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.

Help Us Say Thank You To Our Amazing Volunteers

Thanks to our volunteersApril is National Volunteer Month and the library would like to thank and acknowledge our many volunteers during that month who generously donate their time and efforts to the library.  The library has many behind the scenes volunteers who help with narrating books, braille transcription, editing, shelving and processing books, and much more!  Even during this challenging time, we have volunteers who are assisting our library in providing services and resources to our patrons all across Iowa. 

We would love our library patrons to send a thank you message to our volunteers.  There are multiple ways you could do this.  You could send a card through the mail to the library, compose an email message, or leave a phone message.  All messages will be distributed to our volunteers.  We want to make sure our volunteers know how much we appreciate all the work they do and want to highlight in April everything they do throughout the year.

Call 515.281.1387 to leave a voice message

Send cards to the library at:
Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, IA  50309

Help Us Say Thank You To Our Amazing Volunteers

April is National Volunteer Month and the library would like to thank and acknowledge our many volunteers during that month who generously donate their time and efforts to the library.  The library has many behind the scenes volunteers who help with narrating books, braille transcription, editing, shelving and processing books, and much more!  And each year we have hosted the Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer Luncheon to honor our volunteers for the work they have done throughout the year.  We have not been able to do an in-person event to say thank you due to current restrictions.  Even with these restrictions, we have volunteers who are still assisting our library in providing services and resources to our patrons all across Iowa. 

We would love our library patrons to send a thank you message to our volunteers.  There are multiple ways you could do this.  You could send a card through the mail to the library, compose an email message, or leave a phone message.  All messages will be distributed to our volunteers.  We want to make sure our volunteers know how much we appreciate all the work they do and want to highlight in April everything they do throughout the year.

Call 515.281.1387 to leave a voice message

Send cards to the library at:
Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled
524 Fourth Street
Des Moines, IA  50309

National Volunteer Month – Every Moment Makes a Difference

April is National Volunteer Month.  Every moment our volunteers give to the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) and the Library makes a huge difference in so many ways.  Their willingness to share both their time and talents by volunteering with the Library says a lot.  Their willingness to give selflessly to help others speaks to both their strength and the quality of their character.

For example, in 2019, volunteers gave over 7,220 hours to IDB and the Library.  Volunteers assisted with audio production, braille production, youth programs, library circulation and more. 

Our volunteers helped us do more in 2019 than we ever could have done to ensure we positively impacted Iowans lives.  We thank our volunteers!  This statistics illustrates how much their gift of time makes such an impact in achieving our mission and goals.

Moving into 2020, our volunteers are helping us through these uncertain times through their work at home. 

Two of our volunteer narrators helped us launch a new program for the library called, IDB Read.  Patrons can call in and listen to one of our wonderful volunteer narrators read live on the phone, followed by a short chat about the book.  Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:00pm, you call in and listen to our narrator, Christine, read a cozy mystery. The first one is titled A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am – 11:00 am, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Bob, read a western, titled To the Far Blue Mountains by Louis L’Amour.  Please call the library at 515.281.1323 to get the conference call number for IDB Read.

Our volunteer Braillists and narrators continue to work on projects from home for both the students and patrons ensuring our patrons have the information and materials that they need.  Our Friends of the Library continue to work tirelessly on supporting the library through fundraising and support.  And the Library Consumer Advisory Committee continues their work as advocates for our library.

Thank you again to all of our volunteers who continue to help us in so many ways!

For information about how you can help check out these pages: