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Events

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. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NLS has canceled all participation at in-person exhibits at conferences until further notice. The health and safety of our staff exhibitors and the public are our first priority. We will continue to provide engaging exhibit experiences through virtual conference participation and outreach in 2021 and will update this page about upcoming virtual events that allow public participation.

NLS Director Karen Keninger and other NLS staff recently shared the latest 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 http://acbradio.org/content/lua-part-1-karen-keninger External. Other NLS-related content can be found by typing “NLS” in the search function at www.acbradio.org/acb-convention External. Information about the 2020 NFB convention can be found at www.nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention External.

90th Anniversary Kick-off Event

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

Matthew Whitaker jazz concert now on YouTube

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, youtube.com/libraryofcongress. 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 https://blogs.loc.gov/nls-music-notes..

Past Events

National Book Festival

The 20th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival (NBF) was held online September 25–27, celebrating American Ingenuity with 120 renowned authors from across the country. You can still access videos, presentations, engaging activities and much more on the virtual NBF site. Also check out the NLS booklist of NBF authors who were highlighted on the festival’s main stage.

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 recent 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 https://youtu.be/YTLgSiXXHtI 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.

Biennial Conference for Network Libraries

Demo: computer duplicates books onto cartridges that stack robotically in a caddy.

Reaching beyond the Gold: 2018 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals. Learn more about the 2018 “Nashville” Conference for Network Libraries.

Gateway to Knowledge: 2016 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals. Learn more about the 2016 Conference for Network Libraries.