Reading and Listening

Throughout human history, printed text has dominated how people share information. Books and other printed materials can help adults escape from the stress of their daily lives, and allow children the freedom to explore their imaginations. However, our first experiences in learning about the world around us involve listening. To help people learn to listen and listen to learn, the Leavenworth Public Library offers a variety of audio books and music cds in addition to its traditional book collection.

Research has shown that combining reading and listening through audiobooks and music improves comprehension for those who struggle with reading. Some people learn better through listening, including those with learning disabilities. The ability to replay parts of the spoken text can help people remember important details and sort out information according to their individual learning pace. Putting on some headphones or earbuds to listen to a book or music helps them tune out extraneous noise and forces them focus on what they are hearing. And listening to the inflections of a person’s voice can also help children who spend too much time looking at a computer screen or smart phone to develop better social and conversational skills.

The staff at the Library can help you develop a listening list in addition to a traditional reading list. Speeches, stage plays, musical theater, radio plays and comedy routines were written to be spoken. Readings that contain music and sound effects, such as mysteries and ghost stories, are more memorable with background sounds. Sound tracks make adventure stories more exciting. The Library’s audio book collection includes:

  • Classic literature from Charlotte Bronte, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudyard Kipling, John Steinbeck and others
  • Mysteries and thrillers by Janet Evanovich, James Patterson, C.J. Robb, J.A. Jance, Harlan Coben, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille and others
  • Fiction from Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Sandra Brown, David Baldacci and a number of other popular authors
  • Languages including Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic 

Listening to music by itself can help lift your mood or enhance the setting for whatever you are reading. The Library’s music selection includes all genres: classical, country, folk, jazz and blues and everything in between.

The Library also offers music programs throughout the year so you can experience live performances by talented musicians. Mark your calendars for our Library After Hours fundraiser featuring the Chris Burnett Jazz Quintet on Friday, June 7 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Main desk: $25 in advance, $30 the day of the event. Your ticket includes appetizers, wine and beer. Other upcoming free music programs include The Rhythmia, an acoustic Ragtime string duo, on Sunday, Aug. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. and the Brad Allen Trio, a jazz group, on Sunday, Oct. 13 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Listening and reading are both vital components of learning. So come to the Library to improve on your skills. Our staff is here to help you with whichever way you learn best.