By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove Public Library has been designated as one of the demonstration sites for the Texas Talking Books program.

The only demonstration site in the area, individuals can contact the Copperas Cove Library and will be shown a sample piece of the equipment.

"If you're a John Grisham fan, you can listen to his books," Barbara Schwab, Copperas Cove Public Library's Outreach Specialist, said.

The program provides free

library services to individuals who are unable to read standard-print books because of temporary or permanent visual, physical or reading disabilities.

"The program is for anyone who can't read a standard book," Schwab said.

"It is a wonderful service and the best use of tax dollars," Schwab said about the services. "We do have Spanish language material."

According to the Texas Talking Books Web site, books and magazines are available on cassette, Braille and large print.

The books are delivered to the user's home and are returned through the mail free of charge.

"The program offers more than 80,000 titles in fiction and nonfiction, plus 80 national magazines for adults and children," the Web site stated.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provide the services through funds from the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Schwab said more than 20,000 Texans use the service every year, but approximately 300,000 could qualify.

"We just want to get the word out there that these services are available," she added.

Qualified participants include Texas residents of all ages who are legally blind, have prescription glasses, but are unable to read standard-print material without additional magnification devices, have physical limitations that prevent them from holding books or turning pages or have reading disabilities due to an organic dysfunction, as certified by a medical doctor.

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