By January 8, 2010 7 Comments Read More →

Audiobooks & book clubs: Perfect partners

Tradition meets technology. In this busy world, it’s heartening to see the continued (and growing) popularity of good old fashioned book discussion groups. I can’t help but wonder if the expanding world of literature-to-go has added to the boom – no matter what container carries the author’s words. Today’s commute warriors find comfort in downloaded Regency romance, and frequent flyers escape into flights of fantasy on their MP3 players. How can librarians welcome these listeners into discussion groups? Try the tips in my Voices in My Head column in the January Booklist Magazine. Plus, you’ll find links to a sampling of some innovative & exciting programing below. And I am sure there are plenty of readers who have developed or participated in other great examples! Please leave a comment sharing your great ideas for ways to include all literature lovers in spreading the good word 🙂

Innovative programs:

Coos Bay (OR) Audio Book Club:

Memorial Hall Library Online Book Club (Andover, MA):

Skokie (IL) Library Talking Book Discussion Group:

ListenIllinois One State One Listen:

Cuyahoga County (OH) Online & Audio Book Discussions:

New York (NY) Online Book Discussion:

Westwood Library (MA) YA Not-Just-Books Club blog:

Lexington (KY) Public Library Large Print/Audio Book Discussion:

Oregon State University Mastery of Aging Well Audio Book Club:

Canada Reads:

Parent & Child Audiobook Car Club suggestions:

History on the Highway

Guys & Spies / Girl Talk

Online Audiobook Discussion:

Slate Magazine’s Audio Book Club (discussions you can downwload and listen to – not audiobook specific):

Audiobooks Diversions Listserve:

Check audiobook publisher websites for online blogs & discussion opportunities

Listening clubs for patrons with low vision:


National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped:

Evaluation & Criteria Tips:

Sounds Good to Me

Listening with a Critical Ear Pt. 1

Listening with a Critical Ear pt. 2

Audiobook Lexicon: Talking the Talk: An Audiobook Lexicon

I’m looking forward to learning about more great ideas from your comments!



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.

7 Comments on "Audiobooks & book clubs: Perfect partners"

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  1. Wow, thanks for the lists.

  2. Talk about timing. We just launched an audiobook Book Club on our Open Book Audio Podcast this week. I agree. I think they’re a great fit. We’re aiming for one audiobook every couple of months. Here’s to hoping it ends up as fun as we hope it will!

  3. Mary says:

    Wow – Thanks for passing along the info on your Audiobook Club Matt. Check out

  4. Thanks for the list. I am an avid audio book listener and enjoy listening as much as reading. To all your readers I would suggest “Outliers: The Story of Success” it is a great listen.

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