” I’ll let the patron speak for himself on this process. His name is Dan Smith and this is reprinted with his express permission.
______

My first experience at “borrowing a Kindle book from the library” has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It did not feel like borrowing a book from a library. It felt like a salesperson had sold me a book with a “no-risk free home trial” and was pestering me to buy it at the end of the trial period.

I feel that Amazon’s commercial promotion is excessive, and imposes inappropriately on public library patrons. Would you allow distributor’s rep to stand in the hall, grabbing people on their way to the return slot, saying “Stop! Why RETURN it when you can BUY it instantly for just $12.95?”

Yes, some of the irritations can be sidestepped, and as a savvy user I now know how. But Amazon took advantage of my innocence.

FIrst, the book was all marked up! Dotted underlines here and there on almost every page. It was like taking out a library book and finding someone had gone over it with a highlighter! Amazon allow “library” ebooks to be marked and annotated. Instead of cleaning them up for the next patron, it leaves them in place, and encourages you make your own marks for other people to see. I thought this was just some misguided idea about social networking, but it’s more sinister than that.

I turns out that there is a global setting, “Popular Highlights,” which controls whether you see these marks. But it is on by default! I never knew it was there, because it is only activated when a book has lots of them, and this was the first Kindle book I’ve read that had them. The setting to turn them off is buried, and couldn’t find it right away. Blame me for stupidity, but also blame Amazon, because I don’t think most readers want their books scribbled up, and I think Amazon defaults the setting to “on” to serve their own agenda.

Second, at the end of the loan period, instead of politely announcing that the book would be returned… or offering a renewal… or possibly even sending overdue fines to the library :) … I was instead confronted by intrusive ads, both in my Kindle application and in my regular email, urging me to buy the book from Amazon.

The email made a point of saying “If you purchase ‘The Bed of Procrustes’ or borrow it again from your local library, all of your notes and highlights will be preserved.” So, that’s why they encourage readers to scribble in library books: they want to hold our marginalia up for ransom.

Third, when the book is returned, it does not simply evaporate. The title, jacket and all, remained visible on my Kindle, exactly as if it were still there, but the behind the book cover is nothing but a notice that it has gone back to the library–and a button I can press. Renewal was not an option. The only option shown is to buy it from Amazon.

It looks like a book, but it’s a wolf in book’s clothing.

Fourth, it was hard to clean that ad out of my Kindle application. I could not find any “delete” option. There is an “archive” option, but all it does is move the book into an “archived items” list, where it continued to sit, looking just like the real books I’ve paid for and might want to re-download. Except that if you click on this one, all you get is a choice of “cancel” or “purchase.” Who would want to save that? But neither I nor an Amazon rep was able to find any deletion option within the Kindle application. The rep claims that the actual Kindle device has this capability, but could not explain why the Kindle application doesn’t. I was able to remove it by using a Web browser, logging into my account on the Amazon website, navigating to a “Manage Your Kindle” page, and deleting it via regular Web access. Fine. Now I know. Twenty minutes of my life wasted finding out.

I’ve now gotten a SECOND email solicitation from Amazon urging me to buy this book. How many I more I will receive?

Amazon gets plenty of promotion just by being the only Kindle book source. Their pushy “Don’t RETURN it, BUY it” attitude is out of bounds.

50 Responses to “the Kindle lending experience from a patron’s perspective “a wolf in book’s clothing””

  1. Melissa Says:

    I haven’t had the same experience as this patron with the pushing to buy a borrowed Kindle item. I checked out a Kindle book about six weeks ago, and I’ve yet to receive anything from Amazon urging me to buy it. I’m not sure why, but just offering up a different experience.

  2. Joe Says:

    This is why I bought a Nook instead. Well, that and Kindle didn’t have ANY lending support when I got my Nook. Both my Nook and the wife’s new Nook touch can sideload ePubs via the USB cable. Consequently, using Overdrive at our local library and downloading the borrowed ebook is simple and unbranded.

    B&N (and other ereader options, of course) is much more friendly, as they let you sideload and upload more formats… Amazon has so far been adopting the Apple model of a completely closed infrastructure. I understand their reasoning, but it’s not what I want.

