The free new service, called “Outspoken Library”, is available now and is located at a kiosk inside the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System.
Mercer County is one of 42 libraries in the state selected to participate in the initiative offered by The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC). The “Outspoken Library” expands services to veterans and residents who have impaired vision, a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book, or a learning disability.
Once registered for the program with TBBC, users will be able to download 3,000 audiobooks, which they can play on free listening devices. The “Outspoken Library” kiosk offers a link to TBBC’s Audiovision Newspaper Reading Service with its 24-hour broadcast schedule and the National Federation for the Blind’s Newsline with more than 300 newspapers, magazines, and wireless service. Eligible users will also have access to the National Library Services Braille and Audio Reading (BARD) Program from home. The BARD Program service offers more than 18,000 downloadable audiobooks and 42 magazines. The Outspoken Library Kiosk is free to eligible users.
The Library staff will demonstrate how the kiosk works, explain the eligibility, and provide applications to interested residents. Once certified by TBBC, users will receive a login ID and password to access BARD at home. Users will receive a free digital player, provided by the Library of Congress, which reads the book out loud. New Jersey teens that are registered will be able to participate in a pilot program where TBBC will provide a smaller player the size of a cell phone.For more information, call the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System at (609) 989-6922 or stop in to learn more about the Outspoken Library Kiosk.