The Library At The Touch Of A Finger

THE PENNSYLVANIA REGIONAL LIBRARIES FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED

    Are you unable to read books because of vision problems, even if the problems are temporary? Do you have a reading disability? Do you know someone whose physical disability prevents holding a book or turning pages? If so, we welcome the opportunity to tell you about free library services for people with visual impairments and physical disabilities. With the cooperation of authors and publishers, books and magazines are recorded on cassette and produced in braille. The library also lends large print books and described videos. These materials are mailed in specially marked postage-free containers.
    Through a nationwide network of Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, this program is available to eligible adults and children with visual impairments and physical disabilities. The Pittsburgh Regional Library serves the western half of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Regional Library serves the eastern half. In addition, the Philadelphia Regional Library serves the entire State of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware with braille. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania funds the two Regional Libraries through its State Library.
    Cassettes, plus the equipment needed to play them, and braille are provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. Large print books and described videos are purchased by the Regional Libraries with donations. The U.S. Postal Service provides free mailing privileges.

HOW THE PROGRAM OPERATES
    Pennsylvania’s two Regional Libraries have over 75,000 recorded, large print, videocassette, and braille titles available for circulation. Many new titles are added each year. The collection is large enough to meet the general reading needs of most readers.
    When a completed application is received, the library mails catalogs of latest books. Patrons will also receive the bi-monthly publications Talking Book Topics and/or Braille Book Review that announce the most recent titles. The necessary playback machines are delivered or mailed to new readers.
    The library will tailor its service to meet your needs. We will send books upon request in monthly installments or as you need them. We take your requests by mail, phone, fax, email, OPAC, or in person. We can search books by title, subject, or author.
    Although 95% of the service is provided through the mail to readers at their residence, all are invited and encouraged to visit the Regional Libraries, which are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of State and Federal holidays. A professional staff of librarians and reader advisors are ready to serve you. After hours patrons may call the library toll free and leave a message.

MATERIALS AND SERVICES
Through traditional media such as recordings, large print, braille, and up-to-date computer technology, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped makes every effort to make the printed word available to eligible readers.

    Books and magazines are available on many different subjects such as religion, sports, politics, computers, investing, and travel. The collection also includes best sellers, classics, biographies, mysteries, romances, adventure, historical fiction, humor, poetry, and more.

   CASSETTE BOOKS are recorded on four tracks at 15/16 ips. A special cassette machine is provided free of charge.

   BRAILLE BOOKS are available for adults and children. The children’s braille collection also includes books having both the printed word and braille on each page. Braille books and magazines are also available in electronic format through Web Braille.

   DESCRIBED VIDEOS are videos that carry an audio description of the action without disrupting dialog or other sounds. To play these, you must have your own VHS videocassette machine (VCR). Described videos are available to individual readers only.

    LARGE PRINT BOOKS are available for use by partially sighted or low vision patrons who have difficulty reading standard print. These books are printed in Larger Than Regular Type and are available to individual readers only. In addition to the Regional Libraries’ collections, many public libraries in the state have large print books. Large print titles are almost exclusively adult fiction and biography.

    MAGAZINE subscriptions are available on audiocassette and in braille. They include popular titles such as Reader’s Digest, U.S. News and World Report, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, Money, etc. A few large print magazine subscriptions are available from the publisher at cost.

   ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY workstations are located in the library’s Talking Book Center. Readers will find computer technology similar to that in many public libraries, but which is completely accessible in large print, synthesized speech, and braille. Patrons may use these to access the Internet, for word processing, and convert the printed word to braille, large print, or audio format. In addition, CCTVs will enlarge printed material for easier reading.

ELIGIBILITY
    The Pennsylvania Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provide service to any eligible individual who meets at least one of the following eligibility requirements (including temporary disabilities) and to institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, retirement communities, schools, or other organizations that serve eligible individuals. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, defines eligibility as follows:

     The following persons are eligible for service:
 BLINDNESS – persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

 VISUAL IMPAIRMENT – persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material.

 PHYSICAL DISABILITY – persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitation.

 READING DISABILITY – persons certified by competent authority* as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

    Eligible readers must be residents of the United States or American citizens living abroad.

Certifying Authority
    Each application for service from the Regional Libraries must be certified by a competent authority. In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations, "competent authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine; doctors of osteopathy; ophthalmologists; optometrists; registered nurses; therapists; and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress. *In cases of reading disability, the competent authority is restricted to doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy. The application must bear the original signature of the certifying authority. The library cannot accept signatures that are photocopied, faxed, or rubber-stamped.

NOTES TO APPLICANT
Mail (do not fax) your application to the library. Once you are registered, the library will send additional information concerning services.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance in completing this application form, please contact the library at:

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
919 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5289
(800) 222-1754 (toll free)
(215) 683-3213
Fax: (215) 683-3211
E-mail: flpblind@library.phila.gov
Home page: http://lbph.library.phila.gov

Playback equipment and accessories must be returned to the library when readers stop receiving library service. All equipment will be repaired or replaced free of charge if it should break down. Please call the library for instruction regarding the return of or replacement of equipment.

