Gayle YarnallThis week we introduce Gayle Yarnall, a patron of the Perkins Library and part of the Library Outreach Team whose goal is to spread the word far and wide about library services.

The Talking Book Program is 80 years old and I have been a big fan and loyal patron for 47 of those years.  I somehow got to my senior year in high school without ever being told about talking books. My vision was poor. I could not easily read print. I could never read for pleasure. My mom recorded the books I absolutely needed for school and I faked the rest.

Talking books introduced

It wasn’t like my vision was being ignored. I grew up in Chicago. My parents took me to all the best doctors who tried all kinds of treatments including drugs and very unflattering eye wear.

In my senior year we moved to Florida and I went to a new doctor. This doctor casually mentioned the Talking Book Program and a big ugly record player, the talking book player of the day, moved into my house. The first book I read was Tale of Two Cities. My mom was thrilled she did not have to record it.

Literature becomes a companion

From that book on I was wandering through the garden of literature, both old and new. I discovered travel books and mysteries, historic fiction and political books. I was off and running and I have never stopped.

Talking books followed me from Florida to Colorado and then to Massachusetts. They got me through raising three kids, middle age, and now into “seniorhood”. Is there such a word? They have introduced me to authors from around the world, places I have traveled and places I hope to travel. They have brought me through illnesses and power outages. They have given me endless sources for conversation.

Maybe most important of all they have kept me company.

Now I travel around Massachusetts spreading the word about the Library services. This is like being paid to eat chocolate. I am amazed at how many people don’t know about this service. How can you not love a library that comes to you? How can you not love a service provided by people who love what they do.

Help us to spread the word! Contact the Library at or 1-800-852-3133 or me at

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