The audiobook industry continues to grow in near-equal measure in both the library and retail sectors, with the Audio Publishers Association (APA) ballparking sales at an all-time high of $1.2 billion. Libraries are in a real position to take advantage of the trend. Yet with diminished AV budgets, limited title and format availability, and a constant influx of competing downloadable and streaming offerings from the consumer realm, the prospect can be daunting. For libraries wanting to reap the benefits of increased awareness and discovery of their audio holdings, LJ spotlights some best practices in audiobook promotion, discusses some of the challenges inherent to the medium, and proposes new ways of thinking about audio that might even make it a catalyst for moving print.
Fifteen years ago, Library Journal launched its first annual book-buying survey of public libraries nationwide. Although materials budgets were referenced, the report focused almost exclusively on book budgets and book circulation.
This year, in long-overdue recognition of what today’s collections really look like—and what the reports have been covering for years—the entire effort has been rebranded the materials survey. Further distancing itself from its roots, the new survey will leave comparison of operating costs to LJ’s annual budget survey and concentrate exclusively on budget and circulation trends for the wide array of materials in public libraries today.