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Library Happenings – Services available for visually impaired patrons

By Stephanie Eller

When I have a free moment, I like to wander through the library to get better acquainted with my surroundings. Just in case a patron needs something specific, I can confidently say, “Yes, we do have that. Let me show you.” I came across a version of The Constitution of the United States that is written in Braille. It was like I had found a pile of treasure, I was so excited! I know they have Braille on certain signs and keypads for banks and checkout lanes, but it’s so much more when you can see and feel it in book form.

Along with finding The Constitution of the United States in Braille, I received a newsletter about the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). This program publishes books and magazines in Braille, and in audio, for those that are visually disabled or hearing impaired. The materials are loaned free to eligible readers through a national network of state libraries. This includes bestsellers, classics, mysteries, romances, westerns, or any genre you might find in your local library. Some eligibility requirements include: being diagnosed as legally blind, having trouble focusing, and being unable to handle books due to a disability. To apply for this service, you can complete an online form at www.loc.gov/thatallmayread. We will be glad to assist anyone who may be interested in this service at the library.

Check Me Out

“The Authenticity Project” by Clare Pooley is about an elderly gentleman who believes that most people are not honest with each other. He creates a journal called “The Authenticity Project” and writes an entry about himself. He leaves this notebook in the local café for the next person to find. The journal makes its rounds within the local shops until eventually six people find each other and become friends. This story is a cute, quirky read about new friendships and possibly finding true love. Visit your local library to check out this fun read!

Story Talks

We have been slowly decluttering out the corners of the library, as well as taking books down to the basement. We have these plastic crates that are great for carrying books. It really makes transporting them to the basement so much easier, and it just so happens that Story likes them too. Every time we would empty a crate, Story would hop right on in and make herself comfortable. We all would giggle because it was so cute. I even attempted to pick her up in one, just to see if she would stay and she did! Story has to be one of the most patient and tolerable cats. She definitely lets us get away with things that most cats would hate. Maybe she lets us because she knows we will give her treats.