Volunteers Help Tell Our Story

2021 Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer Program

Each year the Library and the Iowa Department for the Blind honors their volunteers with the Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer Program.  This year’s theme was Volunteers Help Tell Our Story and was held virtually using Zoom rather than in-person on Thursday, April 22nd.   Despite a difficult and complicated year, the library accomplished so much by continuing and expanding services and programs which could not have been done without the help of our volunteers.

During the program, the Friends of the Library presented the library with their annual contribution in the amount of $12,000.00.  Throughout the year the Friends raise funds through memberships and events which is then given to the library.  These funds are essential to the success of many library programs such as; the Iowa Regional Braille Challenge, year round youth programming, the new youth library space, the purchase of a 3D printer, additions to the library’s collection and so much more.  The library would like to thank the Friends of the Library for their constant support, advocacy and commitment.  For more information about the Friends of the Library http://www.iafriendslibraryfortheblind.org/

As part of the Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer program we honor volunteers who have gone above and beyond throughout the year to assist and support the library. For more than 60 years, Elizabeth Perowsky of Des Moines was a volunteer Braille transcriber. She taught herself to Braille and was certified in literary, Nemeth, and music Braille by the Library of Congress.  She also conducted Braille workshops throughout the country, teaching others how to Braille.  Elizabeth was still Brailling within a few weeks of her death at the age of 97 in May, 1996.  In honor of Elizabeth, the text on the Elizabeth Perowsky Memorial Volunteer Award states: “For extraordinary spirit and inexhaustible dedication in volunteer service to those who are blind”.  Each year the Elizabeth Perowsky Memorial Award and other recognitions are given to our volunteers in appreciation for all that they do for our library.  For more information about this year’s award recipients go to our Volunteer Page.

We thank all of our volunteers for your continual support, contributions, enthusiasm, dedication, and passion that help us serve our patrons and Iowans.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others and for helping us tell our library’s story.  The Library Staff put together a short video to express our thanks to our volunteers.  Watch the video here.

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