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G2S Project Code: 2014-CT-72594
State: Connecticut
Fiscal Year: 2014
Connecticut State Library

Project Director
Director Name: Gordon Reddick
Director Phone: 860-721-2021
Director Email:
General Information
Title: Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
State Project Code:
Start Date: 10/01/2013
End Date: 09/30/2015
Abstract: The Connecticut State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) provides for the special format reading and information needs of Connecticut residents who are blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped, or reading disabled.
The LBPH allows users with disabilities to maintain equal access to print information. The library lends to individual patrons as well as to libraries, schools, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. This year, there were 5,390 active patrons, and 710 new patrons were added to the rolls. This is the fourth consecutive year of growth in new patrons, reflecting the positive effects of the enhanced outreach program.

The LBPH provides reader's advisory and reference services in addition to lending its collection of Braille books and magazines, books on cassette tape, digital cartridges, and playback machines to qualifying individuals and organizations in Connecticut. Patrons can also access the NLS inventory online and download audio and Braille books directly from the internet. All services are free, including playback machines and postage, and eligible veterans receive priority service.

State Goal: Literacies and learning
Budget Information
Improve users’ ability to obtain and/or use information resources.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)
Activity Details
Title: Circulation and Reader Advisory
Narrative: LBPH staff duties include patron assistance, reader advisory, circulation duties, processing newly acquired digital books, collection maintenance, inventory control of playback machines, and interlibrary loan. LBPH staff administer patron accounts for the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) system and assist patrons with the process of downloading books.
This year, the library added 3,387 new digital book titles.
The LBPH book duplication program has grown significantly with over 800 books having been duplicated for patrons, up from only a handful last year. Efforts are now underway to create multiple-title digital cartridges, where about 10 books can be duplicated onto one cartridge. These cartridges will thus be able to hold entire book series or multiple books by the same author or on the same subject.

The staff promotes public awareness of the library's services through exhibits, presentations, tours (e.g., church disabilities committees, senior expos, state conventions, etc) and publications. Additionally, extensive efforts were made to contact all the nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in the state to promote the program.

Intent: Improve users’ ability to obtain and/or use information resources.

Activity: Content
Mode: Lending
Format: Combined physical & digital

Total number of items circulated: 182,405
Average number of items circulated / month: 15,200
Total number of ILL transactions: 214
Average number of ILL transactions / month: 18

Partner Information
Organization Type of Partner Organization(s):
Libraries: No
Historical Societies or Organizations: No
Museums: No
Archives: No
Cultural Heritage Organization Multi-type: No
Preschools: No
Schools: No
Adult Education: No
Human Service Organizations: No
Other: No

Legal Type of Partner Organization(s):
Federal Government: Yes
State Government: No
Local Government (excluding school districts): No
School District: No
Non-Profit: No
Private Sector: No
Tribe/Native Hawaiian Organization: No

Is the activity directed at the library workforce: No
For a targeted group or for the general population: Targeted
Geographic community of the targeted group: Urban
For what age groups: All Ages
For what economic types: Economic Not Applicable
For what ethnicity types: Ethnicity Not Applicable
Is the activity directed at families: No
Is the activity directed at intergenerational groups: No
Is the activity directed at immigrants/refugees: No
Is the activity directed at those with disabilities: Yes
Limited functional literacy or informational skills: No
Is the activity category not already captured: No

Is the activity state-wide: Yes
Specific Locations: No
Library Types
Public Libraries: 57
Academic Libraries: 0
Consortia: 0
Special Libraries: 7
School Libraries: 6
Other: 86
Project Outcomes
Project Outcomes
List any important findings or outcomes from your project:
The latest patron survey showed that 98% of all patrons rate the LBPH service as good or better, and 76% of the patrons stated that they receive excellent service. Cassette circulation declined by 39%, while circulation of digital books grew 4.5%. The use of mobile devices continues to grow with 166 new patrons using the BARD mobile app – a 64% increase from the prior year. Circulation per patron increased dramatically to 33.8 books per patron, up from 26.5 books in the prior year.
Please briefly describe importance of findings:
These outcomes add up to greater accessibility to reading materials by the blind and physically handicapped communities in Connecticut. Patrons are very satisfied with LBPH's program. In addition, the decline in cassette circulation was expected and now constitutes just 9.4% of total circulation. Digital books are now the primary media: having been introduced in 2009, digital books and internet downloads now constitute 90% of the total circulation. One factor for the increase in the number of new BARD patrons was the introduction of the BARD mobile app for Android devices, which opened up access to a large number of users. This year's 27.5% increase in circulation, on top of the 11% increase last year, can most likely be attributed to the expanding accessibility of books. In recent years, the LBPH program has added a greatly improved playback machine, Braille and digital book downloads from the internet, and also the use of mobile device apps.
What methods did you use to determine your findings? Check all that apply:
Review of Administrative Data
Based on outputs, outcomes and/or other results, explain any significant lessons learned from these findings for either the SLAA or others in the LIS field:

Do you anticipate continuing this project after the current reporting period ends:
Do you anticipate any change in level of effort:
Do you anticipate any change in the project's scope:
Yes: Cassette tapes will be withdrawn from service by the end of FY16.
Do you anticipate any other changes in the project:
Yes: In addition to books from NLS, LBPH also receives digital books recorded by the Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped, Inc., which is the local in-state recording partner. CVSBH is an independent non-profit corporation made up of volunteers who record and produce up to 100 books per year. Because of the costly and extensive transition to digital cartridges, LBPH has not received any digital books from them in the past two years. However, production is now ramping up, and the library should receive a number of books in the next year.
Exemplary: No
Exemplary Narrative
Project Tags: LBPH, Talking Books