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Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program 191

Posted by timothy
from the ungrateful-whelps dept.
destinyland writes "A California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon's new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. 'In our greedy attempt to get content into our users' hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,' she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here). Amazon keeps your history of reading library ebooks on their corporate servers, 'so it's an instant violation of all of our privacy policies. And we haven't told people that, and we need to tell people that.' And while many libraries have strict policies against endorsing a particular product, the check-out process concludes on Amazon.com with a pitch urging library patrons to purchase more Amazon books — and there's even book-buying plugs in their 'due date' reminders."
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Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program

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  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @01:24PM (#37780002) Homepage Journal

    Libraries pay for books. And Amazon gets advertisement just from having their products used, but doesn't necessarily have to say "Go buy our book!"

    Although it does not seem inconsistent with library policies not to endorse, at least no more so than selling a regular book is, because regular books have advertisements by other books by the author, etc...--some older books [and magazines] even have order forms in them.

    I tried to untangle that double negative phrase .. but anyway .. consider this: You own a bookstore. Your local library, which you fund through taxes, has advertisements for Amazon popping up all over. Pissed, yet?

    Libraries, as public entities, should show no favoritism or grant preferential placement/access to resources influenced by a directly related private business.

    If the local painter wants to give the library a reduced rate on redecorating for the placement of a placard indicating the fine (or shoddy) work was performed by Local Painter, that's one thing, as it does not directly affect access to books/periodicals.

    If you have to have an Amazon account to checkout ebooks on a kindle, that's a barrier. If the books include advertising for Amazon and their offerings of books, that is also a barrier.

  • by Monchanger (637670) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:26PM (#37781350) Journal

    Don't be stupid [ala.org] and don't spread stupid [ala.org].

    If your local library ignores the ALA, that's up to you to fix.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:48PM (#37782866) Journal

    I used to work for a company that makes library software and this is actually a very important issue in that field. While keeping a list of who has what is unavoidable, the librarians are very adamant that there should be no borrowing history stored. When you return the book they make a point to delete all records that show you ever had it.

    So, you check out a book, find that it's damaged, and return it - and they have no way of telling who took it out before you. They have 50 other customers with the same complaint. Too bad they didn't have a history so that they could find out if all 50 books had a common reader in the past ...

    Or the update to the main inventory doesn't take place, and you're dinged with a claim that you never returned the book.

    Or (as happened to me) the software filed the return as being a different book (one that doesn't even exist), and I get a note 6 months later telling me to either return the book, pay for a replacement, or face jail time. Fortunately, I was able to prove that the book in question was returned, and that the book that they said I returned doesn't exist, but it took a LOT of shouting (a most effective tactic in a library, because EVERYONE can hear you :-)

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