Côte Saint-Luc library first in Quebec to offer downloadable audiobooks

Côte Saint-Luc, March 22, 2010 - Members of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library can now download audiobooks and listen to them with their computers or portable music players-without leaving home.

"We are moving with the times and responding to the needs and desires of patrons today," said Tanya Abramovitch, Director of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. "We truly feel that this new downloadable audiobook service will be both enjoyable and convenient for our library patrons."

More than 150 popular and award-winning audiobook titles of the most popular genres will be available for download on March 25 at 10am. More audiobook titles will be added later this year. The collection will be shared by members of the libraries of Côte Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Pointe Claire, and is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Côte Saint-Luc is the first of the cities to launch the service. Pointe Claire is expected to launch on April 23 and Dollard-des-Ormeaux will launch later this year.

Library members need the free Overdrive Media Console software for their Windows or Macintosh computer. Once that is installed, members can visit www.elcslpl.org to browse or search the downloadable audiobook collection, select one, and proceed to checkout-just as one would at an online store. Members then download a small file, which the Overdrive Media Console software uses to download the audiobook files. Members can play and organize the audiobooks from inside the software.

The audiobooks are in the MP3 or WMA file formats. All files can be played on a computer and most can be transferred to and played on portable audio players, such as the iPod or Zune. Some audiobooks can also be copied to a CD data disc. The MP3 and WMA files are protected with digital rights management (DRM), which allows users to listen to the file for a limited time. Once the files expire, they won't work if you try to listen to them.

"The patron doesn't have to do anything after the lending period," said Councillor Sam Goldbloom, the council member responsible for the library. "The file checks itself back into the collection automatically and will be available for others to download. There is no chance of late fees."

Library members can check out up to three downloadable audiobooks at a time and choose a 1-week or 2-week loan period.

"The age of the shiny disc is over," said Sarah Topey, Manager of Adult Services. "Downloadable audio is how people buy audio nowadays and portable music devices, like the iPod, is how people prefer listening to audio. It makes sense for libraries to start distributing audiobooks to our members in this way too. This is the easiest and most convenient way ever to enjoy library audiobooks and just one more of the many new benefits members of the Eleanor London Côte Saint Luc Public Library can access. Make the library a part of your life. It's all about the wonder of books, and we are dedicated to make them available every way we can."

The library has approximately 4,500 audiobooks on CD cassette. Downloadable audiobooks are the next step in the evolution of audiobooks.

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. and is open from 10am to 10pm every day. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visit www.elcslpl.org.


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For more information, contact: Mona Turner, 514-485-6900 ext. 4205 or mturner@cotesaintluc.org.


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