First Lady Frances Wolf’s Virtual Photo Exhibit to Include Submissions from Pennsylvanians with Visual Impairments
February 19, 2021
First Lady Frances Wolf announced that One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views, a statewide virtual exhibit documenting the story of Pennsylvania throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has partnered with the Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians (LAMP) to include audio submissions. Until now, One Lens has been collecting photos from residents across the state depicting their personal experiences during the pandemic. This new collaboration increases accessibility to Pennsylvanians who are blind or living with visual, physical, or reading disabilities, and those with limited Internet access.
To make an audio submission, Pennsylvanians can call LAMP’s One Lens hotline at 215-683-3218 and leave a voicemail.
“It is essential that we create inclusive spaces and experiences for Pennsylvanians, whether we are providing social services or organizing an exhibit,” said First Lady Wolf. “One Lens was formed to serve all Pennsylvanians, and partnerships like this ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share their perspective.”
A state-funded, statewide service, LAMP, which was previously known as the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, serves Pennsylvanians who are unable to access standard print due to blindness, reading or visual disability, or an inability to hold a book or turn its pages.
Pennsylvania libraries have a long history of pioneering innovative services to the print-disabled in our state. Upon the passage of the Pratt-Smoot Act of 1931, the Library of Congress looked for libraries to distribute these books for the blind. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Free Library of Philadelphia were chosen as two of the original 19 national locations to distribute book. The program still extends from regional libraries attached to these institutions.
Last March, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries closed their doors to protect staff and visitors from contracting the virus. During that time, residents would call and leave voice messages for the library requesting delivery services and other alternatives to receive their listening materials. This spurred the idea of collecting audio as a reminder of the time.
Philadelphia LAMP Director Keri Wilkins shared her excitement for the partnership. “What an exciting opportunity to include the stories of all populations throughout Pennsylvanian,” said Wilkins. “Not everyone can capture their remembrances visually and these oral histories serve to capture the impacts of the pandemic in another format for individuals with various abilities.”
“I am grateful that LAMP has been invited to partner with First Lady Wolf’s One Lens project. The project will capture the experiences of Pennsylvanians during COVID-19 Pandemic, including Pennsylvanians who are blind, visually disabled or who have other barriers to accessing standard print,” said Mark Lee, LAMP administrator of library services at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh “We learned first-hand from our patrons and their family members during this past year how isolating the pandemic has been, and how those we serve have come to rely on the books we provide as a Network Library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. By making the exhibit accessible, One Lens will allow everyone to share their pandemic experiences and provide print-disabled Pennsylvanians the opportunity to experience and contribute by recording their stories and hearing the recorded experiences of other Pennsylvanians.”
One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views is organized by the First Lady’s Office in partnership with the PA Historical and Museum Commission, the PA Council on the Arts, the PA Tourism Office, and LAMP. It celebrates the hard work and commitment of all Pennsylvanians as we continue our fight against COVID-19. The exhibit is now accepting submissions and will remain open through Monday, March 8, 2021 for photos and Monday, March 15, 2021 for audio submissions. The full exhibit will be released on Friday, March 19, 2021. More information about One Lens, including project rules, can be found on the website.