OPAC, an Online Public Access Catalog, lists recorded cassettes, large print, and braille books available from the library at http://lbph.library.phila.gov. Anyone can search this catalog 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but patrons must register with the library if they wish to borrow books through the OPAC.



Applicant Responsibility


It is the responsibility of the applicant to:


*   Return library materials and equipment to the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped when they are no longer being used for this program.

*   Notify the library of any address or telephone number changes.

*   Take reasonable care of materials and equipment.

*   Borrow at least one book or magazine per year.

*   Return books and described videos within four weeks of their receipt.

*   Rewind cassette and video materials.

*   Keep the library informed about problems with service or your special requests.




APPLICATION

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Free Library of Philadelphia
919 Walnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-683-3213           800-222-1754           fax: 215-683-3211

(Please return this entire application by mail. Please retain the informational brochure.)


PART 1


Please print or type:                     Date: _______________________

Applicant’s Name Mr./Mrs./Ms._________________________________________________________________
      (Last)                (First)           (Middle)     

Street Address ____________________________________________________________________________
                (number)         (street name or route)       (apartment or box number)

City __________________________________ State _____________

Zip +4 ______________   County _______________

Phone (day): (       ) ___________     (evening): (      )_______________

Date of Birth _________________(Month/Day/Year)       Sex:   __ Male   __ Female

  __   Adult                 __   Juvenile (0-14 yrs.)           __   Institutional borrower


  __   I have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States. By law, preference in lending of books and equipment is given to veterans.


PART 2   ELIGIBILITY and CERTIFICATION

Please specify disability:________________________
(examples: glaucoma, stroke, dyslexia):
Please check the primary disability below preventing you from reading standard print:

__   Blindness                   Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lens or the widest diameter of visual field is no greater than 20 degrees.

__   Visual Impairment     Inability to read standard printed materials without special devices other than regular glasses.

__   Deaf and Blind             Combination of blindness and profound hearing loss.

__   Physical Disability     Inability to read or use standard printed materials as a result of physical limitation (i.e., unable to hold a book or turn page).

__   Reading Disability     Organic dysfunction of sufficient severity to prevent reading printed material in a normal manner (certification must be by an M.D. or D.O.)


CERTIFICATION


In addition to any of the previously indicated conditions, do you also have a hearing loss? If yes, please indicate the degree:

__   Moderate (some hearing loss)     __   Profound (cannot hear audio)



To be completed by certifying authority
(see definitions of “certifying authority” below)

I certify that the applicant named has requested library service and is unable to read or use standard print material for the reason indicated on the previous page.

Please print or type:

Name ___________________________________________

Title/Position_____________________________________

Street Address ____________________________________

Phone (       ) _____________________________________

City, State _______________________________________

Zip + 4 _________________________________________

Date ___________________________________________

Signature _______________________________________



The library cannot accept signatures that are photocopied, faxed, or rubber-stamped.

Definition of "Certifying Authority"

1. In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical disability, certifying authorities include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public agencies (e.g., social workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers). In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.

2. In the case of a reading disability from an organic dysfunction, the certifying authority must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

3. A family member is not eligible to sign this application as a certifying authority.

Note: Applicants must be residents of the United States, including the 50 states, territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia, or American citizens temporarily living abroad.


PART 3    READER SURVEY

Books and Other Services
Please check those you wish to receive:

# of books per month

__  Cassette Books

__   Described Video Service: videos with added narration.

__  Braille Books

__   Braille Magazines: a list for magazine selections will be sent to you.

__  Large Print Books

__  NFB-NEWSLINE Service: telephone newspaper service.

Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review, the bimonthly listings of our newest books, will be sent to you. Please check the format you prefer:

  __ large print     __ cassette     __ braille     __ computer diskette

Playback Equipment
(provided free as part of the service; CHOOSE ONLY ONE)


___ C-Model cassette machine, plays 15/16 ips, 4-track Library of Congress cassettes, and also plays 1-7/8 ips, commerically recorded cassettes. It is portable and operates on a rechargeable battery or electricity.

__ E-Model cassette players, plays only 15/16 ips, 4-track cassettes. For persons who have difficulty wiht manual dexterity. It will automatically play all four sides of each cassette. It operates on electricity only.

Accessories
Special accessories for playback machine:

__   Headphones (for patrons residing in a group setting where headphones are necessary for private listening or for students)

__   Amplifier (solely for use by readers with profound hearing loss- requires a special application and certification by a physician or an audiologist)

__   Extension lever for cassette player (assists readers with limited use of their hands in turning the cassette machine on and off) requires a special application that will be sent to you.

__   Breath Switch (for use with the remote control unit for readers who have little or no use of their hands)


PART 4   ADULT READING PREFERENCES


Select the type of book service you desire (choose only one):

  __  I want to select my own books. I will send the library requests from catalogs,Talking Book Topics, Braille Book Review, or other sources.

