DC Public Library Honored for Service to Blind and Physically Handicapped Customers

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DC Public Library Honored for Service to Blind and Physically Handicapped Customers

The DC Public Library’s Adaptive Services Division has been named “Network Library of the Year” by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress.

Based in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the Adaptive Services Division was honored for its work promoting independent reading and learning; its innovative use of technology and its record of satisfied customers.

“The Library works hard to be a model for serving visually impaired, physically disabled, and deaf customers,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian the DC Public Library. “For years we have heard library customers talk about how the staff and technology in our Adaptive Services Division has improved the quality of their lives. We are very proud to receive this honor because we take our commitment to serving all library customers seriously.”

Eligible library customers visit the Adaptive Services Division for programs that include a talking book club for blind and visually impaired adults; an American Sign Language story hour for kids; and the accessible Xbox and PC video gaming centers.  The division also provides information on programs and opportunities for people with disabilities, trains staff and makes adaptive technology available in the District’s 25 neighborhood libraries.

In 2012, the Adaptive Services Division served 856 individual customers, institutions, and organizations; circulated 32,219 braille and talking books and other items; and had 200 volunteers who contributed 3,253 service hours.   Several times a year, visitors from national and international organizations come to  study how the division serves District.

The Network Library of the Year award carries a $1,000 cash prize. The Adaptive Services Division is one of two honorees this year.  Brevard County, Florida was honored as regional library of the year.