Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Children's Authors Rally around Library for Visually Impaired

My friend and fellow author Valerie Sherrard posted the following info on the listserve of CANSCAIP, the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers recently:

"For more than 90 years, Canadians who read print have enjoyed free access to public libraries, funded through taxes. For the same amount of time, blind and partially sighted people across Canada have enjoyed free access to the donor-funded CNIB Library, Canada's largest library of Braille and audio materials.

It's inappropriate to expect blind and partially sighted Canadians to rely on a charity to pay for a service that other Canadians enjoy as a basic right of citizenship. Furthermore, CNIB can no longer sustain the $10 million annual operating cost of the library without partnerships with all levels of government. Today, the CNIB Library is in jeopardy, and its services in danger of eroding. Partnerships are needed now to ensure the future sustainability of the library and avoid service reductions.

If you believe that visually impaired Canadians deserve to have their right to read respected, please take a moment to support them through a letter of support (already prepared) here: http://righttoread.cnib.ca/"

Thanks to Valerie's post, many of the writers who participate in the listserve immediately sprang into action. Letters were written and sent, and stories were shared by many about how this vital institution has played a large role in the lives of family members and friends.

We don't know yet what impact the kidlit author contingent will have on this issue, but I'm proud to belong to such a proactive, thoughtful, and community-minded group.

Please lend your voice of support to the CNIB library by clicking on the link and sending off your own letter of support! Mine is on its way today!


  1. Braille Institute is looking for virtual volunteers for their new online community site www.solutionsinsight.org the new site is focused on helping people with low or failing vision and the people that care for them. Have a great day!

  2. There are many online & free sources for downloadable books! Check this new program out:

    Braille Audio & Reading Download (BARD): free program to download talking books from an extensive collection of titles: http://bit.ly/bgAqLm


Because: Science!