State Library Connects Patrons with Adaptive Technology to Read U.S. Currency

Augusta - Maine State Librarian, James Ritter, announced that users of the Maine State Library Talking Books Plus program are now eligible to apply for free currency readers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. To qualify for the device, the patron must have a doctor-certified disability that impairs their sight or ability to read.

The currency reader, called the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, is a compact device that announces a note’s value by voice, pattern of tones, or pattern of vibrations. Users insert a bill into the device and press the button on the device’s side to have the denomination identified. The currency reader does not identify foreign or counterfeit banknotes.

The size of a key fob, it can be carried in a pocket or purse, clipped to a belt, or attached to a keychain or lanyard. It operates on a single AAA battery, which typically lasts for more than a year. The initial battery is included.

The Maine State Library Talking Books program serves Maine people who are blind or have a physical disability that prevents them from reading standard print. The program provides listening technology devices and access to a national catalog of talking book titles that are shipped at no charge to the users via U.S. Mail. Thousands of titles were sent to Maine residents in 2013.

For more information about the iBill currency reader or the Talking Books program, contact the Maine State Library at 1-800-762-7106. Applications for the iBill devices can be downloaded online at: or obtained by calling or visiting the library. Library staff will be available to assist individuals with completing their form.