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A Disproportionate Pandemic

American Libraries – Library patrons with disabilities face compounded challenges. “…Even in non-pandemic times, many NLS  (National Library Service) users experience isolation because of age, ability, and health status. “We hear all the time that our materials are lifelines for our patrons,” Fernekes says. “We take that very seriously.” That’s why, she says, as soon as the pandemic’s ramifications for NLS services became clear, “the staff at NLS and the folks we were talking to from our network libraries immediately went into the mode of: ‘We’ve got to figure out some way to get this to work.’…Despite any service delays they may have encountered, NLS users have continued to send messages of gratitude to the service and its partner libraries, like this one from an anonymous patron: “I really wish to express my appreciation for what you and your colleagues have been doing for me these past years. I have been an avid reader all of my life, so when my vision dimmed, I was devastated. The Talking Book program has been a true blessing! In these perilous times I really appreciate your willingness to continue working.”..

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