Playaway Best Practices

Floating Playaways are a collection of devices (self-contained audiobook players, video players and learning tablets) that 'float' from library to library, eliminating the need to return them to the lending library. For the floating process to work, holders of Floating Playaways MUST be represented in Kansas Main; however, local libraries have options about placing records for them in their local catalog. 

How to get Floating Playaways into your library

You can find all of the Floating Playaways available by searching in the Kansas Main Catalog for ‘floating playaway’ in All Headings or Notes. Add keywords from the author and/or title to narrow the search. Create an ILL request; when the lender answers SHIPPED, the holder on Kansas Main changes to your library. These requests can be at the behest of a local user or you can just create a bunch to get them into your library.

What to do with Floating Playaways in your library

Floating Playaways will come with a spine label and band identifying them as part of this project. We request that you process them as lightly as possible; if you need to assign a barcode, put it on a card or something removable rather than attaching to the Playaway itself.

If your library's catalog is a Z target, make your local call number distinguishable from the call number in the Kansas Main Catalog (which look like 'Floating FPC####'). That way, we can tell if an ILL request is pulling your holding from Kansas Main or from your local catalog.

You can download MARC records for Floating Playaways from Kansas Main if you want full records for your local catalog. You can also create brief records; SEKLS is doing a single ‘Floating Playaway’ record and adding individual titles as item records on that bib record. If you put records for Floating Playaways in your local catalog, be sure to delete or mask the record if your last copy goes out on ILL.

You can shelve Floating Playaways with other audio materials or as a separate browsing collection. Your patrons can find them by searching your local catalog, seeing them in a browsing area, or you can use a printed list.

Findaway (the company that produces Playaways) has promotional material you can customize for local publicity; see

While each Playaway audio player was originally shipped with a AAA battery & earbuds, by the time you receive them, those items will probably no longer be in the case. It's up to you whether or not to provide batteries when checking out locally; we recommend you don’t include those when sending Floating Playaways out on ILL. Views (video players) and Launchpads (learning tablets) come with internal rechargeable batteries and a charging cord.

If you have Playaway devices that you no longer want in your library, contact your ILL colleagues at other libraries (or your regional system headquarters) and ask them to request from you. DO NOT send them back to the state library unless defective (see below).

Sending Floating Playaways on ILL

Floating Playaways should only be sent to another library as a result of a KICNET ILL request. If you're part of a shared regional catalog that allows holds on partner libraries' material, DON'T send Floating Playaways out as a ‘fill hold’; instead, ask the requesting library to submit a KICNET ILL request so that the holder can be properly identified.

We have multiple copies of many Floating Playaways, so watch the call numbers in the incoming request; if you have multiple copies, make sure you send the correct one.

When you answer SHIPPED on KICNET, the holding library in Kansas Main changes to the borrower. Don't forget to update your local catalog!

The State Library sends a hot pink bookslip alerting the borrower that the Floating Playaway stays at their library when their patron is finished with it. If the borrowing library returns it to you, send it back to them with a note explaining that since the KLC shows them as the holder, the item needs to stay there. If it's something you'd like to have in your collection again (at least temporarily), you can create an ILL request to that library and ask them to respond SHIPPED so that the holder in Kansas Main will change back to your library.

Defective or Lost Floating Playaways

If Floating Playaways are defective or lost, complete the Defective or Lost Playaways form and return the form and device to the State Library. Information for the return procedure is discussed within the form. The damaged or lost item will either be withdrawn or replaced.

When counting Floating Playaway requests (either lending or borrowing) for the state ILL statistics report, count them as copies (non-returnables).

What if we want to pass the floating material to another library?

Some libraries choose to do this because they've had a particular item for a long time, it is no longer checking out, or they've ended up with more floating items in their library than they have space for.