Network Bulletin No: 07-40
Date: September 13, 2007
Subject: Digital talking books
Index term: Production of digital talking-book cartridges
Production of digital cartridges approaches: Cartridges will be
available in late 2008
NLS is currently evaluating bids from manufacturers and expects
to select a contractor to produce its digital talking-book
cartridge by mid-September. Production will proceed immediately
after a contract is awarded, and patrons will begin to receive
cartridges in late 2008.
Cartridge production is a multiphase process. The first step is
to develop the cartridge's interior design. While the cartridge's
functional requirements have been determined, some internal
components such as circuitry and software will be defined by the
manufacturer. Once the internal components are designed, the
manufacturer will build cartridge prototypes. These cartridges
will undergo testing to ensure they meet NLS specifications and
function properly. Concurrently the manufacturer will develop
production line tooling and test equipment.
Before full production begins, the manufacturer will conduct
verification tests on prototypes. Full production of the
cartridge is slated to begin in the spring of 2008. NLS
anticipates producing 17,500 cartridges in the initial run and
between one to two million cartridges each year thereafter.
Libraries within the NLS network, as well as other organizations,
will be able to buy blank cartridges to record local or specialty
titles for their readers. Blank cartridges will be available once
full production begins.
An overview of the NLS digital talking-book project may be found
in Current Strategic Business Plan for the Implementation of
Digital Systems at www.loc.gov/nls/businessplan2006.html.
For further information contact:
Chief, NLS Material Development Division
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