The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 10, 2013

Library assists persons with vision impairment

STAFF REPORT
The Commercial-News

DANVILLE — The Danville Public Library announced it has launched the Bierley Electronics Magnifier Loan Program, a free outreach service that gives patrons with visual impairment the chance to read any book at the library with a hand-held electronic magnifier.

The ColorMouse USB-MD magnifier, which is on loan from Bierley Electronics, is shaped like a large computer mouse and plugs directly into a USB 2.0 port on a standard personal computer. Patrons borrow the magnifier from the front desk and use a designated computer at the library to read books, magazines and newspapers in large print.

The library patron glides the handheld mouse over any text and the magnified words appear on the screen. Plus and minus buttons on the computer screen allow readers to adjust the text size to suit their needs.

The screen and text color can be easily changed from color; to white background with black text; or black background with white text. These options address the specific needs of people with eye conditions such as Macular Degeneration, which may leave them sensitive to bright light.

“The ColorMouse-USB-MD was designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind,” said Ian Bierley, president of Bierley Electronics. “We know that technology can be scary for some people, especially senior citizens, so it was our goal to make the ColorMouse USB-MD comfortable and easy to use.”

Danville Public Library director Barbara Nolan hopes that the electronic magnifiers will encourage those with vision impairment to return to the library and reignite their desire to read.

“Libraries are a valuable part of the community,” she said in a press release, “yet there are many people who believe that, because of their sight loss, libraries no longer have anything to offer them. With the Bierley electronic magnifier, our patrons with vision impairment can now return to the library and enjoy any of our books, while at the same time regaining their independence and taking part in a social activity.”

For more information about the program, contact the Danville Public Library Outreach Department at 477-5227 or ask a librarian during your next visit to the library at 319 N. Vermilion St.

To order a Bierley ColorMouse USB-MD, visit the Bierley Electronics website at: http://www.bierleylibrary.com/us/colormouse-usb.htm, email: ussales@bierley.com or call: 1-800-985-0535 ext. 810.