Digital library distributor Baker & Taylor has launched an app for iOS (s AAPL) and Android that lets users read ebooks from libraries on their tablets and smartphones. The move is intended to give patrons of libraries that use Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform to supply ebooks more choice in how they read those ebooks. The app, axisReader, lets library users borrow and read ebooks from their local libraries.
Axis 360 supports EPUB and PDF files, but does not support Kindle e-readers. That means that libraries that work with Baker & Taylor to supply ebooks to their patrons do not offer ebooks that can be read on Kindle.
Baker & Taylor launched Axis 360 in 2011. It competes against the leading digital library distributor, Overdrive, which has about 35,000 clients worldwide and supports Kindle. Two of the Big Six publishers, however — Penguin and Simon & Schuster — only make their ebooks available through Baker & Taylor or through another library distributor, 3M, which means that Baker & Taylor and 3M could eventually have a competitive advantage over Overdrive.
A previous version of this story said that Macmillan does not make its ebooks available through Overdrive. The publisher does make ebooks available to libraries through Overdrive.