NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center

NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center: Special Easy-to-Use Equipment for the Print Disabled

Now Available at the Library


JERSEY CITY, N.J.   November 8, 2012 – This past month – October – was Blindness Awareness Month, and we lost that last couple of days due to Hurricane Sandy. Yet, there is no better way to bring attention to this most vital of our five senses than to offer people who are visually impaired an easier way to enjoy their favorite book from their local library.

The Jersey City Free Public Library has now partnered with the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) to provide portable [audiobook players]. TBBC’s services, known as the “Outspoken Library,” serve New Jersey residents (children, teens and adults) who cannot read standard print or who cannot hold a book or turn the pages of a book due to a physical impairment, a reading disability or a vision impairment.  Anyone who has difficulty reading standard print or holding a book or turning the pages of a book may be eligible. There is no cost for the service.  Each branch of the Jersey City Public Library is offering this accessible reading service.

The technology is digital, but the player has a very simple design, with large buttons that speak to you.  Once a person is certified as eligible, the equipment is sent directly to the person’s home.

“Our library staff has been trained in the use of all equipment, and is ready to process someone’s application for eligibility,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner. “We are so pleased to offer this important service to our loyal library patrons, especially those who’ve been with us for a long time. You can still enjoy your reading!”

“This initiative will help us expand the services of the Talking Book and Braille Center to new, underserved populations in Jersey City,” said Adam Szczepaniak, director of TBBC. “It will help to make a difference for those who, for whatever reason, have difficulty reading printed material. This is an important partnership for TBBC.”


New Jersey residents of any age may be  eligible who cannot read standard print, hold a book in his/her hand or turn the pages of a book due to the following difficulties may be eligible for TBBC services. This includes those whose ability is affected by a physical impairment, a reading disability, and/or a vision impairment.

Eligible individuals can choose from the following services: long-term loan of a digital audiobook player, loans of audiobooks on digital cartridges, downloadable audiobooks and magazines, loans of Braille books, access to audio news reading services, and downloadable Web Braille. All equipment and audiobooks are property of the U.S. Library of Congress. Any unused equipment or audiobooks should be returned to the TBBC.

The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center is a network library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the U.S. Library of Congress. The TBBC is a bureau of the New Jersey State Library and is affiliated with Thomas Edison State College. There is no cost to members for TBBC’s services.

The Little Rock Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children who are blind or visually impaired initiated a bill into law establishing October as "Blindness Awareness Month." The Little Rock Foundation is united in bringing awareness and an educational element for people to have a better understanding of the challenges blind and visually impaired people face each and every day. www.blindnessawarenessmonth.org.

New Jersey is one of 40 participating states in the Little Rock Foundation’s October campaign, and joined the effort under the Corzine administration. The other 10 states have pending participation. The NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center is listed among its many resources for the visually impaired.

For the latest on programs, events, and special announcements please follow the Library on Facebook or Twitter at Jersey City Free Public Library. Visit us on the web at www.jclibrary.org for all information on the Library, including all press releases in The Press Room. As of today, November 8, 2012, the Jersey City Free Public Library has 220,743 valid card members.

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472 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City, N.J. 07302
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