2010: A Very Good Year for Talking Book & Braille Service

2010, a fast year, has made me feel grateful. You probably know the Talking Book and Braille Service is now in its second year of transition away from audio cassette to flash memory cartridge. Our Nebraska-based studio magazines now circulate on cartridge; though, except for Nebline, are also being offered on cassette. We are one of the first, if not the first, Library of Congress talking book library to distribute its studio magazines on cartridge. Nebraska-based magazines now circulate 50% digital and 50% cassette. All new books from our own studios are being circulated on cartridge; and soon new Nebraska books will no longer be offered on cassette. The same will be true for new talking books from Library of Congress. Our Nebraska collection (recorded in our studios) is being transferred to cartridge. Completing this task will require several more years. Our Nebraska books and books from Library of Congress now circulated 45% digital and 55% cassette. We now have 3600 book titles on cartridge, with new titles arriving almost daily; and 59,000 titles on cassette. Still, within months, our circulation on cartridge should match or exceed that on cassette. To the best of my knowledge, all established talking book borrowers have been contacted at least once about the new Library of Congress digital player. Most borrowers have either welcomed the new players or accepted them. They are encouraged to retain their Library of Congress cassette players until the transition is completed. All new borrowers are being set up for digital automatically. Several hundred established borrowers have postponed or declined the new players, even though they are easier to operate than the cassette players. For borrowers who have high-speed internet access, the Library of Congress offers a web site known as BARD where audio books and magazines are available for direct download. Many borrowers are navigating BARD independently, and some are receiving help from family members. Borrowers who use BARD can download their favorite books and magazines anytime without waiting for material to arrive through the mail. 2010 has been an exciting year for talking book librarians. 2011 holds great promise!
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1 Response to 2010: A Very Good Year for Talking Book & Braille Service

  1. Russell Dailey says:

    Congratulations and keep up the good work!!

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