The Future Of Libraries

By: Janet Rusky

Imagine a time when you could get any audio book you want to read from the library without having to physically visit the library to lend the audio books.

Well, imagine no more because it is now possible.

Public libraries from New York City to Alameda, California are now leading the packs of libraries that have begun allowing members to download audio books which they can listen to on their Personal Computers or portal audio book players such as PDAs -- all from the comfort of their homes or offices.

From Tom Clancy's techno-thrillers, Arabic, Spanish, French tutorials to as many titles as possible, librarians can now enjoy the best of audio books without having to leave their homes or offices.

What better way for libraries to stay needed and relevant in the new digital age than this?

With the Internet, many people are beginning to lose interest in the libraries, but this move will help the libraries to retain their memberships.

When asked what prompted this development, Barbara Nichols Randal, the director of the Guilderland Public Library in suburban Albany, explained that they took the needs of their younger readers and other people that were too busy to visit the library into consideration before coming up with this move.

Specifically, she said, "This is a way for us to have library access 24/7".

For example, the Madison Public Library has access to a subscription database of audio book content. It provides this service for people who want to access this information from the comfort of their homes or offices, without having to physically visit the library.

The name of this subscription database of audio book content is OverDrive.

Anyone that has a LINK library card and access to the Internet can benefit from using OverDrive.

Note that while some of the libraries allow you to download and even copy their audio books into your PC and/or other portable CD or MP3 players, others don't.

With those that do not allow downloading or burning of their audio books, you will only be able to read them on your computer... while being connected to the Internet.

Whichever service or library you prefer, the point is that you can benefit from the audio book without leaving the comfort of your home or office.

Take the time to search for the particular library that you prefer and register with them. Some of them offer free registration for particular periods of time, while others charge a token fee to access their database of audio books.

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