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Braille and Talking Book Library revives newsletter for customer base

In June 2008, after a long hiatus, the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) relaunched its quarterly newsletter, BTBL News. BTBL provides free library services to Northern and Central California residents who are unable to use standard print because of visual, physical, or reading disabilities, as well as the agencies and institutions that assist these residents. BTBL News features articles covering information about new library services, existing services, events, staff, and more.

The new release of the newsletter was published in several formats: large print, braille, online, and audiocassette (recorded by Sandra and Gerald Swafford of the BTBL volunteer narration program). Customer response was tremendous. “I loved getting the newsletter,” one reader responded. “Thanks for keeping us up to date on what’s going on; you’re doing a great job and your efforts are very much appreciated.” Another reader spoke about how “informative, professional, and yet friendly” the newsletter was. “I was excited to receive a copy,” she said. An audiocassette listener was so taken with Sandra’s voice that he called to request all other books she has narrated for BTBL's collection.

About BTBL

BTBL was established in 1904 and since 1933 has operated as part of a national network of libraries affiliated with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress. With a customer base of over 13,000, BTBL circulates NLS-provided library materials, audiocassette machines, and other special equipment through the mail as “Free Matter for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.” Customer access is also provided, through NLS and other sources, to digital books and magazines, newspapers, and telephonic reader services.

BTBL’s collection addresses the lifelong learning needs and interests of its customers, offering materials covering current events, non-fiction, bestsellers, juvenile and young adult literature, history, health, mysteries, science fiction and romance, to name a few. Reader advisory services are available to assist customers with book selection and service inquiries. Information and referral services concerning disability resources, assistive technology, and issues concerning blindness, as well as general library reference assistance, are also offered.

Find BTBL News at http://www.library.ca.gov/publications/btblNews/.

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