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NLS-REPORTS  June 1998

NLS-REPORTS June 1998

Subject:

Machines & Accessories 98-03

From:

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 8 Jun 1998 12:57:49 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (558 lines)

Machines & Accessories No. 98-03

Date: June 5, 1998

Subject: National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee
Recommendations and NLS Responses, 1998

Attached are the recommendations made by the National
Audio Equipment Advisory Committee at the annual
meeting held March 18-20, 1998.  Following each
recommendation is a response by NLS.

The following members attended the meeting:

Consumer representatives

American Council of the Blind
Alice Jackson

Blinded Veterans Association
Corinne Blank

National Federation of the Blind
Bonnie Peterson

Northern Region
John Farina

Western Region
Fred Mansfield

Network library representatives

Midlands Region
Robert Watson

Northern Region
Richard Riddell

Southern Region
Rebecca Sherrill

Western Region
David Whittall

Telephone Pioneer representatives

Midlands Region
Jerry Adamson

Northern Region
Carl Gingrich

Southern Region
J. Walter Alfred

Western Region
Richard Iversen

Elfun representative
Robert A. Smith

------------------------------------------------------

National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee
Consumer Recommendations
March 20, 1998

1.   NLS should publish names and contact points for
members of the National Audio Equipment Advisory
Committee in Talking Book Topics and Braille Book
Review prior to the annual NAEAC meeting at NLS.
NLS should also encourage network libraries to
publicize this list to their readership to solicit
patron input.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Consumer Relations Officer)

We will do this.

2.   The digital talking-book machine should be small,
light, sturdy, and easy to use.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

When cost and technical considerations are
favorable, development will begin with patron
preferences as a high priority.  This process
will include extensive field testing so the
NAEAC and other user evaluators will have an
opportunity to shape the product at that
time.

3. The consumers commend NLS on its hard work to date
but recommend that the study of digital talking-
book technology be completed and that a prototype
player be produced in the next two to three years.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

There are no plans to produce prototype
players within two to three years; however,
we do plan to develop experimental software
simulations that run on personal computers.
This technology will facilitate affordable
testing of different control features.

4.  The NAEAC members should receive--prior to the
meeting--names, addresses, telephone numbers, and
e-mail addresses, if available, of other NAEAC
members, and the same information on the committee
members for NISO and the National Advisory Group
on Collection Building Activities.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering, Research and
Development Officer, Collection Development
Section)

We will supply information on other NAEAC members,
NISO representatives, and NAGCBA members when
invitations to the next meeting are mailed.

The Collection Development Section provides to
members of the National Advisory Group on
Collection Building Activities this information,
plus the recommendations and responses for the
previous year, approximately two or three months
prior to the upcoming meeting.  The membership is
also announced in the May/June issues of Talking
Book Topics and Braille Book Review.

5.  NAEAC members should receive a contact list of NLS
staff with names, titles, telephone numbers, and
e-mail addresses.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Reference Section)

We will provide the list.

6.  NAEAC committee members should receive the minutes
of NISO meetings.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Research and Development Officer)

The NISO minutes are very technical and have a
distribution limited to NISO committee members.
NLS prepares reports on each NISO meeting that are
published in News.  News is available to NAEAC
members by subscription in print and braille, and
on the NLS web page.  In addition, key News
articles (such as on NISO activities) are included
at the end of the cassette version of Talking Book
Topics.

National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee
The Telephone Pioneers and Elfun Recommendations

1.  That NLS increase the funding for replacement
parts for Cassette Book Machines (CBM) repair.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development
Division--MDD)

NLS has requested a $500,000 budget increase to
the spare parts budget line (2621) for FY99 from
Congress.

2.  That NLS fund and continue the "Train the Trainer"
program.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development Division)

NLS will continue to fund the "Train the Trainer"
program by providing instructors and training kits to
libraries that request the training.  Approximately 6
to 8 of these repair sessions will be conducted next
year.  "Train the Trainer" program travel will be
finalized in the FY99 Management Plan deliberations,
which will begin this August.

3. That NLS publish a timetable for the implementation
of the automation project for the replacement-parts
inventory and distribution systems.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Automation Officer)

NLS has begun the analysis for the replacement-parts
inventory and distribution system.  As information
becomes available during analysis and development, NLS
will keep the appropriate parties advised.

4.  That NLS continue pursuing the development and
field test of the NLS and commercial battery-charging
systems.

NLS RESPONSE:(Engineering Section and Equipment
Materials Maintenance Coordinator)

Engineering will continue the design, test, and
evaluation of battery-charging systems.  The outcome
of this work will be made available to repair persons
through the equipment and materials maintenance
coordinator.

