November 9, 2009 | Italian


Sad news: you can no longer get eAudiobooks through the New York Public Library.

In recent days, I have tried several times to download Pimsleur lessons, as I have done successfully multiple times before, in the form of eAudiobooks through the New York Public Library’s connection to NetLibrary. I couldn’t get the download to work, though, so today I finally wrote to the library to ask what was going on.

The New York Public Library, Main Building

I ended up participating in a long online chat session with a library employee, involving lots of typing, and not so much information. (For the most part I find online customer-service chats to be singularly inefficient ways to obtain information.) The woman didn’t have an answer for me, but said she’d get back to me by e-mail, which I was skeptical about.

In fact, though, I did hear back from her later in the day, when she conveyed, without an appropriate level of pathos, I thought, the truly sad news that the service has been canceled. That means eAudiobooks of Pimsleur will no longer be available to me, or other New York Public Library patrons—only the CDs, which require an actual trip to the library and often simply aren’t available.

I promptly wrote to NetLibrary, which is a service of an organization called OCLC, and they told me how to search for another library that might still have this service. I’m not sure I can just sign up for another library in a place where I don’t live, but I might check it out.

Then again, maybe I’ll just try to get the CDs in time.

Comments (2)

Luba • Posted on Mon, February 14, 2011 - 1:16 am EST

Have you tried podcasts? They’re free, downloadable from Internet, and they can be actually good. I’m listening to CoffeBreakSpanish right now - it’s Spanish for beginners, and I love this podcast. They did spend some time on learning directions and making resercations in a hotel (which I also find irrelevant and boring), but they also covered a lot of interesting things. And there is just enormous amount of language-learning podcasts. Especially for European language - you can find podcasts for every level, not only for beginners.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Mon, February 14, 2011 - 1:27 am EST

I remember trying podcasts for one of the languages and being discouraged about the quality. But that was so long ago now that I can’t even remember what language it was. I will try again for French (coming up shortly); I know there is good stuff available for that. Thanks!

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