FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Library of Congress has given national recognition to the Library for the Visually and Physically Disabled in Muskegon County.
The branch of the Muskegon Area District Library is one of nearly 100 in the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled network. It serves more than 940 people in Muskegon and Ottawa counties.
Last month, MADL leaders formally received the Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award in Washington D.C. and toured of the Library of Congress.
Lead librarian Sax Mahoney said implementing new programs and technology helped set the library apart and earn it the the reward.
“I was over the moon,” Mahoney said. “I knew that I had done a lot to help but it was never my goal to be recognized for it. It was something that I just wanted to do. I’m very passionate about this program and the people that we serve in making sure that they can have the same access to print materials and everything else.”
The organization provides a variety of services including audio books, Braille books, and technology that helps increase accessibility.
Rosemarie Facilla has a passion for reading and visits the library with her guide dog Scuba.
“I’ve loved the library. The library has been my life. When I was a kid and I could see, I would go to the public library and grab a bunch of print books and I’d have my sister go with me and have her get print books and would read them all in a week,” Facilla said.
Facilla, who lost her vision because of a genetic condition, said the library provides crucial services to people who are blind or visually impaired.
“You want to be able to still access the authors or access the kind of books that you enjoy,” Facilla said.
Facilla hopes others libraries can benefit from what her library has learned.
“I think that is so cool that our library provided things that the rest of the nation thought was above the norm, and that hopefully other county libraries throughout our nation will take notice and start to implement some of the things that are done here,” Facilla said.