By Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Director Marketing & Communications, State Library of Ohio
In July 2009, Regional Library service in the southern part of the state was merged with the Cleveland Regional Library. To reflect its expanded role, the Cleveland Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped changed its name to the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled. Users will not experience a change or degradation in service, since books and other materials are sent to and returned via mail.
In August 2009, following years of planning and development, the National Library Service (NLS) started the transition from talking book analog tape machines to digital talking book player machines. The new machine has a USB port and uses flash drives in specialized cartridges that are easy to handle and have enough surface space for print and Braille labels. “We received the first shipment of digital players in September 2009. To date, the State Library has received approximately 1,500 machines and will continue receiving 500 players monthly for distribution to registered users. It will take over two years before all of Ohio’s current 16,000 plus users have a new player and probably three years before cassette players and tapes are phased out entirely,” said Jim Buchman, Head of Patron & Catalog Services. Veterans have the highest priority for requesting the players
In September 2009, the State Library of Ohio board awarded a $100,000 federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to the Cleveland Public Library to expand the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD) collection of digital books. Specialized Digital Talking Book supplies and equipment were purchased with the grant for increasing the quantity and selection of digital books available for borrowing. The OLBPD provides books and reader services to registered users while the State Library of Ohio provides specialized Talking Book player machines.
For more information about Ohio’s Talking Book Program, contact Jim Buchman, Head of Patron & Catalog services. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 614-644-6954.