As this technology is made available by Engineering,
the equipment and materials maintenance coordinator
will solicit help from the repair network in designing
a case for it and distributing the final product.  The
distribution of the units will depend on the cost,
which has not been determined yet.

5.  That NLS accelerate the amplifier board recovery
and repair effort and recruiting for same, and that NLS
continue the development and distribution of CBM
amplifier testers to the repair network.

NLS RESPONSE:(Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator--EMMC)

The EMMC is committed to improving the amp board
recovery and repair efforts (Machines and Accessories,
report number 98-2).  Support has already been somewhat
improved by adding to the tools available for this
work, and NLS is preparing amp board testers for
initial release.  Circuit boards have been ordered, and
we are in the process of obtaining parts kits.  How
fast we can go with this development is dependent on
the staff time available to pursue it.

6.  That NLS continue funding for volunteer recognition
and recruitment efforts.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development Division)

NLS does plan to continue funding the volunteer
recognition and recruitment efforts.  This year NLS
funded a major newspaper and radio advertising campaign
to recruit volunteers for the repair network.  In
addition, NLS has planned for visits to more than 15
sites for recognition events this year alone.
Recognition events are also planned for next year.
Travel for both has been budgeted accordingly.

7.  That NLS develop and implement a method of
determining the actual amount of time that a CBM has
been used.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

At present, installing such timers would cost much more
than any estimated return on investment, but we
continue to look for a less costly timer.

8.  That NLS eliminate the scrapping of machines based
on non-technical reasons, such as how many times the
unit has been issued.  Machine damaged-beyond-repair
(DBR) status should be determined only by a qualified
repair technician.

NLS RESPONSE: (Engineering Section)

DBR status should only be determined by a qualified
repair person.  The number of times issued should never
be used as sole criteria.

9.  That NLS review, revise, and publish the
traditional rules of thumb for repair procedures and
guidelines for head replacement, rubber replacement,
limits on maximum repair time, reinspection of
machines, etc.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator)

These rules of thumb, developed over a long period of
time, are due for review and updating.  This will be
done, and as these changes are made, they will be
released to the network, in the form of Machines &
Accessories reports.

10.  That NLS eliminate frozen head-adjustment screws.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator, Quality Assurance Section, Engineering
Section)

EMMC will investigate different methods to deal with
this problem while corrective actions are being taken.
This is a difficult problem and will not succumb to
quick fixes very easily.  EMMC will publish a list of
known ways to deal with it in the future via a Machines
and Accessories report.

Investigation into the cause and recommended corrective
actions began in February 1998.

11.  That NLS investigate any problems with the use of
electrolytic capacitors in the C-1 frequency
compensation circuit.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

We are evaluating sample units that have a non-
polarized ceramic capacitor in place of the
electrolytic capacitor presently found in the
frequency-compensation circuit.

12.  That NLS reword the volunteer repair standard-
torque requirement to state: "A CBM reconditioned with
new rubber parts will typically read greater than 50 g-
cm in play and 80 g-cm in fast forward and rewind."

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator)

EMMC will change this and some other noted items in the
standards to make them more easily interpreted, and
will publish them.

National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee
Librarian Recommendations

1.  Due to the diminishing repair resources within the
Telephone Pioneers of America/Elfuns, the National
Library Service must develop and implement a plan to
find alternative sources for machine repair.  This plan
should include a recruitment plan to bring new repair
volunteers into service at the local level.  The plans
should be reported on at the national conference in
Vermont.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development Division)

Although NLS has already embarked on a major
recruitment drive nationally through radio and
newspaper advertisement campaigns around the country,
NLS will address this concern at a breakfast session on
May 4 at the National Conference with conference
attendees to solicit further ideas on how we can work
with the Telephone Pioneers, Elfuns, Lions Clubs, and
others to increase recruitment of repair volunteers.
The current radio campaign has been broadcast more than
500 times in 48 states and the newspaper campaign has
provided over 100 advertisements in over 20 states to
date.

2.  Two months before the next NAEAC meeting, NLS
should review last year's recommendations and
responses.  Update the responses and distribute the
materials to all representatives in the format they
need prior to the next meeting.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

We will do this.

3.  Supply all repair centers with lubrication chart
and specifications as used by the manufacturer.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator)

No such chart is known to exist.  Decks are
manufactured in Japan, which will complicate this
endeavor, but we will try to obtain such a chart if it
exists, and publish it.  Meanwhile, groups can use the
guidelines in the Technical Procedures Manual used in
the Volunteer Repair Project and available from NLS.

4.  To alleviate the problem of dirt and other
contamination in the controls, NLS should look into
covering the slide area with cloth or other material
that will prevent this.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

We will continue to look for an affordable component
that is not vulnerable to damage from dirt.

