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Exhibits at Conferences

NLS attends conferences nationwide to reach out to current and potential patrons, caregivers, and the professionals who work with them through organizations serving these groups. In 2022, we look forward to reaching people who may benefit from our service. This includes continuing partnerships with organizations that work with people with disabilities, presenting the NLS program to new groups and using virtual and in-person exhibits where possible. Continue to look for us as we participate in consumer events and sponsorship opportunities with the following groups:

• American Council of the Blind
• American Library Association
• American Occupational Therapy Association
• Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
• Blinded Veterans Association
• National Federation of the Blind
• Public Library Association

Upcoming events!

“Books for Your Ears” and “Voices in the Stacks”

Join NLS for an all-day symposium on the past, present and future of audiobooks hosted by NLS and the National Audio Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC). This symposium will take place in Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress in D.C., Thursday, August 25, 10 am to 5 pm. Along with the history and future of the audiobook, award winning audiobook narrators, working solo and in groups, will read live from classic works on the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium. Narrators include Ryan Dalusung, Anne Marie Damman, Laura Giannarelli, Joy Jones, Michael Kramer, James Langton and Kimberly Schraf. Learn more about this day event and schedule. Join us for a follow-on event on the evening of the August 25. Explore a pop-up exhibit from NLS in the Great Hall from 5 to 7 pm. Attend Voices in the Stacks: Celebrating the Audiobook at the Library of Congress at 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium, featuring authors and professional narrators reading from works in the Library’s collections.  Learn more about this evening event.

2022 National Book Festival

The National Book Festival (NBF) returns to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, September 3. If you can’t join us in Washington, D.C., a selection of programs will be livestreamed, and video of all presentations can be viewed online after the NBF concludes. And, of course, NLS will be there! Learn more about NBF and schedule.

Past Events

Matthew Whitaker, in black jacket and white dress shirt, at grand piano, his left hand on keys

90th Anniversary Kick-off Event: Matthew Whitaker jazz concert

NLS kicked off its 90th anniversary by hosting a virtual concert featuring jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker on March 3, 2021, which is available on the Library’s YouTube channel at External. Whitaker, who was blind since birth and started playing the piano at age three, is a NLS patron who has used the Music Section’s accessible scores and reading materials on his rise to fame. His performance on March 3 was preceded by a livestreamed interview with Whitaker conducted by NLS Director Karen Keninger. Learn more about Whitaker on the NLS Music Notes blog at

National Book Festival 2021

The 21th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival (NBF) was held online in late September with well over one hundred renowned authors from across the country and around the world. You can access videos, presentations, engaging activities and much more on the virtual NBF site. Also check out the NLS booklist of NBF 2020 authors who were highlighted on the festival’s main stage from the 20th annual event.

Consumer Conventions

Former NLS Director Karen Keninger and other NLS staff shared developments at NLS during two prominent annual conventions. The American Council of the Blind (ACB) held its virtual annual convention July 3–10, 2020, and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) held its virtual annual convention July 14–18, 2020. Keninger’s ACB discussion is available at External. Other NLS-related content can be found by typing “NLS” in the search function at External. Information about the 2020 NFB convention can be found at External.–>

José André Trio

José André is a Bolivian-born, acclaimed jazz pianist and NLS Music Section patron, whose playful and inspired composition bridge jazz, rock, blues, bossa nova, Latin American, and world music. A concert in 2019, presented by NLS, featured the José André Trio. This Library of Congress event was live-streamed, so you can still enjoy it now online at External.

Network Library of the Year Award

NLS holds an annual ceremony recognizing network regional and subregional libraries nominated by their constituents for providing outstanding service to their communities.

2020-2021: The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled in Des Moines received the Regional Library of the Year Award, and Bayside Area and Special Services Library in Virginia Beach received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.  Find out how these libraries served their communities during the pandemic and were to be honored during a virtual ceremony of the biennial meeting of NLS’s Midlands and Western regional conferences.

2019-2020: The Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Oklahoma City received the Regional Library of the Year Award, and the Talking Books and Braille Center at the San Francisco Public Library in California received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. Learn more about these award-winning libraries in the NLS Newsletter from July-September 2020.

2018-2019: The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received the Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Staunton Talking Book Center in Staunton, Virginia, received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. These awards were presented at an event in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on May 16, 2019.

Events for Network Library Staff

Orientations for network librarians with training in audiobook production and equipment-repair workshops are held in March, June, and October. Contact 202-707-9260 for more information on these training and the biennial conference for network library staff.

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