Public Libraries and Community Colleges to Receive Equipment to Assist Print Disabled Patrons

WebJunction Illinois /

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced that 40 Illinois public libraries and community college learning resource centers will receive equipment to enhance Internet access for patrons with visual or physical impairments by allowing them to download audio books.

“Many Illinois public libraries provide services for patrons who have visual or physical limitations that make it difficult to read regular printed materials,” White said. “I am pleased to be able to provide this equipment that will enable those library users to download audio books through the Internet.”

The equipment consists of at least twelve Kindle 4 e-readers, five digital cartridges and five USB cables. The cartridges and cables will help libraries train and assist print disabled patrons to download library audio books through the Braille and Audio Recording Download (BARD) system. The Kindle 4 e-readers have a text-to-speech capability and include audio menus. While visually-impaired patrons have priority access to the Kindle e-readers, they may also be used by other patrons at the library’s discretion.

Each of the 40 recipients received an “Eliminate the Digital Divide Program” grant last year from the Illinois State Library through a program operated by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. White said print-disabled patrons must be enrolled in the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille program to use the new equipment, and can register at or by calling 1-800-665-5576, opt. 5. 

The 40 libraries and community college learning resource centers receiving the new equipment are:

  • Atkinson Public Library District
  • Blue Island Public Library
  • Bradley Public Library District
  • C.E. Brehm Memorial Public Library District, Mt. Vernon
  • Cahokia Public Library District
  • Carbondale Public Library
  • Carthage Public Library District
  • Centralia Regional Library District
  • Champaign Public Library
  • Cherry Valley Public Library District
  • Colchester District Library
  • Decatur Public Library
  • DeKalb Public Library
  • Des Plaines Valley Public Library District, Crest Hill Branch
  • Eldorado Memorial Public Library District
  • Freeport Public Library
  • Frontier Community College Learning Resource Center, Fairfield
  • Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin
  • Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library District
  • Greater West Central Public Library District, Augusta, Golden, Littleton Branches
  • Harrisburg Public Library District
  • Hoopeston Public Library District
  • John Wood Community College, Quincy
  • Joliet Public Library
  • Kaskaskia College, Centralia
  • Kewanee Public Library District
  • Lincoln Trail College, Eagleton Learning Resource Center, Olney
  • Metropolis Public Library
  • Mississippi Valley Public Library District, Fairmont and Collinsville
  • Nancy L. McConathy Public Library District, Sauk Village
  • Newman Regional Library District
  • Peoria Public Library
  • Quincy Public Library
  • Rend Lake College Learning Resource Center, Ina
  • St. Elmo Public Library District
  • Sterling Public Library
  • Zion-Benton Public Library District