Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Imagine being blind

My poetry professor had an in-class exercise for us today. What was it? To imagine that we are blind, have been blind since birth, and then write about a place or activity as though we are blind. "Remember," he told us, "you wouldn't mention colors or that kind of thing."

Well, I love my local library. I get books there and I volunteer there. So, without even thinking I chose that place. I wrote about going in through the front door, hearing children to the left, and peace and quiet to the right.

Then, I started wondering; what would a blind person do in a library? Yeah, there are braille books, but I don't think we have any at our library. Anyways, I don't really know much about them, so I didn't want to fool with writing about that. So, what to write? I started wondering if I should find something else to write about.

Then I started thinking about volunteering, and whether there's anything a blind person can do. Well, they wouldn't be able to shelve, pull holds, shelf read, check in...or pretty much any thing else I could think of. I must have set there for at least a couple of minutes thinking about it. Then, it hit me; a blind person may not be able to see the book with their eyes - but they can certainly see the book with their hands! 

So, I made up a volunteer position for this blind person; searching the shelves for books in need of mending. No, it wouldn't be just useless busy work, made up just to make them feel good about themselves. It really would be useful, considering the condition of some books on our local library's shelves - pages falling out and everything! Luckily not many are that way. But enough in poor condition that it certainly would be useful for someone to simply spend their time looking for books that need to take a trip up to the mending room.

...this almost makes me wish that some blind person decides to volunteer at my library. :)

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