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      Thanks to Our Volunteers

      Library narrator Anita Sundin presses the Record button on her digital recording device. The audio files of the books and magazines she narrates are then made available to Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped patrons.What do our volunteers mean to you? We’d love to hear your stories!

      We’re so appreciative of all the important things that volunteers do for the Library. Volunteers transcribe print materials to create Braille and audio books, providing access to our Library patrons and IDB clients. These transcriptions are crucial for education or job training and retention, but they are also important for community involvement, reading for information, spiritual enrichment, or just plain pleasure.

      Volunteers also help with many other daily Library and IDB functions. They repair machines and do clerical work, they offer to be drivers or readers, they mentor blind teens, and a myriad of other things that help us provide needed services to Iowans.

      How have our volunteers had an impact on your life? Was there a narrator whose reading was particularly affecting to you? Do you have a story of getting that important Braille transcription “just in time”? Did someone go the extra mile to make your experience even better? What might your life be like without the dedicated cadre of volunteers cultivated by the Library?

      We would like to share some of your stories with our volunteers when we honor their service at the annual Elizabeth Perowsky Volunteer Luncheon on April 11th. It means so much to them to hear how their work impacts the lives of our patrons. There are several ways for you to tell your tale.

      You can record a voicemail message by calling the audio recording studio at 515 281-1387 or use the toll-free number 800 362-2587 and have the receptionist route your call. You can include your name, just your town, or you can leave your message anonymously, it’s your choice. You can also record your message on a digital recorder and email the audio file to the address listed below. We’ll play excerpts of these messages for volunteers during the luncheon. As you know, there is nothing quite so personal as hearing someone’s story in their own voice.

      You can also write, email or call with your story. Contact your Reader Advisor or send your stories to the Library. Here’s how:

      Volunteer Stories
      Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
      524 4th Street
      Des Moines, Iowa 50309
      Email: karen.schweitzer@blind.state.ia.us

      Thank you for your stories!

      IDB Budget Update from Director Richard Sorey

      An advocate for the services offered by the Iowa Department for the Blind visits with a state legislator at a previous year's legislative open houePrior to last year's legislative session, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an increase of $550,000 in state revenue to close the gap in spending because we had not received an increase in state revenue during the last 4 years. Blind Iowans worked very hard to support the request for additional revenue, and as a result, the IDB budget was increased by $350,000 for FY 2014.  The increase was significant and it helped fill gaps in service delivery but the $350,000 that we received was still less than the $550,000 that we requested.  This year, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an additional $200,000 in state revenue for the 2015 FY.  In January, we learned that the Governor is in support of our request.  If the Governor’s proposed increase is granted by the legislature we will have achieved the entire $550,000 we need to cover program costs.

      The legislature has to approve the Governor's budget for 2015, so there is much work to be done, but if IDB receives the $200,000 increase in revenue for 2015, we will have the money that is needed to fully support all agency programs. We urge all citizens and consumer groups to support the budget as proposed by the Governor.

      We hope that all blind Iowans will support our request by contacting their legislators. A link to legislator’s contact information is listed below.  Thank you very much for your support of the IDB budget and please educate your legislators as to the services that blind Iowans receive from the Iowa Department for the Blind.

      Find your legislator

      More Feature Stories:

      Audio news from the Library for Spring 2014
      March 8, 2014 Iowa Commission for the Blind meeting audio

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