MLIS Graduate Student; Spectrum Scholar 2023 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
As more blind, visually impaired and print-disabled users learn and gain skills to navigate accessible technology to seek out audiobooks within digital libraries (DL’s), “complex structures and multimedia formats still pose significant challenges for blind users” (Xie et al., 2017, p. 514) In my most recent service to Spanish-speaking, blind, visually impaired, and print-disabled patrons as a Library Services Coordinator with the Braille Institute of America in Anaheim CA, I used the Library of Congress’ (LoC’s) Foreign Language Collection to research, download, convert, and transfer audiobooks into an accessible digital format. This was done for patrons who wished to read audiobooks using their auditory senses because their vision no longer allowed them to read standard written print material. Then, I'd send books to library patrons via the U.S. Postal Mail service. A problem that has emerged in my recent work with this population of patrons is the limited amount of Spanish language audiobooks available in the LoC’s Foreign Language Collection. Per my proposed recommendations, the expected outcome of using a similar model to that of the "Change the Subject Project" (as discussed in my formally written proposal) is to triple the current 6,253 audiobooks available in the Spanish-language collection at the LoC to 18,759 titles over a 5-year period.