Talking Book Program
Texas State Library
and Archives Commission
Getting Started with the Talking Book Program
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
Your institution or agency can help raise public awareness of the
Talking Book Program of Texas by becoming a Demonstration Site.
By providing demonstrations of Talking Book Program equipment and materials, Demonstration Sites make the Talking Book Program's services known to potential patrons who otherwise might not have been aware of them. Demonstration sites do not circulate materials or machines; rather, they show potential patrons and others what services are available.
All interested parties, whether eligible for Talking Book Program services or not, may attend demonstrations, but materials and machines loaned to sites may not circulate or be used for research or recreational purposes, even by users eligible for the Talking Book Program's services.
If your institution would like to help promote the Talking Book Program of Texas, please read on.
Thank you for agreeing to promote the Talking Book Program (TBP) in your community by becoming a demonstration site. Please review the following information explaining the policies and procedures of our demonstration site program. We are currently in the process of phasing out cassettes and cassette playback machines and replacing them with digital materials and machines, which are more durable, smaller, easier to use, and have better sound quality. Your help in promoting our program is much appreciated.
A. Demonstration Site Materials:
All demonstration sites will receive the following items, which will arrive in separate mailings:
- One digital talking book machine (DTBM) for use with TBP cartridges; or one DTBM and one cassette playback machine (CBM) for use with TBP cassette magazines.
- Two digital cartridges (one book in English and one book in Spanish). If a CBM is assigned, one cassette magazine will also be sent.
- A Promotion Packet of applications (10 English, five Spanish) and promotional materials (25 brochures, 25 bookmarks, and two posters), a Tip Sheet on how to promote the Talking Book Program in your community, and a statistics form to record each time you demonstrate the program (you may copy or request more applications).
- A Welcome Packet that contains information on the program, how to care for your machine(s), and catalogs of available material.
By signing the application, you agree to the following policies:
B. Getting Started
When the DTBM arrives, press each button to learn its function. A user guide can be accessed by holding down the “Play” button for 7 seconds. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-800-252-9605.
Please read the Welcome Packet carefully, as it will provide valuable information on how to care for the machine, how to keep it charged, how to get a replacement, etc.
- Do not discard the box that the playback machine arrives in. If your machine breaks or is defective, you will need the box to return it to us postage-free. We will send a replacement to you at no charge.
By signing the application, you agree to the following policies:
C. Using the playback machine and cassettes:
1. The playback machine and all audiobooks must remain at the demonstration site at all times.
2. The playback machine and audiobooks are for demonstration purposes only.
3. These items may not be used for research or recreational use by patrons or staff.
4. These items may not be checked out to anyone for any purpose other than demonstration.
5. The machine and audiobooks may be demonstrated to anyone interested in the Talking Book Program. This includes eligible users, friends, family, or even the merely curious.
D. Staying active in the program:
1. Return the playback machine and all cassettes to the Talking Book Program.
2. We will contact you through regular mail twice a year (March and September) to ensure that you wish to remain an active demonstration site.
3. For suggestions on how to promote the program, see the flyer titled “Tips on How to Promote the Talking Book Program in your Community” (included in your Promotional Packet) or go to our website: www.TexasTalkingBooks.org. You may also contact the Public Awareness Coordinator of our program at 1-800-252-9605. We will be glad to assist you in finding ways to tell your community about your demonstration site and services provided by the Talking Book Program.
1. We have provided a statistics form in your Promotional Packet to record each time you demonstrate the program and to how many people. You will be asked to send us this information twice a year.
F. Reporting Problems With Equipment And Cassettes:
1. If an audiobook breaks or is defective, contact a Reader Consultant at 1-800-252-9605 and request a replacement. When returning the defective book, place a rubber band around the broken cartridge. Flip the mailing label that came with your cassette box over so that the State Library’s address shows, and mark an “X” on the upper left hand corner of the label. Replacements are not automatically sent when broken books are returned, so it is important to call to ensure a replacement.
2. If you need to return a machine to be repaired or replaced, place the machine in its original packaging and return it postage-free. To ensure prompt delivery of a replacement machine, contact a Reader Consultant at 1-800-252-9605 before returning the defective machine.
G. Discontinuing Participation in the Demonstration Site Program:
If you wish to discontinue being a demonstration site you will need to:
1. Call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605 to let us know, then send back all equipment and books that are checked out to you. Use the box(es) that you have retained to send back the playback equipment and place the audiobooks in their plastic boxes. Send these items out with your regular mail. You may keep posters, brochures, and other promotional items if you wish.
On behalf of the Talking Book Program of Texas, thank you again for becoming a demonstration site. We look forward to working with you to reach eligible patrons in your communities. If you have any questions, please call us toll-free at 1-800-252-9605 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to assist you.
- Create a display with Talking Book Program bookmarks, brochures and applications (available in English and in Spanish-you can download applications at www.TexasTalkingBooks.org). Make sure the display is in a prominent place. Our large brochure opens into an 11"x17" inch poster-encourage people to post this on their school, work or community bulletin boards.
