I'm not a library professional. I just play one in real life.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I only recently discovered Talkr, a free program online that converts blogs into an audiofile. Personally, I think this is a great idea. It attracts the younger crowd who have all of the newest gadgets and such, along with those busy folk who want their news on the go.

I think, though, that its real power could be in its use for providing access to the blind, to the reading disabled, or to the ESL patrons. I have read in a few blogs ideas about how to use Talkr and Podcasts in libraries and other places of education. Here is one:


Another (I honestly forget the source now) suggested using podcasts during story times for bilingual patrons to allow them access to library programs. And, as a former worker in a Talking Books branch, I believe that podcasts and programs like Talkr would be a wonderful addition to a library in order to bring blind patrons into the regular library programs and resources.

However, I still haven't found any good solution to the problem of cost. I know very few people who own ipods, and many of the people I know do not own home computers, much less have internet access at home. How do you utilize technology to serve patrons while considering the costs involved for the library? While some libraries could afford to provide patrons temporary use of ipods, I doubt that ours would be able to do so. Is there any solution to this?


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