Nine postal employees from across Iowa and one post office will receive awards of recognition today from officials at the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Library director Karen Keninger says the first-ever awards are being presented to thank the postal service on behalf of thousands of Iowans who are blind or visually impaired, who have reading disabilities or who physically can’t hold a book. Keninger says about seven-thousand Iowans are served by the state library and about 300-thousand books and magazines go out and come back every year. She says the postal service handles more than a-thousand books a day — on tape, in large print and in Braille — helping keep those thousands of Iowans connected to the world. Keninger says the Braille books are very bulky but most of the books are on cassette and they’re handled by the postal service at no cost — to the library or to the recipients. The “Florence Grannis Library Service Achievement Award” is named for the regional librarian for Iowa from 1960 to 1976 who supervised the beginnings of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Grannis died earlier this year. Keninger says the thousands of Iowans who rely on the services of the library are very grateful to the postal service and called for the creation of this award. Keninger says “They tell us over and over that this is their lifeline to the world. This is how they get their information and a lot of the people that we serve are elderly, some of them are in nursing homes or homebound and they rely on their books for entertainment, they rely on them for information and it is truly a lifeline.” Today’s ceremony is slated for 2 P-M at the the Iowa Department for the Blind in Des Moines. Honorees are: Josh Thiry (like “theory) of Waterloo, Jim Brass of Waterloo, Roger Brinkert of Primghar, Donald Roethler of Cherokee, Jackie Fleming of Bloomfield, Albert Mingo of Davenport, Carol Blakely of Des Moines, Greg Mahon of Des Moines and the Maquoketa Post Office Staff.
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