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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Relax... Read a Talking Book. Free library service for blind and physically handicapped people.

The Regional Braille and Talking Book Program line item was added to the MBLC's budget in 1991.1

In 1991: "Under this new program, which was formerly administered by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, the MBLC contracted with Perkins School for the Blind to loan braille materials to approximately 14,000 visually impaired individuals throughout the Commonwealth."2

TODAY: The Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library work together to meet the needs of an estimated 100,000 residents with vision loss or physical disabilities. Both operate through state funding to the MBLC.3

What else happened in 1991?

  • Operation Desert Storm: The United Nations Coalition Force, led by the United States and including many Arab and European countries, bombed Iraq forces in Kuwait; after one month of bombing, land invasion forced Iraq out of Kuwait.4
  • Apartheid was dismantled in South Africa.4
  • An attempted communist coup in the Soviet Union was suppressed, but it sparked declarations of independence from all non-Russian republics within the USSR. By the end of the year, the USSR was dissolved and independence of republics was again recognized.4
  • Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, issued a public statement confirming that he was stricken with AIDS; the next day, he died of complications.4

1. Image courtesy of the Worcester Talking Book Library.
2. 102nd Annual Report of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, 1991.
3. MBLC Annual Report, 2012.
4. [link].