  3. Scott Says:

    I’ve had a similar experience to Melissa. I’ve checked out a couple of e-books on Kindle from the library, and I haven’t noticed any pushy sales tactics. It sounds to me like this user, Dan, isn’t too familiar with the Kindle’s features and is frustrated with the machine itself. It’s really simple to delete the book after it has been returned (it’s the same as deleting any other e-book from your Kindle). Maybe he’ll like it better after using it a few more times, but I had a good experience from the start. I’m not sure what is going on with the e-mails though.

  4. Christy Sayre Says:

    Amazon’s entire reason for creating the Kindle is for marketing “content.” I heard a news story today on NPR about the release of Kindle Fire. Supposedly it actually costs more to make than they sell it for, by about 10 or 11 dollars. But they know they’ll get it back in spades. The comparative marketing model is that of cellular network providers giving away phones. And they brought up the model of printers and proprietary ink cartridges, in which the printer costs under $100, but over the lifetime of the unit, a consumer could spend thousands of dollars on ink.

  5. Dan Smith Says:

    Those with actual Kindle devices: are you saying you did NOT end up with a phony book jacket image–either in your Library or in your Archived Items list–that prompts you to buy the book when you open it? Or that you were able to delete it without having to go to the Amazon website and use the “Manage Your Kindle” page?

    1) The experience on a Kindle device may be different from that on the Kindle iPod application, which is what I am using.

    2) The experience may be different depending on how things are accessed; Overdrive is somehow involved in the purchase process at my library. I don’t know if that’s always the case.

    3) The experience may be different depending on whether or not you have an Amazon account, assuming it is possible to borrow a Kindle title without one, which I don’t know.

    4) I have received two emails, so far, one on November 9th and one on November 13th. This is how they are worded:

    Your public library book will expire in 3 days. If you purchase The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms from the Kindle Store or borrow it again from your local library, all of your notes and highlights will be preserved.
    The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
    (Author) Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    (and similarly on November 13th but using the words “has expired.”)

    5) I loved Nassim Nichalas Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness” and “The Black Swan” but hated “The Bed of Procrustes.” I mention this because it seems unbalanced to be talking about eBook technology without ever touching on books!

  6. Dan Smith Says:

    P. S. Those who were happy with your experience, with regard to marked up books, which is it: Have you long ago turned off “Popular Highlights?” Or do physical Kindles ship with it turned off? Or have you not yet encountered a book that had them? Or do you like seeing other peoples’ marks in the books you’re reading?

  7. Somer Says:

    In the Kindle app, while on the home screen where all of your books are listed, tap Edit. Each book will now have a red circle with a while line in it (universal iPhone symbol for delete). If you tap the circle next to the book title you want to delete, it will delete it permanently. I don’t have a library book to try it with at the moment, because I have already deleted them from my device, but I believe it worked exactly the same way.

    As for the markings, I’ve never noticed it on my actual Kindle, but ran into it on my phone recently. I don’t know if that is due to a difference in the default settings, or if I’ve just been lucky! I agree that that feature is annoying.

  8. Scott Says:

    Dan: Thanks for the clarifications. I am using a Kindle device, so my experience was probably different than your Kindle iPod app. When the book is returned is automatically returned to the library, it still shows up in the list of books, but it has a note that says “returned” next to it (if I’m remembering correctly). Then I can press the button on my Kindle that leads to the menu, and it asks if I want to add to collection, go to a part of the book, or remove from the device. And then it’s gone. It is true that when you go to try to read the book after it has been returned, there is only a page with a link to buy the book.

    Overdrive is not involved in my library’s Kindle e-book checkout process. You do need an Amazon account to check out books at the library I use. I received one e-mail, 3 days before the book was due, with the same wording that you posted. I suppose I don’t see this as pushy, but if I received multiple e-mails I might feel differently. With that said, I use a secondary e-mail address to receive all of my Amazon communications, due to their large volume of mail, so I generally ignore their sales tactics.

    Lastly, I turned off the highlights shortly after I bought my Kindle.

  9. Christine Says:

    I have a Wi-Fi Kindle with special offers. One of the first things I did was turn off the “popular highlights” option. It only took me a minute or two to figure out but I’m a long time Kindle owner, having owned more than one generation, so perhaps I just knew intuitively where to go.

