2/10/2006 - Johnson Public Library: Downloadable audiobooks

Contact : Arlene Sahraie
Tel: 201-489-1904
FAX: 201-489-4215
February 7, 2006

“Reading” comes in many forms in local libraries

Downloadable audiobooks, the newest initiative in BCCLS libraries launched in January 2006 has produced some impressive numbers in its first month. The latest statistics for the 73 member libraries of BCCLS, the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, reveal that library users are interested in getting their literature in many formats.

Within the first month of its debut, more than 1,200 library cardholders have opened accounts to download more than 2,200 audiobooks to their computers or MP3 players.

“I am thrilled with these numbers”, said Robert White, Executive Director of BCCLS. “Our goal is to have 10,000 accounts set up by December 2007 and with these first figures, we are off to a great start. These numbers tell us that in addition to satisfying their traditional reading needs, people are looking to libraries to offer the newest formats.”

“Our libraries added over 340,000 books to their collections in 2005. In addition, they added over 69,000 pieces of media including music cds, dvds, and audiobooks”, White continued. “Patrons borrowed more than 9,000,000 items in 2005. We are excited to be able to offer downloadable audiobooks in addition to the vast array of materials available at our public libraries.”

Downloadable audiobooks is another way that people can make great literature a part of their busy lives. For those who can’t find the time to sit down and read, audiobooks on cassette and cd have provided an alternative allowing people to listen to books they might not otherwise have been able to “read”. Downloadable audiobooks is the next step in giving people the opportunity to listen to books and, White adds, “because of the technology, there is never a fine on downloadable audiobooks.”

Library cardholders register for a free account and select from over 1,100 titles available at NetLibrary with 30 new titles added every month. The downloading process is easy and can be done at home at any time day or night. Patrons may have up to ten downloadable audiobooks checked out to their account. Each audiobook has a three-week loan period and can be renewed once.

The BCCLS homepage, found at www.bccls.org, has a link to their downloadable audiobooks page with information regarding the downloading process, computer specifications, which MP3 players are best suited for audiobooks, and detailed instructions.

“There are so many new things happening in the public libraries of BCCLS. Downloadable audiobooks is just our newest initiative. We hope that anyone who doesn’t have a library card will get one and take advantage of all that the seventy-three libraries of BCCLS have to offer”, White concluded.