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This service is made possible in part by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the Colorado State Library






Pioneer LogoVolunteer Partners

The Pioneers

Talking Book Machine Repair Project
The Pioneers have partnered with the National Library Service for the Blind through the Volunteer Repair Project since 1960. Pioneers use their knowledge and technical abilities to repair talking book machines. Pioneers repair approximately 70,000 machines a year and to date have maintained more than 2.1 million players, a contribution valued at more than $80 million.

Pioneer repairing digital talking book playerWe provide the Pioneers with a well-equipped work room where they inspect and repair the machines. Technical manuals and parts lists are available along with specialized tools and parts that are provided by the library.

The Colorado chapters of the Pioneers have been inventive leaders within the Talking Book Machine repair projects. Members of our local chapters have been honored for designing a special set of tools called The Denver Kit, and writing the Fully Charged newsletter which is distributed to machine repair groups nationwide. Their leadership and creativity have been recognized by the National Library Service.

BeepBall & Easter Eggs
BeepBall volunteer at Patron OpenHouseIn 1964 Charlie Fairbanks invented the beeping baseball which marks the beginning of baseball for visually impaired and blind athletes through the National Beep Baseball Association, a Pioneers project partner. The Pioneers continue to fit a regulation 16-inch softball and equip it with a specially designed rechargeable beeping device. The development of the beeping baseball eventually leads Pioneers to develop and manufacture the beeping Easter egg for visually impaired children. In 2009, Pioneers provided beeping eggs for the annual White House Easter egg hunt.

Since 2012, CTBL has proudly served as the homebase for the Pioneer's Beep Ball and Easter Egg building projects. For more information about this unique partnership contact Bob Kurtz at beepball@qwestpioneers.org