Governor Laura Kelly signs proclamation for Kansas Talking Books Week

TOPEKA –Governor Laura Kelly signed a new proclamation in late February designating this week, March 6-10, 2023, as Kansas Talking Books Week.

The week-long celebration marks the anniversary of the enactment of legislation establishing free library services for the blind.

The Pratt-Smoot Act, signed March 3, 1931, placed the responsibility of providing adequate library materials for the use of blind adults under the administration of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled in the Library of Congress. Several updates to the original Act included additional funding and provisions for people with print disabilities other than blindness to be included.

Kansas Talking Books, a division of the State Library of Kansas, presently serves patrons in all 105 counties across the state. Print-impaired Kansans enrolled in the program are connected to a collection of more than 140,000 items. Materials include digital and braille books, popular magazines, and locally produced materials of particular interest to Kansans or by Kansas authors. All services are provided at no cost to the patron.

Talking Book Week programming will be shared on social media at Information about the webinars, book club meeting, and other activities can be found at

Patrons, caregivers, and community members can find more information and the application for services at the same web address. Those in the Emporia area can call 620-341-6280. Other regions in Kansas can call toll-free at 800-362-0699.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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