Talking Book Center

Talking book center image
When was your organization founded and what is its mission statement?

Subregional library established in 1981.

The mission of the Talking Book Center is to make accessible, and to provide guidance in the use of, materials which seek to fulfill the intellectual, educational, and recreational needs of residents in our service area who are unable to utilize standard library or commercial materials due to visual/physical impairments or a reading disability.

Who is your your director?

Lisa Eye (Supervisor)

What programs and services does your organization offer and to whom are they offered?

The Talking Book Center offers free library services to print-disabled readers. Services include personalized reader advisor service, audio book distribution, availability of Braille titles on demand, audio magazine distribution, download on demand service, and loan of playback machine and technical support.

Please list any available statistics demonstrating your organization’s recent successes:

The Talking Book Center has been serving residents of the Shenandoah valley for over 33 years, providing print-impaired readers the opportunity to access free reading materials in an accessible format. Last year, the TBC served 429 patrons in our service area, circulating over 17,000 books. This figure does not include the many audio magazines distributed to our patrons. In the past year, the TBC, as a subregional library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, made available to our patrons free apps that allow our patrons to access downloadable content to use on their iOS or Android devices.

Please list any community partnerships:

The Talking Book Center works closely with the Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as with area Public Libraries.

What volunteer opportunities are available at your agency?
The Talking Book Center utilizes volunteers for the following tasks: returned book quality-control check, shelving, new book processing (labeling, cataloging), book repair, machine room oversight (quality control checks, inventory, shipment), and outreach (to visit nursing homes, assisted living center on behalf of the TBC).
Please list your organization’s website:
Why is working for this organization important to you?

Information is power…and access to information is empowering. Individuals who cannot use standard print materials struggle to access information that most of us take for granted. Providing our patrons with access to reading materials that fulfill their reading needs allows them to be more independent and improves the quality of their lives.

What is your favorite memory of working with this organization?

When we start service for a new patron and check in to see how things are going – the excitement they or their family members share with us about how this service has enhanced their lives is truly touching. Older patrons who have lost vision later in life and are left with few activities to participate in due to their disability (and often other health issues) now have access to reading materials that fill their time, stimulate their mind, and improve their lives.