Voice of the National Federation of the Blind


The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves.


Published monthly in inkprint, Braille, and on talking book discs
Distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind
President; Kenneth Jernigan, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309


EDITOR; Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue Sacramento, California 95822
Associate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708
News Items should be sent to the Editor
Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708


If you or a friend wish to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you can do so by employing the following language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation, the sum of $ (or,"______ percent of my net estate", or "the following stocks and bonds:_____________") to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons and to be held and administered by direction of its Executive Committee."

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the Berkeley Office for other suggested forms.


Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708




by Kenneth Jernigan

[Online Transcriber’s Note: For accessibility purposes, some of the documentation that follows has had heading level text added. The added text will appear in parentheses at the top of each document. The text in parentheses did not appear in the original Braille Monitor.]

NFB Resolution 58-15

NFB Resolution 59-08

NFB Resolution 60-22

NFB Resolution 63-15

NFB Resolution 64-08

NFB Resolution 68-01

NFB Resolution 69-04 [See Braille Monitor, August, 1969]

NFB Resolution 70-07 [See Braille Monitor, September, 1970]

NFB Resolution 71-02 [See Braille Monitor, September, 1971]

NFB Resolution 71-15 [See Braille Monitor, September, 1971]

NFB Resolution 71-21 [See Braille Monitor, September, 1971]

Excerpt--Letter from Ed Potter, North Carolina, May 2, 1971

Excerpt--Letter from Ed Potter, North Carolina, June 13, 1971

Excerpt--Letter from L. V. Bowersox, Iowa, August 12, 1971

Circular Letter No. 10, Library of Congress, December 15, 1970

Letter from Library of Congress to Regional Libraries, May 6, 1971

M. P. Coyle, Pennsylvania, to Mrs. F. Grannis, Iowa, January 23, 1969

Memo from M. P. Coyle, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1969

C. Gallozzi, Library of Congress, to M. Coyle, October 21, 1969

Memo from M. Coyle, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1970

F. L. Crawford, North Carolina, to R. S. Bray, Library of Congress, November 26, 1968

F. L. Crawford, North Carolina, to L. Q. Mumford, Library of Congress, December 2, 1968

R. S. Bray to F. L. Crawford, December 13, 1968

by Florence Grannis

Exhibit 1
by Florence Grannis
[See Braille Monitor, September, 1968]

Exhibit 2
by Florence Grannis

Exhibit 3
by Florence Grannis
[See Braille Monitor, March 1970]

Exhibit 4
BEST SELLERS (Book World, August 1, 1971)

Exhibit 5
Letter--M. K. Finseth, Washington, to F. Grannis, Iowa, May 14, 1969

Exhibit 6
Memo--E. Lewis, Library of Congress, to F. Grannis, July 14, 1969

Exhibit 7
Memo--F. Grannis to B. G. Dumais, Library of Congress, March 26, 1968

Exhibit 8
Memo--F. Graimis to M. Howell, Library of Congress, October 20, 1970

Exhibit 9
Catalog cards of books processed but not distributed by Library of Congress

[See Braille Monitor, November, 1969]

by Florence Grannis
[See Braille Monitor, October, 1971]

by Robert Turner and Arturo Biblarz


by Jim Doherty



by Lelia M. Proctor

by Donald C. Capps





Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2010 with funding from National Federation of the Blind (NFB)


by Kenneth Jernigan

August 25, 1971

Mr. L. Quincy Mumford
Librarian of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20540

Dear Mr. Mumford:

You have asked that I provide you with documentation concerning the deteriorating service given by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress and concerning the attitudes of Mr. Robert Bray, the Chief of that Division. In the late 1950's and early 1960's (see attached resolutions 58-15, 59-08, 60-22, and 63-15) the organized blind of the nation found the services provided by the Library of Congress to be frustratingly inadequate. This could be substantiated by many articles and letters.

In the mid-1960's (see resolution 64-08) the situation seemed to improve. The organized blind were eager to give recognition and commendation to any betterment of service or positive steps on the part of Mr. Bray's Division. In my capacity as Director of one State program for the blind I wrote a letter commending Mr. Bray.

By the late 1960's the situation had again changed. It was worse than it had ever been, and each month seemed to bring deterioration. At its annual meeting the National Federation of the Blind passed resolution 68-01 (see attachment). Even though the service had deteriorated, it will be seen that the resolution speaks in positive terms, hoping to accomplish more with patience and soft words than with harshness. However, it is not difficult to read between the lines and see the problem. 1969 brought another resolution (see attachment 69-04). In 1970 (see resolution 70-07) there was an attempt to improve matters by taking another tack. By the summer of 1971 the situation had become intolerable (see resolutions 71-01, 71-02, 71-15, and 71-21). In this context the failure of Mr. Hahn to attend the Houston Convention is part of a larger picture, not merely an isolated incident.

That picture is, by no means, fully presented by the resolutions to which I have referred. The blind have been reluctant to complain about their library service, as have the regional libraries throughout the country. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress is no longer providing any leadership or meaningful service. Rather, it has become an obstacle.

Often there are many small incidents, which go to make up a pattern, instead of any major occurence. Of course, I have more firsthand daily knowledge of what I say in Iowa than of what occurs in other parts of the country. However, the pattern seems to be the same throughout the nation. I know this because of conversations I have had with leaders of the blind from throughout the country and because of letters received by the Iowa library or by me.

Consider the following items:

1) Excerpts from two letters (May 2, 1971, and June 13, 1971) from Ed Potter, an intelligent and educated blind borrower, who feels that Mr. Bray will not answer letters and that the Library of Congress is not providing good service (see attachments).

2) Again, evidence that blind borrowers do not feel that Mr. Bray's Division responds to letters of inquiry (see letter from Mr. Bowersox).

3) Under date of December 15, 1970, the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped sent a letter (see attachment) saying that the 1970 Federal Income Tax Forms would be available in Braille on request. In the first place it was rather late to set the machinery in motion, but in the next place (despite repeated requests) the Iowa library received the Braille forms the day after the filing deadline in 1971.

4) Under date of May 6, 1971, the Division sent a notice to regional libraries (see attachment) that the 1971 American and National League baseball schedules were available in Braille and that a Braille copy was being sent. Additional copies would be available on request. The request was made immediately, but in late August the schedules have not arrived. Soon it will not matter.

5) The head of the library for the blind in Philadelphia (see letter dated January 23, 1969) finds that the Division agrees to tape a magazine but loses three issues straight running and has not yet been able to supply a single copy to a single library. Whether one likes the content of the magazine the quality of the service is portrayed in clear outline.

6) The head of the library for the blind in Philadelphia finds that inefficiency and chaos characterize the establishment of the cassette program by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (see memo of October 7, 1969). Instead of responding constructively to the criticism the Division responds with annoyance (see letter of October 21, 1969, from Mr. Gallozzi). Further, it is reported reliably that officials of the Division attempted to put pressure on the Philadelphia librarian through his superiors because he had dared be critical.

7) Head librarian for the blind at Philadelphia makes survey concerning cassette program (see results of cassette questionnaire dated January 5, 1970.)

8) The South Carolina agency for the blind experienced extreme difficulty in securing good library services (see letter from Dr. Crawford to Mr. Bray, November 26, 1968). This letter was the culmination of two years of frustration and inefficiency on the part of the Division. Again, the charge that Mr. Bray does not answer his letters. Dr. Crawford next writes to Mr. Mumford (see letter dated December 2, 1968). Mr. Bray finally responds (December 13, 1968). The tone of Mr. Bray's letter is not exactly what one would call constructive. It is my understanding that the South Carolina situation has now finally been resolved and that the snarls have been untangled. However, the frustration and delay in solving the problems indicate the difficulties with Mr. Bray's Division.

9) A statement (see "Comments Concerning the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, August 20, 1971") has been prepared by Mrs. Florence Grannis, Librarian, Iowa Commission for the Blind.

10) A flagrant example of Mr. Bray's mishandling of library services occurred in 1969 (see "Federal Interference in Oklahoma Backfires” Braille Monitor, November, 1969).

11) An article (see attachment) will appear in the October, 1971, Braille Monitor, entitled "What Should a Library for the Blind Be?"

12) In addition to the foregoing documentation I would add my own testimony. Mr. Bray is customarily arrogant and rude in dealing with me, and 1 have witnessed him treat others in the same manner. I have repeatedly tried to call Mr. Bray on the phone, but he is always "not available." Regardless of how many messages one leaves, he never responds.

I recently talked with Mr. Gerald Buttars, the Librarian in Utah, and he indicated that Mr. Bray never responds to letters or phone calls from him. He further said that service he receives from the Division is "bad" but that he does not like to complain and wants to be positive. He said: "We in the regional libraries get blamed for the bad service, but what else can we do in view of the inefficiency of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress?"

I do not, of course, allege that all things are bad which the Division does. Its book selection policies are better than they were, but they are still condescending and regressive. Rather, I claim that the general pattern of the Division is one of inefficiency, duplication, waste of money, arrogance, and discourtesy. I have here presented representative documentation, but much more could be brought forth if it is wanted.

The blind of this nation ask that something be done to improve the service offered by the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, that the Division become more responsive to the wishes and needs of the blind, and that the Chief of the Division behave in a reasonably courteous manner when dealing with blind borrowers.

Very truly yours,

Kenneth Jernigan, President
National Federation of the Blind

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WHEREAS, it is a part of the proper business of a public library to make available to its users as many books of all kinds, both fiction and non-fiction, novels, poetry and drama, as well as histories and scientific books, both social and natural; and

WHEREAS, the books now provided by the United States Government through the Division for the Blind of the Library of Congress are not adequately representative of the various sorts of fiction and non-fiction, classical and modern and contemporary; and

WHEREAS, there is now by law no limitation upon the Federal money which the Library of Congress may spend for making books available to blind readers;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind, in Convention assembled at Boston, Massachusetts, this 7th day of July, 1958

THAT, this Convention respectfully urges the Library of Congress to take all measures appropriate to improvement of its collection for blind users in the ways indicated.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Library of Congress in making selection of books for blind users consult scholars, authoritative and qualified in the various fields of literature concerned,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the President appoint a committee to explore the possibility of a regular exchange of all books for blind users between the Library of Congress and the corresponding institution in the United Kingdom,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT said committee will report to the 1959 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.


The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 7, 1958.

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WHEREAS, it is a well established part of American democracy that every person has a right to read what any person has a right to publish; and

WHEREAS, public libraries commonly endeavor to assist the exercise of this right; and

WHEREAS, the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, is the primary source of literature for blind readers in this country; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind in its 1958 Convention urged the Library of Congress to endeavor to make its collection more adequately representative of the various types of literature by addition and by improved cooperation with libraries for the blind in the United Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, has demonstrated a lack of effective sympathy with the desires of blind readers throughout the country expressed through the National Federation of the Blind;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind, in Convention assembled at Santa Fe, New Mexico, this 29th day of June, 1959

THAT this Convention deplores the attitude exhibited by the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, as one of censorship of the books which the blind may read and for that reason, as one of infringement of the blind person's right to read; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Convention condemns, as a restriction of the right to read, the harrassing exaction from borrowers of talking book machines of information irrelevant to their status as users of such machines and requests the Librarian of the Library of Congress to require that all distributors of such machines refrain from the practice of demanding such information and condition any determination as to who may borrow such machines solely upon conditions set forth m the applicable Federal statutes.


The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on June 29, 1959,

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WHEREAS, it is a well-established part of American Democracy that every person has a right to read what any person has a right to publish;

WHEREAS, public libraries commonly endeavor to assist the exercise of this right; and

WHEREAS, the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, is the primary source of literature for blind readers in this country; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind in its 1958 Convention urged the Library of Congress to endeavor to make its collection more adequately representative of the various types of literature by addition and by improved cooperation with libraries for the blind in the United Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, has not demonstrated sufficient concern over the desires of blind readers throughout the country for literature other than palliative, non-controversial material, now therefore be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind, in Convention assembled at Miami, Florida, this 4th day of July, 1960, that this Convention deplores the practice of censorship of the books which the blind may read by the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind, because this censorship is an infringement of the blind person's right to read; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Convention condemns, as a restriction of the right to read, the harrassing exaction from borrowers of talking book machines of information irrelevant to their status as users of such machines and requests the Librarian of the Library of Congress to require that all distributors of such machines refrain from the practice of demanding such information and condition any determination as to who may borrow such machines solely upon conditions set forth in the applicable Federal statutes.

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WHEREAS, the Library of Congress publishes for the blind a small fraction of the number of titles published each year in print; and

WHEREAS, those titles published for the blind are frequently condensed and as a result weakened in literary content; and

WHEREAS, the selection of those titles to be published gives preference to the trivial and minor works; and

WHEREAS, these practices result in an impoverishment of materials available to the blind for reading;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this 6th day of July, 1963, that this Federation strongly urges that the Library of Congress put an end to these various and unfortunate practices by: 1) publishing in full all books selected for publication, and 2) improving the method of selection by making available titles with a more valuable literary content and otherwise of more enduring importance.


The foregoing resolution was adopted unanimously by the National Federation of the Blind Convention on July 6, 1963.

