OLBPD Statewide Service

The Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD) at Cleveland Public Library was honored for its outstanding work in expanding service throughout the State of Ohio as a result of the closing of the Cincinnati Regional Library, which had served blind and disabled individuals in southern Ohio since 1931. Although 2010 was the first year of unified administration to the entire state, it was in June 2011 that the OLBPD was named a co-recipient of the Network Library of the Year Award during a special presentation in Washington, DC. “In a year notable for budget cuts and shrinking resources, the Ohio and Detroit libraries have continued to meet the needs of the blind and physically handicapped patrons in creative and innovative ways, often exceeding patron expectations, “said National Library Service Director Ruth Scovill.

More specifically, the OLBPD was credited with successfully transitioning patrons from cassette audiobooks and machines to digital books and players. Thanks to the effort of the staff at the OLBPD, nearly 10,000 active readers throughout the state are now utilizing the new technology. As part of the transition, the OLBPD also expanded its collection in 2011, thanks to a discretionary grant from the State that allowed for the purchase of additional digital books, described DVDs and new playaways.

In September, the OLBPD also celebrated the 80th anniversary of the National Library Service, of which the OLBPD was one of 19 founding members. The celebration, entitled “Family Fun and Learning Day”, included a special gardening program and tours of OLBPD’s sensory garden, as well as food and entertainment.