(Cranston, RI) The Cranston Public Library is proud to announce it has become an institutional member of the Talking Books Library, a project of the National Library Service that is administered by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, Talking Books Library is the Rhode Island Regional Library or the Blind and Physically Handicapped and functions as free public library for Rhode Island residents who are unable to read standard print materials. Talking Books Library lends reading materials in audio format and provides specially-designed equipment that ships free of charge through the U.S. Postal Service. Any person who is unable to read or use standard print material because of a temporary or permanent visual impairment or a physical disability is eligible to use Talking Books.
As an institutional member, the Cranston Public Library has a Talking Books Library Kit available to patrons, which allows them to try out a player with everything included: digital player, headphones, instructions in print and Braille, and a sample book cartridge. The kit can be checked out for three weeks.
“According to the 2010 Census, 3% of Rhode Island's residents are eligible for the Talking Books Library program, but currently less than 2,000 have taken advantage of it,” says Ed Garcia, Library Director. “If you know of a friend or family member who may qualify, let them know about the kit to see if it is right for them.”
After trying the Talking Books Library Kit, community members can apply for their own free Talking Books player. They can ask at the Reference Desk about signing up for a Talking Books Library membership or call the library at 401-943-9080. Library staff can work with patrons to fill out the application and can serve as a certifying authority for patrons’ eligibility for the program. Once they join the program, the player arrives free of charge and book cartridges arrive regularly in the mail with no postage required. There are other resources available, including Braille books, a free mobile app for downloadable audiobooks, newspaper service, and more. All provided by the National Library Service and the RI Office of Library Services so that all may read.