520 Virginia Drive, Fort Washington, PA 19034 | Tel: 215-628-8744

Today′s Hours


Kathy, our cataloger in a Read poster
A book for the blind machine

Books for the Blind, 1960s style

Growing up in the ‘60s, my sister’s friend’s mother was basically blind. She listened to books on tape from the Library for the Blind. I always associated talking books with being blind.

Fast forward 30 years, in the 90s, my niece and brother sent me back to PA with two books on cassette (YaYa Sisterhood and bk 2 of Harry Potter). I had one pee stop and the next thing I knew…the 6 hour drive was over! I was hooked.

In ‘99, I went to Barnes ‘n Noble to get the trilogy on cassette. The new car I bought…I had to have a cassette player in it….how else could I listen to my books?

When UDPL hired me, I was introduced to books on CDs. I listened to them. I must admit…it is very tedious to change out a cassette and/or a CD in the car while traveling.

In 2010, Overdrive came to the library system. It was then I got a smartphone. I needed to understand what these devices are about.

I am afraid Overdrive didn’t have what I wanted, so  I discovered Audible.com. I bought audiobooks. They are MINE!

Then, I gave Overdrive another chance. They now had a RECOMMENDATION button. If the title I wanted wasn’t there I could recommend the system bought it. Oh, the power I had! Ok, they may not order it, but still. As the one who receives the BOOKS, if I see there are 100+ holds on the title, I check to see if *I* have purchased the audiobook / playaway, and then check to see if UDPL has purchased the Overdrive title….I pass on the list to Lauren.

Between Overdrive and Audible.com….I have been listening a lot. I listen, of course, when driving. While gardening, I listen. I listen when shoveling our 100+ ft driveway. Though at times it is nice to just work. To let nature talk to me.

I was thrilled to death when Harry Potter (HP) came to Overdrive! I kept borrowing the books. Then I discovered, I was The cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stoneusing up a library’s checkouts. (I didn’t know!)  I was really thrilled to hear that Audible.com got the rights for purchasing….I signed up again, bought all the audiobooks, then canceled.

Why do I like HP so much? Well first it was the story, then the story, then the prose, then I began to really listen to the sentence structure, then I found I kept falling asleep. It’s not that the story is boring, no the narrator Jim Dale has this voice….he now reads me to sleep every night. I have it to go off at the end of the chapter. I don’t care if I fall asleep….as I know the story so well. Overdrive has made me a happy camper.

The aux jack cord that connects your card to your device

This car adapter goes into your car’s aux jack

There is two more products that are waiting to be discovered: Hoopla and Playaway. Hoopla is a more recent product for UDPL patrons. There is never a wait. It’s another app on your device, but if you really want that book…give it a look see.

Playaways are NOT downloadable. It is the complete book on a little tiny unit. Uses a battery (how quaint). MUST have an earbud plugged in to listen.

MANY patrons do not like earbuds. Understandable. The picture to the left is a car adaptor. It plugs into your car’s aux port (usually near the radio). The other end, you can plug into the Playaway unit, your tablet, your smartphone, a laptop and listen from that device through your radio.

I was told some cars do not have aux ports, they use bluetooth technology. I didn’t understand until I needed  to get a new car this year. We checked every car, that aux port was all over the place, if at all.

If you notice me in the library, I most likely will have a gizmo around my neck.

This gizmo around my neck is my bluetooth that enables me to listen without being tethered to a device.