Library tech and ebook vendors are talking up their new products, new features, and so on, but there's one story missing this year which was a hot topic last year. That would be library ebooks on the Kindle.
It was about this time last year that the lesser library ebook platforms, Axis 360 and 3M Cloud Library, were telling all and sundry that they were in talks with Amazon to offer ebooks on the Kindle ereader. Both of these vendors were probably eager to add support for the Kindle. 3M even told me in March 2012 that I should check back in June 2012 for an update; they expected to have it by then.
OverDrive had been offering Kindle support since September 2011 and that gave OD a feature which attracted some thousands of new library partners.After all, Amazon might not have 90% of the ebook market anymore but the Kindle is still the single most common ereader.
Well, it's January 2013. Let's take a look and see if either Axis 360 or 3M Cloud Library can support Kindle ereaders.
I checked with both vendors this week before posting this story. Baker & Taylor indicated that their Blio-focused library ebook platform Axis 360 had 400 libraries signed up as partners. They even had an app for the Kindle Fire and other Android tablets, but one feature they could not claim was support for the Kindle. No surprise there; my guess last year was that Amazon wasn't interested in partnering with any of the smaller library ebook vendors.
3M Cloud Library, on the other hand, could not be bothered to answer my query. Even though I asked just 2 questions, they apparently did not have the time to respond. That makes me wonder if they are putting any real effort into promoting the Cloud Library platform anymore.
3M is one of the major vendors of library technology, so when they invested in the ebook vendor txtr in 2011 and got into library ebooks it probably seemed like a natural expansion of their current business.
But with their new silence I have to wonder if they will stay in the market. Perhaps it is not generating the return they expected?
image by My name's axel