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WHEREAS, the Division for the Blind, Library of Congress, under the direction of Mr. Robert S. Bray has brought about many technical improvements in talking book machines and in talking books; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Bray has inaugurated successfully and developed nationally a book-on-tape program for interested regional libraries for the blind; and

WHEREAS, during Mr. Bray's tenure of office there has been a substantial increase in the number of titles of books for children and adults and in the number of copies of books produced; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the National Federation of the Blind assembled in Convention this 3rd day of July, 1964, in Phoenix, Arizona, do hereby commend Mr. Robert S. Bray for his leadership in stimulating these advances and for his obvious concern in upgrading library service to the blind throughout the nation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind support continued progress and improvements by the Division for the Blind, Library of Congress, to achieve library services for the blind more equal to those available to the general public, and specifically does the National Federation of the Blind recommend greater emphasis on production of the classics, basic books (as starred in the STANDARD CATALOG FOR PUBLIC libraries), and practical books (such as the secretary's handbook and like material).

Unanimously adopted, July 3, 1964.

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WHEREAS the regional librarians for the blind are in a peculiarly sensitive position to be aware of the desires and needs of the blind in the area of book selection; and

WHEREAS it will be highly beneficial to give the newly formed Regional Librarian Book Selection Committee a real voice in choosing the books to be put into Braille, on talking book, and on tape; and

WHEREAS, the blind themselves should rightfully have a substantial voice in determining what should be available for them to read; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this 4th day of July, 1968, in the city of Des Moines, Iowa, that Mr. Robert Bray, Chief, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, is to be highly commended for forming the Regional Librarian Book Selection Committee and is hereby called upon to give this committee real power and voice in book selection; and be it further

RESOLVED that Mr. Bray, appropriate officials of the Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, members of the Regional Librarian Book Selection Committee, and other regional librarians are called upon to solicit the participation in book selection of the blind themselves through their own organizations at the local, State, and national levels.

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Box 434, Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278
May 2, 1971

What this hastily, ill-typed letter is all about is that you have received, or will soon receive, a box of periodicals from me. Over the past two years, I have been tracking down addresses where material in French Braille might be obtained. At the present time, I am subscribing to fifteen periodicals from Europe, and two from Canada. Some are in what we would call grade one. Others are in what would be grade two here, but the French call "abrégé." You might already know all this, but France and all other countries have their own special designations for the Braille signs to accommodate their own orthography--to read real French, German, Italian, or Spanish Braille, one has first to learn their signs.

I didn't know anything about this until one day I received from the New York Public Library a book Brailled in France in the French Braille abrégé. I was so anxious to read the book and learn the signs, that I made it my hobby and challenge to learn the signs--I began to guess their meaning by context. Over a period of several months, I had about ninety-five percent of them pegged. Suddenly, one day in answer to a letter I had written, a simple little periodical-sized booklet came from Canada with all the signs in beautiful order--if it only had come sooner.

The Library of Congress was no help at all in this matter-yet from time to time, surely some nut comes along like myself who would like to know more than surface material in another language. Why do you suppose the Library of Congress doesn't assemble this information from all the languages, as well as import tapes from their libraries. I know, for example, that there are hundreds of books available from France and Switzerland and Belgium, not even to mention Canada, and after all, tape is so cheap, even if they didn't want the Braille for some reason. I have written them about this, but they simply don't know what I'm talking about. One time they thought I wanted a list of the accented letters in Braille. So, for the moment, I have given up until I think of a new tactic.

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Box 434
Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278

June 13, 1971

Incidentally print any remarks of mine concerning the Library of Congress you like, their service couldn't get much worse if they choose to boycott me. I wrote them recently suggesting that they endeavor to secure Braille code books from cis many countries as possible, and further to subscribe to at least a sampling of periodical material. I wrote to Mr. Bray himself, but somehow he doesn't answer his mail.

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(Excerpt--Letter from L. V. Bowersox, Iowa, August 12, 1971)


I sent a request for tape recordings to the Library of Congress three months ago. I have not heard a word from them. Shall I try again?

L. V. Bowersox
Fayette, Iowa

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(Circular Letter No. 10, Library of Congress, December 15, 1970)

Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, D.C. 20542

Reference Department

1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

December 15, 1970

Letter No. 10

Dear Regional Librarian:

Selection and Publications has had a busy pre-Christmas season. We have two new staff members: Mrs. Shirley Al-Doory has accepted the position of Assistant Section Head, and Miss Lucy Vash joins the staff as Selections Assistant.

A few of the print books in the cassette and book combinations are oversize and a 13-inch container had to be used. We have already had several queries about this from the field. The moral is to keep the containers circulating so that you never have to shelve them.

We are pleased to announce that the 1970 Federal Income Tax Forms will be available in braille on request from National Collections.

TB 2788--THE GODFATHER by Puzo was reissued by popular demand. We received many requests for this title.

The first edition of U.S. News and World Report on talking book is now scheduled for January 11, 1971. This magazine is being eagerly awaited by many readers.

Changing Times has been running late because of production difficulties. We are sorry if your readers have been inconvenienced.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Lillias Bums
Head, Selection and Publications Section

Handwritten Comment: "We received the library copy of the Braille 1970 Income Tax forms from L. C. the day after the deadline for filing."

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(Letter from Library of Congress to Regional Libraries, May 6, 1971)

Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, D. C. 20542

Reference Department

1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

6 May 1971

Dear Regional Librarian,

The 1971 American and National League Baseball schedules, Braille Edition have arrived from the publisher.

Under separate cover we have mailed you one copy of each schedule. If you require additional sets of these schedules, please phone me at (202) 882-5500, extension 65.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Weber
Assistant Head, National Collections

Handwritten Comment: "After receiving this letter I called L. C. & asked for ten additional copies. We never received them."

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(M. P. Coyle, Pennsylvania, to Mrs. F. Grannis, Iowa, January 23, 1969)


Library for the Blind
Free Library of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130
Phone: 563-5433

January 23, 1969

Mrs. Florence Grannis, Librarian
Iowa Commission for the Blind
4th and Keosauqua Way
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Florence:

It would seem that Iowa is very anxious to spend money. We would be most happy to sell you Playboy at $7 an issue. An average issue runs 4 reels ($1.75 per reel). The December and January issues will run 5 reels.

If you wish to save this money you can request the magazine from the Library of Congress. What we are doing is simply sending L/C a copy of the magazine. They have agreed to duplicate this magazine for libraries requesting it. So far they have succeeded in losing the September, October, and November issues which we sent, and therefore they have not supplied a single library with an issue. We are hoping for better results with the December issue. L/C has stated that they will not advertise the fact that they are supplying the magazine, but will meet requests from regional librarians. Maryland and Georgia are the two other libraries which have expressed strong interest in receiving this magazine.

You therefore have a choice of either buying it from us and receiving it regularly or taking your chances on the Library of Congress.

As an added footnote, we have just finished cataloging some 2,800 tapes in our collection. By June this catalog should be available in a format, similar to our Juvenile Braille Catalog.

For the first time we can now find books in tape by subject. In the near future we will be trying to fill certain obvious gaps in our collection. For example, we do not have a single book on physics. We will be trying to borrow books from you to fill our gaps (your books on physics are not so hot either). Our catalog will contain some 600 titles which were not received from L/C and which you would in turn be free to borrow and duplicate to fill gaps in your collection.

I am willing to purchase tapes from Recordings for the Blind, but not at the price they are asking.

We have sent our Juvenile Braille Catalog to the printers for a thousand copies of it in braille, Enclosed you will find some new forms which we have cut on magazines. If you know of any other braille magazines that you think we should be getting, please advise me.

Sincerely yours,

Michael P. Coyle, Head
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

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(Memo from M. P. Coyle, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1969)

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Free Library of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130

Phone: 563-5433                                                            October 7, 1969

MEMO TO: Agencies and Patrons Interested in the Cassette Machine Program

FROM: Michael P. Coyle, Head, Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

SUBJECT: Cassette Machines

Recently the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Washington, D. C., announced the beginning of a new tape cassette program. The announcement of this new program was first made verbally to persons attending conventions such as the Blinded Veterans Association and the American Association of Workers for the Blind, rather than to regional libraries. At these conventions, representatives of the Library of Congress took applications for, and promised to those persons who applied, free new cassette machines. As far as I know, the first written announcement of this program appeared in the Matilda Ziegler Magazine, inviting any blind persons to write their regional library for a new cassette machine.

It was not until late August that the regional libraries were informed that the Library of Congress planned distribution of 10,000 cassette machines to selected individuals throughout the country. The end result has been, in my opinion, complete chaos, with no one fully aware of just what is happening with the cassette program.

Each day this library receives many phone calls and letters asking about the new program. Since everything is based on hearsay and rumor, requests by those who wish to register for a new cassette machine reflect a multiplicity of concepts as to the criteria for participation in the program. Following are the few facts this regional library has concerning the program!

1. The 10,000 cassette machines were divided among the 43 regional libraries. The Philadelphia Regional Library received 200 cassette machines to distribute to readers in this program; and as of this writing, the Library of Congress is not committed to provide any further machines.

2. The Philadelphia Regional Library was required by the Library of Congress to send out 41 of the 200 cassette machines to individuals who registered for the program at conventions.

3. The Philadelphia Regional Library was further required to send 16 machines to the Bureau of Visually and Physically Handicapped at Harrisburg for each of our machine-lending agencies in the eastern half of the state.

4. As of this writing, 161 additional requests for machines have been received from persons and agencies. We now have more requests for machines than we have machines available. While this library abhors the haphazard method used for informing interested persons about the availability of these machines (and the program has yet to be announced by the Library of Congress in Talking Book Topics), we have no choice but to send out our remaining machines to those persons already registered for the program.

5. Obviously, no individual, family or agency who has already registered for the program can expect to receive more than one cassette machine.

6. Persons now owning a cassette machine (any model) should not request a cassette machine from this regional library. They are invited to register for the program to receive books on cassettes. Any cassette book received by an individual from this library will play on any model cassette machine.

7. If you or your agency does not have a cassette machine and wish to register for the program, we suggest that you forward your name to this library. We, in turn, will keep a waiting list in the hopes that more machines will become available in the future.

8. This library has only a very limited number of books on cassettes for use with the new machines. As of this writing, this library has 116 books on cassettes to be used with the original 200 cassette machines. All 116 titles are titles already available on talking book. There will probably be a six-month delay before we have enough titles to supply each reader with books on a regular basis.

9. Because of the suddenness with which this program was begun, no library has facilities for duplicating cassettes. The cost will be over $3,000 for a cassette duplicating machine. Nor were any regional libraries informed in advance of this program so that an item for needed staff might be budgeted. Therefore, for the next six months, due to lack of books and lack of staff, there will be many delays in receiving of this type of material from this regional library.

10. Regional libraries have no supply of blank cassette tapes.

11. No word has been received from the Library of Congress as to who is responsible for repairing the machines, but this problem will be solved shortly.

12. This library will gladly provide any person interested in purchasing a cassette machine with a copy of the latest consumer evaluation (Consumer Bulletin, October, 1968) on cassette machines. Prices range from less than $20.00 for a playback unit only, to over $200.00.

13. The cassette program will probably compete with or replace open-end reel tapes, not talking book discs. The current emphasis in selection of titles to be produced in cassettes is on material for the college-bound student or other young people.

The cassette machine is such a good machine that no one can be blamed for wanting to receive a free one. Being both a recorder and a playback machine, it will provide many services besides the one it is officially intended to do: to enable registered readers to listen to books on cassettes.

Over the next few months this library expects to receive many complaints from readers and agencies who feel that they are entitled to receive this machine. They will feel that a favoritism approach was used in the selecting of readers for the regional library program. But is there any absolutely fair method of distributing 200 cassette machines among 8,000 persons now served by this library? All new programs must go through birth pains. We have begun in a somewhat chaotic fashion, but over the coming years this program will become a most important part of library service to blind and physically handicapped readers.

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(C. Gallozzi, Library of Congress, to M. Coyle, October 21, 1969)

Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, D. C. 20542

Reference Department

1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

October 21, 1969

Dear Mike:

Your memo of October 7 contains a number of errors and distortions of fact. Its tone implies that it was written to aggravate the situation rather than try to help solve any problems, and does not reflect a professional approach to service. I would like to clarify a few points.

The tape cassette pilot program was announced in Mr. Bray's letter of July 26, 1968. Its potentials and problems were discussed during the Conference of Regional Librarians in December 1968. It was one of the items in the Nelson Survey, was mentioned in our Newsletter of February 1969 and in the LC Information Bulletin of March 20, 1969. Mr. Bray's letter of July 29, 1969, announced that you would receive 20 units; the actual quantity shipped to each regional library was 32, with larger shipments to machine lending agencies. We felt that machine agencies could handle referrals from the libraries. It was because of a letter signed jointly by you and Mona Werner, requesting that all units allotted to Pennsylvania be shipped to the two libraries, that you received 200 players. Then why complain of staff shortage? This is a limited program, and when the supply of players is exhausted, it simply is exhausted. Your image, or that of your library, need not suffer. In fact, if we are made aware of how many more players can really be used, it would help us plan (possibly a little better). Referring requests to us is the sensible thing to do; referring to it as making us the scapegoat is, at best, immature.


