Little Current Public Library introduces senior outreach program this summer

Little Current Public Library Librarian Jack Marion and summer student Grace Duncanson hold up a DAISY Reader and disk, advertising the new program for senior library outreach in Little Current. photo by Robin Burridge

LITTLE CURRENT—The Little Current Public Library has introduced a new senior outreach program in cooperation with the CNIB and CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access), providing area seniors with library materials.

“It is a program across Canada, but I wanted to bring it here because I think all people should have the maximum access to library services,” said Little Current Public Librarian Jake Marion.

The program is open to anyone with vision loss or limited abilities that prevent them from travelling to the library in the Little Current.

Mr. Marion plans to have the program streamlined by the fall so that an individual can contact the library directly to register, but currently interested individuals are to contact the CNIB if they have vision loss at 1-800-563-2342 or CELA if they have any other limiting abilities at 1-855-655-2273.

“If the individual has a (Little Current Public Library) library card they can register with CELA and start to receive library material through the mail such as books on CDs, electronic audio downloads or in braille form,” explained Mr. Marion. “If they don’t have a library card, they can contact the library to set one up.”

Once an individual is registered, Mr. Marion and his staff will get to know the individual in the program and will deliver DVDs, audio books (CDs), DAISY Reader disks, large print books or regular print books depending on the person’s interests and needs.

“So far the demand has been small, but if the program starts to grow in the community we will be looking for volunteers to help deliver the books and visit,” said Mr. Marion.

“CELA is a national not-for-profit organization run by public libraries for public libraries,” states the CELA website. “Our mission is to support public libraries in the provision of accessible collections for Canadians with print disabilities and to champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in the format of their choice, including audio, braille, e-text and described video. Our collections and services are available to patrons with print disabilities who are members of a public library funded to receive our services, either by their province/territory or through a local library subscription.”

Eligible patrons of CELA member libraries have access to more than 300,000 items in accessible formats including audio, braille, and electronic text. More than 600 public library systems across Canada are currently members of CELA.

DAISY Readers are designed to be a complete audio substitute for print material for people with print disabilities such as blindness, impaired vision and dyslexia. They are available for purchase through the CNIB and partial funding is available.

For more information about the program or the Little Current Public Library, call 705-368-2444. To register for the program, contact the CNIB if you have vision loss 1-800-563-2342 or CELA if you have any other limiting abilities at 1-855-655-2273.