Schlow Works with Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to Offer Services

For those in Centre County who are blind or have a visual disability, the joy of reading and of books can be delivered right to their homes.

Schlow Centre Region Library is working with the state’s libraries for the blind and physically handicapped, with locations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, to help people become aware of the services available for those who are blind or have physical disabilities.

“We know that there is a need for services like the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in our community, but many may not be aware that something like this exists, or that it will mail materials directly to your home,” district library consultant Brady Clemens says. “We're really excited to be helping spread the word about this program!”

Through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), materials and equipment, which can bring the joy of reading to those who are blind, can be delivered to homes free of charge. People who are eligible to participate in the Talking Book Program can borrow audio recordings of many popular books and magazines. The books and magazines are recorded on a digital cartridge that can be played on a digital talking-book player.

Those same materials also are available for download in braille formats. Braille readers can use a refreshable braille display, which allows devices to be lighter and more user-friendly.

The digital talking-book players are lightweight, portable, and durable. They have high-quality sound, built-in audio instructions, variable-speed controls, and a sleep button.

NLS also has more than 14,000 children’s books in its braille and talking-book collection, so young readers who are blind or physically handicapped can enjoy reading.

The services available through NLS also can help veterans who have difficulty reading regular print, those with a physical disability that makes it difficult for them to hold the printed page, and students who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty reading printed materials because of a physical difficulty. These services also are available if blindness or physical handicap is temporary — following a surgery, for example.

Schlow Centre Region Library also is proud to offer a Library by Mail service to people who are permanently or temporarily homebound but who may not have a disability that qualifies them for the services from the Library for the Blind. This free service is offered to any resident of Centre, Clearfield, Juniata, and Mifflin counties. Library materials are delivered to homes for free, and materials can be mailed back and returned to the library for free.

To apply for the Library by Mail service, simply complete and submit the online application that can be found at For more information, call the Schlow Library Reference Desk at 814-237-6236 or email

For more information on the services for the blind and physically handicapped and how to apply, visit the Reference Desk at Schlow Centre Region Library, call 1-888-657-7323, or go online to


Posted 10/1/2018