Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Audio books have existed since the 1930s when Congress set up a "talking book" program for readers. However, they truly came into the public's eye with the development of the cassette recording in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 21st century, audio books are as prevalent as tangible hardcover and paperback books. Technology has given rise to awareness of audio books and retail sites, such as Amazon.com and Barnes, have included audio versions of popular titles as an alternative for the book versions.
Librarians need to be aware of the importance of stocking audio books among their collections. Patrons with disabilities, such as blindness and dyslexia will benefit from being able to access audio book versions of titles they are seeking from the library. The portability of audio books allows users to multitask and listen to books through their media devices while driving, walking or using public transportation.
Here is an article that lists the pros and cons of using audio books: