Report: Kindle library lending feature nears launch

Amazon's promised Kindle library lending service, which allows you to check out e-books from your local library, is reportedly in beta testing and on track to launch soon.

The Kindle library lending service is now in beta testing.

Amazon has promised that the Kindle will get e-book library lending by year's end and word is the service is getting closer to launching, with beta testing reportedly under way in the Seattle area.

Nathan over at the eBook Reader Blog writes:

Amazon and OverDrive have quietly started rolling out Kindle ebook lending from public libraries, albeit in Beta. Even though there hasn't been any official announcement yet, some public libraries have already started lending ebooks for the Kindle...Plus the Device Resource Center over at OverDrive now lists the Amazon Kindle 3, Kindle DX, Kindle 1, and Kindle 2 as supported devices. The library ebooks will also work with Kindle apps and the Kindle Cloud Reader according to the public library books help page at Amazon.

Other e-readers, such as the Barnes&Noble Nook and Sony Readers, have offered the library lending feature for a while and some users swear by it. Basically, if your local public library offers e-book lending (and you have a library card) you can check out an e-book for a set period of time (usually less than two weeks). Often, there's a wait list for more-popular titles--and only a fraction of e-book titles are available for borrowing--but the best thing about the service is that it's free.

For more info on the Kindle library lending feature, check out this page on Amazon. To find out if your local library is lending Kindle e-books, you'll have to check its Web site.