Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Front Page

Library to help visually impaired

by CHRIS GRAHAM
Reporter


Sue Makowski, branch manager of the Kenmore Library, uses the Optelec ClearView Video Magnifier, which was donated by the Kenmore Lions Club. 
Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Sue Makowski, branch manager of the Kenmore Library, uses the Optelec ClearView Video Magnifier, which was donated by the Kenmore Lions Club. Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Town of Tonawanda Public Library is reintroducing a device that can help attract those who are visually impaired to the library.

The Optelec ClearView Video Magnifier, donated by the Kenmore Lions Club, is located in the lounge area of the Kenmore Branch and assists the visually impaired with reading books and magazines, viewing photographs and writing.

Dorinda Darden, the library’s director, believes that promoting the device will be beneficial.

“We do have a lot of patrons who are visually impaired,” Darden said. “A lot of them come in and use audio books and the large-print books, so this will be a great device when they are in the library to be able to read their material.”

The machine was donated to the library in 2000, but when remodeling occurred in 2012, it was placed in the staff workroom and not out for the public. Now, the library, along with the Lions Club, is looking to promote the device and let those who need it know it’s available.

“It’s very valuable,” she said. “We don’t want to lose them. They are coming into the library. They may come in to take an audio book or a large-print book and then they leave. Knowing that this equipment is available to them they may stay in the library longer and might even attend some programs. It’s making the library more accessible to that clientele.”

Thomas Reinagel, of the Kenmore Lions Club, also wants to get the word out about the device.

“We wanted to make the visually impaired community in Kenmore aware of the fact that this is there ... for anytime they want to use it,” Reinagel said.

Darden said that given the move of the machine during the remodeling, the current focus has been on advertising the device.

“It’s been available to the public before, but it wasn’t really advertised as much as it should have been,” she said. “We want to put it out in a public area and make it visible and then advertise it, and hopefully, we’ll get people who can use the equipment.”

Darden said the library will get the word out by posting information about the magnifier on its website and Facebook page, as well as in the library. Additionally, Reinagel said the Lions Club would put a note in the group’s newsletter.

The magnifier is available during library hours and is available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.

The library, which is located at 160 Delaware Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m Sundays.

For more information about the machine, or information on events at the Town of Tonawanda Public Library, visit www.buffalolib.org.

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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