The Kindle Lending Club is the brainchild of Catherine MacDonald, who said that when she heard Amazon announce on December 30 that it was finally adding a lending option for Kindle, she decided to set up a Facebook group – a way to help people find others who were willing to share their e-books. But as interest in the group exploded, MacDonald realized that Facebook just didn’t offer the scalability needed for such an undertaking. “I had no idea how viral the idea was,” she says.
What is most interesting is how quickly she made this happen (emphases added).
So in less than two weeks’ time, she has pulled together the resources – about $12,500 in angel investment and a Web development team – to launch the Kindle Lending Club.
This site brought a few questions to mind and I want to throw them out there and hope I get a response or two.
- I’ll say it again: two weeks. Why don’t libraries have this sort of turn around from idea to implementation? Can your library move this fast to grasp hold of an idea and get it past the gate? In light of the speed that the world now moves at, shouldn’t we be able to move this quickly? Do we have the option not to?
- Why didn’t a library step in to fill this need? If ebook downloads are rising, shouldn’t we be facilitating our users in getting ebooks for devices our vendors can’t/don’t/won’t support.
- Due to the ease with which ebooks can be created and shared online (for example, see my previous post on the upcoming Book Saver) will libraries just be pushed out of the ebook lending business? As we are wedded to vendor applications that are often slow and difficult for first time users to understand and use, will library users just take matters into their own hands, stop waiting for us and simply create the means to get what they want?
I’m looking forward to your feedback!
(Thanks to Nicole Hennig for the link)