Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Hampshire Talking Book Service: is it for someone you know?

Do you know someone who loves to read but suffers from poor eyesight, a reading disability, or a physical restriction that makes holding a book impossible? We can help! Let us introduce you to NH Talking Books, a service of the Library of Congress and the NH State Library.

NH Talking Books currently serves 2130 users of all ages. Once a user is registered, they can select titles from a print or online catalog or ask the service to select and send a specified number of titles as needed. The loan period is 2 months, with renewal usually possible on request. The talking books come in tape or digital cassettes, with most of the newer titles only in digital. They must be played on special players, which will also be provided by the service. And everything travels through the postal service completely free of charge.

NH Talking books has over 70,000 titles in its catalog. There are also Braille books for all ages and a website called BARD where registered talking book users can download books through a high speed internet connection. The books are saved to special USB cartridges which can be purchased and used with the digital machines.

The application process is easy. You can download and print an application at http://www.nh.gov/nhsl/talking_books/. In most situations, the application can be certified by one of the professional librarians on our staff. The application must be mailed to the service so that original signatures are on file. Approval is fast and before you know it, the equipment and first titles will arrive.

For more information on how you can help an impaired reader rediscover the joy of a good book, you can contact NH Talking Book Service at 1-800-491-4200.


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