Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett

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For Immediate Release
Oct. 18, 2011

For More Information Contact:
Matthew Roberts, Director of Communications
Phone: (602) 542-4283
(602) 540-3521

Twitter: @therealAZsos

Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library Open House Slated

PHOENIX – The Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at an open house Friday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library is located at 1030 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix. The event is sponsored by Arizona Friends of Talking Books.

Assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake will present NLS "10-Squared" certificates and pins to Arizona patrons who are 100 years of age or more. There are currently 35 Arizona patrons who are 100 to 105 years old.

The theme for the day will be "Reading Our Way to the Arizona Centennial with Talking Books." Arizona will celebrate 100 years as a state on Feb. 12, 2012. The local volunteer recording studios will be adding a number of Arizona history books to the library's digital audio collection throughout the coming year.

One of the Centennial projects will be to develop a literary map of Arizona. The map will include the best books set in Arizona or written about Arizona during the past 100 years. The goal is to plot 100 titles on the map: fiction and nonfiction, offerings for adults, children and youth, representative of all the points of our state compass. The Braille and Talking Book Library has made a commitment to record any of those titles that are not yet available in audio format for our readers.

The library provides braille and audio books through the mail, at no cost to Arizona residents who find it difficult to read standard print books because of a visual impairment or physical disability. Library Director Linda Montgomery said, "Patrons are thrilled with the new digital audio books and machines. They're more compact, easier to use and the sound quality is excellent."

The National Library Service began providing braille books in 1931. They first recorded books on records in 1934, changed to cassettes in the early 1970s and started the transition to the digital format in 2009. The library has over 60,000 titles to choose from and includes the same types of books you'd find in most public libraries. Almost 500,000 books were loaned to Arizona patrons last year.

For more information visit the website at or call (602) 255-5578.

For a map to the event, click here.

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The Secretary of State's Biography
Secretary Ken Bennett's Biography
Ken Bennett's Photo
Secretary Ken Bennett's Photo