Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the CNIB Library and Publication division consolidated its mission as a national library service. While raised print texts continued to circulate, talking books, called “the new form of recreation and education for sightless people,” were central to the mission’s success. Two factors supported the Library’s embrace of this new technology. First, a partnership with the Canadian postal service that persists to this day, allowing for free shipping of material for the blind. Second, the leadership of the multilingual, tireless, blind Chief Librarian, Sherman C. Swift; at his death in 1947 his stewardship of the organization passed on to other hands but the outpouring of sympathy, descriptions of personal loss, and tributes from institutions he’d been involved with over his long career testified to his character and impact.
The CNIB Library to 1950: