Portable players allow students to enjoy books without reading

The library is always updating its software and technology, so it came as no surprise to hear the Eastern community buzzing about the new multimedia in Warner Memorial Library. Playaways is the newest addition to audiobooks in the library. Students can use these to listen to books, as opposed to reading them. They come downloaded with one book or title on them and are similar to an iPod.

Andrea Reed, media and digital librarian, said, “Playaways are convenient and are easier for most students to use. You can’t read in the car, but you can listen to the media player.”

Inspired by a meeting that the librarians went to in July, they thought it would be a good idea to bring Playaways to Eastern’s campus. “After we were leaving the conference we were handed these media players,” Reed said. “As we looked at the media players, we then looked at each other as if we knew we had to have these for the students at Eastern.”

The librarians discussed the Playaways with their establisher, who helps to bring different resources to the library, and opened a lease in early September. The process took about a month, and the media players were finally delivered the second week of October.

It has been several weeks since the media players have been in the library, and the response to them has been positive.

“Multimedia and audiobooks have been very successful with the students,” said librarian Fran Decker. “Many come to ask for them to check them out. I guess it’s a good way for students to learn better, as opposed to print.”

So far, 15 media players are in the library, and, by January, they hope to acquire 12 more. Although the media players have been successful, Reed hopes that many more students will begin to catch on to the media player trend.

“I want students to know that they don’t have to be afraid to come in and try the media players because our job is to provide them with new and improved valuable tools,” Reed said. “We are here for them and whatever they need. I definitely want to encourage more students to try the Playaways out.”

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