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Blind Librarian Leads the Way

Can the blind lead the blind? Well, this blind librarian helps the blind to read. "Shining through in world of darkness" by Margaux C. Ortiz (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 May 2006) chronicles Maria Lea Vilvar's journey from being a sighted girl afraid of the dark to a blind librarian who inspires others like her to go beyond their physical impairments.

I'm not sure I like the subtitle—"Blind librarian guards books in Braille"—but I suppose Ortiz more than makes up for the suggestion that all a librarian does is "guard" books by writing about the other things that Vilvar does and has done.

It is unfortunate that the National Library of the Philippines has no information on its website on the Library for the Blind Division, but take a look at "A Status Report on the Library for the Blind in the Philippines" (1999) and "Library for the Blind: A Guiding Light in the Dark" (2000). For the basis of the establishment of the Library for the Blind Division, see section 14 of Republic Act 7277.

For more information on blindness in the Philippines, check out the websites of the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons and Resources for the Blind. To see what other countries are doing for the blind, see the United Kingdom's National Library for the Blind and the list of DAISY Consortium members.

Category: Librarians

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