EXPAND VIDEO Patron Max Edelman speaks out about the value of the services provided by the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.
My Place to Dream. Create. Grow.

Cleveland Public Library has been serving the needs of visually impaired people through its Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD) for many years. It had previously served as one of only two locations in the entire state. That changed on June 30, 2009, when the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County transferred the Library for the Blind to Cleveland as a result of budget cuts. Cleveland Public Library is now the only source in Ohio to provide such necessary items as talking books, Braille materials, described videos, adaptive technology for magnification, and large-print books. Virtually overnight, the Library went from serving approximately 11,000 active readers to nearly 16,000.

Without the budget to increase staff or capacity, the OLBPD in Cleveland now handles nearly 4,000 items per day, resulting in an annual circulation of more than 700,000 items.

"We know our library is a life line for many people," said Will Reed, who was named branch manager in November. Reed replaced Barbara Mates, who had served in that role for more than 20 years. "We worked hard to make the transition of service as seamless as possible for our patrons. They are simply receiving their materials from a different location."

[ more ] »