TOPEKA –Govenor Laura Kelly signed a new proclamation in late February designating this week, March 6-10, 2023, as Kansas Talking Books Week.
The week-long celebration marks the anniversary of the enactment of legislation establishing free library services for the blind.
The Pratt-Smoot Act, signed March 3, 1931, placed the responsibility of providing adequate library materials for the use of blind adults under the administration of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled in the Library of Congress. Several updates to the original Act included additional funding and provisions for people with print disabilities other than blindness to be included.
Kansas Talking Books, a division of the State Library of Kansas, presently serves patrons in all 105 counties across the state. Print-impaired Kansans enrolled in the program are connected to a collection of more than 140,000 items. Materials include digital and braille books, popular magazines, and locally produced materials of particular interest to Kansans or by Kansas authors. All services are provided at no cost to the patron.
Talking Book Week programming will be shared on social media at https://www.facebook.com/kansas.talking.books.service. Information about the webinars, book club meeting, and other activities can be found at kslib.info/talking.
Patrons, caregivers, and community members can find more information and the application for services at the same web address. Those in the Emporia area can call 620-341-6280. Other regions in Kansas can call toll-free at 800-362-0699.