3M launches Cloud-Based Digital Book Lending Service For Public Libraries

3M, the diversified technology company which makes everything from chemicals to audio tape, has launched a new eBook lending service for public libraries.

The service, built on hardware from Germany's Txtr GmBH, launched at the American Library Assocation's Annual Conference and garnered positive feedback by bookish types in attendance.

Touchscreen Discovery Terminals can be used in libraries to give readers access to ebooks, while the software gives librarians a customisable way to manage their book catalogue.

3M-branded eReaders are loaned out like normal books, loaded with ebooks downloaded from the cloud and library users can also bring their own eReader to download a rented book.

It's a major move forward for the ebook industry, helping to bring public libraries forward to the digital age, even if a few expensive bits of hardware do go missing once in a while.