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Public Information and Communication

December 21, 2001


Dave Oertli

Free Talking Books For Eligible Nebraskans

The Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service has kicked off a four-month public education campaign, "Take a Talking Book @ your libraryTM," which is aimed at reaching the state's seniors and their families and friends. The Library of Congress, in cooperation with state and local agencies, provides free talking books for individuals with visual or physical disabilities. According to the director of Nebraska's Talking Book and Braille Service, Dave Oertli, "We are using television, radio, newspapers, and posters in a coordinated mass media campaign to bring our program to the attention of people who could use this service. Nebraska is one of nine states where this campaign is being mounted through Spring 2002."

The campaign is directed toward seniors who have experienced a decrease in sight or physical dexterity. The talking book program offers the opportunity to continue enjoying reading to those who cannot see regular print, hold a book, or turn a page. High-quality recordings of books and magazines are played on easy-to-use playback equipment. The talking books and playback equipment are sent by mail, at no charge, to people who are eligible. With 49,000 book titles available in recorded formats, the program is able to provide a range of books similar to that in any public library collection. The program also offers recordings of seventy-five national and Nebraska-oriented magazines.

According to Frank Kurt Cylke, director of the National Library Service, Library of Congress, 399,000 seniors are currently served by the program, compared to the 1.8 million eligible seniors in America. The public education campaign is part of a multi-pronged effort by the Library of Congress to both increase and improve services to eligible senior Americans.

For further information on the talking-book program or eligibility information, contact Dave Oertli at the Nebraska Library Commission, Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023, 800-742-7691, 402-471-4005, e-mail: Dave Oertli.


"As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans.  The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information."

The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission home page. Point your World Wide Web browser to, search on Library Commission News Releases.

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.