Conference Chairs Meeting, January 21, 2015

Recorded by: Craig Hayward NLS staff present:

Richard Smith, Chief, Network Division
Steve Prine, Assistant Chief, Network Division
Vickie Collins, Head, Network Services Section
Meredith Beckhardt, Head, Reference Section
Pamela Davenport, Network Consultant

Network Chairs:

Debbi MacLeod, Western Conference
Craig Hayward, Southern Conference
Sharon Ruda, Midlands Conference
Adam Szczepaniak, Northern Conference

NLS Updates:

Multistate West has a new director, David Valentine.

NLS is working on recall numbers and they will have definite numbers to send out. We should have them by next week’s teleconference. The amount will be about 20% less than previous.

Meredith – Collecting stats on budget, staff size, collection size, miscellaneous from libraries. In the new database they have migrated historical contact data. Make sure information is correct because that feeds the Find a Library site. In the middle of a large section where update library contacts, must add all who will need the reports. NLS can’t change network library information. At one point in the future all new systems will start referring to the email info used here.

Debbie made a comment that lots of email addresses for staff have been entered, but there is a character limit. Need to expand the character limit.

Meredith – without that feedback we wouldn’t know it. So keep it coming.

Richard – Late BARD stats, we think this issue is resolved. BARD has been growing so much that this has impacted stats retrieval. All the computations are getting harder and harder. Expecting 4 million downloads soon; used to be 50 books a week but now not uncommon for 200 books a day to get there. Lots of material has to be adjusted to get stats.

NLS is creating an advisory group for NLS of the Future: dup on demand, wireless download. Representatives will include a COSLA rep, reps from the various consumer groups, chairs elect – telephone call in March, possible one face-to-face, like the old digital transition group that met during the planning for digital service.

Conference Chair Question and Issues:

Western: Any more news on Android App and beta testing?

NLS Response: NLS is close to having a beta test for Android. It’s in alpha testing with groups at NLS. Main issue is with accessibility and different devices. Testing has taken longer than anticipated. They would like to clean up some things before it goes to beta. Within a couple of weeks beta testing will probably happen. We’d like to have something up by May and push it out to users.

Western: Yellow XESS mail cards - when will the next batch be available?

NLS Response: NLS is waiting on confirmation from GPO. Should have answer at the national conference call next week.

Western: Are we set to start getting the blank peach cartridges in April?

NLS Response: Look for this in May. Prices are dropping so should have more available. Because of the production of peach ones, there won’t be any green ones to purchase during this process. In the last quarter of this calendar year, green ones may not be available. Place orders before September 2015.

Midlands: NLS Op alert 15-02 for the currency reader – does NLS send currency readers to all who applied or just our patrons?

NLS Response: Up until the end of the year all recipients were only NLS patrons. Now the application goes to BEP they vet it. If it’s an NLS patron they are identified in Webnet. If it’s from a non-NLS patron then a new database is being developed that will help identify those people. Multi-state is doing the distribution to all who request it.

Western: C-1 recall? Will NLS give a date when this will happen, or a floating deadline? Do you want us to push for patron recall? 271 people currently with us who only have a C1.

NLS Response: We haven’t heard anything about a firm recall of cassette players. Don’t know that NLS will require all to send back their cassette players.

This is good in light of how libraries might have to store C1’s for recall. There are still patrons using C1 and even the record player.

NLS never wants to deny any patron the ability to use any of them. We have in stock about 7,000 players so we can still send out to patrons as needed to refresh cassette players.

Western: Will NLS include something in the cataloging record to indicate the book as Unified English Braille?

NLS Response: This hasn’t been done yet, but we’re sure there will be a tag put into the MARC record. We need to consult with Bob Axtell to answer.

Western: Could NLS please explain why there was a change in request process of currency readers? Why a form instead of CMLS?

NLS Response: Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and NLS went back and forth on this. Anyone getting a currency reader has to be a US citizen, according to BEP rules. NLS wasn’t willing to modify our application to account for this. BEP needs and requires it so this is why the process was changed.

Southern: Has there been any announcement about XESS braille and where we are supposed to send it?

NLS Response: For any questions about XESS Braille contact Vickie.

Southern: What about the WEB Xess list and knowing what is available?

NLS Response: What’s on the list should only be those items that are available currently. Nothing else should be showing up.

Northern: Has everyone gotten their numbers for recall?

NLS Response: We should be getting those numbers in the next week or so. Happily you don’t need cards for recall. Just ship them back, 44 per box.

All: What is the status on Unified English Braille?

NLS Response: Judy is working with others on process of how to include it in our holdings.

All: Can NLS address widespread issues with receiving and returning items via USPS?

NLS Response: We have had lots of communication from libraries about shipping. Around the holidays more delays and the dire straits of the US Postal Service is causing changes in how they ship things. Lots of impact by getting items in big chunks. One thing libraries should look at is doing turnaround adjusted to this delay. At the national level talking with the US Postal Service hasn’t been as effective as speaking with them at the local level.

All: Shouldn’t our items be treated more like First Class Mail since the US Postal Service gets nearly $100 million (actually about $70 million) from Congress to ship them?

NLS Response: Unfortunately that amount given to the US Postal Service is a drop in the bucket for delivery.

NLS Reminder: Library of the Year Award materials went out this week. Encourage all your libraries to apply for that award.

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