LOUIS – "Leipzig Online Support and Information Service"
The project LOUIS "Leipzig online support and information service" was established in 1999. Its mission is to provide useful and comprehensive information on how a blind or partially sighted person can take advantage of modern technology such as computers, tablets and smartphones. Information about new technological developments is included in the DZB-news. Apart from that, the DZB's very own information expert can be contacted by phone or e-mail.
For example, LOUIS answers questions such as:
Which electronic telephone directory is suitable for visually impaired people? How can blind computer users navigate the internet? How does telephone banking work for blind people? How does a DAISY-player work?
Currently there are approximately 6,200 music braille books in the DZB inventory. We offer mainly piano music, but also music for string instruments, accordion, wind- and plucked string instruments, for chamber music and orchestra music, for vocal music and documentations on music theory.
The DZB (Deutsche Zentralbücherei für Blinde), the German Central Library for the Blind, is situated in Leipzig, a vivid city in the federal state of Saxony, Central Germany. Our main task is to make printed information accessible to blind and visually impaired people. The DZB therefore is all in one, a library, a publishing house and a production centre for braille and talking books. It was founded in 1894 as a society for supplying the blind with braille literature and working opportunities, and has now become the oldest public library for the blind in Germany. The DZB now belongs to the most important media institutions of German speaking countries. Over 5,000 members use the library's different services. The library comprises about 50,000 volumes: braille books, braille music, talking books and reliefs such as geographical maps and calendars. The DZB edits and publishes eleven magazines in braille and audio formats. Additionally our scientific library collects published information about blindness, visual impairments and related topics.
Since 2002, the DZB has lent out DAISY books. This technique is being continuously developed in close cooperation with the DAISY Consortium.
The DZB plans to successively develop from a traditional library for the blind into a centre for barrier free communication. While the modern communication technologies hold a huge potential and chance for people with reading disabilities to access information independently without the help of sighted people, such as the Screenreader. A huge amount of printed and electronic documents as well as websites do not adhere to standards of barrier-free accessibility, yet. The DZB has undertaken the task to inform its users of the advantages of the new technologies and at the same time to promote the standards of accessibility and barrier free (web) design to the sighted world.
The DZB is a state-owned institution primarily financed with public funds, as costs for making printed information accessible to visually impaired people cannot be refinanced through product prices or lending fees. Private donations support further projects and services of the institution. You can, for example, support the transcription of printed books into braille by donating to the Förderverein „Freunde der DZB e. V.“ (Friends' Association of the DZB).
Any blind or partially sighted person, living in Saxony or South America, can use the DZB's services. We are glad to be at your service.