October 30, 2014

Baker & Taylor Partners with Findaway World to Offer Library Audiobooks

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Baker & Taylor and Findaway World LLC will partner to launch a digital audiobook platform for public libraries and retailers later this year, the companies announced April 10.

Findaway is the creator of Playaway and Playaway View, preloaded audio and video devices, and in 2012 followed up with the creation of Catalist Digital, a new digital media platform which gives users access to customized lists of digital content, including audiobooks, from computers or mobile devices.

The new partnership will combine Findaway’s 30,000-title digital audiobook catalog and Catalist Digital platform with Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 digital media platform, which LJ recently profiled. “The additional format is included on the Axis 360 site with no increase to the platform fee,” Kimberly Kuo, CMO of Baker & Taylor, told LJ. “Libraries will purchase titles using the same process as e-books.”

Libraries can create a customized Catalist Digital media library with only the titles they want and no subscription or hosting fee, and they can grant access to those titles on a system-wide, group, or individual basis. Jennifer Abelson, Web Marketing Manager of Findaway, estimates that the company will add 1000-2000 titles per quarter to the initial offering,

Catalist Digital is already available to K-12 schools from Follett Library Resources.

“Our partnership with Baker & Taylor furthers our mission of simplifying access to digital content, and just as importantly, underscores our ongoing commitment to serving public libraries and their changing needs,” said Mitch Kroll, co-founder and CEO of Findaway.

Patrons will be able to access audiobooks immediately with a single click on a computer or download them to Apple or Android mobile devices. Control options include play/pause, forward/back, chapter jumps, and volume control, as well as bookmarking and digital notes. Books are checked in automatically when users close their browsers, or they can choose to keep a title checked out for an extended period. (Or check it in before they’re due if they’re done with it.) The length of the check out period will be managed by individual library systems.

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Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor, News and Features of Library Journal.

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