University community members, who enjoy reading novels by John Grisham, Alice Walker, Stephen King and many other popular authors, can now download and listen to their favorite audiobooks at a significant discount, thanks to a contract recently signed between Audible, Inc. and Penn State.
The contract, which extends to all of Penn State's 24 campuses, is the first in the nation to provide an audiobook downloading service to the students, faculty and staff of a large research institution.
This service offers Penn State community members a discount on individual audiobook and subscription titles, along with the opportunity to join its monthly membership program on a free trial basis. Participants will also have the ability to burn their own CDs or transfer digital files to portable MP3 players such as the Apple iPod, according to staff members at Information Technology Services (ITS), the Penn State organization that negotiated the contract.
Audible's 20,000 titles span a wide spectrum of reading material, including language instruction, poetry, historical speeches, selections from National Public Radio and journals such as the Harvard Business Review—plus hundreds of best sellers like Bob Woodward's Bush at War, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and classic literature such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
"Penn State has already demonstrated critical leadership in the area of partnering with online media companies and is paving the way for universities around the country to create a legitimate marketplace for online media distribution," said Matthew Fine, senior vice president of Enterprise Development at Audible. "Audible can be used effectively by any student with Internet access, and by any student who has (or wants to have) an MP3 player or PDA."
Contract negotiators envision that the service will have many uses at Penn State. For example, students will be able to download language instruction or science journals to help supplement coursework. Faculty members, alternatively, will be able to assign a historic speech that their students can experience firsthand. Developers also expect students, faculty and staff to tune into Audible files during leisure activities such as biking, travelling or working out in the gym.
"ITS has an ongoing mission to bring legally-obtainable digital content to our students, faculty, and staff," said Janda Hankinson, director of Entrepreneurial Services within Information Technology Services. "We feel that Audible's content is relevant to many in our community and is delivered in a flexible, portable format that helps fit literature and information into busy lifestyles. This is just another way for Penn State to continue making life better for students, faculty and staff—for many years to come."
To learn more about Penn State's new Audible agreement, go to http://computerstore.psu.edu and click on the Penn State Discounts at Audible.com icon.