5.  To prevent unnecessary returns for warranty repair,
NLS should provide machine lending agencies (MLAs) and
repair centers with guidelines and a final repair
checklist to determine which machines should be
returned for warranty repair.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials Maintenance
Coordinator)

EMMC will develop such a specific guide.  Meanwhile,
those concerned should use the tests described in the
CBM Reconditioning Standards, ver. 7.2 (at the time of
this writing).

6.  To reuse machine mailing containers, encourage
Telex to use plastic windows, such as SH018.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

The cost of plastic windows is unlikely to result in
overall savings or improved convenience because
individual MLAs use labeling methods that are adapted
to local conditions and not necessarily compatible with
SH018 windows.

7.  All future portable equipment should have a battery
management feature. NLS should investigate the
possibilities of amending the current contract for
C-1's.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

At this time there are no plans for building specific
portable equipment; however, when such plans develop
they will include state-of-the-art battery management
technology.  As for existing equipment, because a
change of delivery mechanisms is on the 10-year
horizon, we are unlikely to recommend any changes to
CBMs unless they achieve a demonstrable savings,
involve insignificant risk, and are earnestly demanded
by patrons and their advocacy groups.  We have
considered adding battery management to the C-1.  Thus
far proposals have not met our change criteria.

8.  Suspend repair of C-79s until there is no backlog
of C-1s to be repaired.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development Division)

NLS will study this recommendation at the Machine
Committee meeting and provide the appropriate Machines
& Accessories (M&A) report.

9.  Streamline the reorder process for machine repair
parts to improve the supply of parts to repair centers.
Use the website to implement electronic ordering, parts
order status, and provide M&A's.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development
Division)

NLS will study this reorder process in light of the new
automated inventory system for the parts room planned
for next year.

10.  Develop a policy regarding the phase out of recorded
discs and TBMs.  This policy should include repair and
storage guidelines.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development Division)

NLS will study this recommendation at the next Machine
Committee meeting to see what approach should be taken
concerning such a policy.

11.  The C-1 service manual needs to be updated to
include changes in the machine, new amp board,
different parts, and the lubrication chart.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

The C-1 manual is being revised.  A lubrication chart
is being sought.

12.  NLS should supply replacement barcode labels or
software and specifications for label stock to create
machine bar codes locally.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

For a discussion of labels, software, and label stock
specifications, please see Machines & Accessories
Report 96-07 of June 21, 1996.  This document is
available from the NLS Reference Section.

13.  Supply the MLAs with the number of machines the
MLA has in warranty repair.  This status report
could be included with the damaged-and-
nonrepairable report.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

This will be done by Telex in accordance with
the recently negotiated C-1 contract.

14.  NLS should study and report on the present and
projected patron base to determine machine and
book/magazine production needs of the program
until the new talking-book technology is
implemented.  Study should include changes in
readership, such as eligible student, reading
disabled, and growing elderly population.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Engineering Section)

NLS constantly monitors demographics,
scientific progress, legislation, and other
topics for indicators of future patron
population size and characteristics.  This
knowledge is used to forecast future
equipment and book/magazine needs and the
funding necessary to support the program.

15.  NLS should hold a preconference for machine agents
with the 2000 conference.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Research and Development Officer)

We have added this suggestion to the 2000
conference planning folder and will determine if
it is appropriate when planning gets underway in
1999.

16.  NLS should make the repair of E-1s a high
priority.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Chief, Materials Development
Division)

NLS concurs with the need to make the E-1 repair a
high priority, since NLS is not buying new Es.  In
FY00, a $125,000 increase is being requested from
Congress which, if approved, will result in
approximately 2,250 more Es being repaired over
the 3,000 currently being fixed annually.

17.  NLS should take action to resolve the parts
shortage problems in the field.

NLS RESPONSE:  (Equipment and Materials
Maintenance Coordinator)

Steps have already been taken to do this and
relief should be coming to the repair network even
as we speak.  $1 million-plus worth of parts were
ordered in November 1997, and are coming in now.
We hope that the automated inventory control
system will be in place later this year, and this
should help prevent recurrences.  Additionally,
the chief of MDD and the director of NLS will seek
increases in EMMC parts funding for next year.

18.  We encourage and support NLS's continued efforts
in studying digital book technology and developing
standards.  We hope this is implemented as quickly
as possible.

NLS RESPONSE: (Research and Development Officer)

There is no appropriate delivery medium for
digital books at this time.  Transition planning
cannot be completed until a suitable medium is
identified.  As this is a complex subject, readers
are directed toward a new NLS publication, Digital
Talking Books: Planning for the Future, which
discusses transition issues in detail.  It will be
published in print, audio, and braille in July
1998.

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