Charles Gallozzi
Acting Chief

Mr. Michael Coyle
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Free Library of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

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(Memo from M. Coyle, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1970)

January 5, 1970


FROM: Michael P. Coyle, Head

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
1700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130


In early November I requested from each of the regional librarians their opinions and attitudes on the new Cassette Program recently inaugurated by the Library of Congress. In rather subtle language I called the cassette program "one fouled up mess" inflicted on us by the Library of Congress The following is my analysis of the comments received from the 23 regional libraries which responded to my appeal.

Six regional libraries felt quite strongly that the Library of Congress was doing the best that it possibly could for this program. Three of these libraries had not incurred any major problems in the establishment of the cassette program. Time would solve the few other problems. Some representative statements from these six regional libraries are:

"We have not experienced any real problem, and are quite grateful to the DBPH for all they have done."

“The cassette book program has caused us no problem as yet."

"During the past 20 years I have seen a number of changes take place. We have changed models of talking book machines countless times, eliminated the English 24 r.p.m. records, added the 16-2/3 and 8-1/3, extended it to include physically handicapped, dispensed with grade 1 1/2 braille and Moon type, changed record-keeping, increased our patronage by 300%, added tape and large type to our service, etc, etc., and each new change has brought new problems. . . I am glad to have a division at L/C which dares to struggle for innovations and improvements."

Seven libraries felt more strongly than I, that the program began badly because of mishandling by DBPH and accorded the Library of Congress no redeeming virtues. Representative statements from these seven libraries are:

"We agree with your comments on the chaotic status of this program. We are thoroughly convinced that a perfectly good service is being allowed to 'SNAFU' because of a lack of good planning and communications."

"I am thoroughly m agreement with your opinion that the Library of Congress moves in a mysterious manner. My own experience is that the cassette program has not become a mess yet, but I fully expect it soon will be."

"We agree with you that this program has been handled by L/C m a somewhat less than fully satisfactory manner."

Eight libraries admitted many of the faults in this program, but feel that we must work together as a team to solve these problems. Their general attitude is expressed by the following statements:

"Opinion here that any beginning, even one making it rough on some of the libraries in some ways, is better than nothing or even delay."

"I received your letter about the cassettes which I agree has not come off too well as yet, but I do not feel it is an infliction. It is my feeling that the Library of Congress is trying to develop a good cassette program."

"I wish that the regional librarians had more of a part in the planning of the cassette program. I feel that we have to move with the cassette program, and that the future lies there, whatever the difficulties at present."

"We are hoping, as the program grows, that the troublesome aspects will be alleviated."

In my analysis of the returns, six libraries feel that L/C is doing the best that it can; seven feel that L/C caused most of the problems; eight felt that while there are problems, it is best to accept what happened and get down to the business of developing the program; and two had no opinion.

The following is a listing of the general criticisms of the cassette program as expressed by the 18 of the 23 libraries that made negative comments:


This is the most frequently mentioned complaint. It covers a wide area, but it all boils down to the fact that the Library of Congress is completely delinquent in keeping regional libraries informed. Typical comments:

"I feel that there needs to be a new communication structure between the regional libraries and the Library of Congress."

"I think the Library of Congress is so enthusiastic in providing as many services as possible to the blind and physically handicapped that too many things get started at once, and perhaps the information does not get to the regional librarians as promptly as it should."

"When the cassette program came upon us I found that I did not have sufficient information to know how to proceed."

"I feel that L/C's frequency of communication with the LBPH's is much too small, but that is the way it is, and this is just another example."

This lack of communication caused many of the problems that arose in developing the new cassette program. Seven libraries complained that if they had advance notice they could have worked better in developing public relations in distribution of the cassettes. Three libraries mentioned that they received most of their information about cassettes by either calling or writing L/C or from other regional librarians. This, obviously, leads to misinformation. Two librarians stated that L/C will definitely supply more machines next year, (We at this regional library have never had this confirmed by L/C.)

Many of the problems listed below would not have been the problems they were if the Library of Congress had shown even an awareness that the regional libraries should be informed in advance about their developments. I cannot see how a program costing half a million dollars could be developed and the regional libraries not informed until so late. (Four regional librarians mentioned that their first awareness of this program was from readers of Matilda Ziegler magazine.)

At the December, 1968 Regional Librarians General Meeting the need for better communications was stressed If this is the result, we are definitely in a bad way Three regional librarians are pinning their hopes on the 1970 meeting to clear up communication problems. I hope so, but I am pessimistic.


The following is typical:

"I wish that the regional librarians had had more of a part in the planning and operation of the cassette program,"

The program has never been officially announced by the Library of Congress, This caused many problems in determining a fair distribution and led, above all else, to a bad relationship between patrons and the regional libraries. As one regional librarian stated,

"I feel that it should have been announced first in Talking Book Topics so that all library patrons would have equal knowledge of the program."


"It seems that publicity concerning this program has been handled in a most slipshod fashion"


Six regional libraries complained about lack of staff for the program Three are not distributing the machines and the cassettes until they get the staff. One regional library complained that its taping program is at a virtual standstill in order to send out and develop the cassette program.


The problems here were many and varied. Again, lack of information caused the greatest amount of confusion and led to many machines going astray. Frequently the machines were sent to individuals whose names were supplied by the Library of Congress. Often these readers were not users of the regional libraries. Five regional librarians complained about machines having to go to the wrong type of reader or persons not registered with that library.

Again, where the machine lending agency was not the regional library, machines went to anyone that the lending agency wished to distribute them to. One regional librarian stated,

"Our machine distribution agency issued all their allotment to the blind case-workers in the state to be used in their work."

Others do not even know who received the machines. This is particularly true where the machines were sent to machine lending agencies in other states served by the regional library.

Preference for veterans was mentioned by five regional libraries as having caused difficulty. One library is issuing most of their machines to veterans. One machine lending agency is giving machines only to veterans. Two regional libraries complained that they would like to know what other agencies in their state received cassette machines and how many. (I would also ask what information did these other agencies receive from L/C on the cassette program.) While most regional libraries seemed to be giving out machines on a first-come-first-served basis, the general order where this is not followed is to veterans, college students, institutions (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), teachers, social workers, and general readers.

Two regional libraries complained about the inventory control and lack of identification before distributing the machines. Three regional libraries complained about the GE machine being too good. Many complained that they received requests from individuals only because these machines had recorders, and they felt that their primary use would be for things other than listening to cassette books. One regional librarian went so far as to remove the recording capability.

"We attempted to distribute our cassette machines without microphones. From the storm of protests we received we learned that the recording feature is by far the greatest attraction of the cassette machine."

One wanted to know why GE was used instead of the original models tested. One regional librarian felt that these machines were used because they could be converted to 4-track (an unverified statement). One regional librarian suggested that the recipients of future cassette machines should be supplied with maintenance information on cassettes, such as cleaning, demagnetizing, etc. One regional librarian distributing the machines stated,

"The unique thing I have done with the cassettes is to put at the top of each machine a notice both in large type and braille about placing the machine on its back with the handle toward you and pressing the marked key. We then mark with a Dymo-writer the "play key" with a capital P in braille. . . I feel this is an advantage, as instructions in the test program were recorded without any indication as to how to start the machine."

One librarian suggested that there might be a need for a rechargeable battery system. Three librarians made a strong plea that, if more machines be distributed, they be play-back machines only. Several complained about repairs, but this has been settled somewhat in the last month. Two libraries send readers information on purchasing cassettes, specifically Consumer Bulletin, October 1968, and Consumer Reports, November 1969.


Nearly every regional library complained about the shortage of material and about the lack of books, some more vehemently than others.

"Provisions should have been made for sufficient reading material before the machines were distributed."

Another complaint was on the distribution of the original cassette books. Three regional librarians mentioned that other regional libraries received more of the original cassette books than they. Two claimed they only received 40 of the original 150 promised. One received 67; two received 80. One regional librarian would Uke to know if it is possible to splice the cassette books and do limited repair of the breakage in the regional library. (An L/C memo, Tech. 11-69/3, attempts to answer this question, but is inadequate since it does not answer the most common form of cassette breakage-tapes breaking at the end of track one.)


It seems that, in general, records are either filed with or kept similar to tapes or talking books. No one mentioned a unique method of record keeping. Several complained at lack of time to set up a good circulation system for cassettes. The most detailed and best, as far as procedure goes, is the Iowa Library for the Blind. They have worked out a 4-page circular which defines clearly every aspect of the cataloging and circulating of their material. It is all-inclusive and quite comprehensive, and I suggest that interested librarians write to Iowa for a copy if they are seeking this type of information.

Only one library stated that they check the cassette books before they are sent out, rewinding the reels where necessary. Three stated that they do not check the books before they are sent out. Several libraries are keeping records of those individuals who requested but did not receive cassette machines so that if and when another shipment of cassette machines is received they will be able to distribute them to the next person on the waiting list. One library is definitely not keeping this type of record, telling the reader to write to L/C.


Lack of equipment was mentioned by five regional libraries as a serious drawback. Two libraries state that they have some equipment for producing reel-to-cassette books. Two have equipment on order. One complained,

"We purchased 4-track duplicating equipment after notification from L/C that after 1-1-68 they would be circulating 4-track tape. Evidently this program has been by-passed for the cassette program."

One library purchased 100 additional cassette players. Several libraries are purchasing blank cassettes. Packaging the cassettes was also mentioned by one library as a problem.


The Connecticut library printed their own complete lists of books available on cassettes. It is well done. Cleveland has a good Fact Sheet giving make, model, etc., about the cassette machine and the cassette program which it sends to its readers. Iowa, as mentioned above, has a very detailed program. Several libraries are purchasing commercial titles on cassettes.


I wish to express my sincere thanks to the 23 regional libraries which responded to my request for information on the cassette program. Several pointed out the obvious fact that I lacked tact in so brutally attacking this program. To this I will agree; my style, unfortunately, is heavy-handed. I agree also that the program is here, so let's go out and make it the best. I will disagree to some extent with those who feel that L/C is doing their best with the cassette program.

My principal purpose is simply to try to make L/C aware of how serious their lack of communication is, not only in the Cassette Program, but in virtually all areas. Regional libraries not only have to be informed about this and other developments, they should be consulted in all matters in which regional library service to the public is affected. To put it bluntly, we in the field know more about our readers' needs than the administration. Not to keep us informed is an unforgiveable oversight; not to seek our counsel is simply sad.

When one-half million dollars is invested in a recent program that, in its infancy, is now as large as the old tape program, we as regional librarians have a right to know months in advance about this program, and to have some say in planning it. My complaining is not to cry over what has happened, but to try to prevent it from happening again in other areas, and to try to make this a better program.

I think those of you who have taken the time to give me your opinion on the cassette program have not wasted the effort. More than half of the responses stated that, at the moment, their cassette program is chaotic, a mess, unsatisfactory, etc. Whether this is just birth pains or poor planning is now academic. The problem at hand is how to develop the program.

When all the cassette machines are distributed, this program will be as large as the tape program. The Library of Congress does have a Tape Department, No one, to my knowledge, has direct responsibility at the Library of Congress for developing the cassette program. Are 10,000 readers left to drift? What guidelines have been set up for volunteer recording on cassettes? Can these be duplicated and sent to other libraries?

One regional library already has 30 books recorded on cassettes. Listed above are many questions and problems raised in your reports. It is my opinion that, at the moment, L/C has no answers and, if they are considering the problem, they are keeping it a secret. If we were all headed in the same basic direction we could be turned easily to a new direction when more information becomes available.

But as I read these reports I can see that we are all going in different directions or doing nothing at all. If we don't formulate some idea as to what is ahead we will never have a good program. One area in which everyone was unanimous is that they have great hope for this new program. But without proper leadership from L/C I feel that this program is doomed to flounder. It is simply not enough to say, "Here are some books; go and develop the cassette program." All I am asking from the Library of Congress is the leadership and the planning that should go into development of this new and exciting program. Both our patrons and the regional libraries deserve this. At the moment we do not have it.

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(F. L. Crawford, North Carolina, to R. S. Bray, Library of Congress, November 26, 1968)

1400 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

November 26, 1968

Mr. Robert S. Bray, Chief
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The Library of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20542

Dear Mr. Bray:

On July 13, 1963, I wrote to you in detail regarding the need for books for the blind from the Library of Congress here in South Carolina. I further advised you that our Board had approved the operation of a library service and that at present there is no collection of books for the blind in this State. Your brief and indecisive reply did not answer my request, nor was there a promise that books will be sent to South Carolina from the Library of Congress A group of some 150 blind persons, meeting in a recent convention in Spartanburg, South Carolina, adopted a resolution asking for library services to be provided by the Commission for the Blind in the State of South Carolina, and, as you know, if such is to be done, books and materials which are now made available through Federal funds must come from your Department and with your approval. Frankly, I must state in all candor that you have shown no interest in our problem, nor is there evidence to show that you have acted in our behalf.

Now, there is a second matter which I must bring to your attention. There are frequent complaints from library services users, such as those received this week, copies of which are enclosed. There seems to be serious deterioration in library services during the past few years, while, at the same time, appropriations to your Department by Congress have substantially increased. I call specific attention to the request of a mother for materials for her young blind child, and to the description by a reader of the type of talking book machine now being designed and manufactured in accordance with your specifications.

It would appear on the surface that the breakdown in equipment and services provided through your Department, plus a philosophical approach that denies books and materials to blind people, even upon the request of their State Agency, represent a formidable problem that requires Congressional investigation. I surely hope that I may have the opportunity to testify on these and other related matters before the appropriate committees of the next session of Congress, in the hope that suitable library services can again be extended to blind people.

Meanwhile, I again humbly request that you kindly provide books to the South Carolina Commission for the Blind, or state in writing why this cannot be done. We are prepared to receive books immediately for re-distribution to blind people in our State. While we have no control over the selection of books and the type of equipment on which the books are to be read, we do feel it is our job to see to it that the needs of blind people in our State are met, and may I remind you that library facilities for the blind are available in all adjacent states.

Very truly yours,

Fred L. Crawford
Executive Director

cc: Mr. L. Quincy Mumford

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(F. L. Crawford, North Carolina, to L. Q. Mumford, Library of Congress, December 2, 1968)

1400 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

December 2, 1968

Dr. L. Quincy Mumford
The Library of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20542

Dear Mr. Mumford:

This is in further reference to our telephone conversation regarding the request of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind for a collection of books for the use of blind persons residing in our State, Under separate cover, I have forwarded to you my recent correspondence with Mr. Robert S. Bray, Chief, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, who, I believe, is the responsible government official charged with the responsibility for meeting these needs. I have been in touch with Mr. Bray for nearly two years in person, by telephone, and by letter regarding this matter, and now feel that he has arbitrarily concluded that library services are not needed in our State. Many blind people here feel that they are being denied the rightful opportunity to the use of local library facilities, and I join them in this belief.

May I respectfully request that a fair hearing before you and your hearing officer be conducted at your earliest possible time, and that it be conducted here, in South Carolina, where local blind people will have an opportunity to express their views. If such a hearing must be conducted in Washington, there will be those of us who can attend.

In our telephone conversation, you mentioned the regional library concept, which has been set forth over the years as a device for placing libraries in certain locations. May I suggest to you that this concept no longer holds validity, in that most states now have their own library services for the blind and physically handicapped. For example, the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, District of Columbia, and other East Coast states have their own libraries; and Iowa, for example, with substantially fewer blind people in residence, has a library which is reported to have at least as many titles as are m your Library of Congress collection. Furthermore, the State of New York has two regional libraries. The libraries in Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York City are no more than fifty to sixty miles apart, whereas the nearest library to our State capital is in excess of two hundred miles away.

The kind of library facility we need is one which can be telephoned by many blind persons to discuss their reading interests and needs, which will permit one-day mail service, and which can accommodate those who wish to browse or select books at random. With the recent changes in mail service, the shipment of packages, such as those containing Braille books and talking books, has been reduced, so that current magazines and other materials are unnecessarily delayed.

Would you kindly respond to this letter, indicating whether or not the Library of Congress can furnish us with a collection of books for redistribution within a reasonable time, or would you kindly advise me of an opportunity for a fair hearing.

Please be assured of our desire to be courteous and to give due respect to your responsibilities. At the same time, please be assured that this matter holds a special priority with us and will receive our continuous and unrelented attention.

Very truly yours,

Fred L. Crawford
Executive Director

cc: Mr. Robert S. Bray

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(R. S. Bray to F. L. Crawford, December 13, 1968)

Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, D. C. 20542

December 13, 1968

Reference Department

1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Area Code 202-882-5500

Dear Dr. Crawford:

This will acknowledge your letter of November 26.

I am encouraged to learn that a group meeting in Spartanburg recently endorsed the concept of more direct library service to blind and physically handicapped people in South Carolina. Recalling our discussions on this subject since you assumed your duties with the Commission, and noting from your letters that you have thermoform and tape equipment and are developing a cadre of volunteers in the State, I feel we are approaching the point at which a decision can be made as to the future structure of these library services. I am sure you will agree that these services should be complete and comprehensive, and under professional library direction as is the case in the States you cited in your letter of December 2 to Dr. Mumford.

There are adequate resources of books, catalogs, and related apparatus available from this Division Still lacking are the necessary coordination and planning between concerned agencies in South Carolina and North Carolina, principally your Commission and the State Libraries of the two States currently supporting and providing this service.

I have urged from the outset that you confer and plan with these people to determine budgeting and staffing requirements, potentials of growth, sources of funding, and other matters. As a member of the Advisory Council for Title IV-B of the Library Services and Construction Act of the South Carolina State Library Board you are in a position to achieve these ends. May I suggest that you attend the meetings of the Council. This recommended cooperation has resulted in the new libraries established recently in several States.

Please be assured that I share the interest and concern for enlarged and more direct service to readers indicated by your Board and others. Had the coordination to which I refer taken place, South Carolina could conceivably have had a complete, statewide regional library some time ago.

Meanwhile, a limited collection of materials can be placed in your new rehabilitation center for the immediate use of clients. These can be selected from our lists and catalogs which I am sure you have available for use in the current routines of referrals of blind persons to the present library service. We are evaluating the comments on the new talking book machines and will be guided by our findings.

Very truly yours,

Robert S. Bray, Chief

Dr. Fred L. Crawford
Executive Director
Commission for the Blind
1400 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

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by Florence Grannis
August 20, 1971

If a regional library for the blind is a good one it is in spite of the Library of Congress, Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.


"Philosophical implications of book selection for the blind" (see Exhibit one), an article published December, 1968 (Wilson Library Bulletin) and "Book Selection" (see Exhibit two) (Catholic Library World, April, 1969), seemed to make an impact as far as the Division's providing more best sellers was concerned (see "Books for the Blind Sweep Best Seller List," Braille Monitor, March, 1970) (see Exhibit three); however, at this writing (August 20, 1971) only two of the twenty best sellers are currently available as books for the blind (see Exhibit four).

While it would seem for a time that the Division would provide more of the best sellers, there has never been a balanced collection available for blind readers. In an effort to bring about an improvement in this area, it was suggested early in 1968 that a committee of regional librarians and blind people be established so that their experience and knowledge in the field would be available to the Division. This committee was established and more than five hundred suggestions for books to be produced were submitted to the Division. While the last of these suggestions were submitted to the Division in August of 1969, their receipt was not acknowledged until November of 1969 and no further acknowledgement of the committee's effort was ever made! Miss Wynn Hunnicutt, Librarian of the Georgia Library for the Blind, said she had exactly the same experience when she headed the book selection committee the next year (in checking the book selections sent with books subsequently received from the Library of Congress, virtually none of the books suggested had been received). In this connection see Exhibit five, a letter from Miss Marcia Finseth, Regional Library, Seattle, Washington, dated May 14, 1969.


While the early book catalogs supplied to the borrowers by the Division (1934-48) represent fine scholarly comprehensive bibliographic materials, the later and current ones are sloppy, incomplete, error ridden and misleading--an embarrassment.

Many times, as indicated (Exhibits six, seven and eight) we receive talking books which have one number on the container, another number on the records themselves and in many cases, another number altogether on the book cards and/or the catalog cards.

Exhibit nine represents examples of problems we encounter daily due to obvious lack of coordination, proof reading and general cataloging ability. We have received catalog cards of talking books which were to be pressed in 1968 yet have not had (August 20, 1971) the books or book cards or communication from the Division telling us that the titles have been cancelled. A usual problem is that we will receive book cards and the books themselves but no catalog cards. Many times we will receive four sets of catalog cards for one title. Often there is disagreement between the Dewey number on the catalog cards and the book cards.

The magnetic tape collection has always been seriously out of kilter. Many of the tape books listed in the book catalogs issued to borrowers were not received by the regional libraries and there was much mislabeling and misrecording of the books that were received.


The present model talking book machine is a laughing stock. Many borrowers will not use them Volunteer repairmen will not repair them and the Division admits there is little to recommend them. The cassette machines work well, but there are too few of them.


In the early 1950's such a catalog was issued and proved to be an invaluable aid in locating the desired material anywhere in the nation. For several years the books locally acquired by the regional libraries were faithfully reported to the Division for its central catalog, but the word was finally given that no effort was being made to use or even maintain this information.

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Exhibit 2


by Florence Grannis

Part I

Library service is not only the provision of books; it is the bringing of the right book to the right reader. Without a reader a book is in suspended animation; without users a library is dead. People and books are the positive and negative poles that keep alive the current of library service.

Any kind of library service that is designated to bring together people and books, . . ., must be based on intelligent book selection. Librarians must know how to choose wisely books that are the expression of human life and thought, that offer the materials of knowledge, that satisfy or stimulate individual development, that enlarge and clarify mass intelligence.1

Book selection for the blind has been and should be based on two principles:

That blind readers are [identical] in needs and tastes to sighted readers; and that they wish to have access to the same books that are available to their sighted friends. Blindness is a physical and not a mental handicap and the selection of books for the blind should be . . . the same as the selection of books for sighted readers.2

No regional library for the blind is truly a library if it does nothing but send to borrowers, whether by their request or by some more or less haphazard method, the books supplied to it by the Library of Congress. Besides giving reference service, reader's advisory service, and all the other library services of a good public library, each library for the blind must build its own book collection.

Citizens should find a collection carefully chosen for its intrinsic worth, its timeliness, and its potential usefulness in the community. The effectiveness of the public library depends as much on the wisdom of the choice of materials as on any other factor. Two major responsibilities of a librarian are to build up an excellent collection of materials, and to see that the inflow of new books is prompt and continuous.3

To put it another way.

When all is said and done, the major task of any library is to supply books to people--to supply those books which the individual user will find valuable and useful. The amount of satisfaction a reader finds in a library depends directly upon the kinds of books the librarian has available for his use. If the librarian manages consistently to choose books of no interest or use to his readers, he cannot expect them to be satisfied with his library.4

As I have said, one of the traditional principles of book selection is:

Select the Right Books for the Library's Readers. The first question is, who are the library's patrons? Is the library to serve only those who actually come to it today? Or should the librarian attempt to provide books for all those who may come some day? Should the librarian, to put it another way, select for present clientele only, or also for some potential clientele (however that potential group may be defined)?

One of the underlying principles of the free public library is that it is open to all. This statement implies that the librarian has the responsibility for selecting for all members of the community--even though they may not come to the library at the moment--since they are all welcome to come, [This librarian believes] that this ideal is a central tenet to be observed in determining the library's book selection policies . . . [I feel that the first principle--the right books for the library's readers--] imposes on the librarian the responsibility for reflecting in the library collection all the manifold interests of [the] potential . . . clientele.

.... [There are two approaches to carrying out this view.] One is the passive approach: let those who come, come; the library will have a good collection to serve them so that any future reader will find the material he wants. The other is the active approach: buy through the whole range of subjects, but proselytize to increase the use of the library by those not now using it. . .

Another traditional statement of principle which reflects this conviction that the library should serve the whole community-and not merely the group of present readers--runs as follows:

See to it that No Race, Nationality, Profession, Trade, Religion, School of Thought, or Local Custom is Overlooked. Again, if one accepts this principle, it is argued that one buys in these areas even though members of these particular groups may not be active present users of the library. They are all potential users, and their possible future interests should be anticipated.

One can move from this broadening of the selector's range--which is based upon the makeup of the community--to an even wider principle:

Every Library Collection Should be Built up According to a Definite Plan on a Broad General Foundation. The librarians who advocate this approach have advanced the view that the library collection has its own needs, apart from the needs of the community which it serves. These librarians feel that the selctor has a responsibility to the collection itself and should attempt to round it out. Such a collection would have material on all subjects, whether or not there were any groups in the community interested in the various subjects, either as active or potential users.5

Materials Acquired Should Meet High Standards of Quality in Content, Expression, and Format. Librarians committed to this view would emphasize authoritativeness, factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, sincerity of the author's purpose, and responsibility of the author's opinions. They would resist buying a book which failed to meet these standards, even if the book were in heavy demand.6

The Collection is Inclusive and Contains Whatever Materials Contribute to the Purposes of the Library. ... it is important to remember, if one is trying to select the best books, that there are as many kinds of best as there are kinds of readers. They might ask, . . .'Best in what? in style? in interest? in instructiveness? in suggestiveness? in power? Best for whom? for the ignorant? for people in general? for college graduates? for the retired scholar?' Since these librarians attempt to serve all those various categories of readers, they would be willing to accept a variety of materials, whose standards of quality might vary as the titles are seen to be useful for one group or another.

Such librarians will look carefully at each tide in the process of selecting, decide for which type of reader it was intended, and then apply the appropriate standards of quality. A library built on this principle might indeed include the classics of fiction, but it might also include popular materials.7

Here we have the philosophy of book selection--bring the right books to the right reader; develop a collection of books which the present borrowers and the potential borrowers will find excellent--interesting, enjoyable, and useful.

Though this philosophy of book selection has been developed for public libraries with sighted readers it need not be changed one iota for libraries for the blind. The regional libraries are public libraries. Our community is our state or area. Our potential borrowers are legion--the blind and the physically handicapped we are not now reaching. How many of these do not now use our services because we do not have the books that interest them?

