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Ohio Library Loops Into Hearing Assistive Technology

hearing loop technology diagram

Medina County (Ohio) District Library (MCDL) is helping patrons with hearing loss thanks to the American Library Association (ALA).

The library in the northern Ohio town is among the recipients of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grants, an initiative offers more than $7 million to small and rural libraries to better serve people who have disabilities. MDCL is using its $20,000 award to install hearing loop technology at its location in Medina, Ohio.

Hearing loops serve as wireless loudspeakers for people who use hearing aids. An induction loop system delivers clear, customized sound by transmitting magnetic energy through a wire that surrounds an area. The system can link to most hearing assistive devices via Bluetooth, allowing individuals with hearing devices connected to the loop to hear the transmitted sound while within the particular area.

“[The hearing loop] will be installed in our community rooms and at the customer service and adult reference desks to help those with hearing loss benefit from library events and services at a higher level,” Sue Schuld, MCDL technology manager, told

MDCL’s project is one of 240 LTC-funded proposals, representing 43 US states and the Northern Mariana Islands. To be eligible for the gramt, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area, in keeping with the Institute of Museum and Library Services definitions of small and rural libraries. Of the selected libraries, 65% serve communities of fewer than 5,000 people.

To learn more about ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities grants, including a full list of recipient libraries, visit

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