- Have your local library become a demonstration site. Each site will receive a Talking Book cassette player and sample tapes (such as Texas Monthly, Sports Illustrated for Kids, a bestseller in English and a book in Spanish). Call 800-252-9605 to request an application.
- Host a community Talking Book Open House at your library. Have a registration table available and demonstrate how the program works. Send out press releases and invite your local media to see first hand how you are reaching out to serve those with disabilities in your community.
- Host a storytime at your library that provides a teaching opportunity about braille and people with disabilities. Use storybooks about Louis Braille who invented the system when he was just 14! We can provide you with braille alphabet cards or braille rulers as free give aways. Children love the fact that braille is a secret code-have them write messages using the braille alphabet. End with a discussion about how some people read with their fingers and some read by listening.
- Create an exhibit in your school, library or house of worship about Famous Texans with Disabilities. For resources go to the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities web site: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/disabilities/resources/history
- Call your school districts and talk with the directors of special education. Ask if they know that they can download the "Classroom Guide to the Talking Book Program" booklet at www.TexasTalkingBooks.org.
- Ask your local paper to do a story about the Talking Book Program. Use the press release that we provide in the Talking Book Online Organizing Kit. Personalize the information using information about the number of people we estimate are eligible in your county. The Library of Congress estimates that 1.4 % of the total population have a qualifying disability. Your county population X 1.4% = local eligible population.
- Place a camera-ready ad in your organizational or house of worship newsletter. Camera-ready layouts for bookmarks also are available - contact our public awareness coordinator.
- Talk about the program with your physician, optometrist and other medical service providers. Ask them to promote the program to their eligible patients.
- Talk with your friends, family and neighbors about the program. Remind them that temporary disabilities may also qualify individuals for the program.
Talking Book Program Qualifications at a Glance:
Individuals qualify if they:
1. Have prescription glasses, yet are unable to read standard print material without additional magnification devices
2. Have physical limitations that prevent them from holding books or turning pages or if they are unable to do this for an extended period of time.
3. Are legally blind
4. Have reading disabilities due to an organic dysfunction.
5. Have severe chemical allergies that prevent them from reading a book.
Remember: you may qualify with a temporary disability. We have patrons recovering from strokes, challenged with severe fatigue due to illness, in hospice, recovering from severe accidents, etc. As long as they currently meet one of the qualifying disabilities, they may be enrolled with a temporary disability.
For more information contact:
Public Awareness Coordinator, Talking Book Program Texas
State Library and Archives Commission
800-252-9605 or 512-463-5452 or email at email@example.com
(Insert Site Name) Becomes Talking Book Demonstration Site
(Insert site name) announces that it is a new demonstration site for the Texas Talking Book Program (TBP), a free library service for people who cannot read standard print because of visual, physical, or reading disabilities, whether permanent or temporary. All equipment and services are free, including return postage. (Insert site name) has a digital player and cartridge for demonstration, as well as information about TBP, including brochures and applications.
TBP is a division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Since 1931, TBP has participated as a regional library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress. TBP was named Network Library of the Year for 2011 by the Library of Congress.
TBP serves approximately 15,000 readers by processing between 8,000 and 10,000 books on an average weekday. In fiscal year 2012, TBP circulated over 850,000 books and magazines to its readers, with an average monthly circulation of 71,571 titles.
Most of the readers are over 65 years old, including at least 50 patrons who are 100 years old or older. Young, school age readers also participate. Census data shows that out of a state population of approximately 26 million people, over 615,000 Texans could be eligible for this service. By law, the Talking Book Program gives preference to eligible veterans.
Books are available in large print, Braille, digital cartridge, and as downloads. TBP provides players to use with recordings. Here’s a sample of people who participate in the Talking Book Program.
- A man with macular degeneration reads books in large print.
- A woman who cannot hold a book reads short stories on digital cartridges.
- A veteran who is blind reads Braille books.
- A junior high school student downloads novels for English class to her computer,
transfers them to a flash drive, and reads them on the TBP digital player.
The National Library Service contracts with professional narrators to record books and magazines. TBP also produces books to supplement the national collection. Volunteers record about 40 books a year, including some in Spanish. Volunteers in Austin and Midland also record three magazines: Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Readers may select from 80,000 books and 50 magazines. Many books and some magazines are available in Spanish. Reader consultants, some of whom are bilingual, are available to suggest books and answer questions. The collection has both fiction and non-fiction categories such as mysteries, Westerns, science fiction, romances, history, biography, cookbooks, how-to books, and nutrition. TBP refers readers to other organizations that offer textbooks and newspapers.
Visit (Insert site name) to get more information and try out the digital audio player. Or, call the Talking Book Program directly at 1-800-252-9605, click on the website www.TexasTalkingBooks.org or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**This text may be used as a presentation handout or distributed for publication in newspapers and magazines. If published, please send a copy to:
Ruth Wedergren, Public Awareness Coordinator
Talking Book Program
P.O. Box 12927
Austin, Texas 78711-2927
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