Marketing toolkit: Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Resources to help your library promote and provide resources for blind and print disabled patrons, their caregivers, and more.

visually impaired library patron

Stay Up-to-Date with GLS

Request a GLS Publication
Join the GLS Email list
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Get answers to common questions about GLS

What is Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled?

Through Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled, Georgia Public Library Service provides library services for individuals who are blind or whose physical abilities require the use of books and magazines in audio format or in braille. We provide vital reading materials in an accessible format.

Who does GLS serve?

GLS serves eligible patrons who need reading materials in an accessible format. Patrons are eligible if they are blind, low vision, or physically unable to hold a book and turn the page. GLS services are also available to persons with reading disabilities such as dyslexia. All potential patrons must enroll in GLS services and have their application signed by a certifying authority.  That certifying authority must be someone who can attest to the condition that is making a person eligible. This is typically a physician, a nurse, professional caregiver, therapist or educator– sorry relatives cannot certify people.  A librarian can certify patrons as well.

See the complete Q & A with GLS director Pat Herdon.

Accessibility tips

Use these strategies to ensure your materials are accessible to blind and print disabled patrons.

  • Provide descriptive image captions and alt text, including GIFs. Avoid saying “image of” and describe the importance, humor, etc of what is shown.
  • Include video captions and descriptions.
  • Write in plain language: Avoid jargon, slang, or technical terms unless they are appropriate.
  • Full-caps can be difficult to read and misinterpreted by screen readers.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word to make hashtags more legible and prevent screen reader gaffs. For example, #GeorgiaLibraries not #georgialibraries
  • Put hashtags and mentions at the end. Punctuation marks are read aloud by screen readers. Be mindful of how hashtags or @ mentions can disrupt copy.
  • Avoid saying “click here.” Use descriptive call-to-actions like: Sign up, Try it for free, or subscribe.
  • Limit emoji use. Emoji and emoticons are read aloud by assistive tech. That means people will hear things like “loudly crying face” or “pile of poo.” Before using one, look up how it translates to text.
  • Use an adequate font size so text is legible, especially when used in images or areas that aren’t modifiable. 14-pt font is the minimum font-size for accessibility and for qualification of materials to be mailed to eligible persons as Free Matter for the Blind.

Download a copy of these tips (PDF)

georgia library service for blind accessibility tip sheet
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Messages to Use on Social Media

Use these messages on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to help your community learn about available accessibility resources and services.

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Accessible library resources give tools for everyone to reach goals: Read Miracle’s story. She lost her vision at 22 years old, but audiobooks from Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled made finishing university education to become a teacher possible. “Now I can read along with my students and introduce them to different types of books.”https://bit.ly/2T2piCW #GeorgiaLibraries

Could someone you know benefit from books in an accessible format? Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled provides vital reading materials in an accessible format for those who are blind, low vision, physically unable to hold a book, or have a reading disability such as dyslexia. Ask your local public librarian for more information. #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) is now Georgia Library Service for the Blind & Print Disabled! We have the same great services with a new name & look that better reflect what we do. Learn more about the change: https://georgialibraries.org/gls-qa #GeorgiaLibraries

Through Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Georgia Public Library Service provides library services for those who are blind or whose physical abilities require the use of books and magazines in audio format or in braille. https://georgialibraries.org/gls-qa #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled provides vital reading materials in an accessible format for those who are blind, low vision, physically unable to hold a book, or have a reading disability such as dyslexia. Learn more: https://georgialibraries.org/gls-qa #GeorgiaLibraries

If you or someone you know needs accessible reading materials, be sure to check out Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled patrons can access digital braille and audio books through BARD and BARD Mobile gls.georgialibraries.org/bard #GeorgiaLibraries

Accessibility is not an “other” – it’s about people whose lives have changed. It’s about all of us. Learn how #GeorgiaLibraries are a source of accessible programming and technology. https://bit.ly/2AyHfvP

You can sign up for Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at any public library in Georgia. Find your local library here https://georgialibraries.org/find-a-library

Did you know that those who are blind or print disabled have free access to a huge collection of audiobooks, text-to-speech audio, braille and many more accessible formats through Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled? Learn more gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled has books in many accessible formats, as well as remote programming including book clubs, children’s summer reading programs, and peer support groups. Learn more at your local library or here gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Reader advisors for Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled patrons are available daily to help you make book selections. gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

If you are a Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled patron, you have access to the entire PINES large print book collection! Learn more at gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled patrons have access to the Bookshare collection of over 950,000 titles – in a variety of accessible formats. Learn more at gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Each year in GA, we assist >15,000 people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or physical disability that prevents them from reading.  Everyone should have the opportunity to read. @librarycongress #IMLSGrant #GeorgiaLibraries

Accessible library resources give tools for everyone to reach goals: Read Miracle’s story. She lost her vision at 22 years old, but audiobooks from Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled made finishing university education to become a teacher possible. “Now I can read along with my students and introduce them to different types of books.”https://bit.ly/2T2piCW #GeorgiaLibraries

How has Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled impacted your life? Share your story by emailing communications@georgialibraries.org #MyLibraryStory #GeorgiaLibraries

Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled gives people the library resources and tools they need to reach their goals. Learn more at gls.georgialibraries.org #GeorgiaLibraries

Photos

Selected images to use in web and social media. Click on the images, right click, and save to your computer.

Photo credits: https://www.pexels.com/@eren-li; https://www.pexels.com/@mikhail-nilov; https://www.pexels.com/@thirdman; Georgia Public Library Service

Graphics

Add your library’s logo to the graphics on left side. Just download and add. Be sure to add alt text for any images you use.

Talking Points

These statements can help start conversations about library services for blind and print disabled patrons.

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“Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled is the statewide program that provides library services for the blind and those whose physical abilities require materials in digital audio formats or in braille.”

“Patrons are eligible if they are blind, low vision, or physically unable to hold a book and turn the page. GLS services are also available to persons with reading disabilities such as dyslexia.”

“GLS serves Georgia residents through its library open to the public and materials distribution center.”

“Library users who are not able to visit a library in person may obtain materials through the mail free of charge.”

“The Georgia Library Service (GLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled talking book library has more than 658,000 annual checkouts.”

“Accessibility is not an “other” – it’s about people whose lives have changed. Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled gives people the library resources and tools they need to reach their goals.”