Advisory & Outreach Center of the Year 2017

MAY 17, 2018

Library of Congress Honors Taylor Community Library for Service to Blind Readers

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) at the Library of Congress has honored Braille and Talking Books at Taylor Community Library (BTBTCL) in Taylor, Michigan, with the Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award for their outstanding service in 2017 to readers who are visually or physically disabled.

“Each year the Library of Congress recognizes the work of state and local libraries that provide braille and talking-book services over the previous year to people who cannot use print materials,” said NLS director Karen Keninger. “The programs and services the Colorado and Michigan libraries offer are outstanding examples of the creativity shown regularly throughout our cooperating libraries nationwide, as well as their commitment to ensuring that all may read.”

Braille and Talking Books at Taylor Community Library—an advisory and outreach center of the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library—was created in 2016 to meet the needs of more than 1,000 blind and disabled patrons when the Wayne County Braille and Talking Book Library closed.

Among its achievements in that short time, it has introduced a monthly book discussion, a support group for people with visual impairments and a program that focuses on assistive technology instruction and developments. The library also installed a conference line so people who cannot attend events can participate remotely.

“Serving people, regardless of ability or disability, is our passion,” said Vanessa Verdun-Morris, assistant library director at BTBTCL. “Anyone can walk through our doors and be sure staff will take the extra time to help them find materials or solutions that work for them.”

The Network Library Awards were created by NLS in 2005. A committee of librarians and consumer-organization representatives select finalists from among nominated libraries based on mission support, creativity, innovation in providing service and demonstrated reader satisfaction. The winner is selected from finalists by the NLS director.

NLS administers the braille and talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness or disability makes reading regular printed material difficult. Through its national network of libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in talking-book and braille formats and playback equipment directly to enrollees at no cost. Music instructional materials are available in large-print, ebraille, braille, and recorded formats. Many materials are also available online for download and are accessible through smart devices. For more information, visit loc.gov/ThatAllMayRead or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world - both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.