Thursday, March 29, 2007

028.1 Audiobook Information

Our office was introduced to the Mp3 player version of audiobooks known as Playaways by one of our vendors awhile back. Not being an "audio" book participant (just not my thing...can't keep up with the story), nevertheless, I do find these "cute" little packages intriguing. At least 3-4 of our campuses have bought a few to explore their check-out popularity with students.

I know that they will attract attention at our upcoming state library conference next month. Our district librarians will be among the crowds checking out the titles and types of books available in this format and probably adding some to their consideration files for next year's budget funds (because who has any money left at this time of year!)

At a blog I'm just beginning to explore, I found this good overview of what to think about when adding Playaways to your collection. The statements are generic enough that the thoughts are applicable to any audiobook in this form. Good information on storage and parental notification. Here is another shorter reference to them at the same site. Here is a website about them that has a good concise "how-to" that could easily be converted to a small poster to hang near the collection or handout to include with the items.

In researching this topic, I also came across this weeks-old article that talks about audiobooks in general and all ages of students. Playaways are mentioned as a good way for elementary kids to build interest in books which then leads to more reading! The rest of the article covers the many ways college students use their Mp3 players and how universities are adapting to this use by their students.

Might just have to give one a try myself!


Library Girl said...

Playaways are awesome! I just got my first 10 in this week! They were ready last night for Family Library Night, hence I've already checked 5 out. Kids came to the library today LOOKING for them b/c their friends had gotten them last night! I love a cool tech-y thing that gets kids listening... as it is. =)

Carolyn Foote said...

I have to say, I have NEVER bought an item that flies off the shelf like these, to both teachers and students.

Before Spring Break, we had only 3 left on the shelf. I had another order come in this week, and almost half were checked out within two hours of shelving them.

We have taken the earbuds out, and loan them if they are needed(but since I'm at a high school most students have their own.)

It seems like the last couple of years we have had more and more students clamoring for audiobook versions of books they read. We purchased some on Netlibrary, refer some to LIbrivox for free downloads--but by far the Playaways are the most popular choice in our library right now.

Another plus is that you can plug them into speakers, so they can be used in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have the audio versions of books... for a couple of reasons. First, I feel like I don't have time to read good books. I know as a librarian you are groaning, but as a busy member of society you have to be agreeing with me. Sometimes reading for pleasure is the last thing we get to do, so it doesn't happen. Audio books mean I can listen while I drive, wait, and whatever other mindless tasks that take huge chunks of my day.

Also, from all the stuff we are studying in our class I found out that I was a multi-modal learner. Is that really a big surprise? But I would say by your comment at the beginning that you are definitely not an auditory learner. (Which explains a lot to me :P) But, I am curious to know what kind of learner you are. Visual would seem the best guest to me... but I almost don't want to say that because it feels like it might just be me stereotyping librarians.

Lastly, without being connected to a school anymore, is there any way one can obtain these. Sometimes I feel like the public libraries are lacking in the technology department and "books on tape" just won't work for me! Hehe, rlb