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WYPL FM 89.3

The telephone number for WYPL is (901) 415-2752.

Since March, 1980, the Library's radio station has provided information in the radio reading format, originally as WTTL, the West Tennessee Talking Library, satisfying the need to know for the visually impaired population of its service area. The station now known as WYPL FM 89.3 presents daily readings of The Commercial Appeal, USA Today and other newspapers and magazines as well as a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, author interviews and specialty programming.

The radio station was first made possible by a grant from the State Library and Archives, with additional funding from the West Tennessee Lions' Clubs (who continue their support today), Holiday Inns and others. When WTTL first went on the air, from studios in the Main Library on Peabody, listeners had to have a special receiver to get the signal. When the receivers were bought, each one had to be tuned by radio station staff to effectively receive the signal. Many of the station donations went for the purchase of the receivers. The station was so successful that the 1980-81 annual report stated that WTTL had 1,823 listeners with a waiting list for service of more than 1,400. In that same period, WTTL was chosen by the American Foundation for the Blind as the Model Radio Reading Service. WTTL's volunteers received the honor of Volunteer Program of the Year.

In 1991, the station was granted an FM signal and listeners were able to hear the station on any radio. The call letters were changed to WYPL, for Your Public Library. Until recently, WYPL FM89.3's effective radiated power was 2,750 watts, with a transmitting antenna that was 150 feet high. Good quality reception of WYPL's signal was obtainable mostly in midtown Memphis and the surrounding area. However, in the summer of 2004, WYPL FM89.3 began broadcasting from its new transmitting facilities with a radiated power of 100,000 watts. Located 30 miles northwest of Memphis, WYPL's antenna sits atop a 1,260-foot high tower, (20 feet higher than the Empire State Building!). With both increased power and antenna height, the station now covers an area more than ten times greater than the older system would allow. From North Central Mississippi to the boot heel of Missouri and from Central Arkansas to the Tennessee River, the voice of the Library comes in loud and clear.

A vital component of WYPL radio has always been the volunteers who do the reading. It is their commitment to the station that has allowed it to continue and to expand its programming. They come in to read at all times of the day, including weekends and holidays. There are currently 185 radio volunteers who last year contributed 4,500 hours.





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