Do you want to read popular books and magazines but find yourself unable to use regular printed materials? The Naperville Public Library staff can show you how the new digital talking books program may help.
Talking books for the blind and physically handicapped have been available for several years through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. But now books and magazines are available in digital form and the Naperville Public Library is one of the few libraries in the state that can demonstrate the easy downloading process.
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"We are so excited about this new service," said Vicki Ann Brodeur, Nichols shelving services supervisor and coordinator of the library's special services. "Now people don't have to wait for mail delivery, they can just download books to their computer for their player."
Best of all, this new digital delivery system is free. Once you are certified, you receive a special digital books player. Demonstration on how to use the service is also available.
Who is eligible?
"This service is not just for the blind. Individuals who have difficulty reading printed material due to a visual disability, those unable to hold a book or turn pages, or those with an organic reading disability may qualify," Bodeur said.
Worried about getting certified? Brodeur assures you that the library will help.
"Certification doesn't have to be long and awful. We can assist people with the process," she said.
Curious about this new delivery system? Stop by the Nichols Library at 200 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville.
"We're happy to help users, assistants and family members who want to come on in and see how this works," Brodeur said. "We really want people to see how easy the system is. We'll also be visiting area nursing homes to demonstrate the new digital players.
"You can download several books to a cassette or USB flash drive. This is especially good for people with coordination problems since you don't have to change cassettes as often," Brodeur added.
Thousands of books and magazines are available online through BARD, the special digital book library administered by the NLS.
To arrange for a demonstration or to learn more, speak with Brodeur or Rita Titlow at (630) 961-4100, ext. 6343.
In addition to digital downloads, the regional library, Voices of Vision, continues to provide talking book services by mail to people unable to read standard print material due to a visual or physical disability. There is no cost to eligible readers.
The program is operated by the Reaching Across Illinois Library System through a grant provided by the Illinois State Library. For details, visit vovtbc.org.