The printed word is dying, haven’t you heard? The Charleston County Library system is keeping with the times by offering free downloadable audio books from their website. This ultra-convenient service, funded in part by the Friends of the Charleston County Library, will allow members to download books using their library card numbers. They can listen from their computers, iPods, iPhones, and most MP3 devices.

Ingram Digital’s MyiLibrary Audio Service is behind the service, which so far includes over 500 titles, from bestsellers to non-fiction. Patrons can also join online book clubs and “check out” animated children’s storybooks. Another cool feature is NextReads, which allows readers to receive e-newsletters based on their interests.

If you have a library card, you’re all set to get your virtual read on; just head to and look for the “Listen to Me” icon on the home page. After downloading Ingram Media Manager, you can add up to two books to your “bookshelf” for up to 14 days … though we’re not sure why there’s a limit on virtual books.

If you want a real live person to explain the new service to you, call (843) 805-6930.

In other library news, Friends of the Library recently partnered with AbundaTrade. Formerly known as Millenium Music, the Mt. Pleasant-based company buys used CDs, DVDs, and books and resells them online. They will provide warehouse space and inventory processing for the library, allowing them to accept more donations.

They’re kicking off the partnership with a Tax Day Drive through April 15. Tax-deductible donations are encouraged at all local library branches.