The library has a collection of audiobooks called Playaways. These devices are each loaded with a single popular title. They are about the size of an iPod, small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. You listen to them with headphones and control them with a few simple buttons on the back of the player. This means you don't need a computer, a CD player, an MP3 player or any other extra hardware to listen to an audiobook.
Playaways check out for three weeks, you can check out as many as you like and can be put on hold.
The collection includes adult fiction, classics, nonfiction, children's and young adult titles. They are available at each of our libraries and on the bookmobiles.
Playaways run on AAA batteries, which are included and should last for one listen of the book. They also come with a lanyard for wearing them around your neck. You may use your own headphones or earbuds, or purchase headphones from the library for $1.50.
To search for a Playaway in the catalog , just include the word “Playaway” in any title, words and phrases, or general search.
There are instructions on how to use the Playaway on the inside of the case, but here are a few special features:
- The Playaway remembers where you were when you turned it off and resumes playing at that spot when you turn it back on.
- A display on the back indicates the battery charge level and time remaining in the current chapter.
- There are three narrator speeds, so if the narration sounds funny, you can change the speed setting.
- You can connect the Playaway  to a home or car stereo.
The initial Playaway collection in Columbia was funded by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library .