Scotch Tape manufacturer and Post-It inventor 3M is jumping into the world of e-book lending. The 3M Cloud Library went beta Wednesday at select libraries, allowing patrons to borrow e-books via digital kiosks in the library or online.
It’s not an entirely new concept. A system called OverDrive already facilitates e-book lending at many public libraries. But what sets 3M’s offering apart is that libraries can purchase 3M-branded e-readers, and lend the hardware to patrons who don’t have e-readers of their own. Patrons would check out the readers like they would a book or any other piece of hardware the library may lend.
3M says it has 40 publishers backing Cloud Library, and that more than 100,000 titles are ready to go. These e-books are compatible with Nook e-readers as well as iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X devices running the Cloud Library application. (Amazon’s Kindle is noticeably absent from the list.) To help expedite book lending, 3M is setting up on-site kiosks to help patrons search and check out available books.
Full story at Wired.