Network Bulletin No: 08-48
Date: November 7, 2008
Subject: Collection development
Index term: Collection Development
Advisory Group 2008 recommendations
and NLS responses
Attached is a copy of the recommendations made by the Collection Development Advisory Group at a
meeting held at NLS in Washington, D.C., May 21-23, 2008. Each
recommendation is followed by a
response developed by the Collection Development Section in collaboration with other responsible NLS
For further information contact:
Head, Collection Development Section
[log in to unmask]
Collection Development Advisory Group
May 21-23, 2008
1. The committee recommends that NLS limit the number of pages in any individual braille
volume to 175 for ease of handling and to minimize damage in handling.
Response: This recommendation will remain under consideration until NLS can determine the
impact of decreased volume size on the number of titles that can be produced annually at the
smaller volume size. (Increased binding costs would result in a reduced number of total braille
pages per year; the significance of the trade-off must be analyzed and evaluated.)
2. The committee commends NLS for having ordered some tactile graphic materials in the past
year, but recommends that the Collection Development and Production Control sections work
together toward development of a regular procedure to select more books for tactile graphic
production, particularly in the subject areas of geography, architecture, art, counting, and
appropriate children's books. We suggest a minimum of five tactile graphic books per year be
produced by NLS.
Response: The Collection Development Section will work with the Consumer Relations Officer
and the Production Control Section to identify, select, produce, and distribute useful books that
can be effectively and economically enhanced with tactile graphics. Five books seems a
reasonable number, but we are reluctant to establish a definitive quota.
3. The committee recommends that NLS prioritize digitizing bar-over-bar scores in the music
braille collection before section-by-section or paragraph scores, including those recently
acquired from National Braille Association (NBA) and Howe Press, and making them available
Response: The Music Section will continue, in its digitization program, to give priority to piano
scores in bar-over-bar format, especially those received from NBA and Howe Press. When a
patron requests a different format, we fill the patron's request. All digitized titles will continue to
be made available on Web-Braille.
4. The committee recommends that, during the transition from analog to digital, books in series
be made available in digital format together as quickly as possible. When analog masters are no
longer available, series titles should be prioritized for rerecording to complete each series. Any
partial series that exist now should also be prioritized for completion.
Response: The Collection Development, Production Control, and Quality Assurance sections are
grappling with the problems raised in digitizing series. Our goal is to present series in full and as
uniformly as possible that is, produced by the same contractor with the same narrator but, of
course, this is not always possible. Economics plays a key role once again, and digitally
rerecording a lengthy series in full because of the unavailability of a narrator or a missing master
may not be cost-effective, especially when the exclusion of other worthy entries in the collection
might be a consequence. However, we are mindful of the desire for completeness and uniformity
that animates the recommendation, and will act accordingly within the boundaries of realism.
5. Based on patron feedback to committee members, the committee recommends that letN.S.
explore increasing the production of recorded and braille books in the following areas: juvenile
mysteries, westerns, crochet, cookbooks, and the Civil War.
Response: We will be watchful for high-quality candidates in each of these categories.
6. The committee requests that NLS provide more thorough and more timely information to
members of the Collection Development Advisory Group (CDAG) to facilitate advance
preparation and communication with CDAG members. The committee further requests that NLS
and the Conference chairs develop a procedure to help with new-member orientation
immediately after new members have been selected. New-member orientation should include
details of travel, financial issues, and strategies for communication with patrons and libraries.
Response: The head of the Collection Development Section pleads guilty to failing to forearm
the 2008 group in as timely a manner as possible and pledges to try to do better in 2009. We will
attempt to improve our communications with conference chairs and develop a more
comprehensive orientation package for first-time members.
7. The committee requests that approximate target dates for completion of new books be added
to the records in the Voyager catalog.
