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Category: Washington Talking Book and Braille Library

2020 Regional Braille Challenges

2020 Regional Braille Challenges

It was a rainy, windy day in Eastern Washington, but the weather didn’t stop talented braille readers from coming out to compete in the first of two annual Regional Braille Challenges hosted by The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL). Cheney Middle School provided the perfect location for fun and friendly competition among the local 3rd graders participating this year. The Braille Challenge, which WTBBL hosts every year, is a national competition created by the Braille Institute to celebrate…

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A Touch of Braille

A Touch of Braille

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library is presenting a free introduction to braille workshop Tuesday, February 4 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Library’s conference room, hosted by WTBBL volunteers Keiko Namekata and Dana Marmion. If you’ve ever wondered “What is braille? What can braille do for me? Would I be able to learn braille? ,” this class is a great opportunity to get answers to your questions or just satisfy your curiosity! Braille is critically important…

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Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Hundreds of audio books are produced in the studios of the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Audio Book Production Department. These books, narrated by volunteers, are normally only available to WTBBL patrons and patrons of other National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped network libraries. But a collection of Legacy Washington titles produced in audio format by WTBBL is now available on the Washington Anytime Library platform for public libraries. These titles are published by, and…

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WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will kick off its free braille transcription course. Students will learn to transcribe print text into braille for blind and low-vision readers. Class will be held 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Saturday mornings, and will end on April 4, 2020. Braille is critically important to the lives of those who are visually impaired or blind as it provides the ability to read and write. Literacy ensures intellectual freedom and…

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New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

At the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL), the Braille Department focuses on transcribing standard print books into braille for patron use. Braille transcription is a technical and time-consuming process that requires skill and great attention to detail. In order to expedite this process, WTBBL purchased a new scanner with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software included. The scanning process allows a trained operator to scan an entire 300-page book in less than an hour, accelerating a process that would…

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WTBBL kicks off summer programs

WTBBL kicks off summer programs

Last month, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s Youth Services Librarian Erin Groth took a trip to Bellevue for a very special presentation at Cherry Crest Elementary. Around 100 second graders and their teachers enjoyed learning about braille, tactile illustrations, and the library. Not only did everyone get to explore some of our materials — and marvel at the four (!) volumes of braille which make up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — but they also got to learn…

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Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

The 2019 legislative session has ended, and thanks to the hard work of many people, libraries across Washington will benefit immensely. The Office of the Secretary of State, which oversees the Washington State Library, played a huge part in making that success a reality. There is so much good news to report! First, thanks to library advocates everywhere. Lawmakers included eleven rural libraries around the state in the capital budget. Each of these libraries will receive funds to improve their…

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Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

On Wednesday, May 8, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will be participating in GiveBIG, a twenty-four hour, online giving campaign that is designed to support Washington state nonprofit organizations. This year, WTBBL’s goal is to raise $12,000 toward purchasing new equipment for the Braille Production Department. WTBBL’s Braille Production Department produces books written by local authors from the Pacific Northwest or books about the Pacific Northwest to add to its collection, increasing access for readers throughout the…

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Remote Braille Proofreading Succeeds at WTBBL

Remote Braille Proofreading Succeeds at WTBBL

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Braille Production Department has been increasingly busy in the past several months with new local books being transcribed, proofread, and made available to library patrons. A big part of this is due to WTBBL’s stellar volunteers, who are flexible and willing to explore new ways to improve the braille production process. In fall 2018, WTBBL launched a pilot program to test the feasibility of having volunteer teams perform offsite proofreading. The first…

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Braille Challenge competitions coming to Seattle and Spokane

Braille Challenge competitions coming to Seattle and Spokane

The 2019 Braille Challenge, an academic competition for students in grades 1-12 to show off their braille literacy and qualify for a national competition during the summer, comes to the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) this Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can also register until Jan. 23 for a February Braille Challenge WTBBL will host at the Spokane Public Library. At the Jan. 12 event at WTBBL, students from King, Kitsap, and Snohomish…

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