I heard on the radio this morning that the Edmonton Public Library system has started offering OverDrive, so that patrons can download hundreds (I think 700 or so) of audiobooks and music CDs from home: "Browse and search hundreds of great titles from OverDrive and download them to your computer, transfer them to a portable device, or burn onto a CD for your reading and listening pleasure anywhere, anytime. You can also find these titles in the EPL Catalogue." A recent addition to the list includes the unabridged edition of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson, and also see on there Catherine Bruzzone's French on the Move for Kids.
Unfortunately, OverDrive works only with Windows, not Macs, so if you have an iPod or Apple computer at home, you're out of luck. And even if you burn your selection to a CD, it "expires" on your MP3 player after three weeks: "At the end of the loan period, titles will expire and be automatically 'returned' to the library. At this time, you can delete the expired file(s) from your machine."
I don't know how popular OverDrive is in North America or if it's the only system available, but I can see, especially when the weather is lousy or the family schedule busy, that it could be a handy way for some patrons to get audiobooks and music.