TBT: Books for the Visually Impaired

Posted May 20th, 2015. No comments

A community member recently returned a Talking Books player to the Glouster branch:

They obviously haven’t been listening to too many books lately!

Talking Books is a long-standing program–since 1932–that provides free machines and current books and magazines in audio format to those with visual impairments. The machines are incredibly durable and easy to use. For many years (since the 1960s), the most popular format has been audio cassettes. In fact, those players are still in demand even though the program transitioned to digital in 2012.

A cassette tape model (on the left) and the modern digital version.

You’ll notice that each machine has a built-in speaker. They are all-in-one, ready to use equipment (though you can plug in headphones). Another great feature is the ability to playback the audio at varying speeds. You could listen as fast as you wanted. Even this record player was retrofitted to play at 3 different speeds:

The Talking Books program is a free service provided through a partnership of the State Library of Ohio, the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled in Cleveland, and many other organizations with a combination of state and federal dollars. Locally, the program is coordinated out of The Plains Public Library. For more information or to apply, contact Stacey Carter-Kimball at 740-797-4579.

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