My KDL Story: Fred Vail

"Every time we show up at Mom's with a new batch [of audiobooks], she tells us how much she enjoyed the most recent ones and how her days would be so much longer without them. They have been a huge blessing to her and thus to us, her family..."

Fred Vail

Love your mother, love your library. The two go hand in hand for Fred Vail of Byron Center.

Fred's mother, Greta Vail, has been struggling with macular degeneration for years and has trouble enjoying many of her long-time hobbies such as knitting, crocheting, doing crossword puzzles and reading.

Fred and his two sisters were looking for ways to help their mother, 89, continue to do the activities that keep her mind active. They decided to give audiobooks a try, and the result: the grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of two remains an avid reader.

Fred and his sisters typically visit the Gaines or Byron Township branches and pick up five or six audiobooks for their mother every two weeks or so, mostly inspirational fiction by authors such as Beverly Lewis and Karen Kingsbury.

"She always calls it read, not listen," Fred said. "And if we happen to get one she's already read and she thought it was a good story, she'll listen to it again. It has surprised me that she enjoys it as much as she does."

"Every time we show up at Mom's with a new batch, she tells us how much she enjoyed the most recent ones and how her days would be so much longer without them," Fred said. Audiobooks "have been a huge blessing to her and thus to us, her family."

Less-than-perfect eyesight does not have to mean an end to reading. In 2011, KDL's audiobook collection totaled more than 35,000 items and were circulated 245,695 times. Also available for loan are eAudiobooks for download through KDL's OverDrive site, and the Wyoming branch is home to KDL's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which provides free resources to anyone with visual or physical disabilities that are a challenge to use of KDL reading materials.

 

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