OWHL Buys Amazon’s Kindle

The Oliver Wendell Holmes Library has purchased a new device for the modern reader. On November 21, released the Kindle, an electronic book reader priced at $399. Though not the first of its kind—Sony released the second edition of its Sony Reader device this October—reviews have tagged the Kindle as a useful tool especially for those always on the go. The device has a wireless connection to Amazon’s e-book store, in which customers can browse and purchase e-books that download within a couple of minutes. Its high-resolution screen looks and reads like paper, and readers can “flip pages” using buttons. Amazon has already signed agreements with 50 to 100 newspaper publishers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Currently, users of the Kindle have access to over 90,000 books and publications. The library’s Kindle will available for student and faculty use. Jeffrey Marzluft, Assistant Director of the OWHL, said, “It’s our job to stay on the forefront of technology, and to look into useful products for teenagers because that’s who we serve.” The library staff is currently in the testing stages amongst themselves, and depending on their experience with the device, they may purchase a set of Kindles. The library is constantly researching new devices for potential use by Andover students. Recent additions include iPods with audiobooks that students may check out. Aniebiet Ekpa ’11 said, “I would use the Kindle for leisure reading and research projects. Using the Kindle will make things much more convenient because I won’t have to spend hours at the library trying to look for books. Instead, everything is right there for me if I use the Kindle.” Kristina Ballard ’11 and Audrey McMurtrie ’11 both said that the Kindle will make obtaining and accessing information more convenient for students because it can be used in any location. Beth Tompkins, Instructional Services Librarian, is excited at the prospect of “offering a variety of ways to read books”. She said, “Andover students have a lifestyle that is very on-the-go, so using the Kindle would be much more preferable for them than carrying a thick book around.”