#DigitalTuesday Spotlight: Audiobooks on Libby

This is the fifth in a series of posts highlighting some of the valuable (but not always well-known) digital resources you have access to as a YPL cardholder. Click here for the full list of #digitaltuesday posts.

In last week’s post we explored YPL’s most popular digital resource, Libby. This week, in honor of June being Audiobook Appreciation Month, we’ll take a closer look at e-Audiobooks, which can be downloaded and listened to on the Libby app you install onto your smartphone, tablet, or mobile device.

First, some facts about audiobooks: Listening to an audiobook instead of reading a book is not cheating! Oral storytelling predates the written word by thousands of years and is an important part of the human experience. Listening to audiobooks offers many of the same benefits as reading books, and is shown to improve brain activity and health. They can also be easier on the eyes for people that read on screens all day or who have vision loss or reading disabilities. For auditory (as opposed to visual) learners they can be a superior way to retain information or comprehend stories. They allow people to multitask during long car and train commutes, exercising, or housecleaning. Many feature great and gripping performances from celebrity narrators and professional voice actors. 

YPL offers its cardholders access to over 13,000 audiobook titles through its Libby App, ranging from new bestselling fiction and nonfiction to classic works. Nearly 2,000 of those titles are specifically for children, and can be a great way for young children to hear stories as well as build vocabulary, listening skills, and fluency. 

After installing your Libby app, selecting Westchester Library System, and entering your YPL barcode and PIN your next step is to find the right audiobook by selecting the magnifying glass (or “search”) icon on the menu at the bottom of your screen. If you’re looking for a specific title or author you can type those keywords into the search box. If you’re only looking to borrow audiobooks you can filter audiobooks from E-books and digital magazines by selecting the “audiobooks” filter. Once you’ve done that, you can further limit your search by clicking the “refine” button and limiting by subject (e.g., fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.), audience (i.e., age group: adults, young adults, juvenile), availability (available now vs. waiting on a holds list) and even language. 

Once you’ve selected your audiobook you’ll find how much more convenient the digital MP3 format is to CD audiobooks. No more switching countless CDs or worrying about scratches or missing discs. Libby makes it simple to listen when, where, and how you want. Swipe on the book cover to skip backward or forward. Increase playback speed up to 3x. Set a sleep timer until the end of the chapter or for 5, 10, 30 minutes, or more.

Happy listening!