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Friday, October 26, 2012

CNIB awards Donna Christensen for advancing library services for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted

CALGARY, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - CNIB awarded Donna Christensen the 2012 Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award today for her outstanding leadership in the advancement of library and information services for Canadians with vision loss or a print disability.

The award was presented today at a luncheon held in conjunction with the 2012 CNIB Braille Conference in Toronto, Ontario. The selection committee unanimously chose Donna as this year's recipient.

Since 2007, Donna has worked for the Didsbury Municipal Library where she began to oversee the CNIB Library Partner Program- a service that offers public libraries access to the CNIB Library's entire collection for their patrons with print disabilities.

"A driving motivation for me has always been to ensure all citizens have equal access to the written word. It quickly became apparent to me that this service was grossly underused, and given that Didsbury is a small town with a population of under 5,000, we're in a position to provide a high level of personalized service for those who can benefit from accessing library materials in alternative formats," says Donna.

She also secured funding to purchase additional audio book players and interviewed patrons with print disabilities to build a customized service approach that matched books to their individual interests.

In addition to improving the Partners Program in Didsbury, Donna created a number of outreach programs for seniors, implemented an innovative multimedia story-time for pre-schoolers and initiated eBook services for library patrons.