[nfb-talk] National Library Services Gets a New Director:

Brian Hatgelakas brian.hatgelakas at verizon.net
Wed Feb 15 13:40:08 UTC 2012

Good luck to her.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Chrane" <kenneth.chrane at verizon.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:58 AM
Subject: [nfb-talk] 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
> services.
> 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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