Lithuanian Library for the Blind is the biggest publisher of publications in special formats (Braille, audio, DAISY format) in the country. By publishing over 400 publications of variuos purpose every year, LLB reduces the informational and social exclusion of disabled people. Since 2013, voluntary announcers help to increase the number of available publications by announcing the books for free in the individual announcement studios in the centre of LLB in Vilnius and its Kaunas branch.
One of the most important products created by LLB is the virtual library ELVIS, which allows the users to look for and receive the desired publications at home. To use ELVIS, one needs to have a computer or mobile device with an internet cennection, and, if the user is blind or visually impaired, a sound synthesizer. The virtual library was created in 2010-2012 after the implementation of a project which received EU structural support. Virtual library ELVIS is adapted to the needs of the visually impaired users - the system has a simple user interface, the possibility to change the print size, colours of the text and screen background. The publications in the virtual library ELVIS can be listened to online or after downloading to your own device.
Cultural services provided by LLB are adapted to the people of variuos age that have a disability or disored. LLB has created an innovative methodological measure for children called "Story Box", which is intended for developing the cognition of their socila environment. These are short interactive performances created on the basis of the narrations of the famous Lithuanian author and illustrator of children's literature, Kęstutis Kasparavičius. During the performances, participants not only listen to the narration, but also have the possibility to touch the objects ('characters of the narration') that were created specifically for these performances. Tactile objects increase the inclusion of the spectators into the narration, and visually impaired participants of the performance get to know the characters of the narration by touching the objects invoked during the performance. Short performances of "Story Box", demonstrated in common and special pre-school and school educational institutions, public libraries, have already been seen by more than 1500 children. After the viewing of short performances, students from the common schools are invited to give sense to the experience gained during the performances by creating touchable drawings for their visually impaired peers.
For visually impaired teenagers that are interested in programming and IT innovations, LLB offers to take part in basic trainings of robotics programming, which have been organised in the library since 2016, while implementing the continuous project "cODiNG". For visually impaired youths that are studying in high schools, LLB publishes textbooks in DAISY format. Also, if necessary, LLB publishes lecture notes and other material necessary for studies in accessible formats for free.
Middle-aged adults often select reading fiction and leisure literature books, magazines that LLB produces in audio format and Braille, take part in events organised in the library. For elderly readers, LLB has prepared and published a special series of audio publications, comprised of publications in which the texts of different genres (poetry works, extracts from novels, etc.) are united by a topic relevant to elderly people. The text of the publication is diversified with music insertions, humourist narrations, anecdotes. The duration of the publications of this series - up to 1 hour. The readers of the LLB service points established in retirement homes come to listen to them with great pleasure.
LLB provides its library visitors with the possibility to enjoy art, culture, and to create by themselves. LLB regulary initiates cultural and educational programmes which allow the visitors of the library to take equal part in cultural life with others. Together with Kaunas faculty of Vilnius University, LLB invites the users to the reviews of films with audio description. In collaboration with Gatvės gyvos VšĮ, excursions adapted for the blind were organised to the Old Town of Vilnius. Moreover, LLB regularly organises audio readings, meetings with writers and famous characters of society and culture.
LLB cherishes and keeps up the culture of reading in Braille. By encouraging not to forget Braille, every year LLB invites the readers to write the National dictation in Braille, participate in the Constitution examination organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania. Republican contest of reading in Braille, organised by LLB since 1970 every second year, has already become traditional. During the contest, participants must read the text in Braille as quickly and fluently as possible.
Being the centre of competence and aiming that the disabled users would be provided with quality services, LLB, as the centre of competence, consults the library science specialists and provides trainings for them. While participating in the LLB trainings, the workers of public libraries learn about the informational and cultural needs of the people that have visual or other disability which makes regular printed text inaccessible for them, and how to satisfy those needs.
Projects implemented by the Lithuanian Library for the Blind:
ONGOING: Lithuanian Library for the Blind specialists' qualification improvement, 2020. The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2020. The aim of the project is to raise the qualifications of the staff of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind and of organizations that contribute to the service of disabled people.
The ELVIS virtual library for the blind The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2020. The aim of the project is to reduce cultural, informational and social exclusion of people who are unable to read ordinary printed texts and to improve the user service processes of the Lithuanian library for the blind.
#Coding: Web page development framework training for visually handicapped people. The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2020. The aim of the project is to reduce social and informational exclusion of people with disabilities through innovative measures.
Everyone can read: the interactive exposition of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2020.
The aim of the project is to introduce the services of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind to people who cannot read ordinary printed texts, using innovative solutions which are based on modern technologies, and to encourage them to become library users.
Modernization of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind Financed by the structural funds of the European Union, under the investment action programme called "Cultural Infrastructure Modernization", which takes place from 2014 to 2020. No. 07.1.1-CPVA-V-304 "Modernization of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind". The project of the Lithuanian Library for the Blind intends to upgrade the infrastructure in order to increase the quality, accessibility of public services, also to encourage more active cultural participation of the blind and visually impaired people and society as a whole, also to meet the library visitors' needs. Duration of project implementation: 15.05.2018 – 31.10.2022
Tactile objects: touch the architecture of Vilnius The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2019. The aim of this project is to use solutions based on modern technologies and adapt the architectural models and educational activities of the architected objects of Vilnius to the needs of people with visual impairment or other disabilities. This would help to lower the cultural and informational gap between such people.
Educational program "Meet the world through your fingertips". The project is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 2019. The aim of this project is to encourage the creativity of disabled people, and to reduce informational, social and cultural exclusion by involving art lovers in creative activities.