    I haven’t found Amazon’s selling tactics to be over the top or pushy. Yes, their emails regarding a soon to expire and expired loan include an option to buy but it isn’t as they are being deceptive-I don’t find them inappropriate or intrusive.

    I am a longtime Amazon customer and, as a result, perhaps I am desensitized or am used to seeing ads and having Amazon provide recommendations but I find it wonderful that I can borrow library ebooks for my Kindle now. I had a Nook for that reason and was not a fan of either the device or the manner in which transfer occurred so, for me, having them try to sell me a book is well worth being able to use my Kindle with library books.

    Privacy, of course, is another issue that has deeper ramifications and more widespread involvement, so I won’t get into it here.

  10. Dan Smith Says:

    When I am interacting with Amazon _as an Amazon customer,_ i.e. buying a book, it is a commercial transaction with all that goes along with it. I’ve been buying books from Amazon happily since about 1997; my first purchases were made by looking up the book using the Lynx character-oriented web browser and calling in my order. I like their recommendations. I write Amazon reader reviews.

    When I am borrowing something from the public library, that is NOT A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION. Just because the book was published by McGraw Hill does not mean I implicitly authorize McGraw Hill the right to send me junk mail. Just because I play the DVD on a Samsung DVD player does not mean I am implicitly giving Samsung a foot in the door to sell me DVDs.

    Amazon is overstepping the bounds. They’re using their status as creator of an ebook technology to insert themselves into a noncommercial relationship between me and my library, and pervert a public “borrowing” transaction into a private “purchasing” transaction.

    I’m not a Luddite and I didn’t expect a bad experience. I bought my first eBook device in the year 2000, a NuvoMedia Rocket eBook, and I’d be very curious to know if anyone reading this has been using eBook devices longer than that. Frankly, I’ve been poking and prodding Kindles and Nooks in stores, and “borrow library books on your Kindle” looked like the sweetener that might decide me, so I was giving it a spin.

    “The law locks up the man or woman/Who steal the goose from off the common/But leaves the greater villain loose/Who steals the common from the goose.”

  11. Oh no they didn’t « Book Curious Says:

    [...] who always has some interesting story or conference or library issue to write about. I think today’s post is particularly worth reading, as I have been stuggling wrapping my head around libraries lending [...]

  12. cathy Says:

    Somer: The red circle with the line in the Kindle app archives the book, not deletes it. I don’t know if that’s different for library books, but I’ve only been able to archive books in the app, not delete them.

  13. Karen Says:

    I had no communication from Amazon after getting an ebook through the library system. I finished it in 3 days and never had any problems. I think it’s a great way to get books to read.

  14. Erik Says:

    So there seem to be three complaints:

    (1) Popular highlights feature – Not specific to library books, user-controlled setting. Some people like it others don’t, turn it off once per device and move on

    (2) Emails about library books expiring – I personally found the emails to be helpful gentle reminders, your milage may vary (YMMV). I too only got 2 messages, one ~3 days before and one on expiration. I don’t think the explanation of what happens if you buy is holding your notes ransom, it is explaining that _if_ you did make annotations you will get to keep them. For someone who marked up a non-fiction book with notes/highlights and is deciding to buy it now, this could be quite helpful to know.

    (3) Deleting the book – I use a Kindle device so I just toggle the rocker left and “Remove from my Device” from the home screen for my Mac Kindle App, I right click and “Delete”. May be a different set of steps to remove from an iPad, but with due respect to the OP it seems like they need to read the manual to learn how to delete books. I’ve done it on my Mac Kindle App and on my Kindle with library books with minimum fuss, and I’m sure there is an incantation for the iPad.

    Anyhow, for 3 complaints, 2 of them relate to basic use of the Kindle and the other is a personal taste issue of how Amazon sends messages about this.

    I think the original post calling this a threat to professional values seems a bit overblown. Perhaps an FAQ printed at the library or mailed to patrons about how Kindle library lending works could smoothly address all of these issues.

  15. Links – Coordinated attacks against Occupy protests, SOPA, No Porno-Scan for EU. | Techrights Says:

    [...] the Kindle lending experience from a patron’s perspective “a wolf in book’s clothing” I don’t have a Kindle but I’ve seen how popular they are and I was curious how this would all work. Well, as some bloggers have pointed out, it sort of doesn’t. Or, rather, it seems to require compromises to our systems and more importantly to our professional values. I’m hoping these issues can be resolved, but honestly if we can’t lend with some modicum of patron privacy, we shouldn’t be lending. [...]

  16. PJ Says:

    Dan’s final point in the comments is a legitimate one: The library is allowing Amazon to insert its commercial interests (however subtly and politely) into a non-commercial (almost sacred) transaction between a patron and the library.

    I work at a public library. We are asked not to endorse one ereader or device over another when demonstrating OverDrive to patrons, but institutionally, we are allowing Amazon, in its reminder emails and expired book messages, to essentially advertise its bookselling service.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re savvy enough to delete expired books from your account. The problem is bigger. In an understandable attempt to expand service, libraries are compromising some core values. They are now in a place where they cannot ensure privacy. They have allowed the line between the corporate and the civic to be blurred. Amazon is a huge, calculating for-profit company that in no way has your best interest at heart, and libraries seem to be letting it set the terms for how their own patrons will interact with content the libraries themselves have paid for. That’s not a good place to be.

  17. Erik Says:

    PJ – I think that is an interesting point, not having borrowed with Nook/other devices, I’m not sure how ePub works. I know to borrow an Adobe book from my library I had to (intrusively) register with Adobe and then install a bunch of (effectively) spyware on my personal Mac to just be able to read a book? Does that also violate the “sacred” transaction? At a certain point are you going to insist that basically any DRM is verboten because ultimately there is data transfer to third parties?

    Further, ought not the Kindle lending be viewed in the context that any owner/user of a Kindle device has signed up with Amazon to get books and have data accessible.

    Would I _prefer_ that Kindle lending have less Amazon involvement? Yes.

    Is Kindle lending really worse than Adobe lending for computers? Unsure. It’s different and has different issues.

    If the commercial messages in the reminders are a significant concern, it seems like librarians could work with Overdrive to lobby Amazon to modify the messages used on library loans.

  18. Dan Smith Says:

    “If the commercial messages in the reminders are a significant concern, it seems like librarians could work with Overdrive to lobby Amazon to modify the messages used on library loans.” Yes, that would solve my core issue.

    A purchase option should not be presented for at all for a “library loan.” A library loan is not a “free home demonstration.” There’s no analog or precedent for upselling a library loan to a purchase in the pre-Kindle world.

    And it directly favors one vendor–at the time you are shown the button it is not disclosed that you could also buy the book, oh, say, from Barnes and Noble and that perhaps their price might be lower than Amazon’s.

    The other details are admittedly minor. I mention them as aspects of commercialism, and evidence of a bad attitude on Amazon’s part. I’m still waiting for someone to say they LIKE the “popular highlights” feature. I think the people who are NOT annoyed by it are people who have not yet encountered a marked-up book.

  19. Erik Says:

    @dan – I actually enjoy the popular highlights feature and leave it on.

  20. Asia Says:

    I have used a Kindle (borrowed from where I’m doing an LIS internship) and I had very few problems with it. I did receive an email or two from Amazon, like the ones Dan described, but I did not find them intrusive. I feel as though this is simply another way readers can opt to read books, and after all, if you are using a Kindle or Kindle app, you must know that it’s a proprietary product owned by Amazon– being in contact with the company during the use of their product or app is inescapable. On the other hand, though, I do wish finding ebooks were easier through my library’s OverDrive platform…

    As for the marks/notes made by others… I thought that was very strange, indeed, while easy to ignore (the book I borrowed had underlines only– I didn’t see any notes). Now I will know how to turn it off for next time!

  21. Amanda Says:

    Oh man. As a kindle owner/user and librarian, I get so sick of people complaining about the global highlighting feature. Some people LIKE IT and you CAN turn it off! People who gripe about an optional feature just really irritate me.

    Second, I can see why Amazon might think that readers might want to know what books they’ve read. It’s why I personally love the cloud storage. All of my books are in my Amazon profile forever so I know they’re there. Does it really matter if it’s just a cover and behind it it lets me know I borrowed it? I personally don’t think so. He seems to just be looking for something to complain about. It’s not like Amazon HAD to open up kindle library lending at all. They’re trying to meet us halfway. I wish readers would stop griping about it.

  22. jessamyn Says:

    I feel like a lot of this is about default settings. By default, what happens? Global highlighting is ON. Reminder emails including “buy this book” are ON. A book returned stays ON your shelf [and not as something you can re-borrow, but as something to purchase]. All of these were intentional design decisions at some point in the process.

    My concern is, as usual, for people who are sort of clumsy with tech, who don’t understand that some of these things are just adjustable preferences. If you don’t know how to change and set preferences, are the default settings optimized for the user, the vendor, the appliance, for what? And ultimately humans don’t agree on what the optimal default settings are. There really are no default settings that will please everyone in this case [see above, many people have difference preferences, that is fine and as it should be] and I feel that the details should be set for optimum privacy, for optimum utility and for optimum verisimilitude with the library lending process, not the shopping process.

    And honestly, in my dream world, overdue notices would come from the library and all of these things would be transactions the library undertook with the patron, not Amazon. And in these cases, the library’s privacy policies would be the ones that took precedence. Amazon’s privacy policies are less restrictive than library policies in most cases. Again, this should not be surprising but we should be very careful about how far down this path we go.

  23. Becky R Says:

    I have to be quite honest… I love my Kindle and have been extremely happy with the new library lending feature. I currently am a MLIS student. I understand the concerns of libraries partnering with Amazon, but I feel that the good of the partnership outweighs the bad. I think as librarians we need to focus on educating our patrons on Overdrive and Kindles. Hopefully, by doing this we can ease some of their concerns with the tech.

  24. Becky R Says:

    @Dan I also enjoy the popular highlights. I learned a great way to keep track of characters by paying attention to popular highlights. I was reading a book with a lot of characters with names that were similar and didn’t stick with me as much as I would have liked. While I read I noticed that people were highlight the first time a character was mentioned along with notable things about them. I appreciated this because it gave me an idea and helped me when I would want to go back and figure out who is who.

    I have also used the popular highlights in the textbooks I have purchased. When I was an undergrad I hated buying traditional textbooks with highlights in them, but I find the dotted underlining of the Kindle highlights to be much less obtrusive and even helpful.

  25. A librarian looks a Kindle in the eye | Alan Gibbons’ Blog Says:

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  26. Dan Smith Says:

    Jessamyn says its mostly about “Default settings: ‘Reminder emails including “buy this book” are ON.’”

    Very well. HOW DO I TURN THEM OFF? All I see under settings are:
    Register/deregister this device;
    Social networking, which somehow links to my Twitter or Facebook accounts.
    Page turn animation.
    Popular highlights.
    Annotations backup.

    (As for popular highlights being an obvious misfeature, it appears that I’m wrong. Now I know.)

  27. Celia/The Panda Bear Says:

    I have used both the Nook and Kobo eReaders to download books from the library and have not had problems with advertising from them. In fact, that is one thing I like about these eReaders is that I can download books and no longer have to go to the library. I love to be able to put books on reserve and get an e-mail notification when it is available and then just download it. No more worry about overdue fines-the book just self-destructs.
    http://www.pbitem.blogspot.com

  28. Mary Says:

    Prior to Overdrive being able to use Kindles, I was getting epub library books through a Nook. First of all, the whole process of dealing with Adobe Digital Editions is extremely annoying and in order to get a library book, it had (1) to be downloaded, (2) to be clicked on which opened digital editions, (3), close digital editions, (4), plug in my Nook, (5) reopen digital editions and drag the book to my Nook. This is how it works on a Mac and it has to be done in that order.

    When we were able to get library books through our Kindles, the process was simpler. Instead of downloading, it takes you to an Amazon page which allows you to choose the device it will be delivered to. After clicking that, it is delivered to my Kindle.

    Which do you think I like best?

  29. Allen Says:

    It sounds like this is a wolf in “I’m just a poor confused patron” clothing. If you had made it clear that you were using an ipod app instead of an actual Kindle and that you didn’t have a clue how to work with the settings, your story of how big bad Amazon is devouring our library patrons in the name of commerce would have come across differently. Thanks for outing yourself anyway.

