They've signed a deal with 3M Cloud Library to integrate the platform with the Kobo ebookstore. Partner libraries will be able to add a new "Buy and Donate" button to their websites. Once patrons click the button they will be taken to the Kobo website. Any books purchased by the patron will earn the library partner a small fee.
"With this program, a portion of the profits from an eBook sale will be donated to the library," said Matt Tempelis, Global Business Manager for 3M Library Systems. "Kobo is a company that stands for Readers, and as such, emerged as the ideal partner for this initiative. We are excited to work with them to support libraries through eBook purchases."
Kobo has been experimenting with this idea since at least June 2013, and they had previously signed similar agreements with the Toronto Public Library and libraries in New Zealand. That latter deal is more comprehensive than the partnership with 3M Cloud library; the NZ libraries can also sell Kobo ereaders.
This is a good step towards helping libraries earn more money, but I think it is still less impressive than OverDrive's program. That library ebook distributor has 27 thousand partners at last count, all of which can direct their patrons to any one of hundreds of ebookstores located all over the world.
image by Friar's Balsam