I've yet to make the transition to Kindle; I was reminded of yet another reason why over the weekend, which I'll explain later. But when a colleague, peeking over my shoulder, saw the news release in the in-box late yesterday -- the one from the city titled "Kindle e-book downloads now available at the Dallas Public Library" -- he was positively ... well, not giddy, not exactly. More like: "Hunh, that's cool."
Indeed: Amazon's decision to partner with some 11,000 U.S. libraries is a new-as-of-last-month and for-the-most-part-acclaimed development. And it's one very much in sync with what the library's already begun doing as it transitions to The Digital Age: In May 2010, we checked out DPL's then-freshly sealed e-deal with OverDrive, the same company through whom the Amazon deal's made possible.
Corinne Hill, the interim director of the library system since June 2010, has long been proselytizing the need to reconcile the brick-and-mortar library of the past with a more connected future. This, she says in the city's release, is one more step in that direction: "Readers never have to leave their homes," says Hill. "They'll have three weeks to read the book before it electronically returns itself to the library. And there are no late fees."
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The Dallas Public Library says it presently "stocks" more than 4,600 titled available for Kindle browsing; they're all free, so long as you've got your library card. (Or your kid's.) Line forms here.