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NLS-REPORTS  May 2007

NLS-REPORTS May 2007

Subject:

Network Bulletin no.07-25 (Awards-2006 Network Library of the Year and Subregional library of the Year Awards)

From:

NLSBPH <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NLS Documents for Network Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 1 May 2007 11:57:05 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (249 lines)

         
         
         Network Bulletin No. 07-25
         
         Date: April 27, 2007
         
         Subject: Awards
         Index Term: 2006 Network Library of the Year and Subregional library of the
         Year awards
         
         
         NLS awarded the third Network Library of the Year Award (2006) to the
         Philadelphia regional library and the first Network Subregional Library of the Year
         Award to the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
         (LBPD), of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Both awards, which carry a $1,000 cash prize,
         were presented at the annual Network Library Award luncheon in Washington,
         D.C., on April 17, 2007.
         
         This recognition program is intended to honor libraries serving blind and physically
         handicapped readers for providing innovative programs and services.  Past winners
         include Braille Institute Library Services of Los Angeles (2004) and Illinois State
         Library Talking Book and Braille Service of Springfield (2005).  
         
         Attached for your review and information is a copy of the press release for this
         year's program and of the remarks of Ms. Kathryn Mendenhall, Library of
         Congress.  Ms Mendenhall's remarks highlight the importance of the digital
         transition project to the Library of Congress and to the blind and physically
         handicapped community.
         
         Attachment (see link)
         
         For more information contact:  
         
         Jane Caulton
         Head, Publications and Media Section
         [log in to unmask]
         (202) 707-0521
                                   
         The press release is at
         http://www.loc.gov/nls/newsreleases/archive/2007-04-17.html
         __________________________________________________________________
         
         
         Remarks
         
         2006 Network Library of the Year Award
         
         April 17, 2007
         
         Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building
         
         Library of Congress
         
         
         
         It is a great pleasure to be with you today for the Network Library of the Year
         awards. It is a very exciting time in the history of the National Library Service for
         the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It is the eve of the network's conversion from
         analog to digital technology. In 2006 the National Library Service celebrated its
         75th anniversary, and on February 17 of this year produced its last analog cassette
         book machine. Since 1969, 1.5 million cassette book machines have been
         manufactured and distributed to more than 25 million NLS patrons.  Digital talking
         book technology will soon replace audiocassette technology just as audiocassette
         technology replaced its predecessor, rigid disc technology, and bring new service
         benefits to patrons, such as longer playing time and faster delivery time.  Although
         NLS will continue to provide cassette book machines from its inventory during the
         multi-year digital transition, the introduction of digital audiobooks in 2008 will
         herald a new era in the history of the National Library Service. So this year we are
         on the cusp of a major milestone in the history of the service.
         Now in its 76th year of service, the nationwide National Library Service cooperative
         network has much to be proud of. It is well positioned for the new digital era. You
         have grown from 19 libraries in 1931 to 57 regional and 74 subregional libraries and
         machine lending agencies, and two multistate storage and distribution centers,
         today. The readership served by the network numbers nearly 800,000, with
         approximately 24 million copies of recorded and Braille books and magazines
         circulated annually. 
         To ensure and sustain excellence in service to eligible users, you have standards and
         guidelines for service developed under the coordination of the Association of
         Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies of the American Library Association.
         You have methods in place for monitoring and improving services in relation to
         these standards. 
         You have well established and effective communications programs and tools. You
         have the monthly newsletter, NLS Flash, for keeping network libraries and other
         stakeholders informed of the progress on the digital transition, and you have the
         Biennial Conference of Librarians who serve blind and physically handicapped
         individuals for professional networking and information sharing, just to name two
         examples. 
         To spread the word to patrons about the network and its services, and to help
         connect patrons to the services, you have a nationwide public relations program
         designed and administered by a professional public relations firm. An important
         component of this outreach initiative is the toll-free telephone service, which
         automatically connects a prospective patron to the network library in his or her
         geographic area. It is this personal connection, this human face of library service,
         that is the hallmark of the network model that has served the community of eligible
         patrons so well for 76 years. 
         The transition from analog to digital did not happen overnight. The planning for the
         digital talking book program began more than ten years. I recall traveling to a
         conference of the American Library Association and sitting on a plane next to two
         staff from NLS in the late 1990s. They were talking excitedly about a presentation
         they were going to make following the recent publication of a planning document
         entitled Digital Talking Books: Planning for the Future. I remember thinking that the
         timeframe they were discussing sounded very far away. And truly, 15 years ago it
         was a concept of service ahead of its time. As the futurist Paul Saffo once noted, it
         takes decades for a new technology to become an overnight success. Since the late
         1990s, NLS has ever so surely moved forward in planning its digital future, studying
         the moving target of technology while at the same time sustaining a robust and
         innovative library service. The 25th National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind
         and Physically Handicapped Individuals took place in Portland Maine last spring. Its
         title "Seventy-five Years and Counting: Moving into a Digital Reality," expressed
         the current state and future of the network. 
         The spirit of the network and the commitment and dedication of its members are
         unparalleled. One has only to look at the 30-year trend in readership and circulation
         to see the vitality of the program. According to the chronology published by NLS in
         2005, network readership has doubled in the last 30 years. The number of readers
         served increased from approximately 400,000 in 1973 to approximately 800,000 in
         2004. During the same period, circulation more than doubled. In the early 1970s,
         the circulation was about 11 million. By 2005 it was almost 25 million. This is a
         remarkable history of growth. 
         A cooperative network of libraries whose roots reach back more than 75 years and
         who have worked together so successfully in the past will no doubt make the digital
         transition a success. The digital transition will provide many new opportunities for
         creativity and innovation in support to patrons. But let us now, on this eve of the
         transition from analog to digital library service, proceed to extol and celebrate the
         accomplishments of the libraries that have been judged by their peers to be
         recognized above all others for excellence and innovation in library service to blind
         and physically handicapped individuals in 2006.
         
         
         
         
         Kathryn Mendenhall
         Acting Director, Partnerships and Outreach Programs
         Library Services
                    
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

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