Conference Chairs Meeting, November 27, 2012

NLS Staff Present:

Carolyn Sung, Chief, Network Division
Steve Prine, Assistant Chief, Network Division
Deborah Toomey, Head, Network Services Section
Vickie Collins, Network Consultant
MaryBeth Wise, Network Consultant
Pamela Davenport, Network Consultant

Network Chairs:

Danielle Miller, Western Conference
Barbara Penegor, Southern Conference
Catherine Durivage, Midlands Conference
Northern Conference (not present)

NLS: There is a braille producers conference going on today. Karen Kenenger is in attendance as is Judy Dixon. All of the braille producers are attending. They are brainstorming on changing and increasing braille production. This is preliminary conference to the Braille Summit that is to be held in Massachusetts in June 2013.

Chairs: Who will be able to attend the summit?

NLS: Should be open to both consumer and network people, but NLS is still working this out.

NLS: Thank you to all the libraries that worked on the reducing the number of patrons who do not have digital players but receive cassette magazines. (See Operations Alert 12-90 (Final review of digital player assignment for magazines). You should be receiving an email from Sylvia Dye with a final list of individuals and institutions that still do not have a digital player but receive cassette magazines.

NLS: There may be some concerns from patrons about not being able to keep TBT3 in digital cartridge. NLS thinks some will want to keep issues.

Chairs: We are working on the list sent by Sylvia. Some have players but are not reflected in CMLS, some don’t want the magazines anymore and some have their own digital players. We let them know that if they decide that they want to subscribe to the magazines in the future, let us know.

NLS: BARD should be back up and running today.

Chairs: Has NLS considered tracking in CMLS purchased players? Could you extract this information from BARD?

NLS: We have considered it, but this information may not be accurate.
Chairs: What is the target date for digital magazines production?

NLS: Soon, maybe late December or early January.

Chairs: Why continue with cassette magazines once the digital version is available?

NLS: We decided to ease patrons into the digital version. We hope that the transition is brief, maybe a month or two.

Chairs: We received calls from patrons who received the Western catalog on cassette but only have the digital player. Was it to be sent on cartridge?

NLS: They will check on this. We were not expecting it to be sent on cassette.

NLS: The catalog Youth Mysteries is available in large print. It contains only digital titles that were extracted from BARD.

NLS: We are working on a pilot the digital recall. Production Control feels it has made a breakthrough on packaging. By using plastic bags and double bagging them, network libraries might not have to add mailing cards in each container. Having a standard-sized container with the same number of containers in each bag it will be easier for the Post Office to verify what's in each bag.

Chairs: How do we participate? We expressed interest previously.

NLS: John Bryant should have your name.
NLS: Packing supplies will be available from the MSCs when they are ready.
NLS: We still have C1 individual mailing boxes available if needed at MSCW.

Chairs: What is the status on NLS approving BookPort DT as BARD device? Can APH approve those who already applied as BookPort Plus so patrons do not have to re-apply?

NLS: No. NLS requested a software change so the authorization key is able to be erased. APH is working on the software change.

Chairs: Can the Victor Reader Stream read brf files? Any other devices?

NLS: Suggest posing your questions to Judy Dixon at the open forum. (Update per NLS open forum – any braille-aware device with text-to-speech capabilities)

Chairs: We noticed that the latest NLS job announcement doesn't require a MLS. Is this correct?

NLS: Yes. No Library of Congress job posting will require a MLS for a 1410 job. The job requirements are built into the knowledge, skills and abilities and not based on a degree.

Chairs: Wondered if it is appropriate to have “librarian” in the position title.

NLS: We are hoping to have another job posting available soon, an Education and Training Specialist position.
NLS: Ruth Nussbaum is retiring as is Sylvia Dye by the end of the year. We hope to be able to fill these positions as soon as possible.

Chairs: Is the retro collection complete.

NLS: Yes, all that will be produced on cartridge have been produced.

NLS: We hope to soon announce the MSC duplication process, possibly yet this week.

Chairs: We are experiencing battery issues. Even new players will not hold a full charge until cycled several times. It is completely impractical for libraries to spend several days cycling a player’s battery before it can be sent to a patron. We need a way to retrofit our existing C01 battery recyler/reconditioner for DTBM batteries, or have some facility that can cycle and recharge batteries on a mass scale, and where we can exchange older batteries for ones that will hold a full charge. This is frustrating for libraries and patrons alike.

NLS: Engineering section working on this. They have come up with a couple of ways to work on this, however newer batteries will not be available until next year. Digital players supplies, too.

Chairs: Christian Record Services is sending letters to patrons telling them to get free player from NLS library to listen to their materials, but these people are not NLS patrons. Has NLS heard anything about this? It is confusing for patrons when they call the library. They are not sure who they are calling.

NLS: Christian Record Services can sign up people for service.

Chairs: Has NLS worked on reaching out to optometrists or ophthalmologists at a national level?

NLS: We have made endeavors in the past. We have exhibited at their conference, but tend to have more luck with optometrists than ophthalmologists. Some ophthalmologists considered it a failure if they cannot cure a person’s eyesight problems.

NLS: We are still working on the demographics survey.

NLS: Thank you to Washington Talking Book and Braille Library for sending their posters to NLS.

NLS: We received lot a feedback on the postcards. How can we use the postcard idea for other purposes.

Chairs: Are you considering sending postcards to non-patrons?

NLS: Possibly, though we couldn’t send them as free matter. We are looking at promoting BARD via a postcard.

Chairs: We would be interested in some type of BARD promotion. Some of us are looking at using a postcard similar in size and style for overdue notices.

NLS: We are still in discussion with the Bureau of Printing and Engraving regarding their currency readers. We have meeting scheduled next week with them. They are overwhelmed with all the recordkeeping that would be involved. One thought would be give them away, but there is concern about costs.

NLS: There is still discussions about changing who is eligible for NLS service. Sen. Patty Murray (WA) is referred as being a powerful senator. (See Operations Alert 12-59 (Proposed language changes to NLS eligibility)

NLS: This is sense that the language amendment will pass. Who is going to vote against vets and disabled?

NLS: Related news: There is a vote today on the U.N. Treaty promoting disabled rights that was signed during the Bush administration. (

Chairs: Is NLS planning for the language amendment change?

NLS: There will definitely be additional costs. We will just have to keep on top of any changes.

NLS: The Library of Congress is considering consolidating all reading rooms into one place, including serials. All materials would be served out of one reading room.

Chairs: If the language regarding eligibility is changed how will the affect the Chafee Amendment?

NLS: The Copyright Office will have to tell us how it will work. The Chafee Amendment is considered the treasure of NLS. The Education community is fueling the language change and they receive a lot of federal money. It may affect what we produce.

NLS: Judy Dixon demonstrated the iPhone app recently. It is going along well. It may be ready sooner rather than later, but whenever it is ready it will have to go through the Apple apps approval process.

Chairs: Kentucky is the beneficiary of a $50,000 bequest that will be spent on cartridge and upgrade to their digital recording studio.

NLS: Engineering is working on a replacement for LCM.

Chairs: Washington TBBL recommends Adobe Audition.
NLS: There is also work underway to upgrade the music software that work with the analog to digital conversion process. We have hired a person to work on the music conversion.

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