Belleville Public Library Offers Pre-Loaded Digital Audio Books to Patrons




The Belleville Public Library has begun offering Playaway – the first self-playing digital audio book—adding this innovative format to their existing collection of audio books on cassette, CD, and online.

Not an MP3 or CD player, Playaway is the self-contained audio equivalent of a book, but is only half the size of a deck of cards. Using six simple buttons, Playaway gives listeners the option of placing bookmarks and controlling the speed of a narrator’s voice, all while easily moving both forward and back through the audio book.

Playaway has a universal headphone jack that works with almost any type of headphone or car adapter. For those who don’t own headphones, the library sells them for $1.00.

“We are a pilot project for this format in Kansas,” says Leah Krotz, library director. “We received a $4,000 grant to pay for a large collection of Playaways, and have just received an additional $3,500 grant because the Playaways have proven to be so popular. There are lots of advantages…no disks or tapes to change, no moving parts, and a small, very sturdy device that’s not much bigger than a credit card.”

The library currently has 110 Playaways in its collection, but plans to double that amount in the next few months. For more information about Playaway at the Belleville Public Library, please contact us at 527-5305.