Building the Collection

I wonder how many of you are saying to yourselves, "That is all very well, we do not have enough staff to send out the books sent to us by LC, let alone try to get staff and money to build our own collection." There is not time, nor is it appropriate to now discuss the methods for acquiring these resources, but it can be done! As you see the gratification of your borrowers when they read your local history collection or when you have taken pains to acquire books on their hobbies, you will feel your efforts have been very much worthwhile. Competent as the Division is, it cannot and should not fill our roles for us--the roles of the local libraries for the blind.

When considering the development of a book collection it is convenient to make some division of it: children's books, young adult books, student collection, adult books, harvest years, local material.

In selecting books for children, the Library's objective is to make available a collection that satisfies the informational, recreational, and cultural reading needs and potentials of children from preschool age to age fourteen. Books are included which meet the general demands of the majority of children, along with books whose special qualities make them valuable to children with special needs, talents, problems, or interests.8

We are fortunate indeed in the wealth of truly beautiful and appealing books being published for children. There is no lack of creative vigor in the writing of fiction, biography and history. (Our discouragement is in plowing our way to it.) We have splendid access to new poetry and old, and to folklore in fresh collections..., and newly translated editions. The United States is envied abroad for. . .our wide range of informational books, so well produced and on so many levels of interest and reading skill.9

Naturally, we must always keep in mind that the children's books in libraries for the blind must be meaningful without illustrations. Those of us not in large library settings perhaps have even greater problems because of our lack of access to new children's books in print than we do to adult books.

Small libraries, without approval copies at hand, must usually rely on printed reviews and approved lists and on visits to bookstores and exhibits. The need for a variety of reviews with their different emphases and coverage is greater for the small library than it is for the larger one. . . . There is special help in the "For the Small Library" recommendation in Booklist; in the unfavorable as well as favorable verdicts expressed in both SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, with a helpful key also in the latter to "marginal" and "special" values; . . . and [the] reviews in Horn Book.

For the small library, even more important guidance than that of current reviews. . . is that offered later in selective lists and in catalogs with annual supplements, in which entries are starred and double-starred. ALA's annual "Notable Children's Books" appears each spring; the Horn Book "Fanfare" summary is printed in its August issue; during Book Week and before Christmas many lists of the year's outstanding books are printed by large libraries and newspapers. No single summary or review medium is sufficient, but a number of them together become a substitute for reading and examination of the books themselves.10

What should be our criteria for juvenile book selection? I like a statement of the Des Moines public library.

The Library's objective in providing reading material for children is to guide the child toward the enjoyment and appreciation of good books. This in turn may help him to a better understanding of himself as an individual, as a member of society, and to establish in him patterns of public library use that will carry over into adulthood. In selecting books for children, the library tries to anticipate and to meet the diverse skills and interests of readers at all ages from the beginner to the child ready for adult books and to supply critical and appreciative discussions of children's literature for adults aware of the possibilities of guiding a child toward the enjoyment of reading.

In the initial selection of juvenile titles it is the Library's policy to acquire the most outstanding children's books published each year and then to expend funds in heavy duplication.

. . .Duplication of desirable titles is then emphasized rather than the addition of mediocre titles.

Textbooks are occasionally purchased for their informational content when needed. Books in foreign languages are seldom purchased. Books in long series, e.g., Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, and others below the standard of average good taste and literary merit, are not included.11

I find we have a woeful lack of children's books. True, there are some problems in augmenting the collection sent to us by the Library of Congress-relatively few children have tape recorders. We can stimulate their acquisition. When we have purchased all the good juvenile large type titles we can have volunteers type more. The possibility for hand Brailled juvenile books is limitless.

Books for Young Adults

The very nature of adolescence itself--its wide spread of interests, volatile emotions, sharp individual differences, its craving for action and excitement, its many divergent and pressing needs, its spread of maturity and reading abilities--makes it imperative that young people have a large, diversified collection of books from which to choose. Continuing advancement toward reading maturity is dependent upon the availability of such a collection of books.12

What are the things to remember about . . . young people when it comes to selecting books? . . . there will be representatives of all reading levels, the slow, the normal (if there are any such), and the advanced; and of all interests, the prosaic and the poetic, the fanciful and the practical. There will be those concerned with school work and those concerned with making a living. There will be some who will quickly outstrip you in the breadth and technicality of their reading, and others who will require time and patience before they even begin to experience pleasure and satisfaction from [books]. For all of these there must be something, . . . [so] in your whole collection, try to have: scope, coverage, variety, readability. ...13

The young adult books surely merge with the student collection. However I have more in mind the college young people when I say "student." The students want the "racy" books, the daring books, the "mod" and hippy books. They want to be "in" and read the "in" books. They have Tom Wolfe's The Kandy-kolored tangerine-flake, streamline baby. Will they also get The pump house gang? They also want to be literate and to have read the classics. Many of them are serious, and Orwell and Aldous Huxley are for them. They are a part of the social movement and they want to know what the Baldwins have to say.

Perhaps we must exercise greater care in book selection for adults than for any other segment of the public. We so often have proved to us that the sweet, wholesome books are wanted: the westerns, the mysteries, the light romances, the historical novels--and we should have these books--for they satisfy one segment of our libraries' public. But we should not have these only. If we need A lantern in her hand, we also need Light in August and The electric Kool-aid acid test; if we need Candy, we also need Candide.

Since a high proportion of our library patrons are beyond the age of sixty, we must all be aware of book selection for those in the "harvest years." There seem to be few studies of what books older people wish to read. But observation from those of us in this field shows us a few things. These senior citizens often have an emphasis on nostalgia, on the shorter book rather than the longer book, on morality rather than experimentalism. But one should never make the mistake of feeling all sixty-plus citizens want to read the same thing. A grizzled exterior may hide a desire to read Heidi, Lady Chatterly, or the Victorian era Pearl!

The Right Not to Read

One of the officials of the Division said to me once, "Look, there are 6,000 blind people in Iowa-how come you are serving only 3,700 of them?" Well, I believe I should build a book collection for the people who are not reading as well as for those who are. If blind Johnny Jones of Grundy Center should suddenly decide he wants a book, I believe I should have one he would like. But I believe even more that Johnny Jones and Sally Smith should have the right to reject books, too. If they have never read a book in their lives and have had no interest in them, why should they suddenly, now they have become blind, become readers? It is the epitome of "too handiness" for the talking book service to be thrust on a person simply because he cannot see. True kindness consists in helping him learn techniques so that he can happily and successfully do the things he did before blindness, whether these things be tippling in taverns or coffee klatsch chatter.

Selecting the Books to be Sent to the Borrowers

Many of the libraries for the blind have attempted to keep track of all the books each borrower has ever read. This is because members of the library' staff select books for the borrowers (not each and every one of them, perhaps, but very many of them). What a monumental task this is--especially with borrowers that have been heavy readers since the beginning of the "books for the blind" program! If you consider that a borrower may have been eighteen years of age when he began receiving the service in 1935 and may live until 1977 or longer, and may have averaged two books per week, by 1977 he will have read 4,368 books. Many borrowers read more books than this per week but, of course, most borrowers did not begin service in 1935. Let us be conservative--say that the library has 3,500 borrowers (if it has 3,500 at any one time, it will obviously have had many more than 3,500 borrowers in a ten-year period), say that each borrower has read 1,000 books during his lifetime of borrowing--that is 3,500,000 books to keep track of! Now let us consider another aspect of this--who is doing the selecting for the borrowers? The librarian? Most of us have only one professional staff member (if that many). If he or she does all the selecting, how can he do anything else? How can he even do this adequately? Does he really know enough about each book and each borrower to get them together wisely? If clerks do the task, won't the matching of books and borrower be even more difficult? (Would every clerk know that Faulkner's Go Down, Moses is perhaps not the ideal book for the sweet little old lady?)

All right, what is the alternative to all this? Simply stated it is, help each borrower choose for himself. (I have not here explored the attitudes which cause the librarian to presuppose the blind borrower is unable to do this. We might question whether we are not being presumptions and condescending in feeling that we are better able to choose books for James Jensen and Ruby Rhodes than they are themselves and are not they able to keep track of which books they have read?)

We all know many borrowers can read the Braille Book Review for themselves or have someone who can read the Talking Book Topics to them, or they can listen to the handy little disc that has recently been supplied with Talking Book Topics and can then type or write out a list of requests. But there are borrowers who cannot do this. What to do? Rather than choose books for them (and many, of course, ask us to do this very thing), why not send someone to their homes to help them write down their choices. Who? Telephone Pioneers, Red Cross ladies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, "Out Reach" workers, church workers--volunteers of this sort are legion. In many cases the county welfare worker or the visiting nurse can assist. Mobilize your community to your service! (You will find out many other interesting bits of information and be able to select problems and grievances with their help.) In conjunction with these volunteers a WATS line (if you have or can get it) is a great asset. The time spent in phoning the borrower and consulting with him concerning his choice of reading is prime service time!

To sum up--by building a comprehensive collection of books, by recruiting the citizens of your community to be your library extension service, you can bring the right book to the right reader, you can help implement the saying of Aldous Huxley:

Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.14


Broderick, Dorothy M. An Introduction to Children's Work in Public Libraries, New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1965.

Carlsen, G. Robert. Books and the Teen-age Reader, A Guide for Teachers, Librarians and Parents. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, 1967.

Carter, Mary Duncan, and Wallace John Bonk. Building Library Collections. New York and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1964.

Cowley, Malcolm. The Literary Situation. New York: The Viking Press, 1955.

Eakin, Mary K., ed. Good Books for Children. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1966.

Enoch Pratt Free Library, Selection Policies for Children's Books, Appendix A, Revised, to Book Selection Policies and Procedures. Baltimore: Office of Work with Children, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1963).

Haines, Helen E, Living with Books, The Art of Book Selection. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1950.

Hanna, Geneva R., and Mariana K. McAllister. Books, Young People, and Reading Guidance. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960.

Haviland, Virginia. "Search for the Real Thing," School Library Journal, in Library Journal. New York: R, R. Bowker, Dec. 15, 1961,

Logasa, Hannah, Book Selection in Education, For Children and Young Adults. Boston: F. W. Faxon Company, Inc., 1965.

Merritt, Leroy C., Martha Boaz, and Kenneth S. Tisdel. Reviews in Library Book Selection. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1958.

Munson, Amelia H. An Ample Field. Chicago: American Library Association, 1950.

Perkins, Ralph. Book Selection Media, A Descriptive Guide to 170 Aids for Selecting Library Materials. Champaign: National Council of Teachers of English, 1967.

The Public Library of Des Moines. Policies for the Selection of Books and Related Library Materials. Des Moines: The Public Library of Des Moines, 1968.

St. John, Francis R. Survey of Library Service for the Blind 1956. New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1957.

Wheeler, Joseph L., and Herbert Goldhor. Practical Administration of Public Libraries. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1962.

Wilson, Louis R., ed. The Practice of Book Selection, Papers presented before the Library Institute at the University of Chicago July 31 to August 13, 1939. 1940.


1 Helen E. Haines, Living with Books (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1950), p. 16.

2 Francis R. St. John, Survey of Library Service for the Blind 1956 (New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1957), p. 71.

3 Joseph L. Wheeler and Herbert Goldhor, Practical Administration of Public Libraries (New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 460.

4 Mary Duncan Carter and Wallace John Bonk, Building Library Collections (New York and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1964), pp. 12-13.

5 Ibid., p. 15-16.

6 Ibid., p. 17-18.

7 Ibid., p. 19-20.

8 Enoch Pratt Free Library, Selection Policies for Children's Books, Appendix A, Revised, to Book Selection Policies and Procedures (Baltimore: Office of Work with Children, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1963), p. 1.

9 Virginia Haviland, "Search for the Real Thing," School Library Journal, in Library Journal (New York: R. R. Bowker, Dec. 15, 1961), p. 8.

10 Ibid., p. 10.

11 The Public Library of Des Moines, Policies for the Selection of Books and Related Library Materials (Des Moines: The Public Library of Des Moines, 1968), p. 9-10.

12 Geneva R. Hanna and Mariana K. McAllister, Books, Young People, and Reading Guidance, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), p. 103.

13 Amelia H. Munson, An Ample Field (Chicago: American Library Association, 1950), p. 81.

14 Haines, op cit., p. 15.

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Exhibit 4


United Press International correspondents in 30 U. S. cities file weekly reports, exclusive to Book World, which are used as the basis for this list.

Week's Score


Weeks Listed





THE EXORCIST, by William Peter Blatty



THE OTHER, by Thomas Tryon



QB VII, by Leon Uris



PEN MARRIC, by Susan Howatch



THE BELL JAR, by Sylvia Plath



THE NEW CENTURIONS, by Joseph Wambaugh



THE DRIFTERS, by James A. Michener






THE SHADOW OF THE LYNX, by Victoria Holt



Week's Score


Weeks Listed





THE FEMALE EUNUCH, by Germaine Greer






FUTURE SHOCK, by Alvin Toffler

41 [TB]


BOSS, by Mike Royko



AMERICA, INC., by Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen










34 [TB]


THE GRANDEES, by Stephen Birmingham


Book World August 1, 1971

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Exhibit 5

425 Harvard Avenue East
Seattle, Washington 98102

May 14, 1969

Mrs. Florence Grannis, Librarian
State of Iowa
Commission for the Blind
4th and Keosauqua Way
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Florence:
I am wondering if our committee is still functioning and if so, what is the deadline for the next list of suggestions?

