Help Idaho libraries fulfill Braille’s vision

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More people should take advantage of the Talking Book Service, a free Braille and audio book library the Idaho Commission for Libraries maintains for residents unable to read standard print due to physical disabilities. Disabilities can be permanent or temporary, and people who are legally blind, visually impaired, or unable to hold a book or turn pages are eligible.

The Commission maintains a collection of 82,000 Braille and audio book titles and adds 2,000 annually. Similar to collections you’d find in any public library, TBS offers nonfiction works on everything from astronomy to zoology and fiction genres ranging from mysteries and romance to westerns, sci-fi, and children’s books.

We also offer over 300 national magazines, including a half-dozen from Idaho, plus around 50 newspapers.

Materials are available in many languages besides English, and 15 percent of the collection is in Spanish.

Statewide users can phone 800-458-3271 toll-free to talk with knowledgeable staff who can help find the perfect reading materials. All materials — including a digital player — are mailed directly to your home with return postage included. You can download many of the materials from an online database, too.

You must be certified as eligible to use the Talking Book Service, but staff at your local library can easily handle that.

Idaho libraries are celebrating the 209th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth Jan. 4. Please help them realize his important vision by referring those in your life who may benefit from this program to libraries.idaho.gov/tbs or to their local library.

ANN JOSLIN

Boise

Idaho state librarian

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