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Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program 191

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 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 Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:03PM (#37779416)

    There's a difference between a record of the books you currently have out and a record of the books you've ever checked out.

  • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:07PM (#37779536) Journal
    I've discussed this with our campus library: they deliberately keep no records at all of book lending. I wanted them to look up my records for a specific book I'd borrowed in the past and couldn't remember the title of, and they couldn't help me get it that way. (We found it via other searches) Cornell's library [] has posted a set of disclosure notices which seem pretty much in touch with our library and others that I've asked about since

    It might not be a bad idea for Amazon to work out a similar plan: simply destroy the record once the book is returned. They might have to burn some ad records as well though, since I'm sure they're offering the book for sale, and it would be easy to track that if they got subpoenaed. My guess is that is where Amazon would balk.

  • Re:Poor Libraries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guyfawkes-11-5 ( 1583613 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:10PM (#37779606) Homepage

    I think this librarian is just upset because he/she is realizing how irrelevant the idea of a library is anymore. Seriously, when was the last time any of you actually used a library?

    This week. I never understood why they are not utilized even more than they are in these economic times. Your taxes have already paid for the books on the shelves, why buy another copy?

  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:11PM (#37779650) Homepage

    They won't. To Amazon, your borrowing history is "product" that they can package and sell to advertisers and their own internal teams. It would be like asking them to burn money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:13PM (#37779726)

    libraries don't sell your data

  • From a Librarian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ismene ( 680764 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:26PM (#37780050)
    Hi - I think a lot of people here are focusing more on Librarian In Black's concern of the "Buy Now" buttons - when you should be concerned about your privacy. First, I get why she is annoyed by the "Buy Now" button. Libraries do not wish to "endorse" a particular service or product over another - and the "Buy Now" button gives the sense that "This Library supports Amazon" over another bookseller.

    As for the privacy concerns, I've noticed a lot of comments on "Well, don't libraries give up those records with the PATRIOT act anyway?" When the PATRIOT act was enacted, libraries in the US scrambled to protect the rights of their users and the majority of them only have a record of who has what item out at that time - they do not have a record of what you returned.

    And of course, there are lots who are saying "Libraries, bah - NOT RELEVANT." And I'm sure that is true for many of you; however, the library is more than books. Libraries provide a space for people to gather, they provide free internet to those who cannot afford it, they provide lessons on various computer programs, storytimes for children, etc. I am in an academic college library, and the majority of my students cannot afford their textbooks, let alone a computer for them to use. Please remember, you are probably viewing this article from your own computer - there are still a lot of people out there who don't have that luxury. Libraries help people with research, and despite what everyone thinks - not everything is found via Google. Perhaps Rush Limbaugh could have used a librarian / library when he made those horrible remarks about the LRA.
  • Re:Poor Libraries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:33PM (#37780260) Homepage Journal

    Almost every week.
    My kids are avid readers, so during the summer they check out about 8 books a week.

    It' also has a good movie selection, and a game selection. It has teen specific activities, literacy programs, ESL programs, public space for meetings... and a coffee shop. Sadly they won't let me check out coffee~

    Libraries are very relevant. I suggest you look at the features of your local library.

  • Re:Poor Libraries (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bberens ( 965711 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:59PM (#37780798)
    My daughter is 4 and she loves going to the library and picking out books to read. I occasionally get a library book myself but never off the shelf, I register online and they deliver it directly to my house. I can return it to any library in my county. They also have a wide selection of movies and television series that my wife occasionally checks out, yet another "aid" in the movement to ditch cable on top of Netflix and Hulu.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam