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ABOUT THE LIBRARYNovember 28th, 1946 is the date of birth of the embossing plant for the blind in Levoča under the name of the Slovak Braille
Embossing. The real history of the Braille Embossing in Slovakia started its recording on the 1st of October in 1948, when the regular
operation of this cultural institution began.
Matej Hrebenda Slovak Library for the Blind (SLB) in Levoča is the only and unique nation-wide library and information centre in Slovakia operating in the field of spreading information to the visually impaired and otherwise disabled people to an extend reasonable by their disability. Its aim is to fulfill their cultural needs, interest in education and to facilitate their occupational and social position. Since the 1st of January 1999, it has been a state contributory organization controlled by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The SLB’s mission is to transfer documents (books, textbooks, magazines etc.) into Braille, large print, audio recordings, digitized texts and tactile graphics. Documents adapted in these ways are organized in the library funds and used to offer presence, absence and delivery borrowing services within Slovakia and abroad.
MAGAZINESThe SLB produces 18 magazines in three versions, of various periodicity.
Magazines in Braille are: Nový život (New Life - the first issue was released in September 1949), Vierka, Mladosť (Youth), Šach (Chess),
Nádej (Hope), Kultúrno-literárny výber (Cultural and Literary Digest).
Audio magazines (on CD): Nový život (New Life), Prameň (Spring), Pohyb (Motion), Novet, Rozhľady (Views), Dotyky (Touches), Akord (Chord), Nádej (Hope), Vodiaci pes (Guide Dog), Život (Life), Slovenka (Slovak Woman), Zdravie (Health), Diabetik (Diabetic). Priezor (Visor), a component of which is also the magazine Vierka, in large print is dedicated to the partially sighted readers, as well as the magazine Šach (Chess).
The subscribers get magazines by mail, in an electronic form via internet and they can find them on www.skn.sk in an audio format as well.
AUDIO (TALKING) BOOKRecording of talking books on reel tapes and cassette tapes was launched in 1962.
In 1997 the first book on CD in Daisy system was produced in the audio recording studios.
Since 2004 all the audio books and magazines have been recorded in digital format. Thus the conditions for the progressive accessing of audio documents to readers in various digital formats (MP3, WMA DRM 10, Daisy...) were created. It enables the SLB to take adventage of internet in providing the library services as well. Audio recording studios equipped with the state of the art technology are able to provide recordings of books and magazines at a professional level.
BRAILLEThe first textbook embossed in Braille in this institution was a spelling-book "First Little Steps" (1948).
Nowadays the SLB along with the magazines, fiction and textbooks in Braille releases various materials, calendars and tactile postcards.
By including tactile pictures into its publications, the SLB supports tactile perception of the visualyy impaired.
A BOOK AND A READERAbout 3,500 users attend the SLB anually and they borrow around 40,000 library units. The number of mail delivery borrowings is about 30,000 library units. Annual increase of audio documents is 140 (37,000 library units) and 100 titles in Braille (6,000 library units). The library fund of the SLB contains 5,500 titles of talking books and 2,500 titles in Braille. About 900 active users use the services of the SLB. Online digital library exists since 2007 and it offers about 2,500 audio books and magazines. SLB methodically co-ordinates activity of 31 departments for disabled users in public libraries within Slovakia and provides these departments with the Braille and audio documents and possibility of using online services of digital library.
COMMUNITY FORMS OOF WORKThere is the Matej Hrebenda Room available in SLB with documents and three-dimensional objects concerning life and work of Matej Hrebenda. To honour this exceptional personality of the blind movement in Slovakia, Matej Hrebenda Days are organized every two years - nation-wide competition in poetry and prose recitation and in writings of visually impaired authors. The Literary Club connecting disabled literary creators and the Chess Club for the chess enthusiasts develop their activities succesfully.
THE SLOVAK LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND
OF MATEJ HREBENDA IN LEVOČA, ŠTÚROVA 36, 054 65 LEVOČA
tel.: +421(0)53/2451 202, 2451 201
central: +421(0)53/2451 001
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: http://www.skn.sk
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