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Community Services

Services for the visually impaired

The Central Library has an audio book collection for blind and visually impaired persons. We also provide a wide range of music recordings and language learning packs free of charge to visually impaired people who are registered with the National Council for the Blind (NCBI). We work in close co-operation with NCBI.

Technology Aids for visually impaired

Scanning to voice: We provide ScannaR (scan-and-read) flatbed scanners for real-time scanning and reading in the Central Library, in Mayfield Library, and in Tory Top Library. These scanners read aloud whatever text is scanned — from letters, brochures, newspapers, books, etc.

Computer screen text to voice: For people with visual impairment, we have three computers with JAWS software installed. This allows text from Internet, word processed documents, and other computer-screen images to be read via a voice synthesizer. At present we have one of these computers in Central and Bishopstown Libraries. This technology is also useful for people with learning difficulties.

Adult Education / Literacy

Cork City Libraries have an important role to play in the area of adult education. For adults involved either in self-directed learning or in formal classes, the library maintains a growing collection of book-stock, educational videos, microfilm materials and photocopying facilities. In the cultural area, exhibitions, book displays, talks and recitals are a recurring feature of the City Libraries service.

In association with the City of Cork VEC, Basic English classes are held in the Central library on Thursday mornings. These include classes specifically aimed at foreign nationals. The Library also acts as a referral service for literacy organizations. Reading materials suitable for literacy students are available for personal use or for block loans to literacy groups. Literacy students may avail of these services free of charge.

Library as a community resource

Exhibitions are frequently held in all our libraries. We also host a number of national exhibitions and exhibitions that involve local organizations and groups. The Library, as a community-based service, is ideally placed to support local groups in highlighting their services through exhibitions, notice boards, and community information files.

A database of local organizations is maintained by our Reference Department.