Re: [Videolib] Audio Books and Academic Libraries

From: Mary Hanlin <>
Date: Thu Jul 02 2009 - 07:29:35 PDT

Hi Jared,
Our community college purchases audiobooks in various formats and ways.
 We're a four campus school, and one campus leases audiobooks in just
regular CD format; this is a good option if you're looking into
purchasing popular fiction (sort of like the McNaughton's) for students'
recreational purposes. Another campus purchases audiobooks in limited
numbers. I think we have about 70. These audiobooks are more of the
classics and are partially intended to support our developmental reading
classes and those students with disabilities. All of our audiobooks are
separated from regular books and from the DVDs. Creating a separate
physical audiobook collection is the way to go.
Our circ rates are less than DVDs but on par with regular books. I've
found either folks listen to audiobooks in a dedicated, habituated
manner, or they don't listen to them at all.
As part of our community college consortium, we also subscribe to
Overdrive, which as several have pointed out, is primarily purchased by
public libraries. We have about 7 hundred books, and though I don't
know the download/circ rates, I've slowly become more receptive to the
service. I've gotten a lot of anecdotal feedback about it, and I use it
quite a bit myself. Recently, most of the audio (not video) content
available through Overdrive has become compatible with iPods which
served to salve my major issue with the service.
Though the community college mission is somewhat different from 4 year
colleges and universities, I'd say there are still several legitimate
uses for audiobooks in academic libraries.
Mary Hanlin
Media Collection Development Librarian
Tidewater Community College
7000 College Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23703
Voice: (757) 822-2133
Fax: (757) 822-2149
 ( )

>>> On 7/1/2009 at 4:05 PM, in message
Jared Alexander" <> wrote:

Hey, though not exactly video related, I have a question about audio
books (sort of video with sound only sort of). Anyway, naturally, being
the “media librarian” person I have been tasked with bringing (or not)
our library into the audio book age. We currently do not collect audio
books. Our director has historically had this “thing” against having
audio books (books on tape back in the day) in an academic library (at
least philosophically). Thus, we have nary a single audio book. Our
head of collection development and I are conspiring to bring these audio
book things into our library. But, we need some information on
justification, explanation of how they are being used in academic
libraries, why they are being used, and –VERY IMPORTANTLY – what FORMAT
is being used (CD, MP3-CD, download, streaming, or what).
Also, are these audio books in the regular collection or (like most
public libraries) are they shelved separately? Are they put in the
video/media collection? Any insights, suggestions, or stories of renown
would be helpful. Thanks.

Jared A. Seay
Reference Librarian
Head, Media Collections
Addlestone Library
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424
Reference Office:
Media Collections:


VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.

Received on Thu Jul 2 07:31:05 2009

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