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Nov-02-2010 19:12printcomments

Digital Talking Books Are a Hit With Oregon Veterans

The State Library's Talking Book and Braille Services Honors Our Veterans with the Gift of Reading

Digital book players

(SALEM, Ore. ) - One year ago veterans across the country were the first to receive the new digital talking book players from their regional libraries for the blind and print disabled. Federal law requires that veterans be the top priority recipients of talking book library services delivered by most state libraries in partnership with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress.

Oregon was no exception. Beginning last September veterans received the first digital talking book players and digital talking books from the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services.

The new players and audiobooks replaced outdated cassette players and cassette talking books that have been used since the 1970s. One year later, 617 Oregon veterans are enjoying the new digital talking books.

Digital talking books offer many advantages over cassette talking books. The new players have much better sound and are lighter. The books come on one easy-to-load flash memory cartridge, instead of on multiple cassettes that had to be turned over and rewound. There is even an option to download books from the State Library's website, rather than having to wait for them to arrive by mail.

Dale Varner of Salem is a WWII veteran who can't say enough good things about his new digital talking book player. His daughter has begun to help him download his own books. His reading interests include science fiction, westerns and historical fiction. An avid reader, Dale has read 1,600 talking books since 1989.

There are probably more veterans like Dale who qualify for talking books but have yet to sign up. The State Library currently provides talking books and Braille books to about 5,000 Oregonians, but estimates that about ten times that number would qualify for the free library service because of blindness, low vision, or other disabilities that prevent people from using conventional library books.

To see if you or someone you know would qualify to have digital talking books delivered free or by download, visit the State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services website or call us at 1-800-452-0202

Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
Phone: 503-378-5389
Toll Free: 1-800-452-0292
Fax: 503-585-8059
Working Hours: 8-5 M-F
Reception: 8-12, 1-5 M-F

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