In Beijing, there is a China’s largest library for the visual impaired people called China Braille Library. Seen from the outside, it has the same appearance as an ordinary library, but inside you will find it a considerate place with blind tracks and sound reminders at doors, elevators and toilets.
The exterior of China Braille Library [Photo/Qianlong]
The gate of China Braille Library with blind tracks and sound reminders [Photo/Qianlong]
The elevators with blind tracks and sound reminders [Photo/Qianlong]
The buttons with braille in an elevator [Photo/Qianlong]
Covering a total construction area of 28,000 square meters, Chinese Braille Library has the areas of collection, reading, exhibition, education and training, science and technology research, culture research, and national mailing services for the blind.
Reading room for the blind
Located on the third floor, a total of 8 reading rooms have been set up to meet the different needs of readers, and they collected more than 50,000 volumes of braille textbooks, large print books and audio books for the blind.
Different from the general libraries, the reading rooms in China Braille Library equips each computer in the network area with a software which can read out the text displayed on the screen. The blind can rely on it to search or download electronic resources on a computer in the library.
Usually a blind person who is skilled at braille can read braille books as fast as a normal person. And by the use of the screen-reading software, the blind can read 130 to 140 words per minute.
A corridor in China Braille Library [Photo/Qianlong]
China Braille Library opens a museum called Tactile Museum on the fifth floor which enables the visually impaired people to sense subjects through touching and listening.
The exhibition themed “Touching Civilization” at the museum is divided into five parts: Origin, Ancient Chinese Civilization, Ancient World Civilization, Industrial Civilization and Modern Chinese Civilization. Human achievements in technology, culture, art, society and life are all displayed in a touchable way and presentation forms cover real subjects, models, sculptures and duplicates.
The exhibition hall of Tactile Museum in China Braille Library [Photo/Qianlong]
The exhibition hall of Ancient Chinese Civilization at Tactile Museum [Photo/Qianlong]
The exhibition hall of Ancient World Civilization at Tactile Museum [Photo/Qianlong]
The exhibition hall of Modern Chinese Civilization at Tactile Museum [Photo/Qianlong]
Besides, automatic talking earphones are available for the visually impaired people to get detailed explanation when they touch the exhibits at the museum.
Automatic talking earphones at Tactile Museum [Photo/Qianlong]
Tags with braille at Tactile Museum [Photo/Qianlong]
Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind
Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind is the first welfare museum in China to collectively showcase the wisdom and innovation of the visually impaired people with the theme of “Visual Impairment Group and Culture”. The museum is divided into four sections, including spiritual culture of visual impairment, science and technology culture of visual impairment, achievements of the visual impaired people in modern China and Darkness Experiencing Room.
The statue of Louis Braille, widely known as the Father of Braille, at Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind [Photo/Qianlong]
Digital products for the visual impaired people are displayed at Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind. [Photo/Qianlong]
Education and sports products for the visual impaired people are displayed at Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind. [Photo/Qianlong]
In the Darkness Experiencing Room, visitors are required to explore the bustling metropolis, the busy harbor, and the tropical jungle without the sense of vision. By this novel experience, visitors can personally experience the feelings of the visually impaired people.
The entrance to Darkness Experiencing Room at Experiencing Museum of Culture of the Blind [Photo/Qianlong]
Blind barrier-free intelligent navigation service system
In addition, the library has developed a blind barrier-free intelligent navigation service system. The system can send the visually impaired people sound reminders in the corridors and elevators as long as they wear the device. Therefore, with the help of the device now the visually impaired people can walk freely in the library alone.
If you go
Opening Hours: 8:30-16:30, Monday to Sunday
Address: No.6, A, Taiping Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Transportation: Take Subway Line 4 at Taoranting Station or Line 7 at Hufangqiao Station