Each June marks National Audiobook Month and we welcome you to celebrate with your local library! National Audiobook Month was founded by the Audio Publishers Association, opens a new window (APA) in 1998 as a month-long celebration of audio.
Audiobooks provide important access to books for those with impaired vision, help English Language Learners, give readers of different levels equal access to books and they are also a fun way to read. We listen to audiobooks while commuting, doing chores, getting ready for bed and more. What’s your favorite way to listen?
How Did Audiobooks Get Their Start?
Audiobooks were first produced by the American Foundation for the Blind and the Library of Congress Book for the Blind Project with Talking Books on records. In 1997, Audible created the first digital audio player. A few years later, digital audiobook popularity was boosted by Audible’s partnership with Apple, making digital audiobooks available on iTunes. In 2004, CDs replaced cassettes as the preferred medium for audiobooks, only to be surpassed in 2009 by the digital format.
Since their inclusion in libraries in the 1970s, audiobooks have only grown in popularity. In 2019, Overdrive recorded 114 million borrowed eAudiobooks, 30 percent more than the previous year. The demand for Audiobooks and their recognition as a legitimate way to read has led to more books becoming available in audio format. The production of audiobooks has skyrocketed from 7,200 in the early 2000s to over 71,000 in 2020.
Explore Audiobooks Today!
Download the app to access almost 5,000 eAudiobooks. You can check out 15 items at a time and have up to 20 holds. Requires a 29041, 29731 or 29735 library card.
An online service for library users to access eAudiobooks. San Mateo County Libraries cardholders can check out 20 items a month with no wait times and a loan period of 21 days. Requires a 29041, 29044, 29045, 29047, 29731 or 29735 library card.
OverDrive, opens a new window
Enjoy eAudiobooks with the Libby app or online. Explore the audiobooks tab on Libby where we offer over 17,000 titles. You can place items on hold or filter to see what is available now. You can also customize your borrowing time to 7, 14 or 21 days.
Search our catalog to see all audiobook options. From digital downloads to physical audiobooks in CD, MP3 and cassette format, see what titles are available at your library.
These books are a hybrid between an audiobook and a picture book. With a built-in audio player on the inside cover, there’s no need for a CD or separate device to play the audio. Kids can simply push a button to listen and read along. You can find the items alongside our picture books at all San Mateo County Libraries.
If you are looking to get started with audiobooks, check out some of the winners from the 2022 Audie Awards, opens a new window.