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Press Release for Immediate Release – 4th June 2020

Carlow County Council Library Service launch new Talking Newspaper podcast

Carlow County Council Library Service have today (June 4th) launched a new podcast in collaboration with The Carlow Nationalist and Carlow Volunteer Centre.

The project is a revival of the volunteer lead service which ran for many years whereby recordings of stories and articles from The Nationalist were sent on CD or USB to those who had a visual impairment around the county.

County Librarian, John Shortall says “We are delighted to announce that The Talking Newspaper is now available on iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms for the people of County Carlow, their friends and relatives living elsewhere in the country, the Irish diaspora worldwide and crucially making the weekly edition of the Nationalist accessible for people with a visual impairment.”

Library staff and some of the original volunteers, received training in Carlow Library in February with a view to getting the service up and running again in a modern way. The training was funded from the Dormant Accounts Fund through the Department of Rural and Community Development with matched funding from Carlow County Council. The training was delivered by Alan Swan of Swan MCG.

However, the COVID-19 restrictions appeared to put a stop to plans until the Library Service and one member of staff in particular were able to progress the project while library buildings remain closed to the public.

Senior Library Assistant, Gearóid Grant has lead the charge with a near perfect radio voice and dedicated patience, recording all the main articles from the paper each week before uploading them to the various podcast platforms. Although Gearóid will tell you he is sick of his own voice, the listening public have a different view and pre-launch the podcast has already been downloaded in Minnesota, USA; Victoria, Australia; Israel and of course here at home in Ireland.

John Shortall continues “This is a marvellous initiative, inspired by the past good work of others in the County Carlow community. Once the Library Service is fully up and operational again, we look forward to safely partnering once again with the volunteers who selflessly give their time for the benefit of others.”

The Talking Newspaper can be listened to and downloaded on all major podcasting platforms.