3M’s new digital library is designed to lend ebooks and e-readers

3M Library Systems (they make electronic equipment for libraries) have announced a new digital library platform. It;s called the 3M Cloud Library, and it has 2 publishers already signed up so far, Random House and IPG. They expect to announce more publishers shortly.

I just got off the phone with the head of marketing and he cleared up a few points from the press release. This is going to be an integrated system with apps, in-library terminals, as well as an ereader. It will be using Adobe DRM and it will work with Sony, Nook, and other ereaders.

I particularly want to point out that it works with other ereaders because I was slightly confused by the "cloud" label.  They're calling it a cloud because they want it to be easy to use. But you can read the ebooks offline.

I couldn't get a picture of the ereader (it's still under development), but they do have a partner and they are working on one. It's going to be integrated with with the 3M system which should make it a lot easier for libraries to lend the device and load ebooks on to it.

So far they have 2 publishers already signed up, Random House and IPG, and they expect to announce more publishers shortly.

Update: After I posted this a librarian I know asked about the cost. I don't know because the cost of the system and the hardware has not been set.

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