Overdrive is currently the largest company dedicated to supporting libraries who want to lend our digital books. The company unveiled their new Developers Portal a few months ago and it basically allows e-reader, tablet and libraries to customize their own system. Overdrive has approved over 60 different companies and organization to tailor their own custom library system. No word yet on who has been authorized, as Overdrive did not provide us with this information.
Many e-Readers have complicated procedure to load books on your device that you borrow from the library. Once you get the hang of it, its old hat, but could really be more user friendly. The Sony PRS-T1 and PRS-T2 models are currently the only e-Readers in the world that have built in support for Overdrive borrowing and reading. The API tools basically allow Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other vendors to create their own app to make the entire lending system more robust. It would also allow them to brand it and tailor it into their own ecosystem.
I have been a huge advocate of Overdrive and 3M since they launched their digital lending initiatives. Providing e-Reader and Tablet companies with the tools to create their own apps is critical for the growth of eBooks.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.