Skokie Accessible Library Services

Skokie Public Library welcomes persons with physical disabilities. Skokie Accessible Library Services (SALS) was developed to better serve these library users. SALS offers a number of electronic aids, materials in special formats, programs, and services for persons with disabilities.

You need not be a Skokie resident to become a SALS user. Simply inform staff at a public service desk that you are interested. For more information about Skokie Accessible Library Services, contact Gary Gustin by phone at 847.324.3163 or by .

SALS resources for ... Specially adapted computers
     All persons with disabilities Talking Books Discussion Group
     Hard-of-hearing persons  
     Mobility-limited persons  
     Visually impaired persons  

Resources for All Persons with Disabilities

  • Periodicals and newsletters, instructional videotapes, books, directories, catalogs, and pamphlets on topics related to disabilities
  • Guidance in the use of the Library and its resources
  • Assistance in the use of Library computers
  • Home loan of selected equipment
  • Library tours for groups of persons with disabilities
  • Access to a statewide library referral service and a community organization file
  • A list of disability resources on the Internet selected by Skokie Public Library librarians

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Resources for Hard-of-Hearing Persons

  • Telecommunications Device for the Deaf/Telecommunications Display Device (TDD)
  • Closed-caption decoders
  • Videocassette players
  • Sound amplification in auditorium and meeting room
  • Closed-captioned videotapes
  • Instructional sign language books and videotapes
  • Signed stories for children on videotape
  • Sign language interpreters provided for Library programs with 72-hour advance notice

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Resources for Mobility-Limited Persons

  • Library is located on public transportation routes
  • Fully accessible building with electronically operated front door, wheelchair-accessible telephone, drinking fountain, and elevator
  • Library wheelchair
  • Wheelchair set-up for auditorium is available with advance notice
  • Reference and information service by telephone
  • Duplicated reference materials by mail
  • Telephone or online reserves of materials
  • Home delivery of books, cassettes, and CDs

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Resources for Visually Impaired Persons

  • Electronic print enlargers
  • Personal computer with large print, voice capability, and Braille printer
  • Adapted computer software
  • Large-type books and magazines
  • Books on cassette
  • A collection of Braille books
  • Book Chat, the monthly Talking Books® discussion group
  • Referrals to Library of Congress Braille and Talking Books® services
  • Weekly newstapes of selections from local newspapers
  • Volunteer readers and tapers

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Specially Adapted Computers

Two specially adapted computers for persons with visual impairments are available on the Library's local area network. These workstations use ZoomText® for screen magnification, JAWS for Windows® for speech synthesis, and Open Book Ruby Edition® for reading scanned materials. These resouces were purchased with a grant from the Educate and Automate program of the Illinois State Library, matched by a gift from Library Board Member Eva Weiner. Call Community Services at 847.673.3146 for more information.

Also new are two VisualTek® units.  These machines use a camera, a monitor, and closed-circuit television technology to enlarge printed material for viewing. One of the VisualTek® units displays the enlarged material in black and white and the other in full color. With this new equipment it is now possible, for example, to see art plates from museum "coffee table" books in color. There are also eleven black-and-white portable units available for loan.

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Talking Books Discussion Group

Join the monthly Talking Books Discussion Group for people with visual impairments. Librarian Gary Gustin leads the discussions, which attract anywhere from 12 to 20 people on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 2:00pm.

Several weeks before each meeting, the Library mails out the Talking Books cassettes and digital memory cards (if available) provided by the Library of Congress to all participants signed up for the discussion. The books are fiction and nonfiction works chosen by group members and Library staff. Everyone is welcome to join the Talking Books Discussion Group, regardless of whether they have listened to or read the book. Likewise, it is not necessary to attend the discussions to receive the Library of Congress tapes or digital cards.

Recent popular selections included The Help by Kathryn Stockett, A River Runs Through It by Norman Macleaan, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner, and Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, edited by Peter Canellos.

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