Talking Book Services Celebrates Volunteers

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On March 3, 2011, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)--the Library of Congress' talking-book and Braille program--celebrated 80 years of helping visually impaired and physically handicapped individuals enjoy reading their favorite books and magazines.

The South Carolina State Library's Talking Book Service (TBS) recognized this milestone with a celebration for its volunteers. The event was held at the South Carolina State Library on April 6, 2011. Volunteers, advisory board members and other invited guests joined in as we recognized the 80 years and the commitment of service.

Acknowledgements were given by Pamela Davenport, TBS director, David Goble, State Librarian and TBS volunteer coordinator Naomi Bradey. Shannon Cook, TBS advisory board member and patron addressed the attendees about what TBS has meant to her for the many years that she has used the service since the early 1980's. Several guests added their appreciation for TBS and the quality of services offered by the staff.

The State Library's Talking Book Services program offers free reading materials in digital audio and Braille formats directly to the homes of patrons across the state. Books on digital cartridge, digital talking-book players and Braille books are sent to patrons via the U.S. Postal Service. Individuals who sign up for the program also have the option of downloading books and magazines over the Internet in audio or Braille format.

TBS patrons are served locally through a national network of cooperating libraries. Beginning with just 19 libraries in 1931, the NLS network today includes 113 libraries throughout the United States and its territories. The U.S. Congress appropriates funds annually to the Library of Congress for the NLS program, while regional and sub-regional libraries receive financial support from federal, state, and local sources.

South Carolina residents whose blindness or physical handicap makes reading regular printed matter difficult may be eligible to participate in the audio and Braille books program. By law, priority is given to U.S. military veterans. For more information about the State Library's Talking Book Services, call 800-922-7818 or visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov/tbs.