Audiobooks + public libraries = great no-cost listening

Tennessee Woman Spends $50,000 on Audiobooks –  the great title of a Huffington Post post by Tom Alderman that turns the spotlight on Marian Bryant, the librarian who orders $50,000 of audiobooks for a consortium of public libraries. This article has great information on the huge popularity of audiobooks, including these stats:

All across the country, libraries are consumers’ first choice for audiobooks, accounting for 43 percent of the listening audience, according to a survey from the Audio Publishers Association, the industry’s trade organization. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and all retail sales, amount to 27 percent of the market, while downloads from sites such as or Amazon account for only 9 percent of sales.

The Los Angeles Central Library, with 71 branches serving 500 square miles, has more than 107,000 copies in their audiobook collection. Of the 4,000 available for download, listeners piped-in a whopping 3,842 of them in January alone, and the number is growing every month, according the library’s Giovanna Mannino, of Information Technologies & Collections.

Tennessee’s Blue Grass Consortium has 7,400 books available to the 91 non-metropolitan counties they serve. An astounding 10,610 per month are now being downloaded. And that does not include the big cities of Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville, or Knoxville, each of whom has their own audiobook collections. Awesome.

And I thought I was an audiobook addict!

Thanks to Likely Stories‘ Keir Grff for the link!



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

1 Comment on "Audiobooks + public libraries = great no-cost listening"

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  1. Wow that is crazy. I personally think that audio books are really good, but can’t beat holding the hard copy in your hands. Turning the pages and

    handling the paper makes me enjoy my read better..

    Some places that I have found good audio books.

    If you are doing a research paper about where to find other good audio books try Wikipedia, or google it. There are tons of accurate information

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