• The audiobook, in its modern form, was created in the 1930s to assist the blind community, World War I veterans and others unable to engage in Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). This dissertation investigates exactly how the audiobook and, to a lesser extent, the podcast have been received and celebrated by the world of library and information science (LIS). Original to this dissertation are the concepts of a festive direction and a clinical direction in LIS which have shaped the collections of the American library. This alternative history of library science also explores how the fractured development of Christianity played a surprising role in shaping audio literature.

    Underpinning this research is a survey of how American public and membership libraries are leveraging the audiobook and the podcast in order to diversify their services. Other prosocial actions are assessed in the institutional quest to attract and maintain patronage. This research will benefit library managers and catalogers in the American library who are attempting to speak to new demographics.