German public libraries begin online lending

31st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 May 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - German public libraries began issuing audiobooks and e-books for loan via the internet Wednesday in a pilot scheme which they described as a first for Europe. Initially nearly 10,000 titles will be available for download from the public-library systems in the port city of Hamburg and the southern city of Wuerzburg to subscribers' personal computers. Users can "take them out" online at any time of the day and night. After five days, the items expire and become unusable. The audi

31 May 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - German public libraries began issuing audiobooks and e-books for loan via the internet Wednesday in a pilot scheme which they described as a first for Europe.

Initially nearly 10,000 titles will be available for download from the public-library systems in the port city of Hamburg and the southern city of Wuerzburg to subscribers' personal computers.

Users can "take them out" online at any time of the day and night. After five days, the items expire and become unusable. The audio and video files employ Microsoft's WMA encoding and can be played on computers and other devices using Windows software.

Holger Behrens, chief executive of DiViBib, the company based in Wiesbaden, Germany which devised the system, said, "It's the libraries' answer to the digital revolution."

Hella Schwemer-Martienssen, director of the Hamburg Public Library System, said libraries needed to compete with online retailer Amazon, offering loans to customers who did not want to buy.

DPA

Subject: German news

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