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LSU’s Middleton Library to Host Louis Braille Bicentennial Exhibit

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Louis Braille, who pioneered the braille tactile reading system for the blind, non-profit publishing company National Braille Press has produced a 20-panel traveling exhibit. The display will visit LSU’s Middleton Library from June 18-July 12 and will be housed in the library’s lobby. The LSU stop is one of only 20 appearances for the exhibit across the United States.

The exhibit, which features both print and braille versions, takes the viewer through the highlights of Braille’s life, the braille production process and why braille remains important today.

Born in France on Jan. 4, 1809, Braille became blind in an accident when he was three years old. The bright, creative student earned a scholarship the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris. At age 15, he devised what is now known as braille, which uses six raised dots to correspond to written language for the blind. Braille proved so flexible, that it has been adapted for virtually every language, as well as music, mathematics and the sciences. Worldwide celebrations will be held throughout the year to recognize Braille’s unparalleled contribution to literacy.

Several complementary exhibits will highlight resources from the LSU Libraries collections. Education Resources will focus on library services to patrons with disabilities through a variety of books, games, and equipment. Emphasis will be on services for the visually impaired, but resources for patrons with other disabilities will also be included. Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the State Library of Louisiana is a major purveyor of library services for the disabled and will also contribute materials and equipment for this display.

Government documents issued in braille will be on display in the Government Documents Department. Publications include lists of books in braille as well as those on human resources and social security. Of related interest are patents issues for equipment for the visually or physically impaired.

LSU Special Collections, housed in Hill Memorial Library, will also display braille materials from several archival collections to show its importance in a historical context.

Middleton Library’s hours are Monday-Thursday from 7:15 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday from 7:15 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon-10 p.m. Hill Memorial Library’s hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday.

For more information on the tour, visit

For additional information, contact Peggy Chalaron by e-mail at or by calling 225-578-7068 or Mitchell Fontenot by e-mail at or by calling 225-578-7374.

Aaron E Looney | Writer | Office of Communications & University Relations
June 2009