Welcome to the Iowa Department for the Blind Volunteer Newsletter! In this issue, we are celebrating our volunteers and the work they have done for IDB over the last year and discussing braille literacy. We hope you find this newsletter useful and informative.
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! Even during this challenging time, we have volunteers who are assisting our library in providing services and resources to our patrons all across Iowa.
Today we are wrapping up National Volunteer Week with our Elizabeth Perowsky Workshops and Luncheon. Our volunteer audio narrators are attending a workshop to share their knowledge and expertise with each other and discuss their continued work on recording books for our library collection. This afternoon our volunteers from all areas of the library will enjoy lunch, networking and awards. The Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped will also host their annual meeting which will feature the library staff as they discuss their work over the last two years.
Every moment our volunteers give 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.
Staff member, Jodi Aldini, wrote a poem honoring our volunteers.
Volunteers Take the Prize
Today’s the day we celebrate
All of our volunteers.
You’re a crucial part of our Library,
And have been for many years.
You give of yourself and your time,
As if it’s no big deal.
We want to reach out to all of you
And tell you how we feel.
Whether you’re a Pioneer, Transcriber, or Narrator,
Or tackling the new braille.
The impact you have on blind Iowans
Is something no one can curtail.
We couldn’t do it without you,
Your work is second to none.
We’re in awe of your dedication
To get each task done.
The difference that you make,
Cannot be disguised.
That’s why we’re honoring all of you,
Because our “Volunteers Take the Prize!”
— Jodi Aldini
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for the library check out our Volunteer Page.
Join library staff for March’s Library News podcast which features information on customized Talking Book Topics called Tiny TBTs, the top ten fiction books downloaded on BARD last month, information about the 2022 Iowa Regional Braille Challenge, the Great Reading Challenge, information about the upcoming Des Moines Book Festival, save the date information for the Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer Workshop and Luncheon, upcoming Youth programs, and information about ongoing library events and programs.
Welcome to our newsletter! In this issue, we are celebrating the unveiling training center symbol, new Youth Space opens, and an Update from the Director including the State Fiscal Year 2023 State Appropriation. We hope you find this newsletter useful and informative.
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.