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Rakuten's digital library to be tested in Japan

Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. said June 13 that Rakuten OverDrive, the digital library service of its U.S.-based subsidiary OverDrive Inc., will start a two-year trial run in Kobe City, Japan, beginning June 22.

Rakuten and the local government of Kobe agreed to roll out the service at every municipal library in the city. Rakuten OverDrive gives people access to a wide selection of e-books, including approximately 1,000 Japanese language e-book titles and approximately 500 English language e-book titles.

Library card holders will be able to borrow e-book content using their mobile devices or laptops by asking for Rakuten OverDrive IDs and passwords at any municipal library in Kobe.

In addition, the program also allows users to process their reservations, lending and returns online.