Library fans rejoice! The Kindle Lending Library service, announced in April of this year, has spread from its limited launch in Seattle to a far more accessible range of 11,000 libraries across the United States. The service mixes the routine and limitations of borrowing a book from a library with the lovely convenience of Kindle digital delivery. That is, libraries have limited digital copies of books, and only lend them out for certain periods of time, but you don't actually have to go to the library to check out a book.
Books can be checked out via participating library websites and synced to a Kindle via Wi-Fi or USB. And if you don't own the e-reader itself that's okay, too--anyone using the Kindle reading software can get in on the book borrowing action. Here's how to find out if your library's involved.
11,000 is a hell of a lot of libraries, but Amazon's not listing participating institutions on its website. You can either head to your local library's website and look around for some Kindle books, or browse to Overdrive, the digital delivery provider Amazon partnered with to make this whole Lending Library thing happen.
Head to the link above to perform a search for your library of choice by name or ZIP. If you'd rather browse, click on your region, select the country, and (assuming you're in the US) pick the appropriate state to find a list of libraries with Overdrive-supplied digital content.
As promised, all the usual Kindle features are available with library books. You can access private and public notes and highlights, see real page numbers, post to Twitter about how crazy the twist in the latest James Patterson book was, and so on. From what we've seen, lending periods range from 7 to 21 days. Is your local library Kindle-ready?