I could hardly hobble out of my room this morning, so when I discovered I was in the wrong location for my morning session, I opted to stay where I was and make the best of it. And I’m so glad I did!
It was a panel “conversation” among librarians from a public library, middle school library, and others about using audiobooks to engage students and their families. Major points included the benefits to ESL students of hearing spoken English outside a classroom context, providing cultural enrichment through use of narrators with appropriate accents, providing “personal shopping” services by matching the length of audiobook selections to the length of a car journey, and showing kids it’s OK to do other things while “reading with their ears”: drawing, playing computer games, watching the Windows Media Player visualizations, jogging, etc.
But the MOST interesting fact to come from this session is a program called Sync, in which a classic YA title is paired with a contemporary title, and both are able to be downloaded as MP3 files free AND free of DRM from OverDrive for one week. You get to keep the books forever and put them on any listening device. A couple of pairings, for example, include Shiver / Romeo & Juliet, and Immortal / Wuthering Heights. Sync also offers text alerts when new free audio books are available.