Los Angeles, CA - August 15, 2005 - To the list of things you can do while stuck in traffic, climbing the Stairmaster, eating lunch at your desk or just relaxing at home, you can now add listening to a downloaded best-selling book, thanks to the new e-audiobook service from the Los Angeles Public Library. Debuting August 15, the free service is available 24/7 on the library's Web site, www.lapl.org.
With a library card and an Internet connection, patrons can select from hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles, then download the complete work as an audio file to a PC or laptop, then transfer the file to a supported MP3 player, PDA (personal digital assistant), or Smartphone. Most files can even be burned to CD for convenient play in a car, home, office, boat or other location.
The library has long offered a large collection of audiobooks in cassette and CD formats, but this marks its first foray into digital audio technology. "Audiobooks are in such high demand that we can barely keep them on the shelf," says City Librarian Fontayne Holmes. "The new technology makes this popular resource even more accessible and widely available."
Among the initial 400 titles offered are classics such as Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights," Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," and Bram Stoker's "Dracula." Non-fiction selections include a wide range of language learning titles, Dr. Phil's "Getting Real," Richard Phalon's "Forbes Greatest Investment Stories" and Peter Hyman's "The Reluctant Metrosexual." New titles will be added on a continuous basis. Soon, a wide selection of classical music will be available for download.
Library cardholders can check out up to five e-audiobooks at a time. If a title is not available because it has been checked out, users can be added to a waiting list and will be notified via E-mail when the title becomes available. E-audiobooks are loaned for 21 days, then automatically "returned" and made available for other users.
The Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest urban population of any library in the country. Its Central library, 71 branch libraries, six million books and state-of-the-art technology provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for life-long learning. For further information, visit the Library's Web site at www.lapl.org.