Birmingham Public Library's Regional Library
Computer Center Upgrades For Visually Impaired
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- The Jefferson County Library Cooperative’s Regional
Library Computer Center (RLCC) has just acquired two workstations to aid
visually impaired persons in using Microsoft Office applications, access to
the Internet, and offers the ability to read any of the library’s print
material. The Adaptive Technology Computer Stations include JAWS software,
Open Book Ruby Edition, and ZoomText Xtra 7.1.
JAWS® for Windows is a screen reader application program that works with
PCs to provide access to today’s software applications and the Internet.
With its internal software speech synthesizer and the computer’s sound card,
information from the screen is read aloud, providing technology to access a
wide variety of information, education and job related applications.
Open Book Ruby Edition is a software program that enables patrons to use
personal computers to scan and read text. Patrons may scan text and have
Open Book read to them or they may simply open a text and read it using this
program. Open Book allows the visually impaired to alter the way the page is
read aloud to them or, to modify the way the page is presented on the
ZoomText Xtra 7.1 is magnification and reading software consisting of two
product levels. Level 1 allows for clear images, smooth navigation, ease of
use and a high level of compatibility. Level 1 features include
magnification for advanced edge-smoothing, multiple zoom windows,
intelligent tracking, smooth panning for quick screen navigation, color
filtering for improved contrast, and support for Java applications. Level 2
features synchronized magnification and screen reading. Designed for
low-vision users, Level 2 speaks all on-screen text, echoes typing and
automatically reads multi-page documents.
Funding for the Adaptive Technology Computer Stations was made possible
due to grant monies received through the Library Services & Technology Act
program under the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The visually
impaired workstations have large 19” monitors, with large print/braille
keyboards. The RLCC will also be having an Open House on April 30th, with
onsite trainers available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Regional Library Computer Center was opened in January of 1998, as a
result of the generous donation from Bill and Melinda Gates through the
Gates Library Foundation. The RLCC is open daily to patrons throughout
Jefferson County and offers various computer classes on Tuesday and Thursday
of every week.
The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is a non-profit
organization composed of the 41 public libraries throughout Jefferson
County. These include the 19 municipal libraries, the 21 libraries in the
Birmingham Public Library System along with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Library. The mission behind JCLC is to link together the member libraries to
provide better, more efficient, centralized services for all county
residents. For more information about the JCLC, please visit www.jclc.org or
The Birmingham Public Library and its 20 branch locations provide the
public with the most current collections, as well as providing the most
comprehensive research tools in the state. The Birmingham Public Library
strives to inform visitors by hosting special programs year round, such as
Brown Bag Lunch series and Alabama Bound, as well as children’s programs
from toddlers to teenagers. These programs allow the public to meet and
greet guest lecturers, musicians, authors and publishers. For more
information regarding the Birmingham Public Library and a list of exciting,
upcoming events, please visit www.bplonline.org or call 205.226.3600.