The Library At The Touch Of A Finger
THE PENNSYLVANIA REGIONAL LIBRARIES FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
readers must be residents of the United States or American citizens living
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 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.
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5289
(800) 222-1754 (toll free)
Fax: (215) 683-3211
Home page: http://lbph.library.phila.gov
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.
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.
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.
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Free Library of Philadelphia
919 Walnut Street,
return this entire application by mail. Please retain the
Please print or type:
(street name or route) (apartment or box
City __________________________________ State _____________
Zip +4 ______________ County _______________
( ) ___________ (evening): (
Date of Birth _________________(Month/Day/Year)
Sex: __ Male __ Female
__ 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.
2 ELIGIBILITY and CERTIFICATION
Please specify disability:________________________
Please check the primary disability below preventing
you from reading standard print:
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.
Impairment Inability to read standard printed materials
without special devices other than regular glasses.
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.)
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
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
(see definitions of “certifying authority” below)
Please print or type:
Zip + 4
The library cannot accept signatures that are photocopied, faxed, or
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
# of books per month
__ Cassette Books
__ Described Video Service: videos
with added narration.
__ Braille Books
Magazines: a list for magazine selections will be sent to you.
Large Print Books
__ NFB-NEWSLINE Service: telephone newspaper
Talking Book Topics and
Braille Book Review, the bimonthly listings of our
newest books, will be sent to you. Please check the format you
__ large print __ cassette
__ braille __ computer diskette
(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.
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)
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
__Yes __No Explicit
descriptions of sex
__Yes __No Violence
ADULT SUBJECT INTERESTS
__ Best Sellers –Fiction
__ Best Sellers –
__ Careers and Vocations
__ Family Stories
__ Foreign Language:
__ General Interest – Fiction
General Interest – Nonfiction
__ Gothic Novels
__ History – U.S.
__ Hobbies: __________
__ Jewish Interest
__ Literary Topics
__ Minority Groups
__ Music (books about)
__ Pioneers/Frontier Life
__ Religion: __________
__ Science Fiction
__ Sea Stories
__ Short Stories
__ Spy Stories
__ Women’s Interest
preferred language for reading is:
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
_________________________ Phone ( )
___________________________________ State __________________
____________ Child’s Grade ______________
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
___ I would like the library to select books for
me when my requests are not available.
My reading interests are:
__ American History
__ Family Stories
__ General Interest – Fiction
General Interest – Nonfiction
__ Ghosts and Scary
__ Historical Fiction
__ Modern Stories
__ Short Stories
__ World History
__ Young Adult Titles
I would like to receive the following free magazines that need not be
Magazines on Cassette
__ American Heritage
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
__ Asimov’s Science Fiction
__ Das Beste aus Reader’s Digest (German)
__ Buenhogar (Spansh)
__ Consumer Reports
Contemporary Sound Track
__ Diabetes Forecast
__ Discover: The World of
__ Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
__ Good Housekeeping
__ Health and Nutrition Newsletters
__ Journal Francais (French)
__ Magazine of the Month
__ The Musical Mainstream
__ The Nation
__ National Review
__ The New York Times Book Review
__ Outdoor Life
__ Pennsylvania Heritage
__ Quarterly Music Magazine
__ Reader’s Digest
Selecciones del Reader’s Digest (Spanish)
__ Selections du Reader’s Digest
__ Smart Computing
__ Sound and Vision
__ Talking Book Topics __ True
__ 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
__ Talking Book Topics
Magazines for Children on Cassette
like subscriptions to the following cassette magazines:
Geographic World (for ages 8-13)
__ Spider (for ages 6-9)
Illustrated for Kids (for ages 13-19)
__ Teen People (for ages 13-19)
Young Adult Magazine of the Month (for ages