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Medical Journal 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

KENNEBEC JOURNAL •

Morning Sentinel

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Library Continued from Page 26

available from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download program. This allows eligible, visually-impaired users, once registered, to select and acquire as many titles as desired directly from this collection. Boynton said that he and his staff of 11— downsized in recent years from 18 as state budget cuts took their toll — served 2,500 active users of large print and talking books this past year. About half a million items from the three outreach collections are circulated annually to geographically or physically disadvantaged library patrons across the state. Bestsellers, biographies, fiction, and how-to books are in great demand. A limited number of titles are produced in foreign languages. Registered borrowers can keep apprised of new books added to the collection through a bi-monthly, online and large print newsletter, “Talking Book Topics.” As time and opportunities allow, Boynton and his staff visit such community venues as

the Common Ground Country Fair, senior expositions, retirement homes and assisted living settings to spread awareness of these resources. “We also appreciate the support of the Iris Network, a nonprofit that helps the visuallyimpaired with daily living activities. Their folks are knowledgeable about our equipment and resources, and can offer home visits and helpful orientation to our visually impaired patrons,” Boynton said. Individuals and institutions can find information about resources and eligibility requirements and get application forms by telephone or online, by visiting the Maine State Library’s handicapped-accessible website. Go to www.maine.gov/msl and click on “Talking Books Plus.” The Outreach Services can be reached directly at (207) 287-5650, or at 1-800-762-7106 (toll free within the state of Maine). Also, Maine State Library Outreach arranges with the Perkins School for the Blind to have Braille library materials provided directly to eligible Maine residents without cost to users. Mainers who would like to borrow materials in Braille should contact the Perkins School directly at 1-800852-3133.

Talking Books patron Pete Harden, who is 90 years old and legally blind, was thrilled to discover that despite his macular degeneration, he can still enjoy a wide range of books in the comfort of his own home.

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/Mj2011  

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