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July 19, 2005

Frank Curt Cylke, National Library Service Director, Receives the Newel Perry Award

Frank Kurt Cylke, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, has received the Newel Perry Award for 2005 from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

The Newel Perry Award is the highest honor NFB bestows on an individual who is not a part of the federation but who has partnered with it in efforts to achieve equality, security and opportunity for blind individuals.

"More than three decades of serving and working with blind and physically handicapped individuals has been a richly satisfying experience. It is wonderfully rewarding to know that the efforts of the Library of Congress have been appreciated," Cylke said.

Cylke has been director of NLS since July 1973, and has led the program through dramatic technological changes, including the transition from recorded discs to audiocassettes and, now, from a cassette-based to a digital talking-book system. In 30 years, NLS readership has more than doubled, and the circulation of reading materials has increased nearly two-and-a-half times.

In addition to developing and implementing NLS policy, Cylke has had an active career as a teacher, writer and speaker, exploring and expanding the role of specialized library services. His honors include the Francis Joseph Campbell and Joseph W. Lippincott awards from the American Library Association and the 1996 Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award of the Canadian Blind. In 1992 Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder named Cylke a Virginia cultural laureate.

The Newel Perry Award was first given in 1955 to Colorado Gov. Ed Johnson. The award is named for the blind mathematics professor from the California School for the Blind, who became a profound influence on Jacobus tenBroek, the founder of NFB.

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PR 05-153
07/19/05
ISSN 0731-3527

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