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ListenIllinois Adopts Audible.com's Library Lending Program for Digital Audiobooks.

Business Editors

WAYNE, N.J. & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 24, 2003

Working in conjunction with NOLA Regional Library System and Audible.com, (OTCBB:ADBL), ListenIllinois announced today that it is offering digital audiobooks and portable audio players to patrons. ListenIllinois was begun by the Suburban Library System (SLS) in collaboration with the DuPage Library System and Heritage Trail Library System as a cooperative group purchase for their member libraries. NOLA currently circulates Audible's downloadable audiobooks to patrons at twelve libraries in Ohio, and this alliance with Illinois Library Systems allows NOLA's content collection to be seamlessly shared by the participating libraries in Illinois.

Library patrons can go to http://www.listenillinois.org to choose from a catalog of current best sellers and other popular fiction and nonfiction audiobooks. They can then pick up the pocket-sized Audible Otis(R) portable audio player from their public library with the audiobook preloaded on it. No longer will patrons have to worry about carrying around a dozen CDs or audiocassettes just to listen to one book - now the title can fit on just one small player that can be carried anywhere, including when exercising or commuting!

Illinois libraries are using NOLA's collection monitoring system to manage their Audible title circulations, taking advantage of cataloging procedures and records already in place. SLS's participation with NOLA will increase the number of Audible titles purchased for this consortium by 33%. NOLA's Audible collection consists currently of 1,800 titles.

Currently the 12 libraries listed below offer the ListenIllinois service to their patrons, although SLS expects to open the project to the following libraries across Illinois next year.

Chicago Ridge Public Library

Coal City Public Library District

Downers Grove Public Library

Downers Grove South High School

Homer Township Public Library District

Joliet Public Library

Lemont Public Library District

Northlake Public Library District

Oswego Public Library

St. Charles Public Library District

Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Wheaton Public Library

"Audible's digital audio library service continues to grow as an incremental circulation strategy for librarians who want to meet the increasing patron demand for audiobooks without the costs associated with breakage, shelf space, etcetera. There are many patrons using Audible that previously weren't using their library's audiobook collection," said Matthew Fine, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Development, Audible, Inc. "We are also seeing that exposure to our digital audiobook service in public libraries is creating awareness for our consumer business and driving traffic, and ultimately customers, to Audible.com."

"The biggest advantage of this partnership is that it allows Illinois libraries to jump-start the implementation process, which means we can offer this service much more quickly and cost-effectively than if we started at square one on our own. We are well on our way towards a long and beneficial collaboration with the NOLA Regional Library System and Audible.com. Not only is Audible's service easy to set up and use by our librarians, but it doesn't take up a lot of staff time to fulfill patrons' requests. Circulating digital audiobooks makes it easier on everyone - patrons and staff because the format is so much more convenient. We have a lot of commuters in the metropolitan Chicago area, and this new service is ideal for them," added Jenny Levine, Internet Development Specialist, Suburban Library System.

"NOLA Regional Library System is pleased to be collaborating with the three Illinois Library Systems and their libraries to offer their patrons access to Audible.com's digital audiobooks," concluded Paul Pormen, Executive Director, of NOLA. "Since the launch of our digital audiobook program, member libraries have been able to serve many more audiobook patrons than before, and we also see a different type of library patron discovering audiobooks now that we offer a high-tech version. These are patrons who tend to have very busy schedules, who value these audiobooks not just as entertainment but as a time-management tool that allows them to read when their eyes are otherwise busy."

About Illinois Library Systems

Illinois Library Systems are membership-based, regional organizations consisting of academic, public, school, and special libraries. Illinois is served by thirteen library systems, each providing services to participating libraries in its region. Statewide, more than 2,500 libraries of all types and sizes are members of library systems. ListenIllinois was initiated by the Suburban Library System (http://www.sls.lib.il.us), which provides services for more than 500 libraries in Chicago's south and west suburbs.

Funding for Illinois Library Systems is provided through the Illinois State Library and the Secretary of State with funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly.

About NOLA Regional Library System

The NOLA Regional Library System (www.nolanet.org) is a multitype library agency that coordinates and facilitates the development of services of its member libraries for all of their constituents. NOLA is a membership-driven organization that seeks to strengthen library services and to promote the continued improvement of libraries in Ohio. Membership in NOLA currently consists of 93 libraries. The libraries are diverse in collections, staff and operations.

About Audible, Inc.:

Audible(R) (www.audible.com(R)) is the Internet's leading premium spoken audio source. Content from Audible is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady(R) computer-based mobile devices. Audible has more than 34,000 hours of audio programs and more than 135 content partners that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers and business information providers. Audible.com is Amazon.com's and the Apple iTunes Music Store's pre-eminent provider of spoken word products for downloading or streaming via the Web. Additionally, the Company is strategically aligned with Random House, Inc. in the first-ever imprint to produce spoken word content specifically suited for digital distribution, Random House Audible. Among the Company's key business relationships are Apple Corp., Gateway, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Microsoft Corporation, palmOne, Inc., PhatNoise Inc., RealNetworks, Inc., Roxio, Inc., Sony Electronics, Texas Instruments Inc., and VoiceAge Corp.

Audible, www.audible.com, Otis, and AudibleReady are registered trademarks of Audible, Inc. and all are part of the family of Audible, Inc. trademarks.

Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

This press release contains information about Audible, Inc. that is not historical fact and may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements about the company. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, Audible's limited operating history, history of losses, uncertain market for its services, and its inability to license or produce compelling audio content and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 24, 2003
Words:1097
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