Libraries Embrace The Digital Age

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The 123,291 libraries in the United States are the nation's single largest consumer of audiobooks, making up a whopping 32% ($295.4 million) of the total annual audiobook market (according to the Audio Publishers Association). While CDs are still the dominant format when it comes to audiobooks, the growth in digitally downloaded audiobooks has been growing at over 50% a year since 2004, and modern libraries are helping to lead the way when it comes to digital audiobooks.

Jared Patrick, owner of The Freeway Guides (, a popular audiobook series sold into libraries nationwide states, "two years ago we would never have guessed how many people would be downloading the Freeway Guides directly from their local library websites without ever leaving their homes. Increased commute times, improvements in technology and the expectation of information on demand are driving this movement, and we are excited to see libraries leading the way."

When it comes to digital content, the needs of libraries are different than those of everyday consumers, and libraries are working with digital content distributors such as OverDrive, NetLibrary & Ingram Digital to service the digital demands of their patrons.

Pamela Turner, Director of Audio Services, for Ingram Digital says, "Since 2005, we have noted a steep rise in patrons' appetite for electronic content. This is an unprecedented increase in demand that is changing the way libraries offer their information and entertainment collections."

The industry's leading magazine on audio trends AudioFile Magazine, reports that audiobook use continues to soar. Audiobook users are frequently "on the go," and expand their reading time with audiobook listening. Libraries offering digital audiobooks via their websites have expanded their patron base because of the 24/7 availability and ease of access. Robin Whitten editor & founder of AudioFile states, "The amount of digital audio content purchased by libraries will only continue to increase."

For audio publishers such as The Freeway Guides, this accelerating change in demand and consumption patterns means that they will need to continue to adapt, in order to provide the content their audience wants in the manner they want it.

Fast, Flexible and Fun, The Freeway Guides are the educational audiobook series designed specifically for commuters and busy people on the go. Available on both CD and Digital Download, The Freeway Guides are full of life changing tips and techniques. Featuring instruction by established experts, The Freeway Guides build better lives one commute at a time.


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Susan Leahy
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