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Audiobook report
 

Audiobook report

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Results of an audiobook survey of Massachusetts school librarians.

Results of an audiobook survey of Massachusetts school librarians.

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    Audiobook report Audiobook report Presentation Transcript

    • AUDIOBOOKS IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES Results of Survey of MSLA Members, 3/5/11 By Jennifer Dimmick
    • Background
      • School libraries typically have a mixed collection of audiobooks in their collections, including tapes, Playaways and cds.
      • Some school libraries have begun to transition to digital format audiobooks such as MP3 files that can be downloaded and played on MP3 players (like iPods), computers, phones and table computers (like iPads).
      • The Plympton Elementary School in Waltham, MA experiences a high demand for audiobooks due to the school’s extensive special education and ELL populations. The librarian has encountered significant drawbacks in using traditional audiobook formats and would like to explore the possibility of using MP3 players as an alternative.
    • Objectives
      • Consequently, the Plympton librarian and her practicum student would like to determine if digital format audiobooks for download present a viable alternative for their school.
      • If so, they would like guidance on how to operationalize the program.
    • Method
      • To address these objectives, they designed a survey to be administered to Massachusetts School Librarians via the MSLA listserv.
        • The survey was designed using Google Forms and can be found in the appendix to this document.
        • Results were compiled using this same free, cloud-based survey tool.
      • The survey was sent out via the listserv on 3/1/11.
      • A total of 23 responses were received providing significant guidance on the viability and operational requirements associated with pursuing a digital audiobook strategy in elementary school libraries.
    • FINDINGS
    • CDs still dominate today.
      • But digital formats for download (e.g., MP3 to iPod, iPad/tablet, MP3 player, computer, etc.) are not insignificant.
      People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100% Which of the following audiobook formats do you have available for students to borrow from your school library? 43% (9) 76% (16) 33% (7) 43% (9) 14% (3)
    • Digital downloads are recommended most.
      • While 76% of respondents have CDs, only 22% recommend them most highly. Playaways are recommended by 7 people (30%), but only 4 of these actually have Playaways in their library today. In other words, only 4 of the 9 libraries with Playaways recommend them most highly.
      • 5 out of the 7 libraries with digital downloads today recommend them most highly (the other two recommend Playaways instead).
      Considering ease of use for elementary students, durability, and affordability, which audiobook format would you recommend most highly for an elementary school library? Digital formats for download to 22% 13% 30% 35%
    • Playaways dominate equipment lending.
      • “ Other” responses include computers and Daisy Readers (an adaptive technology).
      • MP3 Players named by respondents include iPod (classic, nano and touch) and Zen Stone.
      Which of the following types of equipment do you have available for students to borrow for listening to audiobooks from your library? 31% (5) 25% (4) 44% (7) 1% (6) 31% (5) 31% (5) People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%
    • Audible.com is most popular for downloads.
      • iTunes is also fairly highly recommended by those with an opinion.
      • Others mentioned include Audio Bookshelf, and Follett, Listening Library.
      Which of the following types of equipment do you have available for students to borrow for listening to audiobooks from your library? 1% (6) People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100% 27% (3) 27% (3) 45% (5) Considering title availability, format flexibility (i.e., audiobooks that will play on multiple devices including ipods), ease of downloading, affordability and copyright compliance, from which of the following sources would you recommend purchasing audiobooks for your library, if any? 55% (6) 55% (6) 27% (3) 46% (5) 18% (2)
    • Policies and procedures vary widely.
      • Portable cassette players (verbatim responses):
        • Prefer to check out to staff person but will allow students to check out (we are a HS)
        • They are either checked out to a classroom teacher, or to a student with the classroom teacher's permission and knowledge. There is not usually a time limit on when the equipment is returned unless there is a need to have it returned. No batteries are provided.
        • Checked out like books.
        • Outdated, don't use.
        • Never used any more
    • Policies and procedures vary widely. (cont.)
      • Portable cd players (verbatim responses):
        • Prefer to check out to staff person but will allow students to borrow (we are a HS).
        • They are either checked out to a classroom teacher, or to a student with the classroom teacher's permission and knowledge. There is not usually a time limit on when the equipment is returned unless there is a need to have it returned. No batteries are provided, but are available in the library, if needed.
        • Checked out like books.
        • Students use own. We're a 7-12 grade school.
        • Never used anymore.
    • Policies and procedures vary widely. (cont.)
      • Playaways (verbatim responses):
        • Payment if lost or damaged.
        • Same as books.
        • Checkout with case and batteries. Earbuds only if they don't have their own.
        • At first, we circulated Playaways with just the device itself. The policy was that students provide their own earbuds and could get a new battery from the library, if needed. However, so many students wanted to begin listening during library time, indoor recess, or on the bus ride home, that we bought a box of 50 earbuds from Recorded Books and can now supply if needed. We've found that usually the Playaways are returned with the earbuds. We use a wipe on the earbuds before reshelving the Playaway. We don't usually supply an extra battery unless it looks like the original battery's power is low.
        • I don't know they were here when I got here and no one has checked them out in almost 2 years. I haven't had to make decide yet.
        • One per person at a time (mostly grades 3-5), we supply the battery, but not the headphones. If a child does not have access to headphones, I will give them one set of the earbuds that come with the Playaways (and keep a spreadsheet so that they don'ty get more than one pair!) Replacement cost is set at $35.00, which does not necessarily actually cover the cost, but so far, we have not lost any!
        • Batteries need replacing, won't buy, students request from public libraries when needed.
        • This is our first year with playaways. They go out in ziplock bags. When batteries die I replace them (I bought them myself but will include them in next year's budget.) I swab earphones with alcohol and a cotton pad when they are returned. I did have one set of earphones come back not working so I swapped them out. So far no problems, except that I feel playaways are expensive. We are a k-5 school but my playaways are geared towards upper grades, mostly because my initial goal was to get more students involved in the MA Children's Book Award program (Salem State).
        • Students usually check them out with permission from a teacher.
    • Policies and procedures vary widely. (cont.)
      • MP3 Players (verbatim responses):
        • Payment if lost or damaged.
        • Same as above.
        • Checked out like books.
        • 2 week check out. Can be renewed.
        • We currently have 12 iPod Touches in the library, but they are for teachers to check out to use in their class only. So far, with the small pilot that we are doing, the teachers have been using Tumblebooks and audiobooks on the iPods in small groups in centers (iPods are 1:1, with 3 or 4 at a center). We have been developing a library of audiobooks and book apps, but so far do not have any devices for students to check out. On my computer, I've been sharing over our school network the iTunes library, so that all classrooms can access the audiobooks, videos, and podcasts. There are quite a few free audio podcasts that are actually audiobooks, though the quality really varies.
        • Students use own. I've downloaded free files onto the student shares drive for them to access. If they don't have a player, they listen to them on the computer while in school.
    • Conclusions and Recommendations
      • The time has come to pilot the use of downloadable digital audiobooks in the elementary library.
      • Money otherwise spent on purchasing expensive Playaways can be redirected towards this initiative.
      • A popular source for downloads seems to be Audible.com, though iTunes is nearly as popular.
      • There is no consensus on the actual MP3 player, though variations on the iPod are mentioned most frequently.
      • As a first step, I recommend purchasing an iPod nano and (budget permitting) a Zen Stone to experiment with, and opening both an Audible.com and iTunes account. Try downloading an audiobook from each and to each and compare them based on price, ease of use, and billing options to determine which to use longer term.
    • Survey
    • Survey (cont.)
    • Survey (cont.)
    • Survey (cont.)