Monday, December 05, 2005

LibraryULive! Presents Day of the Digital Audio Book

Library U + OPAL = LibraryU Live!

LibraryU ( and OPAL - Online Programming for All Libraries ( are pleased to announce expanded online learning opportunities for librarians and the general public featuring web-based instruction combined with live online presentations.

These live events will be held in online rooms where participants can interact via voice-over-IP, text chatting, and synchronized browsing featuring instructional material from LibraryU.

The first combined initiative – “The Day of the Digital Audio Book” – is scheduled for February 16, 2006 and will include an online self-paced LibraryU module and a live event in the OPAL online auditorium. “The Day of the Digital Audio Book” will feature three separate sessions on the exciting and innovative activities going on in libraries in the area of digital audio books, and an additional “brown bag lunch” with a panel of experts discussing their practical experience in digital audio programming.

Session I will contain an introduction to and overview of digital audio books; Session II will provide libraries interested in offering digital audio books with important considerations and questions to ask vendors; and Session III will discuss the vendors and products available to libraries interested in offering these services. As an added bonus, a panel of experts will present an overview of current digital audio programs during a brown bag lunch session.

Participants may attend any or all of the sessions. After the session is completed, learners may supplement their knowledge or review what they have learned in the live sessions through the corresponding LibraryU tutorials on digital audio books. Registration for “The Day of the Digital Audio Book” is free. Please go to and register to take advantage of this exciting and timely opportunity.

LibraryU provides free web based training to Illinois librarians and their patrons 24/7, and was initially developed by the Illinois State Library and a number of Illinois regional library systems through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. In recent years, an initiative to enhance and widen the impact of the original LibraryU web site and make it a statewide training model was funded by a grant awarded to Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There are currently 45 modules available on the LibraryU site, and more than 2500 registered users. Under the leadership of the Illinois State Library, Lisa Barnhart and Dawne Tortorella coordinate LibraryU.

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is an international collaborative effort by libraries of all types to provide web-based programs and training for library users and library staff members. These live events are held in online rooms where participants can interact via voice-over-IP, text chatting, and synchronized browsing. There are approximately 25 library members of OPAL from all over the world. Events are free to librarians and the public from anywhere in the world. Programs are also archived and podcast for those who cannot attend live events. Tom Peters of TAP Information Services coordinates OPAL. The Alliance Library System/Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service administer OPAL.

For more information on these programs or to join, please contact Lisa Barnhart at or Tom Peters at