    I’m a happy Kindle and public library user (also a librarian) who believes that there are some real issues with digital resources vis-a-vis libraries but that almost all of them originate at a level that should be addressed by legislation and/or lawsuits asserting fair use and lending rights, not by snarky, ill-advised attacks on vendors, or publishers for that matter. Besides – for closed and controlled digital resource platforms, Apple takes the cake.

  30. Jay Says:

    As I was reading this I thought “Ok, the author is either really old or from Vermont.” I got one right…

  31. Ed Says:

    Ever heard the old saying about b*tching about a free lunch? Well it seems it also works for a free book. You read a $12 book for free and you whine because you received a notice asking you to buy the book? C’mon man! Really? I mean
    really?

  32. verena Says:

    Sorry, this all sounds like much ado about nothing. Yes, ads suck. Yes, Amazon has some features on the Kindle that are not going to appeal to everyone. There is no such thing as the perfect device, the perfect software. If the way Amazon does things does not appeal to you, there are plenty of other ereader options.

  33. Dan Smith Says:

    I did mention I was using a Kindle application, not a Kindle device, in the original post. So to all those who say I’m a confused old fuddy-duddy:

    1) I was in fact using the Kindle application to understand the Kindle ecosystem before buying one. Should I have expected that I would get nagging emails with the application but not the device? Why would I have expected this?

    2) I’m told that I should have known that the emails were an optional feature that I could turn off, and should have known to turn them off before borrowing my first book. But nobody has yet told me how to turn them off. Forget the application, what did you do on your Kindle device to turn them off?

    3) “You read a $12 book for free and you whine because you received a notice asking you to buy the book?” Yes, I do. Reading a book “for free” is what public libraries are for. They’re not charity, they are a shared public resource. I’ve paid for those books with my taxes, and I don’t expect to “pay” again by allowing the eBook distributor access to my eyes and my attention to make their pitch. I don’t expect to be subjected to commercial exploitation as a condition of taking my turn to read a book when I’ve already paid my share.

  34. Dan Smith Says:

    In any case, I’ve said what I’ve had to say as clearly as I can say it, so those who are fine with using taxpayer-supported libraries to promote commercial interest, we must agree to disagree. But I would still like clarification on a _factual_ matter.

    I would still like to know: using _whatever Kindle device or application you use:_

    1) HOW did you turn off the messages and emails suggesting that you purchase the Kindle book you’d borrowed from the library?

    2) Did you figure this out BEFORE receiving the first such message–i.e. as part of your initial device setup? Or only AFTER you’d received one?

  35. Steve Benson Says:

    Dan raises a true issue in regards to borrowing privacy. Specific to Kindles, Amazon and Overdrive, the issue can be avoided by using an ereader other than a Kindle and the Overdrive app rather than the Kindle app. I have a Kindle, iPad and Blackberry and settled on Amazon for purchases so that I can continue reading from my e-library on whatever device is handy or preferred. The emails don’t bother me and I know how to remove traces of past Overdrive/Kindle library loans from Amazon and my devices.

    The issue involves personal preferences but is also generational. There is an interesting study (I believe by OCLC) on privacy concerns that indicates a lessening concern in younger generations. The most expressed wish about my library’s ILS is that it would track books borrowed in the past. Some newer ILS do offer this as an option that individuals can turn on or off. The point is libraries should consider these changing attitudes towards privacy, consider our traditional values and consider where we draw lines and why when contemplating new technologies.

  36. Baby Got Books » Friday Links Says:

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  37. Celia/The Panda Bear Says:

    I do not find downloading a library book from the library in the epub format to be difficult though it took me two or three tries to become fluent in it. I like the epub format and that I can purchase from different bookstores. Also you can download a lot of free stuff from the libary if it is out of copyright and in the public domain.

  38. Amy Ranger Says:

    As usual, the article was thought-provoking and the comments, priceless.

    I was offered an eReader for the holidays this year and declined, thinking I’d stick with dead trees for a bit longer. Far less hassle, and no issues deleting a book from my library as long as the trash can is available.

    Putting on my librarian hat now, I resent that Amazon / Apple / B&N and the various publishing houses have squished libraries *and* patrons up against the wall with a “buy or die” attitude. Weenies.

