New BiblioTech to house visually-impaired computer portal

Library branch to open Saturday

SAN ANTONIO – A second BiblioTech library branch is set to open Saturday at the corner of South Zarzamora Street and Brady Boulevard. 

"We have an anticipation of really exciting things happening," BiblioTech Administrator Laura Cole said.

One of those exciting things is a visually-impaired computer station. The library consulted with the Light House for the Blind to make sure things were set up so the blind could take advantage of the opportunity to use a library. Intern Christian Sanchez, 17, who is visually impaired, helped set up the station.

"Helping here in BiblioTech is really encouraging to me," Sanchez said. 

Sanchez attends the School for the Blind in Austin. He is from San Antonio and was eager to help set up the station, especially using all the modern technology available.

The visually-impaired have an electronic braille reader at the station that allows them to read any of the 38,000 volumes. Users can create PowerPoint presentations, use the Internet, make videos and use gaming apps by way of voice technology on iPads and iPhones.

"It's challenging more for a blind person to be able to access the library than it is for a visual person to (access the library), and now that they have all this technology, it makes it easier," Sanchez said.

Sanchez also assisted the library with braille on signage, printing braille brochures and assisting employees in learning the technology.

"I like to think all our staff bring a real skill set that's unique to them. In Christian's case, it's actually his impairment that has been our asset," Cole said.

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