State Library Office Begins Distribution of Digital Players

State Library Office Begins Distribution of Digital Players

Minnesota veterans are the first to receive new digital players from the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library (MBTBL). Persons aged 100 years and older are the next priority for the equipment. The technology, furnished by the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped division, will eventually replace cassette players nationally over the next five years. Books are distributed on cartridges that utilize flash memory technology.
The MBTBL provides direct library service to eligible Minnesotans who are legally blind or visually impaired, physically disabled , or reading disabled.
To date, MBTBL has distributed 85 players. They have a waiting list of 790, of which 259 are veterans and 19 are at least 100 years old. Before shipping the players, MBTBL staff discuss the operation of the players over the phone with the recipients. Patrons can check out only two digital books at a time from the MBTBL collection. However, the machines provide those using them the ability to download over 15,000 digital books and magazines through a high speed Internet connection.
The digital players improve upon cassette players by eliminating audiotapes that damage easily. Most books fit on one cartridge, so patrons do not need to keep track of multiple tapes. The new device weighs approximately two pounds and can also play music from flash drives.
For more information contact the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library at 1-800-722-0550 or email mn.btbl@state.mn.us.