Shrewsbury Public Library now offering braille books

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Shrewsbury Public Library now offering braille books
Braille books are now available at Shrewsbury Public Library. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

SHREWSBURY – Braille books are now available at Shrewsbury Public Library.

Patrons can now find 22 braille books – roughly 10 titles – on the main floor of the library. The books are located close to the library entrance and next to the “new releases” section.

The books are on loan from Perkins Library, which is an extension of Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown. The libraries will switch out the available books; titles will be rotated every two to three weeks.

Currently, available titles include “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “Seeing Annie Sullivan” by Denise Bergman, “The Judge’s List” by John Grisham, and “Verity” by Colleen Hoover.

The effort to have braille books at the library dates back to March. Shrewsbury Public Library Director Priya Rathnam and Commission on Disabilities Vice Chair Charbel Sakr did the legwork to help bring the idea to life. The braille books are loaned at no cost to the town.

“People who are blind or [are] visually impaired should be on equal footing with sighted people,” Sakr said. “If a sighted person can go to the library and browse for the book they want… a blind person should be able to do the same.”

“It’s important to have braille books for patrons with visual impairments to access,” Rathnam added in an email statement to the Community Advocate. “They should be able to come into the library and browse for braille books just like other folks can access regular books.”

With the braille books, the library hopes everyone – including those with visual impairments – can find an interesting book at the library.

For more information on assistive technology, see: https://shrewsburypubliclibrary.org/resources/assistive-technology/.

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