7/5/2006 - Johnson Public Library: Downloadable Audiobooks

“My library – anytime” – BCCLS Libraries Launch into Overdrive

Library users throughout the 73 communities that comprise BCCLS, the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, now have a new source for downloadable audiobooks. ListenNJNW gives the thousands of people who are audiobook devoteés access to hundreds of popular fiction and nonfiction titles from authors like James Patterson, David Baldacci and Nora Roberts. Classics by Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen and others can also be found in the collection.

In addition to the 1,300 downloadable audiobook titles available24/7 through NetLibrary since January, BCCLS patrons now have access to an additional 400 downloadable audiobooks from Overdrive made available to BCCLS through the Highlands Regional Library Cooperative.

There are a few significant differences between the two vendors. The most important one being that every NetLibrary title is always available. If a patron finds a title they’d like to listen to, they can download it immediately. Overdrive’s model is based on the one book-one borrow concept where only one patron can have an item out at a time but you can always add your name to a reserve list and be notified when the title is available for downloading.

“It’s all about the content”, said Robert White, Executive Director of BCCLS. “Over a period of a month, we held six informational sessions for the public on the newest format we offer, downloadable audiobooks. At library after library, people who are fans of the format told us they want more, more, more. We believe that by offering titles available from both vendors, we are well on our way to providing our patrons a very rich downloadable collection with broad reaching appeal.”

With a valid library card from a BCCLS library, patrons can download titles to their home computers for listening, or transfer them to most WMA supported MP3 players. Many Overdrive titles can also be burned to CD. Holds can be placed on popular Overdrive titles, but many titles are “always available,” allowing unlimited concurrent use as is always the case with NetLibrary.

“We encourage our patrons to visit the downloadable link on the BCCLS homepage (www.bccls.org) and take a look at both sites. Both vendors have a great deal to offer and we’re getting very positive feedback from the public. There are a lot of people out there who love audiobooks, and as I am so fond of reminding people, downloadable audiobooks are never late and there’s never a fine. We’re averaging over 1,500 downloads a month and we know as more people discover the format, those numbers will keep growing”, White concluded.

For more information, go to www.bccls.org