In the recent lists sent out by the Division I have not found too many of the recommended titles. One wonders how much the Selection Office uses the suggestions. I will look forward to hearing from you.

With best greetings.


(Miss) Marcia K. Finseth
Head, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

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Exhibit 6


2-Way Memo

Subject: Numbering of talking book records

July 14, 1969

Mr. Ed Lewis
Talking Book Division
Div. for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20542

We have noticed that the records in the talking book container number 2313, THE MARSH KING, by Cyril W. Hodges, are misnumbered 2221. Since we have not received a notice from you concerning this, it was thought we should call it to your attention.

Iowa Commission for the Blind
Fourth & Keosauqua
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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Exhibit 7


2-Way Memo


Mr. Bernard G. Dumais
Assistant Head, Management Section
Reference Department
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20542

We have the following Talking Book discrepancy. We would very much appreciate your help in determining the correct number.

Author: Marshall, Peter
Book Card: 1793
Catalog Card: 1789
Container: 1793

(Mrs.) Florence Grannis
Iowa State Commission for the Blind
4th and Keo.
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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Exhibit 8


2-Way Memo

Subject: Talking book No. 2366

October 20, 1970

Mrs. Margaret Howell
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The Library of Congress
Washington, D. C. 20542

We have received book cards for I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN by Green and two sets of catalog cards for talking book No. 2366. One set for the Green book, another for THE FOUNTAIN by Morgan. Which book is to carry the number 2366?

(Mrs.) Florence Grannis, Librarian
Iowa Commission for the Blind
4th & Keo
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

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Exhibit 9

Handwritten Comment: [Cards done in 1968. No Book Cards, No Records, No Communication re Cancellation received]

TB 2135
812          O'Neill, Eugene Gladstone, 1888-1953

Long day's journey into night. Yale University Press, 1956. AFB.
This somber and moving play is an unflinching portrait of the author and the three doomed members of his family. O'Neill called it "a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood." Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1957, it is his most impressive work and has assured the author's place in American literature.

PS3529.N5L6            812.5          TB 68-307
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress

TB 2218
621          American Radio Relay League.
The radio amateur's novice license. A.R.R.L., 1968. AFB.
Questions and answers, with code practice.

1. Radio--Examinations, questions, etc. 2. Radio operators--U.S.

621          TB 68-414
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress

TB 2219
621          American Radio Relay League.
The radio amateur's general class license. A.R.R.L., 1968. AFB.
Questions and answers, with code practice.

1. Radio--Examinations, questions, etc. 2. Radio operators--U.S.

621          TB 68-415
Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress

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by Robert Turner and Arturo Biblarz

Blind people all over the world are working to destroy the myths and shackles that have been imposed upon them throughout history. Despite many attempts on the part of the blind to become organized and achieve self-sufficiency, it is only in recent years that viable organizations have been formed to expand the rights of blind people. In the United States, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and its California affiliate, the California Council of the Blind (CCB), composed of both blind and sighted people, have engaged in many struggles to expand economic and social equality for the blind. This involves the establishment of increased occupational and recreational opportunities, which often requires work in the political arena. For example, the recently established Model White Cane Law has made it easier for blind people to travel alone in city streets, and it is being adopted in several countries.

One of the avenues that is now being opened up has potential for creating new job opportunities and leisure-time activities for the blind. On June 16, 1971, a group of ten blind students led by an official representative of the NFB, went to Sweden to take instruction in scuba diving. They were invited by the BBU (Blind Children's Development), a Swedish organization for the blind, which has an on-going program designed to train blind people in scuba diving.

The word Scuba is an acronym derived from self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. As the name implies, the nature of the equipment plays a very important role in the activity. The equipment is composed of swim fins, face mask, weight belt, wet-suit, and air tanks. Swim fins are very important for underwater locomotion, and for blind divers they provide the added advantage of allowing one of the arms to be used for protection of the head and face. The face mask allows sighted divers to view their surroundings, but for blind divers it simply serves the purpose of keeping water out of the eyes and nose, while the underwater environment is explored with the hands.

The wet-suit is a tight fitting neoprene rubber suit which can cover the entire body, with the exception of the front part of the face. For blind divers, the wet-suit gloves are never worn since essential tactile sensations from the hands would be lost. The suit is necessary to keep the body warm, which in turn serves to maintain a normal breathing rate. The elasticity of the rubber permits unhampered body movements. A weight belt is worn with the wet-suit, in order to counteract the natural buoyancy of the rubber.

The air tanks are strapped to the shoulders in the fashion of a backpack. The tanks used in Sweden are high pressure tanks, which make it possible for them to be smaller and still contain as much air as the American tanks. There is a hose connected to the bottom of the tanks which goes up over the left shoulder and ends in a mouthpiece. This mouthpiece is bitten into, like a snorkel, in order to seal water out and permit adequate breathing. The tanks also have a reserve air section, which can be used in case of emergency.

Now is it possible for a blind person to be a scuba diver? For most people, the idea of the blind doing deep underwater dives is a "mind-blower." In fact, the blind diver copes with the marine environment in much the same way as the sighted diver. All divers go down with a partner or a safety line, blind and sighted alike. The safety line is used as a means of two-way communication between the diver and the diver leader who is located above the water (on boats, piers, etc.). This makes it possible for each to be aware of the situation of the other. The safety line is also used to measure distance. This is done by tying a series of knots on the line every five feet before the dive. The knots can then be counted as the diver goes down, telling him the depth he has reached. To prevent the eardrums from breaking, pressure must be equalized approximately every ten feet. All of these procedures are the same for blind and sighted divers.

The main difference for the blind diver is that he cannot depend on his eyes as his main source of information. Instead, the tactile sense is used to discover the character of the underwater world. Typically, the only sounds heard are those of the diver's own bubbles, and occasional rumbles of motor boats passing by. No other senses are at play. Possibly because of this sensory deprivation, or perhaps because of the new environment and the many activities the diver engages in, time seems to pass very quickly under the water.

After four weeks of training, the student divers went to the Baltic Sea for the most challenging as well as the most thrilling part of their course. There they dived to recover black oak from sunken ships, and to examine the various forms of plant life found at the bottom of the sea.

Black oak is the name given to wood that comes from ships that have been sunk in the Baltic Sea for several hundred years. Due to the nature of the waters of the Baltic, sunken wood becomes darker the longer it remains under water. The coldness of the water, and the low concentration of salt, provide the best marine environment for the preservation of wood. In other seas, the salt or wood-boring organisms cause the wood to decay rapidly. After a sufficient period of time, the wood found in the Baltic can be recovered, cleaned, and used for making various art objects. In Sweden, black oak sells for approximately one hundred forty dollars a pound. Once the appropriate ship is located, the divers anchor a boat near it, and dive from the boat to retrieve the wood. The diver examines the wood, choosing pieces that are large, thick, sturdy, and heavy. Since this wood is very pliable under the water, it must be carefully dislodged from the ship to prevent breakage.

In the process of recovering the wood, divers sometimes go inside the wreck which can be a very dangerous operation. If the diver breathes out too fast, the enclosed structure is rapidly filled with trapped air bubbles, which as they try to rise, can make the structure move and fall. This can only be avoided by breathing slowly, thus allowing air bubbles to escape before too many additional ones accumulate. In order to breathe slowly, the diver must always remain calm and relaxed. Panicking is the most dangerous thing that can happen to a scuba diver. When a person panics, he breathes more quickly, uses up too much air, and can easily become hyperventilated; also, a person who has panicked is more likely to react without thinking, and get himself into deeper trouble. The danger of panicking is compounded by the fact that it can happen very easily to a person trying out a new, unfamiliar environment. It can only be avoided if the diver is able to force himself to remain still, relax, and breathe deeply, until he can regain control of the situation.

Other dangers of the underwater experience include losing the face mask or other equipment, breaking the eardrums, and particularly for blind divers, hitting various objects. When a collision occurs, the mouthpiece or face mask can be dislodged, or the glass of the face mask can break and cut up the face. Divers must not allow these dangerous situations to trigger panic. Blind divers avoid collisions by swimming with one arm in front of their head, which minimizes the danger of a crash.

In addition to its uses for recreational purposes, diving can lead to the opening of many new vocations for the blind. Blind divers can do underwater diamond mining, since diamonds can be identified by touch. Hydraulic underwater mining can also be done by blind divers. Furthermore, a blind diver would be especially adept at locating objects in murky waters, since the inability to see would not affect his performance as it affects the performance of a sighted diver.

Scuba diving is only one example of many new activities in which blind people will engage in the near future. Already, there are blind people who are auto mechanics, locksmiths, electronic engineers, doctors, physicists, teachers, physical therapists (in Sweden, but not in the U. S., as it's illegal here), radio broadcasters, sportswriters, athletes, etc. Would you believe blind baseball players? Blind people cannot do everything that sighted people can do, but the limits of their possible acomplishments are only now beginning to be explored. To continue this search, many old prejudices and archaic laws and practices must be fought against and discarded, so that the full potential of the blind can be reached. The experience in Sweden demonstrates that blind people can learn and teach scuba diving. However, in the U. S. there is a law which states that the blind cannot become scuba diving instructors. It is laws such as these that organizations of the blind will continue to oppose and actively strive to destroy.

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After operating our own business for more than forty years, my wife Helen and I are semi-retired on a modest, but comfortable income. We have three children who are all now married and well situated with children of their own.

I was born February 6, 1904 in a little farming town in eastern North Carolina. In 1911 I lost my eyesight as the result of a dynamite cap explosion. I attended the State School for the Blind in Raleigh, after which I was turned out into the world to "sink or swim, survive or perish" because there was absolutely no public assistance for the adult blind in North Carolina at that time. I spent several years on a farm doing everything I could to help pay for my keep. After exhausting every possible resource for a job of any kind, I finally wrote in desperation to the owner of a large automobile distributor in Charlotte. In 1926 I went to work in the parts department of his business. This was the turning point of my life because without work I could do nothing. After working there four years, I had saved enough money to begin a small gas and grocery store. The following year, Helen Starling, a Johnston County school teacher, and I were married. Hand in hand, we weathered the storms of life, living and working together.

My first real interest in work for the blind came in 1933 when Mr. Charles B. Hayes was sent into North Carolina by the American Foundation for the Blind to help establish a State Commission for the Blind. I was with him a great deal during his stay in this State and my association with Mr. Hayes showed me that work in behalf of the adult blind could and should be done. I was at the meeting when the Mecklenburg Association for the Blind was established and now serve as a member of its Board of Directors, and I am on the Library Committee of that Organization. I am a member of the North Carolina Association of Workers for the Blind, a charter member of the NCFB Credit Union, a member of the Voicespondence Club of Doswell, Virginia and have been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since 1950. I have attended nine national Conventions and I read every word in The Braille Monitor each month and some articles two or three times.

The Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind, an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, was organized in Greensboro, August 24, 1969 with seventy-two members. It now has a membership of one hundred fifty-two and is growing each month. The main purpose of this organization is to promote the economic, social, and general well being of the blind of this State. We are endeavoring to remove some of the public attitudes and prejudices that presently exist regarding blind people by giving speeches before church and civic groups, by radio announcements and television appearances. We have held one State convention and plans are underway for our second annual convention scheduled for 18-19th of September. Thus far, our funds have been raised by selling candy, greeting cards, and various other articles, but we hope to get going on something more lucrative in the near future.

Though the Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind is still less than two years old, it has already achieved top flight status as a statewide organization. It is incorporated under the laws of North Carolina: it has received exemption from the State income and franchise tax; it has been granted State license to solicit funds in North Carolina; it has been accepted into the field of membership in the NCFB Credit Union, and has been granted exemption from federal income tax. The organization has established four strong energetic chapters in four of the largest cities of North Carolina. They are The Metro Tar Heel Federation of the Blind, Charlotte; The Gate City Federation of the Blind, Greensboro; The Wake Federation of the Blind, Raleigh; and The Golden Triangle Federation of the Blind, Winston-Salem. All of these chapters are fully organized with their own programs and projects. Nevertheless, we are all one Federation family and work together on statewide programs.

I am proud and honored to have served as president of this organization since its beginning.

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by Jim Doherty

September is election month for the Capital Chapter in Washington, D. C. The past year's successful activities were clearly the basis for selecting the new leadership.

Regular Monitor readers will remember a detailed account in the January issue of the Capital Chapter's fight to preserve education for the District's blind children. Gale Conard, who directed that campaign, is the new Chapter president. Incidentally, it appears that the education question is still not completely resolved. Discussing the new problems, Gale set the tone for his administration, "We were aggressive in the past. Now, maybe it's time we became belligerent!"

To do any tiling constructive, a chapter has to have money. The fundraising effort during the past twelve months was one of the most productive in this affiliate's history. The energetic chairman of that drive is now the chapter's first vice president, Orlo Nichols.