  39. d hickman Says:

    Question…
    I’m looking into buying an ereader for my parents for Xmas.
    Dad is pretty good with the comper..Mom not…
    You gals are the experts…Which one??

  40. lne consulting Says:

    Thanks for the clarifications. I am using a Kindle device, so my experience was probably different than your Kindle iPod app. When the book is returned is automatically returned to the library, it still shows up in the list of books, but it has a note that says “returned” next to it (if I’m remembering correctly). Then I can press the button on my Kindle that leads to the menu, and it asks if I want to add to collection, go to a part of the book, or remove from the device. And then it’s gone.

  41. me too Says:

    Dan, quit bitching. If you don’t like the intrusion of Amazon into your life, get off the IT side and check out a real print version of the book at your local library. You can’t have it both ways. The more we use technology the less privacy we are going to have. There’s no free lunch out there. If you’re in the cloud, you’ve got information hangning out everywhere and commercial enterprises are going to take advantage of it.

    The whole Kindle and Ipod/pad/phone thing could be easily fixed if people quit buying or using devices that strictly limit users to products that can be purchases from their stores only.

  42. Natasha Wallenski Says:

    Respectfully suggest that advertising issues that some people have and others don’t depends on the Kindle you have. There are 2 different prices on all Kindles these days and the lower price comes WITH advertising, the higher price without. I went for lower priced, thus anticipate ads. Ugh. Husband has non-ad Kindle. This may play a part if “borrowing a library book,” but don’t quote me. I could be wrong! Also, be aware that it takes a little research on Amazon site to figure out that the lower price Kindle does come with advertisers.

  43. Natasha Wallenski Says:

    And ps… I have had random books I never purchased show up on my Kindle. Just the cover. No access to the book. And have to call Amazon customer support to get book removed. The latest was an Italian dictionary!

  44. Kyle Potter Says:

    I’m a library tech with a real interest in this technology. I enjoy my Kindle, but am not a fanboy. I wish the process were easier, and smoother for the end-user in several ways. I was disappointed by this patron’s account, because it only indicates to me that he doesn’t know how to use his Kindle. If he were my patron, I could teach him how to retrieve his highlights either by using his Amazon account or using the hard drive function of the Kindle, how to turn off social highlighting (which is the default even for purchased items, and on the first page when you choose “settings,” it’s no more hidden than anything else on a device that only has 5 buttons), and how to select a book and “click left” to toggle the “delete” function. If he wants it out of the archives list, he can log on to his own amazon account, click “manage your kindle,” and choose “delete.”

    He’s not complaining about the service, really, he’s complaining about how he’s not chosen to learn how to use his Kindle.

  45. katya Says:

    I’ve followed this posting and its thread with great interest. As librarians, we need to be concerned about the hidden issues raised by Dan because our patrons/members will have similar questions, and it sounds as though the answers are not easily accessed. The technology learning curve, as we know, is not the same for everyone, irrespective of generation or geographical location. A lack of experience and/or knowledge in these matters is frequent. Surely none of us would say to a patron what is being launched at Dan.

    As librarians, we also need to be aware of some of the issues that Dan raised which have precipitated other useful information, such as the difference between advertising on low-priced Kindles, high-priced Kindles, and Kindle apps devices.

    Thank you all for your enlightening contributions to this discussion.

  46. Lashay Says:

    this gif just won. http://www.bois871999f.com

  47. Sally Keen Says:

    RE: deleting returned library book icon on kindle app on ipad.

    If you hold your finger as to archive the book, if you touch the archive icon, then the borrowed book’s icon WILL disappear from the ipad kindle app list. Thanks to all above for help. I had been going nuts trying to clean up my list to show only books that are current.

  48. E-Books and Growing Pains « Civil Civil Servant Says:

    [...] Kindle Reading Experience….(Jessamyn West) [...]

  49. Melinda S. Says:

    I have now borrowed 8 books through the library on my Kindle and have several more on my hold list. My experience has been great and I have no complaints!

  50. eBook News 2011 | Tech Breakfast Says:

    [...] The Kindle Lending Experience from a Patron’s Perspective “a Wolf in Book’s Clothing”—Librarian.net, November 15, 2011 [...]