Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to celebrate its 80th anniversary
FRANKFORT, Ky. – On March 3, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) – the Library of Congress’ talking-book and Braille program – will celebrate 80 years of helping visually impaired and physically disabled individuals enjoy reading their favorite books and magazines.
This free library program brings reading materials in digital audio and Braille formats straight to the homes of patrons from preschoolers to centenarians. Books on digital cartridge, digital talking-book players and Braille books are sent to patrons via the U.S. mail at no cost to users. People who sign up with the program also have the option of downloading books and magazines over the Internet in audio or Braille format. By law, priority is given to U.S. military veterans.
The Kentucky Talking Book Library, located in Frankfort, has been providing service in Kentucky since 1969. 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.
“The Talking Book Library is an invaluable resource that has enriched the knowledge and imaginations of Kentuckians,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “Literacy tools should be available to all, regardless of impairment or disability. I am thrilled that this program has had such long-lasting success, and extend my warm wishes on this 80th anniversary.”
The NLS collection of more than 400,000 titles of bestsellers, classics, biographies, romance and other genres delights even the most selective readers. Magazine lovers enjoy free subscriptions to more than 40 periodicals in audio format, including Consumer Reports, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated for Kids, and 30 periodicals in Braille, such as Ladies Home Journal, ESPN: The Magazine and the New York Times Large-Print Weekly.
“Talking books offer a wonderful opportunity for anyone who cannot use regular print materials because of blindness or a physical disability,” says NLS Director Kurt Cylke. “For 80 years this service has been a priceless gift.”
The NLS program also keeps pace with the latest book titles, adding 2,500 annually. Patrons learn of new releases through two bi-monthly magazines, Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review.
Those interested in learning more or signing up may call the Kentucky Talking Book Library at 1-800-372-2968 or 1-502-564-8300 ext. 276. Visit the Kentucky Talking Book Library website at http://kdla.ky.gov/collectionsktbl.htm or the NLS website at http://www.loc.gov/nls/ .