East Brunswick & Monroe Libraries Will Participate In Pilot Program To Assist Blind & Physically Handicapped Residents

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TRENTON – Eleven New Jersey libraries have been selected to participate in a pilot project, initiated by the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC), to assist eligible residents with accessing and downloading audio books and magazines from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) web site, a national database made available by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the U.S. Library of Congress.

The East Brunswick Public Library and Monroe Township Public Library are among those taking part in the program. The goal of the project is to allow public libraries to provide local assistance to TBBC members and their caretakers with the complicated BARD downloading process. New Jersey residents who are affected by a physical impairment, a reading disability, or a visual impairment may be eligible.

“This initiative will help us expand the services of the Talking Book and Braille Center to new, underserved populations in New Jersey,” 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.”

A wide range of free services are currently available to registered TBBC members including digital audiobook players and audiobook cartridges, braille books, downloadable audiobooks and audio magazines. Users also have access to news reading services such as Audiovision, TBBC’s own NJ newspaper reading service, and the National Federation for the Blind’s Newsline, which offers over 300 newspapers, magazines and wire services.

Other libraries participating in the pilot program include: Atlantic County Library, Galloway Township Branch; Jersey City Public Library; Johnson Public Library (Hackensack); Kenilworth Public Library; Morris County (Whippany); Mount Laurel Library; Pequannock Township Public Library; Scotch Plains Public Library; and Somerset County Library, Bridgewater.

For more information about the BARD pilot project and other TBBC services, visit http://njsltbbc.org/.

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