[Nfbc-info] {Disarmed} Fw: [Blind_Democrats] National Library Services Gets a New Director:

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Thu Feb 16 05:31:21 UTC 2012

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: Kenneth Chrane 
To: peeps-talk at yahoogroups.com ; Blind_democrats at yahoogroups.com 
Cc: CSDB-ALUMNI at googlegroups.com 
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:57 AM
Subject: [Blind_Democrats] National Library Services Gets a New Director:


New director of NLS

Karen Keninger Appointed Director of the National Library Service 
for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Librarian of Congress James H.  Billington today announced the 
appointment of Karen A.  Keninger as director of the National 
Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), 
effective March 26, 2012.  Keninger succeeds Frank Kurt Cylke, 
who retired from federal service on February 28, 2011.

"Ms.  Keninger's qualifications and experience are superb for 
this position," said Billington in announcing the appointment.  
"She has demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking 
throughout her career." Since 2008, Keninger has been the 
director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, a leading provider 
in the United States of vocational rehabilitation and 
independent-living programs and library services for blind and 
visually impaired individuals.  Keninger was selected from an 
impressive pool of candidates following an extensive search 
process that began last year.

"Keninger is no stranger to the NLS program," Billington noted.  
"She is a highly respected administrator and a leader in the NLS 
library network." As director of the Iowa Library for the Blind 
and Physically Handicapped for eight years, from 2000-2008, 
Keninger managed the statewide library program, the 
machine-lending agency, instructional materials center, braille 
production, and audio production units.  Keninger's initiatives 
included the planning and implementation of a new, in-house 
digital recording program with a state-of-the-art recording 
studio and a corps of volunteers to expand and transform the 
state's audio-production program.

"Keninger has a proven track record of collaboration and 
innovation," said Billington.  She served on the Digital 
Long-Term Planning Group established by NLS in 2001 to guide 
planning for the now successfully completed digital talking book 
transition, and on the successor Digital Transition Advisory 
Committee.  She led the transition in Iowa from analog to digital 
talking books and players and was successful in securing funds 
for the digital conversion of locally-produced talking books.  
She is a daily user of the full range of information technologies 
for the blind and visually impaired, including Web-Braille, 
digital talking book machines and books, and online download 

Throughout her career, Keninger has established and maintained 
effective working relationships with a broad range of individuals 
and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.  
Keninger was elected 2012 president of the National Council of 
State Agencies for the Blind.  From 2002-2008, she served as 
chair of the Consortium of User Libraries.

Keninger holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Drake 
University in Iowa and a master's degree in English, business and 
technical writing from Iowa State University.  She completed 
graduate courses in library and information science at the 
University of Iowa.

Karen Keninger was born and raised in Vinton, Iowa, the third of 
seven children in a happy and lively farming family.  When she 
was 16 months old her parents
discovered that she could not see very well, and she was later 
diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa.  Although she had some 
vision as a child, she was completely
blind by the age of 20.  She attended school at the Iowa Braille 
and Sight Saving School in Vinton, graduating in 1970.  In 1973 
she graduated from Drake
University with a B.A.  in Journalism.

In 1987, after many years as a full-time homemaker and mother, 
she established a freelance writing service in Newton, Iowa.  As 
part of this effort, Keninger
went back to school and graduated in 1991 with a masters degree 
in English with an emphasis in business and technical writing 
from Iowa State University.
She continued her freelance work until 1995 when she accepted the 
position of Rehabilitation Consultant with the Iowa Department 
for the Blind.

In 2000 she was promoted to Program Administrator for the Iowa 
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  After eight 
years in that position, she
was appointed by the Iowa Commission for the Blind to the 
position of Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind

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