Response: NLS will investigate the feasibility and advisability of adding approximate target
dates for completion of new books to Voyager catalog records. This of course is a questionable
point, as no definite dates are able to be accurately predicted because of varying acquisition and
8. The committee requests that recommendations and commendations of the Collection
Development Advisory Group be included in future issues of Talking Book Topics and Braille
Book Review, in all formats including online, along with an explanation for patrons regarding the
role of the CDAG and contact information for members.
Response: The recommendations and commendations of the Collection Advisory Development
Advisory Group are included annually in a summary that appears in NLS News. News is
circulated on the TBT/BBR diskette and is available online. Adding the summary to the
publications would increase their lengths and therefore their costs.
9. The committee recommends that NLS consider the merit in durable binding and cover
artwork as used by APH, which enhance similarities to books used by sighted peers, when
considering future print-braille production contracts.
Response: NLS is exploring the possibility of requiring that all print-braille covers be similar to
durable artwork covers produced by APH.
10. The committee recommends that NLS avoid using slippery plastic materials for braille book
covers, such as those made by National Braille Press, because they are hard for patrons to
Response: NLS is working with National Braille Press to change the cover material.
11. The committee recommends that NLS put the full names of authors in braille on the outside
of braille volumes.
Response: Adding full author names in braille, particularly on those titles with multiple
authors, would add time, increased quality assurance checks, and cost to braille books. We
ask that the committee prepare a written proposal to justify the need for this change.
12. The committee recommends that For Younger Readers be published annually.
Response: The current budget restricts the number and frequency of publications such as
For Younger Readers that are published in multiple formats.
13. The committee recommends that NLS create updates to the variety of smaller subject-related
bibliographies published in past decades, such as the Coping Skills bibliography, to be
featured on the NLS web site. Network libraries might also be a resource for additional
bibliographies. Updated bibliographies might help identify areas that could use more
attention from Collection Development staff in the future.
Response: A new minibibliography, Actors and Actresses, has been submitted for
publication and Diabetes will be submitted soon. They will be added to the NLS public web
site and the network will be informed when they are available. Coping Skills will be updated as
a minibibliography as soon as possible. The NLS bibliographer has recently updated the
Caldecott and Newbery Award lists on the NLS public web site.
1. The committee commends Edmund O'Reilly on his first year as head of the Collection
Development Section of NLS, and also welcomes Sara Long back to the Collection
Response: Thank you. We look forward to continuing fruitful advisory group meetings.
2. The committee thanks our chair, Teresa Haifley, and recording secretary, Scott Scholz, for
their ability to facilitate the organization and recording of Collection Development Advisory
Group procedures and notes.
Response: We share the committee's appreciation of Teresa and Scott's fine work.
3. The committee commends the director and entire staff of NLS for their efforts in providing
information, making arrangements, and for their hospitality during the meeting of the 2008
Collection Development Advisory Group.
Response: We are delighted the group found the experience worthwhile.
4. The committee commends the Collection Development staff for its continued dedication to
adding a diverse selection of books to the collection, as well as keeping up with current trends in
Response: The book publishing and production environment is changing as fast as it takes to say
so. We will continue to try to provide high-quality audio and braille books and magazines to our
patrons, and we thank the committee for facilitating what we can accomplish.
5. The committee commends NLS for persevering in finding strategies to release digital talking
books as quickly as possible in spite of continued budget and staffing shortfalls.
Response: It's been a long slog, but the payoff is near and it will reward our patience.
6. The committee congratulates NLS for its success with the BARD download pilot in the last
year, and has high hopes for the future of NLS downloads when the full site is launched.
Response: The BARD download pilot has been widely acclaimed, and we join the
committee in congratulating the people who made it possible: the NLS Automation Office, the
Research and Development Officer, the Consumer Relations Officer, and the kind sentries of
cyberspace. We too are looking forward to the full public site launch in the near future.
7. The committee commends NLS Collection Development staff for their openness and help
with this Collection Development Advisory Group meeting, as well as being receptive to
suggestions from network libraries and patrons throughout the year.
Response: The CDS staff in turn commends the committee for its candidness, collaborative
spirit, and valuable ideas.