Worcester, MA) - September 7, 2005 - Central and Western Massachusetts libraries are giving residents unprecedented access to popular audio books directly from their homes and offices via the new Digital Book Catalog (http://Digitalbooks.cwmars.org). OverDrive, Inc., a leading vendor of downloadable audio books for libraries, supplied the technology for the new service. C/W MARS is a library consortium dedicated to efficient resource sharing and rapid access to information. It includes 150 libraries of all types in Central and Western Massachusetts. Participating libraries include the Springfield, Amherst, Auburn, Pittsfield, Longmeadow, Milford, Princeton, and Williamstown public libraries and several area college libraries such as Anna Maria College, Elms College, Quinsigamond Community College and Holyoke Community College.
The C/W MARS downloadable E-book and E-audio book collection includes bestsellers and classics, fiction and non-fiction, from popular authors and leading publishers such as HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill, Zondervan, and John Wiley and Sons. Patrons download free reader software and then use their C/W MARS Library cards to check out and download E-books and E-audio books. With OverDrive's solution even the smallest libraries can easily provide innovative services to their patrons.
Penny Johnson, Director of the Worcester Public Library says of the new system, "Patrons will appreciate the ease of use and flexibility of this service. They can choose from romance, mysteries, business titles, computer manuals, biographies, and more. C/W MARS Online will allow customers to read E-books and listen to popular Audio books on a range of devices including PCs, PDAs, portable audio players--they can even burn titles directly to CD and listen to them in their car. I think they will also enjoy the automatic return feature, which eliminates late fees." Patrons can also choose automatic email notification when a waitlisted title becomes available for checkout.
To browse downloadable audio books, go to http://digitalbooks.cwmars.org. A valid card from participating libraries is required to checkout and download audio books from the website.