ISSAQUAH, WA - November 16, 2004 - King County Library System, one of the busiest public libraries in the United States, is the first in the country to offer OverDrive Audio Books in Microsoft Windows Media Audio format. Greater Seattle area residents can now download, listen, and enjoy unabridged spoken word audio on their PCs, laptops, PDAs, and many inexpensive MP3 players. The new service also provides improved accessibility for the visually impaired, and is available at http://ebooks.kcls.org.
Bruce Schauer, Associate Director, Collection Management Services, King County Library System said, "Our staff participated with OverDrive during system development and beta testing of the audio books platform with the goal of making this as user-friendly for patrons as possible. We're very pleased to be the first library in the country to offer patrons 24/7 access to popular spoken word."
Residents with a valid KCLS library card can choose from a growing list of fiction and non-fiction titles including popular authors such as Ken Follett, Mario Puzo, Johanna Lindsey, Stephen Coonts, Jennifer Crusie, and many more. They can download and listen to their selections on PCs and notebooks, burn to CD, or transfer to any of 500 different portable devices that support Windows Media Audio format, including Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and MP3 devices.
Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive stated, "We've added dozens of librarian-requested features, including a simplified checkout and download process, bookmarks, variable playback speed on a PC, and other accessibility features that make it easier for the visually impaired to use this service. Our audio books have also been engineered into "parts" that can be easily burned to standard audio CDs or transferred to portable devices."
Patrons can also view on-screen information about each title and navigate directly to a specific location within an audio book.