The British Library has come under fire by booksellers for linking to Amazon on its public online catalogue. The catalogue lists more than 13 million of the library's items along with a link to buy the item from the online retailer. Waterstones said the library was "driving readers away from local libraries and high street bookshops".
The library said it is trialling the links which are built in to the software used for its search engine.
A British Library spokesman said the new Integrated Catalogue system was being piloted to provide users "with the choice of an alternative method of obtaining a title if, for some reason, it is not available in the library's Reading Rooms".
He added the library was not making any revenue out of the system, which is still under review.
The criticism comes after figures from the Booksellers Association revealed that more than 800 bookshops have shut in the past five years, including almost 400 independent outlets.