Casting the Playaways upon the Waters…

My shopping resulted in something!

One of the joys of my job is getting to buy really neat books with someone else’s money. In this case, it was really neat audio books.

Playaways, a self-contained digital audio player and narrated book in a deck of card sized format, are a wonderful for libraries. I had 3 books on cd land on my desk just today with discs missing or scratched up to the point of needing replacement. Unfortunately with two of them we’re unable to replace single discs. As a result I can either re buy the entire book or lose it from the collection, based on one damaged piece. Rather frustrating when one considers the cost of books on CD.

A primary argument I’ve heard about Playaways is a prohibitive cost to consumers. They’re more expensive than Audible downloads, agreed, but when I was buying they were cheaper, generally, than the CD format. And in a public library that has a lot of audio book readers, I can justify the cost.

I put out about 40 books tonight. They are all children’s books and are living in a prominent display position just inside the children’s department. I’ve talked to some parents who were excited that they were coming and at least one of the generally oblivious to all but computer games tween boys stopped and commented “Hey, you’ve got Playaways? My school has those.” He almost sounded enthused.

There’s hope yet. Teen Playaways go out later this week!