Eleventh Stack recently published a post titled “Branches are people too.” After I read the post, it made me think about the branch I work at and how the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) can get lost in the mix as well. So I’m taking a page from Suzy’s book and writing a little bit about what I do and what LBPH has to offer.
I have been working at LBPH for almost two years now. My anniversary is actually December 31st. When I first got the job and told my family, my little sister thought I had said that I got a job at the Library for the Blonde and Physically Handicapped. Once it became clear where I actually worked, I then had to explain what I and the library did because they weren’t aware of any LBPHs. Here is basically what I told them.
The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides audio books and large print books for those qualified in the state of Pennsylvania. And yes you read that correctly, we ship audio books to the entire state of Pennsylvania. We also provide the machines for patrons to listen to the audio books via the mail, and it’s all free. To qualify, it’s pretty simple: a person has to have trouble reading newspaper print with their best set of glasses or be unable to hold a book. More information is available on the application.
As a Reader Advisor at LBPH, I pick and send out books to patrons. I get to pick books based on each person’s likes, so if they like Romance novels, I might send them a Nora Roberts book. However, if they like Mystery books but with no violence and no strong language…that can get a little trickier. It’s fun though to scour the catalog and find a book that the patron will (hopefully) like. We can also customize the service even more, so that if a patron only wants to get audio books that they request (catalogs with new titles get sent to patrons every two months), we can make sure that that happens. If a patron would like to speak with a Reader Advisor we are available from 9-5 Monday through Friday to help anyone out with machine problems, book questions, magazine questions, application questions…well you get the idea.
Lastly (for the more tech savvy) there is BARD. BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download. A majority of the audio books we provide can be found on BARD as well, and patrons can download books to their desktop or IOs device and listen to the audio books right away, and you get recommendations from different Reader Advisors through LBPH’s blog as well. The blog is a great resource too for titles, because it will also talk about locally produced titles. Locally produced titles are books that have been recorded and edited here at LBPH by volunteers (if you want to give a try stop on by!).
I hope that you learned or found something interesting about where I work. I know that it is something different every day for me.