By Michael Hill August 29, 2005
Associated Press Writer
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (AP) -- A new way to borrow audiobooks from the library involves no CDs, no car trips, no fines and no risk of being shushed.
Rather, public libraries from New York City to Alameda, Calif., are letting patrons download Tom Clancy techno-thrillers, Arabic tutorials and other titles to which they can listen on their computers or portable music players -- all without leaving home.
Librarians say such offerings help libraries stay relevant in the digital age.
Barbara Nichols Randall, director of the Guilderland Public Library in suburban Albany, said the library considered the needs of younger readers and those too busy to visit.
"This is a way for us to have library access 24/7," she said.
There's still one big hitch, though: The leading library services offer Windows-friendly audiobook files that can't be played on Apple Computer Inc.'s massively popular iPod player. (more...)