Did you know? Fun Facts and Information about the Library

We wanted to share some fun facts and information about our library.  Watch for Did You Know posts each month.A book with a question mark on its page with a magnifying glass.

When did the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled program begin?

The free library service was established by Congress when the Pratt-Smoot Act became law in 1931 to provide blind adults with books in an embossed format. This program would become the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS).  The Act was amended in 1934 to include sound recordings (talking books), expanded in 1952 to include children, in 1962 to provide music materials, and again in 1966, to include individuals with physical limitations that prevent reading regular print.  Our library became a regional Library of the National Library Service in 1960.

For more information on the history of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled visit their History Page

Library Chat Podcast: October 2022

October’s Library Chat Podcast, is a special “Live” episode in the spirit of October, Halloween and the spooky season.  We decided to do a ghost hunt in our Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) building.  The IDB’s building has long and rich history and there has been a lot of unexplained occurrences, sightings and feelings throughout, so we thought we should investigate.  Joining us for the podcast is a special guest Dave Coulson, former IDB Facilities Engineer, to do an investigation and tour of the building.

October Book List

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson  DB26427  BR11092  LT4028

Dracula by Bram Stoker  DB31689  BR8277

Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley  DB25835  BR12173  LT5603

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman  DB68027  BR18241

Hallowe’en Party:  a Hercule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie  DB97649

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury  DB44005  BR10971

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson  DB26179  LT11759

Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving  DB16731  BR08876

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King  DB62402  BR22530  LT4278

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz  DB19713

The Shining by Stephen King  DB51373  BR13271  LT4276

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury DB50233  BR12583

Today is Blind Americans Equality Day or White Cane Safety Day!

Blind Americans Equality Day or White Cane Safety DIowa Department for the Blind Logo features the state outline of the state of Iowa with idb in braille in the center of the state.ay is an annual, national observance that recognizes the achievements of blind Americans and the importance of the white cane as the basic tool of mobility and symbol of independence for the blind. It is also a day to remind all citizens of the laws granting the right of way to blind cane travelers. 


In 1964, the United States Congress authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15th of each year as Blind American Equality Day, formerly, White Cane Safety Day.  It is a national observance in the United States, that was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in an effort to raise awareness of people who carry a white cane.  In fact, the day is now celebrated around the world in many countries on the same date. 

A Proclamation on the Blind Americans Equality Day, 2021 


Check out our Cane Tips with Zach video series on YouTube for more information about the white cane and cane travel. 


Cane Tips 

Cane Types 

Sizing a Cane 

Benefits of a Longer Cane 

Maintaining a Straight Line of Travel