The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, is pleased to announce a Talking Book Fair will be held at the library at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 27, in the Main Reading Room. Erin Fragola, Library Outreach Coordinator from the Perkins Library will speak about the Talking Books program, a federally funded service that provides free reading material to those who cannot read printed materials because of blindness or other disabilities.
Talking Books are digitally recorded books or magazines in audio formats provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. They are available on free loan to people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise unable to read or use standard printed materials. Talking Books can be played on customized digital players, supplied at no cost by the Library of Congress and its cooperating libraries, or via a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The Perkins Library in Watertown, Massachusetts circulates more than a half million accessible books, newspapers, and publications in braille, large print and digital audio formats annually to thousands of registered patrons in New England and beyond.
Reference Librarian Madeline Kelly explains, “Here at the Athenaeum we are working to improve our services to community members with disabilities. Sometimes that means being knowledgeable about and connecting people to available resources. The Talking Books program is a great resource! And we’re happy to be hosting Erin, who will talk about the service, how it works, how those who are eligible can register.”
Members of the public are invited to attend Fragola’s free presentation. No registration is required. Light refreshments will be served.
Attention Berkshire Community College Students: This program is approved for Forum Credit.
The April 27 Talking Book Fair is part of a two-year Athenaeum initiative made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). LSTA is administered and funded on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.