February 15, 2013 (Traverse City, Mich;) The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) would like to invite all Talking Book Library (TBL) patrons, their families and friends, and interested members of the community to the Talking Book Library Open House and Technology Fair on Friday, March 1 from 1-5 p.m. at the Main (Woodmere) Branch located at 610 Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City.
The TBL provides free recorded books to visually and physically impaired patrons living in Grand Traverse, Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford Counties.
The Open House will offer an opportunity for patrons and members of the community to learn about new services and devices available to them through the TBL as well as provide an opportunity to meet staff and fellow patrons.
“We will be offering our patrons a hands on experience to try out some of our new TBL devices,” said Metta T. Lansdale, Jr. TADL director. “We are excited about these new offerings and are hopeful our patrons will benefit from them.”
Special devices will include the BookPort Plus, an advanced digital talking book reader, as well as an iPad and iPod featuring apps developed specifically for the blind and visually impaired. The Open House will also showcase the Mac and PC workstations to serve as a BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) demonstration and download stations. These computers will also have text-to-speech capability to assist TBL patrons.
Since transitioning from a National Library Service (NLS) sub-regional library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to an Advisory and Outreach Center in October 2012, shipping of library materials has transferred to Lansing. TBL staff are able to use time formerly spent on shipping to focus on patron-centric services, including outreach and readers advisory. The TBL has welcomed more than 23 new registrants since October.
“With our re-aligned responsibilities, we’ve been able to visit with patrons and staff in hospitals and assisted living facilities as well as reinvigorate collaborations with non-profits and other agencies in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Manistee, and Benzie so far,” said Jill Porter, TADL assistant director for public service and TBL supervising librarian.
TBL’s service area now covers eight counties (Antrim, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Wexford, Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Grand Traverse) instead of 16, allowing for more patron visits in counties outside of Grand Traverse.
“We’re pleased to be offering service to more qualified users through our outreach efforts,” said Porter, “and our current, established patrons are noticing and commenting on improved service for their borrowing accounts, which is a goal of the Advisory and Outreach Center service model.“
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has declared raising readership by 20% over the next five years as a top priority. With 450 registered TBL users, TADL is right on target for this national goal.
Visit www.tadl.org/tbl to learn more about the March 1 Open House, download a TBL application, and listen to the Winter 2013 issue of the TBL newsletter.
The Traverse Area District Library (TADL) is a network of community libraries serving Grand Traverse County through the following locations: Main (Woodmere) Branch, East Bay, and Kingsley Branch Libraries, Fife Lake Public Library, Interlochen Public Library, and Peninsula Community Library. Learn more at www.tadl.org.