Operations Alert

No. 04-08

DATE  : December 22,  2004

TO    : Network Libraries
FROM  : Robert Fistick

Subject :      New toll-free number: 1-888-NLS-READ

As many of you are aware, NLS is conducting a large-scale outreach campaign to raise
awareness of the talking-book program and the many other resources provided by the
network.  The goal of the campaign is to raise the visibility of NLS's offerings among
those who are eligible, as well as those who may influence potential patrons, such as
spouses and other family members, caregivers, doctors, and others.

Starting in January, we will begin giving a new toll-free number, 1-888-NLS-READ,  in
all news stories and related media materials used in this outreach campaign.  The
purpose of the toll-free number is to direct people interested in the program to a central
exchange that will provide basic information and then connect them to their closest
regional library.

Although the first articles carrying the new toll-free number will not run until
mid-January, the 1-888-NLS-READ number will be officially available for public use
starting January 1, 2005.  The existing NLS toll-free number (1-800-424-9100) will
continue to be active as we test  this new toll-free system.  NLS will decide at a later
date if 1-888-NLS-READ will replace the old number.

How it will work
Those who call in to the 1-888-NLS-READ system will be able to navigate the system in
either English or Spanish, using a combination of voice commands and key selections.
Once callers select a language preference, they will be given three options: 1) Eligibility
information, 2) Background information, 3) Connect to Library.  Should they select the
third option, the phone system will connect them directly to their closest regional library.

This system will provide a record of the number of incoming calls, the parts of the
country the calls are coming from, and the libraries the callers are asking to be
connected to. We will provide this information to the regional libraries on a regular

For more information contact:

Robert Fistick
Head, Publications and Media Section
(202) 707-9279
[log in to unmask]