TBP Book Club – “Moonwalking With Einstein” September 4th Author Event

The Talking Book Program is delighted to share the book “Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” in our upcoming book club event. We are particularly excited about this because the author, Joshua Foer, will be joining us.

I was lucky enough to attend an event at a local bookstore in Austin where Mr. Foer was speaking about his book. I explained that we were going to be discussing this title at an upcoming book club meeting at the library and asked if he’d be interested in discussing the book with patrons. Josh is a nice guy and said “yes”.

Please join us for a Q and A with the author of this title. Due to overwhelming response, we will be asking for patron questions before the call and use those to generate discussion with the author, rather than having patrons pose their questions directly. Please leave suggestions for questions in the comments section of this post.

I’m looking forward to reading and discussing “Moonwalking with Einstein” with patrons and the author on September 4th at 7 pm!! “Moonwalking With Einstein” is available in digital book, on BARD and in large print.

Large Print Service through the Talking Book Program

Did you know that the Talking Book Program has a growing large print collection? We have 5650 titles available in large print and in the month of July we added 28 large print titles to our collection. We are a free service and the books travel for free through the mail to your home–you don’t have to pay postage to receive or return TBP materials!

Some newish titles I have read recently include the “Eternity Springs” series by Texas writer Emily March, and “Doc” by Mary Doria Russell. We also have the popular title “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America” by Bill O’Reilly.

Our large print collection contains titles for readers of all ages. To qualify for the Talking Book Program (including large print service) one only needs to have difficulty reading standard print, difficulty holding a book or turning pages or an organic reading disability. According to the NLS website the minimum size for large-print materials is 14-point type. Large-print materials are most commonly available in 16- to 18-point type.

A person joining the Talking Book Program has the option to read audiobooks only, Braille books only, large print only, or any combination of the three. Members of the Talking Book Program can also download audiobooks and magazines, as well as Web Braille materials.

We encourage patrons to use all services that are available—so, use your local public, school, or other library, and also take advantage of the Talking Book Program collections to expand your reading choices. Libraries and librarians can help by referring library patrons who have read through many of their local large print or audio titles to the Talking Book Program. Librarians on staff at libraries can also certify TBP applications for applicants with visual or physical disabilities!

Here is a link to bibliographies of titles in our large print collection:


To become a patron of the Talking Book Program, print and complete this application:


ILRU Survey on Assistive Technology

“ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) is conducting a survey to assess the assistive technology needs of people with disabilities. The goal of this survey is to determine both the current availability of such technologies and the potential for new, innovative devices. By identifying the assistive technology needs of people with disabilities, ILRU will be better able to work with policymakersand funders to address assistive technology needs.”

The survey is located at this address:

If you have any questions, please contact ILRU at 713-520-0232

Public Awareness Provides Outreach to Blinded Veterans

I’m Ruth Wedergren, the Public Awareness Coordinator for the Talking Book Program. My job is to travel around the state and inform people about the Talking Book Program, and to use media to promote our services. My goal is to increase the number of patrons we serve, especially veterans. I’ll be making periodic posts about TBP’s outreach events.

Speaking of veterans…during the third week of August, I’ll be assisting the National Library Service (NLS) with their booth at the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) National Convention in Galveston. With the convention being in Texas, this is a great opportunity for me to bring more qualified Texas veterans into the program. NLS will distribute general information to veterans from other states, so they can contact their state’s own talking book program. TBP has worked with the Greater Austin Chapter of the Blinded Veterans Association for several years. Many of its members are TBP patrons.

The BVA’s motto is “Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans.” The organization was formed in 1945 by a group of young men who lost their sight during World War II. In 1958, BVA was chartered by Congress to be the voice of blinded veterans in legislative affairs. Membership in BVA is open to all legally blind veterans of U.S. military service. Blindness does not have to be combat-related, nor must members have lost their vision while on active duty.

Did you know that one in six wounded U.S. soldiers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan suffered eye injuries? The Texas Talking Book Program wants to make sure that service members who have sacrificed so much for their country know they can still enjoy the pleasures of reading.