Thursday, March 21, 2019

Visually impaired patrons are invited to come “see” what the library can offer for them. Senior adults are specifically invited to stop by between 9-11 a.m. while students and young adults are specifically invited to stop by between 2-4 p.m.    

The open house will include an introduction to JAWS Professional, which was installed last fall. This screen reader is designed to enable patrons who are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic, or have learning disabilities to use a computer independently. The computer “talks” to the user, helping them “see” screen content and navigate the Internet. The Friends of the Hennessey Library purchased a large print yellow keyboard to further enable patrons to utilize this computer.

The Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services-Visual Services Division have been working with Hennessey Public Library to ensure JAWS Professional is running correctly and up-to-date. Representatives from both organizations will be present at the Read Again Open House to demonstrate and provide visually impaired patrons with opportunities to sign up for free resources such as talking books and handheld lighted magnifiers.

The Read Again Open House also will serve as the official launch of Ruth Ellen’s Read Again Program. This program has been established in memoriam of the late Ruth Ellen Bailey Davis of Hennessey. Family and friends have been making memorial donations to the Hennessey Public Library in her name since she passed on January 5, 2019.

Since Ruth Ellen was an avid reader who had difficulty with vision impairment in later years, the Hennessey Public Library felt it would honor her spirit to create a program to help other patrons who are visually impaired be able to read again.

One of the key components of the Ruth Ellen’s Read Again Program is providing Kindle Fire e-readers for checkout to allow visually impaired patrons to select audiobooks of their choice from the library’s OverDrive app. Also through the program, more large print fiction books will be added to the library collection.