Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Reactive vs. proactive. And as the rate of change gets faster, we're pushed further and further into reactive modes.

What am I blathering on about? I just had a patron call asking about Playaways, a not-so-new digital audiobook format. She wanted to know if my library carried them; I'd never even heard of them before.

A little searching online made me feel only slightly better. Playaways have been out since 2005, and Illinois was the first library system to pilot the format (second paragraph from the bottom). OHIONET has a comprehensive FAQ about them for its member libraries, while the Rocky River (OH) Public Libraries and the Larchmont (NY) Public Library are offering them to patrons.

I'll cut myself some slack: I've only really been closely following tech trends since late last fall, so I would have missed much of the brouhaha about Playaways. And yet, if I can miss a new technology such as this, how many other less-savvy librarians out there have missed this and more?

Yes, professional development is much on my mind, for personally professional as well as generally professional reasons. I just gave that presentation that stressed that we need to be "...aware of as much of the rest as we can." So now, I live true to my own words.

So....Playaways. Very neat, very tidy, no moving parts and easy to circulate. Easy also to lose and break in a transit bag, but that's no reason not to have them for the same reasons that we have books on CD and even still on cassette. If you haven't already checked them out, give one a whirl and see if it'll fly at your library.

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