Similar to launching the invasion of Europe on D-Day, Kansas Talking Books began its widespread delivery of digital Talking Book machines to Kansas veterans and centenarians on September 11. From Great Bend to Chetopa, from Garden City to Harper, the result was the same. Nearly 200 users were simply delighted. They had been anticipating the delivery day for months!
Comments included: “Getting this is kind of like Santa coming early,” and “This is the difference between a model T and a new Lincoln,” and “It is out of this world – it is going to be a big improvement.”
Recipients were eager to start reading their first books on the new machines. One recipient noted that he planned to take the machine to church on Sunday and show it off. “There are others who could benefit from this machine,” he said.
Across the state, the media was a willing participant in presentations that occurred at public libraries, Low Vision Group meetings, at Senior Centers, and even in the local newspaper offices. While book selections on the new digital cartridges will be fewer until the supply catches up with the demand, there are still some great books ready for these readers. Richard Coleman of Hutchinson was reading The Crystal Game Western Trio and Norbert Hoffman of Centralia plugged in Westerns of the 40’s: Classics from the Great Pulps. The users in Garden City received the followin books: Elmore Leonards’ Western Roundup, The Shape Shifter, Best American Mystery Stories, Dewey the Small-Town Library Cat, and Silks.
Until there is greater selection of books for the digital machines, users can and will keep their cassette machines. Although, Richard Coleman commented that it is hard to listen to the cassette machine now that he has the digital machine — the difference between the two is like night and day. Keep in mind that these are some hard-core readers — two of the veterans receiving machines in Garden City have read over 233 and 300 books using the old cassette machines.
Photos from a few of the presentations:
George Strobel and TB librarian Joanita Masden, Great Bend.
Ed Parks and TB librarian Steve Rinker, Hillsboro.
TB librarian Lenita Givens and Edwin Latta, Harper.
TB librarian Rickye Reber and Michael Woods, McPherson.