Virginia Nagle, a long-time Federationist, had been president of the Capital Chapter since September, 1969. You don't just discard ability and experience like hers. Despite the fact that her husband John nominated Spiro Agnew to oppose her, we elected Virginia second vice president. By the way, John's nominee did not receive a second. "I didn't have his permission anyway," John said. "Nor his dues," Gale replied.

The all-important duties of recording secretary, corresponding secretary, and treasurer were left in the able hands of the ladies who have been carrying them out with accuracy and dispatch. They are respectively--and respectfully--Virginia Bickford, Mary Nichols, and Kitty McNabb.

George Reed is familiar to many Federationists for his success in putting D. C. stand operators in control of their own business destiny. The chapter has always relied on George in the past and will continue to do so in his new position as board member.

Fresh approaches are most readily found among young people. John Jackson is young, both in years and in NFB membership. We hope to benefit from John's ideas as he serves with George on the board.

In his first remarks as president, Gale said he would like to see two achievements this year: a positive decision of the school situation and adoption of a White Cane Law for the District. With the combination of fresh blood and demonstrated skill among our new officers, we are confident of progress toward those goals.

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The weekend of August 13-15 found one hundred eighteen blind Idahoans and their friends gathered at the Hotel Boise for the 1971 Gem State Blind convention. The first major item of business conducted by this convention was the adoption of a new constitution. This constitution gives us a new name, that of the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho, as well as enabling us to better meet the needs and challenges of the seventies.

Throughout the convention, President Jernigan gave generously of his talents, assisting us whenever asked, and bringing us up to date on developments in the Federation. Spirits ran high as Kenneth Hopkins, NFB Executive Board member and Director of the Idaho Commission for the Blind, gave his report of the progress and plans of the commission. The 1970 convention established acquisition of a total resource building as Priority Number One of our organization, therefore, it was with considerable pride that we heard how it had all come about. The first day of convention we all had an opportunity to tour the new commission building, Mr. Hopkins also told us of some of the jobs obtained by blind Idahoans with the assistance of the commission.

An integral part of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, of which Mr. Jernigan is the Director, is its library, the largest and most complete library for the blind in the world. We were indeed fortunate, therefore, to have Mrs. Florence Grannis, the Iowa Commission's librarian, in attendance at our convention She told us of library services which could and ought to be available to us Mr. Gerald Buttars, librarian for the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Utah State Library, gave us a report of the services now available to Idaho residents. Our organization re-affirmed its strong interest m good library services for the blind with the passage of a resolution calling for library service to be brought into the State, thus hopefully making those in charge more responsive to the legitimate needs and desires of the blind of Idaho.

Over the past several years the organized blind have expressed interest in and concern about the education of blind children in Idaho. It was through our efforts that a survey of the quality of the education of blind children in Idaho will be undertaken. Dr. John Comba, Director of Special Education in Idaho, who is responsible for conducting the survey, reported on the current status of the survey Because of our concern about the level of our involvement, we passed a resolution asking the State Board of Education to utilize our experience and knowledge in conducting the survey. President Ruth Shove appointed three members of the NFB of Idaho as the organization's representatives. They are: Frank Smith, chairman; Ramona Walhof; and Rebecca Kincaid.

The membership selected Idaho Falls for the site of next year's State convention. Our outgoing president, Uldine Thelander, was elected delegate to the 1972 NFB Convention in Chicago. First, second, and third alternate delegates elected were, Ruth Shove, Chuck Walhof, and Rebecca Kincaid. The contribution of the membership to the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Endowment Fund was so enthusiastic that by the time our drive is completed we will substantially exceed our three hundred dollar pledge.

The Saturday evening banquet was a tremendous success and certainly the largest in Gem State history, with nearly one hundred forty persons attending. President Jernigan delivered an outstanding address, exhorting us to demand greater responsibility in establishing programs that meaningfully and directly assist blind persons.

Jesse Anderson installed the new officers who are: Ruth Shove of Lewiston, president; Uldine Thelander, Boise, vice president; Rebecca Kincaid of Pocatello, recording secretary; Gertrude Kummer of Idaho Falls, corresponding secretary; and Alice James of Boise, treasurer, Ruth Shove presented Uldine Thelander a watch from the organization as a token of our appreciation for her many years of devoted service to the organized blind movement.

We were quite pleased to have delegations from throughout the Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah in attendance at this convention of conventions. The door prize committee did a bang-up job. As testimony to this, the grand prize was a two hundred twenty-five-dollar cassette stereo Enthusiasm, excitement, and hard work made this a tremendous convention; now it's time to get in gear and plan for next year.

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ICB held its third annual convention August 13, 14 and 15, at Chicago's Essex and Ascot House Hotels. Lively sessions and good fellowship abounded in what was a most successful gathering. Friday evening, August 13, close to a hundred persons assembled to hear and participate in a panel discussion on Recreation for the Blind.

Panelists represented, among other agencies and organizations, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. The discussion was heated, and criticism of the Chicago Park District grew, particularly following the reading of a district inter-office memorandum which advocated a segregated recreation program for the blind, and, among others, made the following statements: "Blind people enjoy many crafts, but it is often difficult to start on a level simple enough for the beginner to achieve. ... A craft teacher should be ingenious in finding very simple projects, and willing to accept a lower standard of achievement when working with the blind."

Saturday, August 14, three sessions were of particular interest to ICB members. In the first, representatives of the Visually Handicapped Merchants of Illinois, an American Council of the Blind affiliate, described their organization and procedures. To our dismay, we learned that membership dues paid to VHMI automatically meant support for the American Council. In the second, a panel of educators discussed the Education of Blind Children. When this discussion was thrown open to the floor, another heated debate ensued, on the question of the right of qualified blind persons to be employed as teachers in the public schools. In the third session, Kenneth Klein, an insurance broker and devoted friend of ICB reported to us on a search he had conducted for a nondiscriminatory, association-type, insurance policy for ICB. He found such a policy, and an excellent one it is. Inspiring contributions to all the discussions were made by Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcelino, NFB Secretary, who, on Saturday evening, climaxed the convention with a thought-provoking banquet address.

During the Sunday morning business session, elections were held, resolutions were passed, and a site for our 1972 convention chosen. As a result of the elections, ICB's board of directors is as follows: John Myers, president; Loren Schmitt, first vice president; Norman Bolton, second vice president; Camille Myers, secretary; Joseph Calandra, treasurer; Richard Glover, Rami Rabby, Gloria Cusenza, and Fred Bixby. The Rockford Congress of the Blind made a successful bid to host ICB's 1972 Convention.

In retrospect, one cannot help but be astonished at the vast, philosophical gulf which, so often during the convention sessions, separated the blind audience, on the one hand, from the agency representatives, on the other. Clearly, we were not speaking the same language, for while to us, equality, independence, and integration are indivisible and absolute, to many of our panel guests, these goals and ideals were constantly hedged by conditions, caveats, and qualifications, and the ifs and buts of unconvinced believers. From this, one might have concluded that our task is insurmountable and the battle is lost. Far from it! For the overriding highlight of the convention was that so many of us who, a short three years ago, were content to lie dormant under the protectionist eye and custodial hand (not to say, stick) of our State agencies, today felt no qualms whatsoever about rising up to voice our complaints, air our criticism and point in a new direction. Thus, the gulf in attitudes between servers and consumers in Illinois' system of services to the blind only seems wider than it was at our inaugural meeting; like an iceberg, its true extent is only now becoming apparent, and it is being revealed by the more penetrating thrust of our insight and the greater lift of our collective spirit.

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by Lelia Proctor

The 26th annual convention of the Montana Association for the Blind was held on the campus of Montana State University, Bozeman, on August 6, 7 and 8, 1971. Traditionally, the convention is held some time during the MAB-sponsored five-week Summer Orientation Program for the Blind.

The highlight of the Friday evening session was the welcoming address by MSU vice president, William Johnstone.

The Saturday morning session was largely given over to committee and business reports. The Memorial Fund report showed sixteen loans currently outstanding to active members with a total value of $3696. The total amount in the fund is just under $5000. The 1971 calendar sale grossed $5600 on the sale of 15,000 calendars. The number of active (dues-paying) members stood at one hundred fifty-three on July 20. One bylaw was amended changing the number of required board of directors meetings from four to three each fiscal year. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented the Association with a handmade flag which can be better appreciated by those who "see" with their fingers.

Richard Peel, Regional Librarian for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, spoke to us. Mr. Peel demonstrated a lively and sincere interest in his work and a genuine desire to give library patrons the best possible service. Among other things, he mentioned that the number of patrons has grown from nine hundred to sixteen hundred during the past year.

During the morning session we also heard reports from our delegates who attended the NFB Houston Convention. Eight went down from Montana, the largest number ever to attend the national Convention from our State. We were pleased to learn that one of our delegates, Frank Cuta of Helena, was the recipient of the twelve hundred-dollar Howard Brown Rickard scholarship. Frank will be a senior in electrical engineering at MSU this school year.

Speakers during the afternoon were Emil A. Honka, Director of the Montana Division of Visual Services, and a representative from the Social Security Administration from Helena. The afternoon ended on a historical note as we listened to a fascinating account of the Lewis and Clark expedition by Mr. E. E. McGilvra, an outstanding authority on this history-making journey.

Approximately one hundred ten members and friends of the Association were in attendance at the Saturday night banquet. Nine honorary membership certificates were presented to organizations and individuals during the festivities, and the Bozeman Lions Club also presented the MAB with a check for one hundred dollars. The Silver Bow Chapter (Butte), host chapter for this year's convention, provided us with an evening of wonderful musical entertainment.

The first order of business Sunday morning after the memorial service, was the announcement of election returns. (The MAB conducts its annual election by mail just prior to the convention.) One hundred sixteen votes were cast in this year's election. The following officers were elected, all for two-year terms: president, Tony Persha, Red Lodge; first vice president, Keith Denton, Lakeside; district one representative, Frank Cuta, Helena; district two representative, Delos Kelley, Billings. New officers were sworn in prior to adjournment and will assume their duties October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Throughout the convention resolutions were introduced and acted on. A total of four resolutions was adopted. The first one expresses the MAB's "strong opposition to the plan of altering the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped" of the Library of Congress and urges individual chapters and members to express their similar views.

Another resolution directed the officers of the organization to "use every means available to secure the permanent and independent status of the Division of Visual Services" under the reorganized Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. (Happily for the blind of Montana, State reorganizers have indicated that their plan calls for doing just as the resolution states.)

Other resolutions adopted call for the introduction of a Little Randolph-Sheppard Act in the Montana Legislature in 1973 and directs its legislative committee "to draft proposed legislation which would require governmental agencies to give preference to Montana's sheltered shops and handicapped individuals in those cases where contractual work can be handled by said shops and individuals."

We were pleased to have Jim Omvig from the NFB with us for the convention. His time on the program was necessarily limited but he did give us a comprehensive report on NFB's legislative goals as well as information on numerous other subjects.

All nine chapters reported on their activities during the past year. The Capital City Chapter (Helena) graciously volunteered to host the 1972 convention. Adjournment came at noon on Sunday. From beginning to end drawings for door prizes continued and many went home with some very useful acquisitions.

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by Donald C. Capps

The appearance of South Carolina's distinguished Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Earle E. Morris, Jr., as a banquet speaker, highlighted the 15th annual convention of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, State affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. Lieutenant Governor Morris addressed one hundred forty-two persons who attended the banquet on Saturday evening. It was Lieutenant Governor Morris who headed up the special nine-member legislative study committee m 1965 which, after several months of meetings, with various groups, ultimately voted unanimously to recommend the establishment of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind.

The highly successful convention was held in Spartanburg, the weekend of August 27, 28 and 29 at the Cabana Inn. The first session of the convention featured the President's Report with Donald Capps reporting to the delegates that the State organization had gained more than fifty new members during the previous year and two new chapters. A luncheon was held at the nearby South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind for convention delegates. Dr. Fred L, Crawford, Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind and a member of the Columbia chapter of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind gave a detailed account of the work done by the commission since last year's meeting. There was a highly successful panel discussion featuring six blind persons employed in the following fields: a computer programmer, a social worker, a darkroom technician, a college instructor of journalism, a radio announcer, and a factory worker. During the banquet there were several special presentations. Charters were presented to the new chapters located in Florence and Anderson. The Jack Morrison Memorial Award was presented to Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Young, of the Columbia chapter, for meritorious service, Gayle Martin of the Spartanburg chapter received the Donald C. Capps award sponsored annually by Ways and Means for the Blind of Augusta, Georgia.

The first Aurora college scholarship award of three hundred dollars was presented to Barbara Mattson, a student at Columbia College. The Aurora Service Award, presented annually to a sighted person judged to have made the most outstanding service to the blind, was presented to Mr. N. F. Walker, Superintendent of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. A certificate of life-time honorary membership was presented to Lieutenant Governor Morris, A number of important issues affecting the blind were discussed throughout the convention Dr. Fred L. Crawford spoke to the convention concerning the Reorganization Commission which has been reactivated to study the State government which could have an effect on the blind. The convention adopted a resolution expressing strong opposition to any change in the structure of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind.

