To the Editor:
Thank you for sharing with your readers the information on Talking Books Week 2008. Unfortunately, the information contained in the story was a little misleading. The reporter co-mingled information regarding the Talking Books Program, which is intended for the print impaired, and the regular books-on-tape or CD services that a library offers.
Talking Books are expressly recorded and played on equipment especially developed for the visually or physically impaired - those individuals who simply cannot read a book in the "regular manner." These audio books, magazines, descriptive DVD and the player equipment are free materials provided to eligible Kansans. To receive the free materials, delivered directly to one's doorstep, the individual must complete a simple application and can do so at their local library or by going to the State Library of Kansas Web site, kslib.info/talking. Regular books-on-tape or CDs at the local library may be checked out by anyone. Talking Books can only be delivered to those who qualify for the services.
The Talking Book Program has been available through the State Library of Kansas for 65 years. It is often a "lifeline" to those who are unable to read a book because of visual impairments or hold a book because of physical problems. There are approximately 100,000 titles available in all types of books - best sellers, classics, westerns, inspirational and nonfiction.
In northeast Kansas, the Talking Books Program is managed regionally by the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. The phone numbers are (785) 580-4530 or (800) 432-2925.
Thank you for an opportunity to clarify the parameters of this program.
State Library of Kansas