Lutheran Library for the Blind Re-Opens

LeAnn, lead volunteer, in front of the many
books and cassettes available to check out
from the Lutheran Library for the Blind.

The Lutheran Library for the Blind has a long history in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. It was established in 1939 and was first housed at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with the help of a former seminary student who was blinded in an industrial accident. His name was Fred Graepp.

In 1941 the Library was moved to Chicago and in 1952 was moved back to St. Louis. That same year the Library added "talking books" to its collection. In 1959 the Library was moved to Concordia Publishing House where more than 7,000 readers were patrons of this Library. Between 1983 and 1987 the Library was housed at the International Center but was moved back to Concordia Publishing House in 1987.

In 2002 the Library was moved yet again to its own space on Watson Road, St. Louis. When the Synod's ministry to people with visual impairment became a stand-alone ministry, the Library came under the management of the newly formed Lutheran Blind Mission in 2003.

When Lutheran Blind Mission Society merged with Lutheran Braille Workers in July of 2012, the Lutheran Library for the Blind was moved to Jacksonville, Florida. About 6,500 titles were shipped along with shelving and support equipment. Two semi-trucks were filled to the brim and unloaded into a building located at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Lutheran Library for the Blind is North America's largest Christian lending library. The Library offers nearly 6,500 Christian and wholesome fiction books in Braille, Large Print, or recorded on audiocassette tapes. All are available on loan free of charge.

Housed in one of the buildings on the Holy Cross Lutheran Church campus in Jacksonville, FL, the Lutheran Library for the Blind has a new Librarian, Julia Neimes. Because of the merger of Lutheran Blind Mission with Lutheran Braille Workers and the move from St. Louis to Jacksonville, the Library has not been lending any materials. We are please to announce the library is once again open and lending materials.

Collage of LBW readers