Here at ABLE we are happy to highlight the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL). Not only do we lease our space next to WTBBL but we are also proud to record books by Wisconsin authors for them. We will record nearly 50 books for their Wisconsin collection, available to nearly 550,000 patrons throughout the whole country. Examples of books we have recorded in 2019 include:
Old World Murder: A Chloe Ellefson Mystery by Kathleen Ernst, with 521 downloads, and The Body in Bodega Bay: a Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler Mystery by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, with 389 downloads. Both titles are part of mystery series that are very popular.
The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library is part of the Talking Book program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). Since 1961, the Library has been providing braille and recorded books and playback equipment to Wisconsin residents who for any physical reason cannot read standard print. All books, equipment and services are sent to borrowers and returned to the library by postage-free mail.
The current digital players and cartridges have been in use since 2009. One distinct advantage of the digital format is that an entire book—or series of books—can fit on just one digital cartridge. Another improvement is the digital sound quality of each talking book.
WTBBL also circulates magazines and braille materials. Through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service, patrons can now download books, magazines, and web-braille to a digital cartridge, or to iOS, Android, or Kindle devices. WTBBL patrons can also listen to newspapers by registering for the NFB-Newsline® service. In addition to audio-described DVDs, WTBBL also circulates audiobooks about Wisconsin or by Wisconsin authors, recorded by ABLE.
WTBBL currently serves close to 7,000 patrons and 573 institutions (e.g., libraries, schools, nursing homes, senior centers). Please share our information with those who can benefit from our services. You can check out the WTBBL website at https://dpi.wi.gov/talkingbooks, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them toll-free (in-state) at 1-800-242-8822.