Established in 1829, the Ohio School for the Deaf serves students from all over Ohio who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The school has over 200 students from preschool age through high school and also offers a program for graduates called 4PLUS, which helps young adults transition to life after school.
Librarian Nancy Boone began her career with the school as a teacher and worked with students in elementary, junior high and high school before taking on the role of librarian. With help from Library Assistant Tatum Cook, Nancy provides opportunities and programming for all of the students at the school. Tatum joined the library staff earlier this year and is a graduate of Ohio School for the Deaf. She previously worked in the preschool. Student workers also assist with shelving and other tasks around the library.
The OSD Library was built in 2013 and features ample natural lighting, open space and plenty of room for books. Nancy was able to reduce the collection size by using more digital reference tools, but noted that the collection of graphic novels has boomed since she’s been with the library.
Class groups visit the library regularly throughout the week to check out books, work on their reading skills and enjoy story time. They provide programming for high school classes as well, such as information literacy for students studying journalism. The library maintains a flexible schedule to accommodate all levels of students and is open after school hours for the students who live on campus during the week.
Nancy and Tatum create eye-catching, fun displays to engage students, and collections are marked with bright visual aids, allowing students to easily locate materials and navigate the library. The library features a large story time area, where books are read in sign language and acted out by Nancy and Tatum for the enjoyment of the students.
The library maintains a large collection of deaf materials, including books and videos related to deafness, sign language, education and culture. The library also offers DVDs and materials developed by the Shared Reading Project and designed to help parents and tutors of deaf children effectively share books with their children.
The fun environment, special collection and range of services provided by the staff make the library at Ohio School for the Deaf incredibly special.