A resolution calling for an increase for blind aid recipients was also adopted by the convention. The delegates also unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the State Budget and Control Board to immediately authorize construction of the first phase of an adult adjustment and orientation center on land previously deeded to the commission. Dr. Sam M. Lawton, the distinguished founder of the Aurora organization, noted tremendous progress since its beginning.

Other State officers addressed the convention including first vice president, Miss Lois Boltin; second vice president, Bob Oglesby; secretary, Miss Mildred Kirkland; and treasurer, Marshall Tucker. The convention elected four new board members including Jerry Bryant, Spartanburg; Jimmie Smith, Anderson; Mrs. Sheila Compton, Florence; and Mrs. Louise Bristow, Charleston. Several important constitutional amendments were presented to the convention. Plans for chartering a bus to the 1972 national Convention in Chicago were also enthusiastically discussed. There was tremendous enthusiasm at this largest South Carolina convention which included several hundred dollars of door prizes featuring some two hundred dollars in cash.

Out-of-State Federationists in attendance included Ruth and George Drummond and Mary Lee West of Alexandria, Virginia; Nancy and George Best of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Janet Clary of Tallahassee, Florida.

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The 1971 convention of the Washington State Association of the Blind, held in Spokane at the Ridpath Hotel, proved to be exciting, lively, informative, and interesting. There was a full delegation from all affiliates including two new ones receiving their charters at the conclave. The new charters, presented in special ceremonies at the convention banquet, were for a group recently organized in Clarkston, and one for young students and adults in Spokane. Accepting the charters for the new affiliates were Maida Bircher, Clarskton, and James Green, Spokane.

Opening ceremonies, conducted by Robert Keppler, past president of the Spokane County Association, included presentation of the flag by Boy Scout Troop 303, invocation by Reverend Laurel V. Lindberg, Messiah Lutheran Church, and greetings from the city of Spokane by City Councilman Jack Winston.

President Cecil Phillips in his keynote address spoke of continuing progress in expanding and strengthening WSAB, and of the growing participation and understanding as a part of the NFB. He reviewed the work done in the last Legislature on behalf of a Commission for the Blind Bill, and stated that "the Commission Bill was not defeated, just delayed. We must continue on the route we have started, further organize the blind of the State, and make it the organization we know it can be and let the world know."

Speakers at the convention this year drew much comment and questioning from the delegates, and some sharp exchange of opinions. Speakers included James Gashel, Iowa, representing NFB; Kenneth Hopkins, Director of Idaho's Commission for the Blind and NFB Board member; Dr. Jerome Dunham, Supervisor of State Services for the Blind; Dr. Wes Apker, Department of Public Instruction; Mrs. Donna Schaefer, Department for Training the Deaf-Blind, School for the Blind; Richard Grant, HEW Region 10 Commissioner of Social and Rehabilitation Services; Arnold Sadler, Secretary of the Northwest Foundation for the Blind; and Dr. Sam Sparks, University of Washington.

Wesley Osborne, Legislative Education Committee Chairman, gave a detailed report on efforts to secure passage of substitute Senate Bill 93, the Commission for the Blind measure; amendments to the White Cane Law, and a Senate bill that would have charged parents of blind, deaf, retarded, and handicapped children in schools and institutions. He said the Commission Bill would be reintroduced and added that, "We will not allow anyone to stop our Commission Bill."

One of the highlights of the convention was the Thursday night seminar on Vending Stand Programs, moderated by Kenneth Hopkins. On the panel were Bob Precht, staff member of State Services for the Blind in the Vending Stand Program, and Richard Jones, head of Vending Stand Programs in the Idaho Commission for the Blind, The panel and speakers from the floor dealt in depth with a wide range of questions of interest to the stand operators and others in attendance, such as the question of the relationship of the agency to the operators in relationship to pricing, and other questions of business management, and the value and relationship of organization of stand operators.

Important, hard-hitting resolutions adopted unanimously by the delegates included two dealing with deterioration of services to the blind under the newly formed Social and Health Services Agency, and the failure of Social and Health Services to consult with WSAB about changes in programs affecting the blind; condemning Social and Health Services for using "misleading and false testimony regarding funding for a Commission for the Blind." The resolution called for an all out effort on the part of the membership and called on legislators to support passage of a separate Commission for the Blind Bill.

Other resolutions called for Advisory Board members to be selected from WSAB approved lists; for WSAB to assume full responsibility for The White Cane magazine; for naming of convention cities two years in advance; and for periodical review and study of WSAB bylaws.

The convention adjourned Saturday morning following election of officers, the naming of Seattle as the site for the 1972 convention, and Olympia for the convention in 1973. Officers elected at convention were headed by Carl Jarvis, Seattle, who was unanimously elected president of WSAB for the coming year, succeeding Cecil Phillips who had served in that capacity for two terms Other officers are: vice president, Robert Sellers; secretary, Cecil Phillips; and treasurer, Berl Colley.

Committee Chairmen elected are: organization. Sue Anderson; legislation, Wesley Osborne; ways and means, Kelly Ridge; public relations, Tom Gohn; welfare, Robert Sherman; and publications, Mane Lemke.

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[Mae Couts, wife of NFB Executive Committeeman James Couts, offers a taste-tempting pie.]


3 apples peeled and sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or use vanilla instead of spices)

1/2 pound fresh cranberries, cooked and sweetened

1 cup sugar


Make a two crust pie--

1/2 cup shortening. (I use Crisco)

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold water

Bake in 350 degree oven for thirty to forty minutes. Be sure to put pie on a cookie sheet in the oven or you will have juice all over the oven.

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Curtis Chong, Secretary of the NFB Student Division, announces that the Student Division, in an effort to involve more blind students in the NFB, is seeking information pertaining to blind students and/or organizations of blind students throughout the country. The Student Division asks that each organization (or student affiliate) send in any item of interest which concerns a blind student or an organization of blind students. It would be helpful if they could receive such information once a month so that a continual awareness of the needs, problems, and activities of blind students can be maintained. Information may be sent to Miss Mary Hartle, First Vice President, National Federation of the Blind Student Division, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN 56374.


The Palmetto Auroran, publication of the South Carolina Aurora Club of the Blind, reports that our South Carolina affiliate has again come away from the State Capitol with a legislative victory for the blind. The Legislature approved a measure giving endorsement to the construction of an adjustment and orientation center for the blind in South Carolina.


It is reported that the Auditor General of Florida has questioned the practice of a State agency in buying movie tickets for blind persons The Bureau of Blind Services center at Daytona Beach bought twenty-seven tickets The agency said that the purchase was part of a mobility and motivational program for newly blinded individuals. However, the Auditor General said that the necessity for this expenditure is not readily apparent.


Six locked glass cases in the Treasure Room of the Doheny Library at the University of Southern California are featuring a two months exhibit of Twin Vision publications. It is expected that many educators and students will become aware of the Twin Vision Publishing Division of the American Brotherhood for the Blind resulting in more blind and deaf-blind persons being able to benefit from this free service. Twin Vision publications feature matching printed and Braille texts.


California's Business Enterprise Program operates more than three hundred vending stands, snack bars, and cafeterias. Most of them are m city, county. State and Federal buildings, but seventy-five are in private industry -including Avon Cosmetics, Eastman Kodak, Southern California Gas, Interstate Electronics, Honeywell, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, Raytheon Corporation, the Salk Foundation, Stanford Research Institute, National Steel, and Clary Calculator. The State provides six months of training, half in classroom and the other half in on-the-job training. Certified trainees go before a selection committee when a stand becomes available. This board consists of a staff member from the Department of Rehabilitation, the building manager, and a business man from the community, and is charged with selecting the applicant best qualified to handle that particular stand. The State is divided into five regions with eleven business enterprise officers each overseeing about thirty operators, four supervisors, with the statewide BEP staff totalling some nineteen professional persons. The average income of the operators during fiscal year 1969-70 was six hundred forty-three dollars a month. The annual cost of administering the program was $706,000, mostly Federal money, or $2,333 per stand. Put in another way, m order to yield a net annual income of $2,314,800 to all of the operators, the administrative cost is almost thirty percent, which would seem to be extremely high.


On June 23, 1971 the President signed S, 557, the amendments to the Wagner-O'Day Act. Public Law 92-28 extends preferential contracting by Federal agencies outside the competitive bidding system to workshops employing other severely handicapped individuals, while retaining a priority for workshops employing blind persons. It also includes, for the first time, preferential contracting for services, and grants workshops for the blind a priority until December 31, 1976. These amendments were supported by the Nixon Administration and were opposed by organizations of and for the blind.


Bill Dwyer, president of the Empire State Association of the Blind, writes from new York that Natalie Matthews of Maine had to be the sweetest girl at the recent NFB Convention in Houston. At the banquet one of the waiters tipped a full tray of baked alaska all over her.


The Hobby Horse is a bi-monthly magazine published in Braille and recorded on tape. Regular features include sections on cooking, woodworking, knitting, and crocheting, games and puzzles, coin and stamp collecting, and handicraft projects. Subscription cost for one year is ten dollars for either the Braille or taped edition. If requesting tape, specify the speed, reel size, and number of tracks which your machine will accept. For further information write The Hobby Horse 135 N. Vernon Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206. The Treehouse is a bi-monthly magazine published especially for blind children of preschool and early elementary school age. It is in Braille or on tape. Stories, poems, puzzles, games, and craft activities are included in the contents. Subscription cost for one year is six dollars. Further information can be obtained by writing to 135 N. Vernon Avenue, Louisville, KY,


Welfare Rights Organizations in California and New York have filed suits in Federal Court against the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to prevent it from granting favors to Governors Reagan and Rockefeller. These governors had requested the right to secretly waive the rules and regulations on budgets for welfare families. It is reported that in May of this year the States of California and New York had received these waivers, and HEW Secretary Richardson had refused to make available details to WRO attorneys. After the suit was filed, the Nixon Administration gave in and agreed to a thirty-day notice on granting of any waivers. This will afford organizations the opportunity to challenge in court any waivers.


HEW reports that in recent months there has been a slight decline in public assistance caseloads, due largely to the fact that some twenty-two States have cut back on their welfare programs. One of the favorite methods is to impose a durational residence requirement. In a recent decision in Connecticut a panel of three Federal Court judges ruled unconstitutional Connecticut's new one-year residence requirement for welfare recipients. The judges said that the U. S. Supreme Court has made it quite clear that conservation of State funds is not sufficient grounds to authorize a one-year residence requirement, which also limits the right of certain citizens to travel freely through the United States. "The attempt to throw up State fences to bar movement of people," the court said, "grows from an understandable fear of runaway expenditure for relief. But it flies squarely in the face of the constitution, which established the ideal of one nation and one people." A Federal District judge in New York recently ordered New York State to stop enforcing its new one-year residence requirement for welfare applicants until a trial could be held to determine if the regulation was constitutional. Meanwhile, the States of California, Ohio, and Rhode Island have passed new residence requirements for welfare recipients, which will in all probability be struck down in short order by the Federal courts.


Recently in Italy a man was sentenced to seventeen years in prison on conviction of acting as the lookout for a 1958 robbery in which a man was killed. The Italian was pardoned the other day after it was established that he had been blind since birth.


The American Bankers Association has devised a new program called "The Checkwriter" and is a combination of script and Braille checkbook. It consists of a pair of hinged aluminum plates with horizontal writing guide slots for date, payee, amount, and signature. The First National Bank of Ontario, California became the first bank to use the new system.


Physicians warned that the common practice of feeding boiled milk to babies suffering from diarrhea can lead to a potentially fatal concentration of salt in the body. The home remedy is particularly dangerous if the milk used is undiluted skimmed milk and if it is boiled in an open pan. A better and safer treatment for infants with this disorder would be fruit juices, clear beverages, jello-water, cola, or other non-chilled carbonated beverage.


Writing in The Eyecatcher, publication of the NFB of New York State, Frieda Wolff says:

"Just recently, the New York Guild for the Blind opened a new building. How will it serve the blind? Not just blind alone, but persons with other handicaps are served by this organization for the blind One of the things I object to is the famous contract room--employing a goodly number of persons with visual, as well as other anomalies. Although this agency receives large sums of money from the government, as well as private donations, these persons must receive welfare assistance in order to live. Those in the contract room earn no more than one dollar an hour, with many taking home even less than that. Some years ago, three hundred dollars was spent by the Guild on a time clock for these people to punch, though they never have gotten a decent wage. Time and time again, there have been promises of change by the administration--that the blind will be able to earn more money, but, to date, nothing has come of it. One blind person said to me yesterday, 'I've never taken home more than thirty dollars a week.' Now, the Guild is housed in a brand new building. They say once again that they will have more and better jobs for the blind. I hope that this time, it will really come to pass. Perhaps in this new building, the blind will have a better future."


The Nat-Cent News is a new quarterly review published by the National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. Robert J. Smithdas, well-known deaf-blind Director of Community Education for the Center, is the editor. Those wishing to subscribe should write to 105 Fifth Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.


UPI reports that delegates to the North Carolina Girls State were asked what thoughts the word "welfare" brought to mind. The answers included: "Trouble, money, lazy people, disabled people, poverty, liars, dependent, Nixon, black people, white people, and Cadillac."

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