APSEA Tour – October 31st, 2014 @ 11:45
On Halloween, thirteen SIMsters visited the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA). It was a crowded tour, but quite informative! The APSEA Library generously gave its time to allow us to see their work and ask questions.
This special library is located on South Street in Halifax, and serves children and youth who are hard of hearing, deaf, deafblind, blind or visually impaired. It is an interprovincial agency between the four Atlantic provinces, and the library supplements the curriculum and educational needs of these youth by providing material such as large print books, Twin Vision books, and Braille translations.
Our tour guide, Samantha Neukomm, led us through the library, which is broken up into sections by format and intended audience. Because the library is meant to support the curriculum, books and material are limited to what’s being taught in the classrooms, but we saw copies of The Hunger Games and other popular fiction titles as well. The library was also a blast from the past for any of us who used to have Dewey Decimal in our school libraries. Unlike the Library of Congress system found in academic libraries, APSEA uses good ol’ Dewey. During the tour of the library, Sam emphasized the need to weed continually to keep room for current books. The library is also unique because of its storage room, where APSEA supplies teachers and students with supplies that they will need, free of charge.
APSEA translates Braille textbooks on location, and it turns out that the twist from the end of Book of Eli isn’t quite so feasible after all. One Braille textbook could be up to 40 spiral bound volumes long! During the tour, Sam was also kind enough to show us some of the cataloguing process. APSEA doesn’t use MARC records, which means that the catalogue is unique, and the importance of having a controlled vocabulary while cataloguing is even more critical. Currently, APSEA is working with a software developer towards creating a more integrated catalogue.