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NLS: That All May Read

Alternatives for Future Operations

January 2011

Table of Contents
Section 1. Introduction
1.1 Report Objectives
1.2 Background of the Books for the Blind Program
1.3 Current Major Considerations Regarding the Program
1.4 Report Format
Section 2. Current Program Operations Summary
2.1 Program Content
2.2 Digital Talking-Book Machines (DTBMs)
2.3 Digital Book (DB) Cartridges
2.4 Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD): Digital Books and Magazines via Internet Download
2.5 Recorded Cassette (RC) Books
2.6 Recorded Cassette Magazines
2.7 Cassette Book Machines (CBMs)
2.8 Braille Books (BRs)
2.9 Braille Magazines
2.10 Rigid Disks (RDs) and Talking-Book Machines (TBMs)
2.11 Music
2.12 User Registration
2.13 Reader Advisory Services
2.14 Additional Services
2.15 United States Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries
2.16 Network Library Services Outside of NLS Program
2.17 Status of Major Service Providers in Current Program
Section 3. Technological Changes and Potential New Providers of Services
3.1 Broadband Internet, Internet Service Providers, and the FCC
3.2 BARD Upgrades and Improvements
3.3 Reallocation of USPS Subsidy
3.4 DTBM Upgrades
3.5 Text-to-Speech Technology
3.6 Speech-Recognition Technology
3.7 Commercial Audiobooks
3.8 Flash Memory Availability and Price
3.9 Public Libraries
3.10 Software Reader
Section 4. Major NLS Short-Term Tasks
4.1 Assess Program User Needs and Resources
4.2 Assess the Impacts of Broadband Access, BARD, DTBMs, and DB Mass-Duplication
4.3 Assess Additional Roles for Public Libraries
4.4 Communicate NLS Objectives to Network Libraries
4.5 Advise and Assist Network Libraries Regarding Economic Problems
4.6 Assist Network Libraries in Marketing the Digital System
Section 5. Major Assumptions for Long-Range Planning
5.1 Assumption 1: Changes in policies, programs, and procedures will be implemented so as to have little or no negative impact on program users.
5.2 Assumption 2: Centralized book and equipment production and Program coordination from NLS, with decentralized user services from network libraries, will continue.
5.3 Assumption 3: Number and size of network libraries will vary, but will continue to cover specific geographic areas.
5.4 Assumption 4: NLS will continue to offer catalogs and physical and electronic collections.
5.5 Assumption 5: The network will continue to fund library service for eligible residents of their geographic jurisdiction.
5.6 Assumption 6: NLS will continue to identify and adapt technologies to support a high-quality reading experience and may also extend these types of support to the network.
5.7 Assumption 7: NLS and network libraries will continue to provide “easy” service for the less technically enabled.
5.8 Assumption 8: NLS and network library service will expand into areas of reference and reader services and technical instruction and innovation to bring libraries for the blind and physically handicapped (LBPH) service on par with services provided to sighted individuals.
5.9 Assumption 9: The law establishing the Books for the Blind Program will remain in effect
5.10 Some Likely Changes in the Future
Section 6. Future Alternatives by Planning Horizon and Major Scenario
6.1 Scenario 1: Short term; central production/decentralized circulation (current model)
6.2 Scenario 2: Short term; current model with collaboration among libraries to take advantage of resource sharing in an evolutionary manner
6.3 Scenario 3: Medium term; continued closing of subregional libraries and their consolidation into regional libraries
6.4 Scenario 4: Medium term; centralized service—all production of collections and circulation of talking-book service from a central location(s)
6.5 Scenario 5: Medium term; duplication-on-demand (DOD) centers back up network libraries
6.6 Scenario 6: Long term; NLS moves from physical collections to electronic digital collections deliverable through telecommunication means
Section 7. Future Alternatives by Major Program Function and Planning Horizon
7.1 Program Content
7.2 DTBMs
7.3 DBs
7.4 BARD
7.5 RCs
7.6 RC Magazines
7.7 CBMs
7.8 BRs
7.9 Braille Magazines
7.10 RDs and TBMs
7.11 Music
7.12 Program User Registration
7.13 Reader-Advisory Services
7.14 Additional Services
7.15 USPS Deliveries
7.16 NLS as a Referral Point
Appendices     Group A and Group B

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Posted on 2011-03-30