For immediate release | September 28, 2012

Unlocking the educational potential of audiobooks for youth

CHICAGO — Audiobooks are now a staple in most public and school libraries, and with good reason, since they have a clear role in the education of today’s “born digital” generation. Mary Burkey, who has been following their rise in popularity for years, combines a fascinating history of the medium and practical tips for using them in “Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature,” published by ALA Editions. Applicable to school and public librarians as well as classroom teachers, her book is enriched with reflections and comments from authors, audiobook narrators, producers, reviewers and librarians. This illuminating guide:

  • Shows how audiobooks not only benefit struggling readers and bring families together but also fit neatly within newly accepted standards for early literacy education;
  • Demonstrates how to use audiobooks as classroom and library tools for learning;
  • Identifies how to locate “must-have” audiobooks and offers advice for maintaining a collection.

Burkey is a National Board–certified teacher-librarian from Columbus, Ohio. She is the past chair of the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recordings, was part of the Odyssey Award Task Force and served as the chair of ALA’s first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Committee. She currently serves as a judge for the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Awards, reviews for Booklist and The Horn Book and writes Booklist’s audiobook column “Voices in My Head.” Her Audiobooker blog serves as an online scrapbook of audiobook minutiae, digital literature ramblings and reflections on audio productions and performances.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

Related Links

"Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature"

"Listening to Learn: Audiobooks Supporting Literacy"

"Technology and Literacy: 21st Century Library Programming for Children and Teens"


Jill Davis

Marketing Manager

ALA Editions

1-800-545-2433 ext. 5418