Disability News Service, Resources, Diversity, Americans with Disabilities Act; Local and National.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chicago Public Library - Marcia Trawinski and Dottie Gibson on 'adaptive services for the visually impaired' :StoryCorps Interview

Each year, select museums and libraries with outstanding records of community service receive the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. IMLS signed a cooperative agreement with StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. Beginning with the 2009 awardees, StoryCorps began collecting personal stories demonstrating the ongoing impact of these award-winning institutions.

2014 National Medal Winner Chicago Public Library

Marcia Trawinski and Dottie Gibson
Marcia Trawinski and Dottie Gibson
“It was a very solitary arrangement, it was me and the post office….”

Marcia Trawinski, long-time member of the Chicago Public Library, talks to her friend Dottie Gibson about how adaptive services for the visually impaired have improved her relationship with books and the library.

Listen to their story here: http://blog.imls.gov/?p=5562

The Transcript of the Interview:
Marcia Trawinski talks to her friend Dottie Gibson about how adaptive services that help the visually impaired read have improved over her lifetime. 

Marcia Trawinski: What I’ve learned Over these 50, 66 years is that the library has changed and so my relationship has changed. When I was little I hated the library ‘cause I’d see all these rooms and rooms of books and I couldn’t get at them, they were just doorstops, and it made me very frustrated. And my friends would say, “Did you read the latest dah-dah-dah-” and I’d say “No!” 
Dottie Gibson: You felt left out! 
MT: Oh, I was left out totally. Even though I could eventually could catch up, which I did, because eventually they were recorded and eventually we got ‘em, everyone else had finished that and moved on to another book by the time I got the book. So it was very distressing. Since technology has come knocking we now have books that we can download the same way you would download them. What people can do on their smartphones - which means you and me for the first time! We can go to the downloadable list we can find very current books - and magazines- and literally download ‘em to our smartphone. Which for me an iPhone is accessible and I can use, and I can read a new release at the same time you read a new release!
DG: On your iPhone! 
MT: On my iPhone! 
DG: Wow! 
MT: Because for the first time I now have access to the same books you have access to 
DG: Over time, how has the talking book center changed in the library? The actual center. 
MT: Well, when I was a child, we never even came to the library that had talking books. That was a warehouse where we called for books and they sent them in the mail, and we sent equipment back and got equipment in the mail. So I never actually set foot in a library until they opened the talking book center here at the Harold Washington Library, and I can’t remember how many years ago that was, but maybe 15, maybe more. And it gave me an opportunity for the first time to be face to face with the people who worked in the talking book center. 
DG: Uhuh.
MT: It also gave me the opportunity to meet other patrons because unless I stumbled onto them, it was a very solitary arrangement. It was me and the post office. Now I knew other people who read other books. We got to meet we had actual book clubs that were for the talking book center, so for the first time I could discuss books with my friends just like a regular book club. 
DG: Do you use other services at the library besides the talking book center?
MT: Well, as the library became more accessible and we moved into the computer age, one of the things the talking book center here did was actually provide rooms with what we call accessible equipment. Things you may have heard, where our computers talk - which we call screen readers and optical character recognition - and scanners so we can take a printed page, scan it and then have the computer read it. We could write things and then have them print, where the document you type would actually come out in braille. So the talking book center was about books - and magazines - but it was also about accessing the world as other people got to access it in the library. Not only did that give us all the neat stuff that the internet and email and all the good things, it gave us access to the website for Harold Washington Library, the Chicago Public Library, any library information, other things going on. 
So I can participate in all kinds of programs at the library whether it’s just the open to the public meetings or book meetings or topical meetings or issue meetings. I feel like for the first time I’m using this concrete building as well as using the books I get.

additional resource

Chicago Public Library Talking Book Center

General Information

Chicago Public Library Talking Book Center
400 South State Street
Fifth Floor, Room 5N7
Chicago, IL 60605-1203
(312) 747-4001 (Local)
(312) 747-1609 (Fax)
(800) 757-4654 (Toll-Free)
Brief Description
Hours of operation: Mon./Weds./Sat. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, Tues./Thurs. 11:00 AM-7:00 PM.
Geographic area served: Chicago.
Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Library Services
    • Provides talking books, large-print books, and audiocassettes for blind and physically handicapped persons.

Services for Children

  • Library Services
    • The Talking Book Center provides the free loan of recorded and braille books and magazines, music scores in braille and large print, and specially designed playback equipment to residents of Chicago who are unable or have difficulty reading standard print materials because of visual or physical impairment.

No comments: