Late in her life, Wanda Parr could only see fuzzy silhouettes of objects and humans. Macular degeneration had taken the details out of life.
The longtime library customer always enjoyed reading, and Parr soon learned about a library service that would fulfill her need for literature even as her eyesight failed.
Books on tape, provided through Red Carpet/Talking Books Services, kept her company, helped her sleep at night and kept her mind sharp, her son, KelLee Parr said.
Red Carpet/Talking Books Service makes reading possible for community members who struggle with reading because of a disability or blindness issue. It provides books on tape and players to individuals who qualify. To see if you qualify, call 785-580-4530.
“I love for people to know they don’t ever have to give up their love of reading,” said Trish Reuter, Red Carpet Services/Talking Books staff member.
The service currently serves 2,100 facilities and customers in Shawnee County, and now offers digital players and cartridges that are more durable than tapes and don’t require rewinding.
“It’s such a good service, it’s free and it was easy for her. Plus, they had good customer service,” KelLee said.
Wanda was on a first-name basis with Talking Books staff, who selected titles for her. Her favorites were Westerns, biographies, history books and true stories. Staff would bring books on tape to her residence at Atria Hearthstone.
Six of her family members lived there with her, and all of them were into Talking Books, frequently swapping ones they had finished listening to.
Parr passed away in December 2009, and her Talking Books player was passed on to another person who needed it. As one of her last wishes, Parr requested memorials be made out to Red Carpet/Talking Books.
“She truly appreciated this service. We hope this small donation can help another to have the same support she was given by the library,” KelLee said.
A gift, no matter how small or large, can make a difference. If you are interested in supporting Red Carpet/Talking Books Services, call The Library Foundation at 785-580-4498.