  __   I would like the library to select books for me when my requests are not available.

Many modern novels, especially best sellers, contain strong language, explicit description of sex, and/or graphic violence. Will you accept books containing:

 __Yes    __No       Explicit descriptions of sex
 __Yes    __No       Strong language
 __Yes    __No       Violence

ADULT SUBJECT INTERESTS
__ Adventure
__ African-American Interest
__ Aging
__ Animals/Nature
__ Anthropology
__ Archaeology
__ Art
__ Best Sellers –Fiction
__ Best Sellers – Nonfiction
__ Biographies
__ Business
__ Careers and Vocations
__ Classics
__ Computers
__ Cooking
__ Disabilities
__ Education
__ Entertainers
__ Family Stories
__ Fantasy
__ Foreign Language: _________________
__ Gardening/Farming
__ General Interest – Fiction
__ General Interest – Nonfiction
__ Gothic Novels
__ Health
__ Historical Novels
__ History – U.S.
__ Hobbies: __________
__ Home Management
__ Humor/Jokes
__ Inspirational
__ Jewish Interest
__ Light Novels
__ Literary Topics
__ Minority Groups
__ Modern Novels
__ Music (books about)
__ Mysteries
__ Occult/Horror
__ Parenting/Child Care
__ Philosophy
__ Pioneers/Frontier Life
__ Plays
__ Poetry
__ Psychology
__ Religion: __________
__ Romance
__ Science Fiction
__ Science/Technology
__ Self-Help (psychology)
__ Sea Stories
__ Short Stories
__ Sociology
__ Spicy Novels
__ Sports:____________
__ Spy Stories
__ Travel
__ War
__ Westerns
__ Women’s Interest
Other:________________________

Favorite authors:__________________________________________________________

My preferred language for reading is:
    ___ English
    ___ Spanish
    Other(specify)__________________



PART 5     APPLICATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES


Please print or type:

Name of minor’s parent/guardian _________________________________________________

Daytime telephone (     ) _________________________________

I would like books at the following grade level: _____________

Compared to others my age, I want books that are:
__easier __harder __same level

School _________________________ Phone (     ) _______________

Street_______________________________C/O___________________________

City ___________________________________ State __________________

Zip ____________       Child’s Grade ______________

Select one type of book service:

___   I want to receive only the titles that I request. I will send the library requests from catalogs, Talking Book Topics, Braille Book Review, or other sources.

___  I would like the library to select books for me when my requests are not available.

My reading interests are:
__ Adventure
__ American History
__ Animals/Nature
__ Art
__ Biography
__ Classics
__ Computers
__ Disabilities
__ Fairytales/Fantasy
__ Family Stories
__ General Interest – Fiction
__ General Interest – Nonfiction
__ Geography/Travel
__ Ghosts and Scary Stories
__ Health/Grooming
__ Historical Fiction
__ Hobbies:___________________
__ Holidays
__ Humor
__ Jokes/Riddles
__ Literature
__ Minorities
__ Modern Stories
__ Mysteries
__ Nursery Rhymes
__ Occupations
__ Plays
__ Poetry
__ Politics/Government
__ Religion:___________________
__ Romance
__ Science Fiction
__ Science/Technology
__ Short Stories
__ Sports: ________________
__ Westerns
__ World History
__ Young Adult Titles (ages 14-17)
Other:_______________

Favorite authors: __________________________________________

PART 6    MAGAZINES

I would like to receive the following free magazines that need not be returned:

Magazines on Cassette

__ American Heritage
__ Analog Science Fiction and Fact
__ Asimov’s Science Fiction
__ The Atlantic Monthly
__ Das Beste aus Reader’s Digest (German)
__ Bon Apetit
__ Buenhogar (Spansh)
__ Choice
__ Consumer Reports
__ Contemporary Sound Track
__ Diabetes Forecast
__ Discover: The World of Science
__ Ebony
__ Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
__ Foreign Affairs
__ Good Housekeeping
__ Health and Nutrition Newsletters
__ Horticulture
__ Journal Francais (French)
__ Magazine of the Month
__ Money
__ The Musical Mainstream
__ The Nation
__ National Geographic
__ National Review
__ The New York Times Book Review
__ Newsweek
__ Outdoor Life
__ Pennsylvania Heritage
__ People Weekly
__ QST
__ Quarterly Music Magazine
__ Reader’s Digest
__ Selecciones del Reader’s Digest (Spanish)
__ Selections du Reader’s Digest (French)
__ Smart Computing
__ Sound and Vision
__ Sports Illustrated
__ Talking Book Topics __ True West
__ U.S. News and World Report
__ The Writer

Magazines in Large Print

__ Braille Book Review
__ The Musical Mainstream
__ Talking Book Topics

Magazines on Computer Diskette
__ Braille Book Review
__ Talking Book Topics


Magazines for Children on Cassette


I would like subscriptions to the following cassette magazines:
__ Cricket/National Geographic World (for ages 8-13)
__ Spider (for ages 6-9)
__ Sports Illustrated for Kids (for ages 13-19)
__ Teen People (for ages 13-19)
__ Young Adult Magazine of the Month (for ages 11-17)