Listen for World Book Day – Suffolk Libraries Adds New eAudiobooks For Children

Thanks to new funding from Arts Council England, Suffolk Libraries has been able to boost the number of eAudiobooks available for children and young people.

Suffolk Libraries has received £1,000 from Arts Council England’s grant of £152,000 for new library eBooks and eAudiobooks across the country to help meet the demand for digital books during COVID-19.

Suffolk Libraries is using its share to increase the collection of children’s and young adult eAudiobooks available via the Borrowbox service, with Borrowbox itself generously match-funding the Arts Council England grant.

There are also audiobooks available on the Overdrive service. The extra titles and other lists of can be found via Suffolk Libraries recommended lists and the eLibrary pages at suffolklibraries.co.uk.

Arts Council England have provided the funding after a 146% increase in demand for digital titles from libraries across the country during the coronavirus crisis. This is a trend which has been mirrored in Suffolk too.

Sophie Green, Suffolk Libraries stock librarian, said:

“We were particularly keen to add to our eAudiobooks titles as they help to provide children with an alternative to looking at a screen. Audiobooks are wonderful because they help children and young people to discover stories that would be beyond their reading age, giving them access to a wider choice of titles and the opportunity to listen with others for a shared experience. They can also improve vocabulary, empathy, listening skills, increase well-being and provide screen-free downtime, but more importantly they can help children fall in love with stories and experience the joy of getting lost in a good book.”

Recent research by the Literacy Trust found that engagement with audiobooks can benefit children’s reading skills and enjoyment, as well as their mental wellbeing and emotional intelligence. audiobooks can help to engaging reluctant, struggling and developing readers and can help children access a wider range of stories where difficulty understanding written text may be a barrier. The ‘cool factor’ of listening to stories on a digital device is also particularly appealing to children and young people.

Suffolk Libraries has over a thousand eAudiobooks and CD audiobooks all free to borrow. Here are some of our favourites, which are all available from Suffolk Libraries.

Ten recommended eAudiobooks for children:

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson – read by Imelda Staunton
  • The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong – read by Martin Clunes
  • The Complete Mr Gum by Andy Stanton – read by the author
  • The Twits by Roald Dahl – read by Richard Ayoade
  • The Wizards of Once – by Cressida Cowell – read by David Tennant
  • Malamander by Thomas Taylor – read by Alfie Allan
  • The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine – read by Jessica Preddy
  • The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery – read by Joe Jameson
  • The World’s Worst Teachers by David Walliams- read by the author
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – read by Stephen Fry

Ten recommended eAudiobooks for teenagers and young adults:

  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve – read by Barnaby Edwards
  • La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust 1) by Philip Pullman – Read by Michael Sheen
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy – read by Rupert Degas
  • Holes by Louis Sachar read by Kerry Beyer
  • Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz – read by Oliver Chris
  • Sabriel by Garth Nix – read by Tim Curry
  • The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo – read by the author
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds -read by the author
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – read by Bahni Turpin
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – read by Humphrey Bower

When the funding was announced in January, Sue Williamson, Arts Council England director for libraries, said:

“I am delighted to announce this grant to help public libraries provide the services their users need. Now more than ever, with so many families home schooling, we know how important it is to have access to digital resources. Many people have found reading and listening to audio books during the pandemic a huge support and we hope that this investment will benefit many households across the country. We are extremely grateful to our Sector Support Organisation, Libraries Connected, for distributing this grant on our behalf.”

James Powell, Marketing and Communications Manager

Suffolk Libraries – Tel: 01473 921263 and 07876 554474 / Website: suffolklibraries.co.uk.

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