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LONG ISLAND TALKING BOOK LIBRARY:

The Library of Congress Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The LITBL Program:

Long Island Talking Book Library (LITBL) is one of nearly 150 libraries nationwide that lend "talking books" - books that have been professionally recorded by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped - to Long Island residents who cannot hold, handle, or see well enough to read regular print books. Its collection of approximately 100,000 books on audiocassettes features a wide range of fiction and nonfiction titles, including children's books, magazines, and materials in foreign languages.

LITBL also lends the special playback machines needed to listen to these books, including accessories such as extension levers, remote control devices, and breath switches for people who need them to operate the equipment. Catalogs in large print, braille, recorded or computer disk format are provided to all patrons. In addition, patrons may search the LITBL catalog and reserve books for themselves on the Internet.

Talking books and equipment are generally sent directly to patrons' homes by postage-free mail and are returned the same way. Last year, LITBL lent over 120,000 talking books to approximately 2,500 individuals and institutions on Long Island. In addition, nine Suffolk County libraries have rotating collections of talking books for their patrons and more than forty libraries have replacement equipment.