June 1, 2021
The State Library of Pennsylvania Announces New Resource for Pennsylvanians with Disabilities
Pennsylvanians with print disabilities will access services in a new virtual location.
Harrisburg, PA – In collaboration with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL) today announced the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has changed its name to the Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians (LAMP) and launched a new, centralized website available to all Pennsylvanians: MyLAMP.org.
“For the growing number of Pennsylvanians who cannot use traditional printed materials, it is essential to make these state-supported library services easier to find and use,” said Acting Deputy Secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Susan Banks. “Updating the name to LAMP allows a central focus on the services offered. The new website becomes a universal location for persons with print disabilities to access and borrow an array of audio, braille, and large print books and magazines, events, and information.”
Though the name has changed, LAMP’s commitment to serving its clients remains the same. It will continue to implement the Library of Congress’ National Library Service program throughout Pennsylvania to patrons with disabilities, including those who cannot access standard print due to blindness, visual, physical, cognitive, or reading disabilities and to those who are unable to hold a book or turn its pages.
The goal of this change is to make services for Pennsylvania’s growing print-disabled population more discoverable, accessible, and inclusive. LAMP removes disability from the name and focuses entirely on the service. The new website will provide a singular service point for Pennsylvanians with print disabilities. Additionally, these libraries will explore ways to provide resources beyond the traditional – such as assistive technologies and accessible programs for all underserved populations.
This rebrand was developed over the past two years as a combined effort of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free Library of Philadelphia and OCL, along with guidance from consultant Wall-to-Wall studios.
“LAMP helps print disabled Pennsylvanians read for life,” said Mark Lee, Administrator of LAMP services at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “We are excited to have a new name that reflects the many services offered for free to Pennsylvanians of all ages who have difficulty accessing standard print. People with reading disabilities, age related visual disabilities or blindness, are able to enjoy a host of library services and have access to hundreds of thousands of accessible titles.”
“The outdated name for these libraries did not reflect the patrons we served or the wealth of services and resources we provide. Our new name and website are better identifiers of the services we provide to anyone who wants to utilize our extensive physical and digital collections,” said Keri E. Wilkins, Administrator of LAMP services in Philadelphia. “LAMP, through state funding, has a long history of pioneering innovative services to the print disabled throughout the commonwealth. The Free Library of Philadelphia and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh were chosen by the Library of Congress as two of the original 19 national locations in 1933 to distribute books for the blind, and we continue to honor that mission today.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries supports, develops, and provides library services for learning and advancement. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Library, follow them on Twitter.