Our Library Receives Regional Library of the Year Award

Picture of the Library Staff
The Staff of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled

The Iowa Department for the Blind is incredibly pleased to share that the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled, a division of the Iowa Department for the Blind, has been named 2020-2021 Regional Library of the Year by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress. Our library provides reading materials in braille, audio, large print, and other alternative formats to Iowans of all ages who cannot read standard print. We also provide instructional materials in all alternative formats to pre-K12 students in Iowa schools through a grant from the Iowa Department of Education.

Once again, during a time of great challenge and uncertainty, our library embraced the challenges, kept services going, and even created new programs. Our library did not miss a day of sending out books, even during the early days of the pandemic. Our Instructional Materials Center ensured that all orders from schools for materials were filled in as timely a manner as possible to make sure that students struggling with online learning were not further set back by lack of textbooks and worksheets. We held online trainings for para-educators on braille, access technology, and library ordering that served over 30 para educators and provided a stipend to defer the cost of participation.  We created a new program called IDB Reads where narrators read and discussed books with patrons over the phone to help reduce isolation and create community. We took Maker Space Mondays and STEM and Stories Saturdays online. We have sent out materials and presented the programs live and via YouTube to the youth and families monthly.

As IDB Director, Emily Wharton, stated: “I’ve been telling our legislature, the Governor, and everyone who would listen how fantastic our library is and about all the wonderful things they are doing to empower blind Iowans of all ages.—especially the youth It is truly gratifying to see their hard work and dedication recognized by NLS.” Library Director, Sarah Willeford, shared: “I want to thank our entire team for their creativity and teamwork. Your passion for braille literacy, providing timely and abundant reading material for all patrons,, willingness to fight to make  sure students get high-quality educational materials, and ability to adapt to change continue to give me joy and energy.”

Weekly Dose of Braille

Did you spell that correctly? Believe it or not, spelling and language go hand in hand with most classroom teaching materials. This week’s Dose should aid you when deciding how to use the grade 1 indicator and even capitalization mode. As always, following the rules is essential.   –Denise Bean

For more information and to see past Weekly Dose of Braille topics check out our Weekly Dose of Braille Page.

The Weekly Dose of Braille is created by our Braille Transcriber, Denise Bean, with the help of our Instructional Materials team. It gives you a taste of braille examples that may be used in worksheets or textbook formatting. This insightful Weekly Dose of Braille brings your attention to the common use of Unified English Braille and how to implement these rules and formats used by braille transcribers and proofreaders. It is a miscellaneous mixture of tricky, sometimes challenging circumstances, that a braille transcriber may come across or question, but are neatly put into a Weekly Dose of Braille for your easy access. Provided each week is a downloadable PDF file on each topic, a brf file can also be made available for your convenience.

Books for Kids Checklist

Tic-toc goes the clock, as the school alarms are about to sound off! It is only a matter of time before you complete your last lap and put away the torn and tattered school calendars that once were fresh with ink. When you begin to make your organized to-do list here are just a few helpful suggestions as you bring your student’s scholastic year to a close.

  • Send back the Books for Kids materials
  • Update Books for Kids information if changes have occurred using the Books For Kids Online Form
  • Most importantly, Books for Kids is in full swing year round!

In addition to our Books for Kids Program, the Youth Library is offering a Summer Reading Program called Tales and Travels, encompassing virtual events that promise to keep your student excited about reading and exploring even when the temperature outside heat up.

Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian

May IMC Webinar: Easterseals

Monday, May 10, 2021 @ 4:00pm – 4:30pm

This month for our IMC Webinar we have Kim Karwal as our special guest. Kim is the Rural Solutions and Assistive Technology Team Lead from Easterseals.  The Easterseals Iowa Assistive Technology Program helps Iowans learn about and access the assistive technology (AT) they need as part of their daily lives to learn, work, play, and participate in community life independently.  

The Instructional Materials Center (IMC) will be offering monthly webinars for educators. Can’t make it to the webinar? We will be posting recordings following the webinars on our For Educators: Trainings page and on the IDB YouTube channel. To register for upcoming webinars go to our Registration Page.