Since the President’s budget proposal dropped (less than two weeks ago) library advocates have been voicing their support for the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Over 15,000 emails have been sent via the ALA Action Center.
In order to help patrons of the national network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries, also known as the LBPH Network, the Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) has shared the ALA infographic on the legislative process and created the corresponding audio description file with LBPH network libraries so they can inform their patrons.
“Many libraries in the network are depending on Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding and our patrons speak with their legislators about what the libraries mean to them. This is a great resource for understanding the entire legislative process,” says Debbi MacLeod, director of the CTBL. “We posted the Digital Talking Book version to BARD, the audio download service for the network. LBPH libraries partner with the Library of Congress, National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).”
According to IMLS’s newly released Five-Year Evaluations, individuals with disabilities are the second largest beneficiary group of the grants to states program. Thanks to LSTA and other IMLS funds, many state libraries are able to support Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped or Talking Book services, which provide access to reading materials in alternate formats. We often hear about how life-changing these services can be, and although there is federal coordination behind some of these offerings, there are no dedicated federal funding streams for them at the local and state level. IMLS Grants to States funding often fills that gap.
“The funding also supports the large print collection and our large print resource sharing program we have with other libraries in CO,” says MacLeod. “Our patrons routinely tell us: ‘I really look forward to getting my books, they are my lifeline,’ and ‘I thought I would never read again, but CTBL changed that.'”
We are very grateful to Director Debbi MacLeod as well as CTBL’s Studio Director Tyler Kottmann and all of the CTBL staff for recording this infographic to help NLS patrons engage in the legislative process. We’ll have more news soon about the next steps (in particular, step 3 on the infographic!). In the meantime, please continue to voice your support for libraries directly to your members of Congress via email and social media.
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