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ACPL’s Audio Reading Service Celebrates Volunteers and Awards

(FORT WAYNE, IN) – Today the Allen County Public Library’s Audio Reading Service (ARS) hosted its annual Volunteer Luncheon at the Mirro Center for Research. The annual luncheon celebrates the volunteers who read local newspapers and magazines as part of ARS’s services for people who are vision-impaired or otherwise have trouble reading print. Each month, ARS airs more than 300 shows which listeners can access via radio, TV, podcasting apps, and streaming online. More than 100 volunteer readers provide 450 hours of reading each month to support ARS’s mission.   


In recognition of this work, the International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS) honored the team with two awards at its annual conference June 12-14. Member services from around the country participated in this event. ARS was recognized for the following:

·        In the Magazines category, the award went to "Able Living," a program that focuses on news and culture in the disability community. The sound technician for this program was Mark Lahey, and it was read by Kevin Morse. It was produced by Georgean Johnson-Coffey.

·        The second award was in the Now Hear This category, specifically for programming under a minute. The winning entry was the "Grocery Ads Promo," read by Philip Fretz.

The program awards were created to promote quality programming among audio information services and to showcase the variety of programs available on audio information services.


Outgoing IAAIS President Maryfrances Evans said, "We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such talented volunteers and dedicated staff to bring the printed word to life to thousands of print-disabled people throughout America. These awards highlight some of the extraordinary programs reading services around the country are producing."


At the Volunteer Luncheon, State Representative Phil GiaQuinta bestowed the Circle of Corydon honor on ARS Manager Georgean Johnson-Coffey for her “remarkable contributions to the betterment of Indiana and its people”.  This award identifies Johnson-Coffey as someone who has “demonstrated, in life and in service to the people of the state of Indiana, the qualities exemplified by our state’s greatest citizens.”


"Georgean Johnson-Coffey's work to ensure that all residents of Allen County and beyond are able to access the news is critical to the health of our community and civic life," House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said. "Everyone deserves to know what decisions are being made by our government or what new community amenities are coming to Fort Wayne, and Georgean's coordination of Allen County Public Library's Audio Reading Service makes good on that ideal. Thank you, Georgean, for your immense contributions to our community. I am honored to celebrate you with the Circle of Corydon Award in recognition of your service."


For more information about the ACPL’s Audio Reading Service (ARS), please visit




About the Allen County Public Library

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) has fostered lifelong learning and discovery in northeast Indiana for more than 125 years. The ACPL consists of fourteen branches throughout Allen County, serving more than one million visitors per year. The ACPL’s collection includes more than 2.7 million items, with a circulation total of 4.2 million items borrowed annually. It also houses The Genealogy Center, the nation’s largest public genealogy research center, and The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, consisting of more than 30,000 artifacts related to President Abraham Lincoln.


About the Circle of Corydon Award:

The Circle of Corydon was created by Governor Holcomb to honor Hoosiers together with the recipient’s State Representative or Senator. The Circle is the only award issued and signed jointly by members of both the Executive and Legislative branches. The award’s name pays tribute to the Town of Corydon, which played a pivotal role in our history as the first State Capital where our founders drafted Indiana’s first Constitution. The Circle is meant for those who, like our State’s founders, have made remarkable contributions that have bettered Indiana, and who have demonstrated the qualities exemplified by our greatest citizens.


About the International Association of Audio Information Services

IAAIS is a volunteer-driven membership organization of services that turn text into speech for people who cannot see, hold or comprehend the printed word and who may be unable to access information due to a disability or health condition. Volunteer readers are used for these programs.

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