ORANGE COUNTY, NC (June 28, 2016) – The Orange County Public Library is pleased to announce that it has received two grants from the State Library totaling $68,636. The library will use one grant to purchase assistive technology. The new equipment will allow library customers who have low vision to more fully access collections and services at its Hillsborough and Carrboro locations. The library will use the funds from the second grant to develop its 2016-2019 strategic plan.

Need for Assistive Technology
Currently the library’s offerings are limited to large print books, audiobooks on CD, e-audio and ebooks, representing only 6% of the library’s collection. In the coming months, the library will purchase a stationary text-to-speech magnifier, a portable video magnifier and three high-definition handheld video magnifiers. It will also purchase assistive headsets for the hard-of-hearing. Grant monies will also be used to train staff to serve individuals with low vision and to launch programming designed to raise community awareness.

“Our conversations with local disability advocacy groups as well as both school systems and community members gave us the direction we needed to prepare the grant proposal,” said Jason Richmond, technology support and instruction librarian. “Focus groups were very excited to hear that visitors with visual challenges may soon have access to an expanding number of library resources.”

Nationwide, it is estimated that 22.5 million individuals over the age of 18 have low vision. In Orange County, the estimate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey is 4,399.

Strategic Planning
Beginning this fall, the library will work with Floricane, a Richmond-based strategic consulting firm to map out its 2016-2019 strategic plan. The new plan will build upon the work the library completed as outlined in its 2013-2016 plan.

“If you look at our current strategic plan and the improvements we’ve made to collections and service over the last three years, you will see there is a direct correlation,” said Lucinda Munger, library director. “We used the plan as a road map to provide more value to county residents. We will do the same with our next plan.”

The Orange County Public Library has four locations: The Main Library at 137 W. Margaret Lane, downtown Hillsborough; the Carrboro Branch at McDougle Middle School, 900 Old Fayetteville Road, Chapel Hill; the Cybrary at The Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro Street, Carrboro; and, the Library Station at the Cedar Grove Community Center, 5800 N. 86, Hillsborough. Free parking is available at all locations. For hours of operation and complete service and program information, please visit