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GLASS Atlanta Tour Recap

GLASS Atlanta Tour Recap

SLA-Georgia recently hosted a lunchtime tour of the Atlanta office of Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services. GLASS supports accessible library services in Georgia by promoting the use of assistive technology and by providing accessible reading materials to those who, due to a disability, are unable to read standard print.

At the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library, in downtown Atlanta, GLASS offers numerous services to its patrons. The outreach librarian, Stephanie Irvin, showed us their public computers with custom contrast options, high contrast keyboards and magnifying screens. In addition there is a text-to-voice scanner also available. Stephanie explained that patrons will use this machine to read bills, for example. Their distance services include delivery of braille and audio books. For the latter, they also provide a portable listening device. It has a 29 hour battery life and large buttons making it easy to use and maneuver, and giving it a fun retro look.

 

 

A children’s library offers a selection of children’s books in both text and braille, as well as a large interactive board showing the braille alphabet, allowing visitors to create their own braille messages. The children’s collection includes atlases with imprints to demonstrate geography and topography.

 

Behind the scenes we were shown the Braille printer – it looks like a large version of the old telex machines, and resides in a big enclosed box, to help mask the noise it makes when working. The offices also boast a recording studio where the GLASS staff record audio versions of books by Georgia authors and about local history. They accept volunteers as readers; if you are interested please email Stephanie at sirvin@georgialibraries.org.

 

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Rebecca G. Brizi
2018 SLA-Georgia President-Elect
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