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January 05, 2004

The ListenIllinois E-Audiobook Program: My Ears are Pea-Green with Envy

Jenny Levine is rightly crowing over her latest achievement: a group license for digital audiobooks for patron checkout.

Illinois isn't the first state to do this, but Jenny and others benefited from the experience of their predecessors (after all, it's the second mouse that gets the cheese). And they've thought through the marketing and deployment issues very carefully.

I like the way they are offering a large package of books--1800 to start with. I despise, absolutely detest, those halfhearted gestures to offer a new format (followed months later by the conclusion, "why, this simply isn't catching on!"). Do it right, if you're going to do it. I also like how they're starting with a small group of libraries--just 12. That will give them a chance to observe and tweak before this gets rolled out on a bigger scale.

Kudos, folks. For some of us who have had the privilege of working in libraries in Illinois, we know this state is a promised land that sets the standard for sharing, service, and innovation. And no matter where we are, we're fortunate to live in such a networked society that the achievements in other areas are immediately there for us to see and learn from.

Posted by kgs at January 5, 2004 01:12 PM

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