The Braille Institute Library Services has recognized Frank Kurt Cylke, the director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, with an award named in his honor.
Braille Institute Director Henry C. Chang presented the inaugural Frank Kurt Cylke Digital Platinum Award to Cykle on Oct. 22 “for 37 years of unwavering leadership and commitment to the blind and visually impaired communities throughout the United States.”
The new award recognizes the transition by the National Library Service, which is part of the Library of Congress, from cassette books and machines to a system for digital talking books. The system, launched in 2009, features high-quality sound, variable speed control, a built-in audio instruction manual, advanced navigation and an incremental sleep button.
“I thank Dr. Chang and the Braille Institute Library Services for the recognition,” Cylke said. “But the real reward is seeing the joyful reception of this new equipment by blind and physically handicapped readers.”
The National Library Service administers the braille and digital talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness or physical handicap makes reading a printed page difficult. Through its national network of regional libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in digital audio and in braille, as well as digital audio equipment, directly to enrollees at no cost.