SOURCE: OverDrive, Inc.

March 27, 2007 11:36 ET

Tennessee Libraries Prove Success With Digital Media

Popular Download Service Triples Usage of Audiobooks and eBooks

COLUMBIA, TN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2007 -- In March 2006, a program of the Tennessee Regional Library System, R.E.A.D.S., began offering downloadable audiobooks and eBooks through a website for participating libraries at http://reads.lib.overdrive.com. One year later, the service has been so successful; it has more than tripled the number of checkouts by users.

"R.E.A.D.S. is an extremely valuable service," commented one patron. "I commute 10+ hours a week and the downloadable audiobooks allow me to do something productive with that time."

Patrons of R.E.A.D.S. member libraries can checkout and download audiobooks and eBooks from the comfort of home with a valid library card. The technology is provided by OverDrive, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, the leader in digital media services. Digital books are compatible with many desktops, laptops, WMA/MP3 players, Pocket PCs, and select Smartphones. Some audio titles can even be burned to CD for listening in the car. At the end of 14 day lending period, digital books automatically expire and are returned to the library's collection. The automatic check-in guarantees no late fees.

"Last March we opened with a collection of 261 eBooks and 363 audiobooks," stated Marion Bryant, Director of Blue Grass Regional Library. "Our online collection has grown tremendously and now we have 3,076 eBooks and 3,184 audiobooks."

There is a diverse selection of 176 language learning audiobooks, including German, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Thai, and Chinese, and thousands of popular fiction titles from authors like Michael Crichton, J.D. Robb, Sue Grafton, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Thomas Harris. In addition, users can choose from hundreds of non-fiction titles, such as "10 Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships" and "Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home."

The digital collection also offers accessibility features for visually impaired patrons.

"I am not legally blind, but I do have a severe sight issue," said a patron in a recent survey. "I use audio books but it's about 30 minutes to town for me so this site is incredibly helpful for people like me."

Funds for READS are provided by the State of Tennessee and by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Marion Bryant
    Blue Grass Regional Library
    Email Contact