NLS Operations Alert


No. 20-53


DATE         :  August 19, 2020

TO             :  Network Libraries

FROM        :  Karen Keninger, Director

SUBJECT  :  NLS honors Oklahoma and San Francisco libraries



Congratulations to the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Oklahoma City, recipient of the NLS Regional Library of the Year Award for 2019, and the Talking Books and Braille Center at the San Francisco (California) Public Library, recipient of the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.


“The programs and services these two libraries offer are outstanding examples of the innovation and outreach that we see throughout the NLS network,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said. “They exemplify our commitment to ensuring that all may read.”


The Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (OLBPH), led by Library Director and Programs Manager Kevin Treese, served 5,402 patrons last year and circulated more than 150,000 braille and audio books, magazines, and other special-format items.


OLBPH manages the Oklahoma Telephone Reader, an on-demand, dial-up information service staffed by volunteers that features content from several Oklahoma newspapers. OLBPH’s Accessible Instructional Materials Center provides textbooks and other instructional materials in braille, large print, and assistive technology to 1,258 children and teens in 523 public, private, charter, and home schools. The library’s recording studio has contributed more than 100 items to BARD, including 56 issues of Cowboys & Indians magazine, 28 issues of Oklahoma Today magazine, and 21 books of regional interest.


OLBPH is a unit of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.


San Francisco’s Talking Books and Braille Center, led by Program Manager Jane Glasby, served nearly 900 patrons in 2019 and circulated 31,290 braille and audio books, magazines, and other items—two-thirds of them via BARD.


The center’s monthly programs include its Talking Book Club, a large-print book club called Easy on the Eyes, and audio-described movies that are shown in the main library’s auditorium. It hosts frequent musical jams performed by patrons bringing their own instruments or using the library’s drums and keyboard, quarterly braille story times for children, and the annual Hooray for Braille! celebration with the San Francisco chapter of the California Council of the Blind.


Each prize comes with a $1,000 award and a commemorative plaque. The two libraries will be honored later this year at NLS’s biennial meeting, which will be held virtually, and at a luncheon in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., planned for the spring of 2021.


Read more about the winning libraries at


For more information contact:

Pamela N. Davenport

Network Consultant

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