Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staff from Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Travels to Indianapolis

In early June, staff members of the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) traveled to Indianapolis for the Tri-Regional Conference of Librarians Serving the Blind & Physically Handicapped. There, Maria Sochor, TLBPH's director, Ruth Hemphill, TLBPH's outreach librarian, and Ed Byrne, former assistant director of TLBPH, joined colleagues from other parts of the United States to discuss best practices of libraries for the blind and physically handicapped and share insights and challenges of this unique area of librarianship.

The main hall of the Indiana State Library. Photo courtesy of Maria Sochor.

Topics covered included ideas for the future of the service, imminent changes in the braille code (Unified English Braille or UEB), and the availability of a new application for mobile android devices, which became available in the Google Play store while the conference was in progress.

Ideas for the future of the service included:

  • Customized cartridges of books with titles specifically tailored to reader interests
  • Wireless delivery of books to patron’s players
  • More partnerships with commercial audio book publishers, and
  • The possible distribution of refreshable braille reading devices

Conference attendees received a tour of the beautiful 80-year-old Indiana State Library. The Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library’s warehouse was among the highlights of the tour. In this location, a manual compact storage shelving system houses the library's audio collection, helping the library store many books in a smaller space.

This conference is just one way in which our staff members are collaborating with other leaders in our profession to bring quality service to the public.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

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