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Caithness Talking Newspapers now delivered to Wick and Thurso libraries

By Alan Hendry

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Librarian Ruan Peat with the new tape player at Wick Library.
Librarian Ruan Peat with the new tape player at Wick Library.

Spoken-word versions of the Groat and Courier are now available at Wick and Thurso libraries thanks to a far north charity for people with hearing or sight loss.

Hearing and Sight Care has delivered special tape players to both libraries and has arranged for Caithness Talking Newspapers to be delivered weekly.

It follows a visit to Wick Library by Hearing and Sight Care staff, directors and volunteers.

The libraries do have newspapers delivered but until now they had no talking facility. The tape players also play memory sticks and CDs so the libraries' selection of audio books can be listened to.

A headset is included so that other library users are not disturbed.

Hearing and Sight Care coordinator Pauline Gibson said: "Following our recent visit to Wick Library, for a tour and information on the services provided, the librarian Ruan Peat had advised that they get the newspapers delivered daily – including the Caithness Courier and John O'Groat Journal.

"They did not, however, receive the talking versions. We organised the delivery of special tape players, including a headset, and the recorded tapes of the local papers to be delivered weekly.

"Audio books can also be accessed as the player has a CD and memory-stick function. This is a great opportunity for those with visual impairments who are struggling to read to try out audio books and to access the local newspapers.

"Please ask at the library reception desk for assistance."

Caithness Talking Newspapers is a free service which brings local news to listeners in Caithness, Sutherland and even those who have left the area.

Each week, news stories from the Groat and Courier are recorded onto tape which is then duplicated and sent to visually impaired recipients. A tape player can be provided if necessary, also free.

Hearing and Sight Care supports people with hearing and/or sight loss. Its drop-in centres, both open part-time, are at Telford Street, Wick (open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10am-2pm), and Riverside Place, Thurso (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-2pm).

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