NLS Operations Alert

No. 16-70

DATE          :    July 26, 2016
TO                :    Network Libraries
FROM         :    Richard Smith, Chief, Network Division
SUBJECT   :    Resolutions from the 2016 national conference

The following are the Northern and Western conference resolutions from the 2016 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals, which took place April 3-7 in San Francisco, California, and the NLS responses.

Northern Conference Resolutions

1.      Resolve that NLS please provide a sufficient quantity of Braille book containers for network libraries to ship braille materials to patrons.

       NLS Response: The NLS is halfway through production and approval on a contract for new braille containers. Once complete, it should result in a sufficient quantity of braille containers for network libraries.

2.      Resolve that NLS should research and award a new contract for braille replacement volumes for network libraries.

       NLS Response: NLS will explore the opportunity to award further contracts dependent on budget allocation. We ask that the network libraries provide documentation on which volumes are in need of replacement.

3.      Resolve that braille producers for NLS should include a packing list for braille titles shipped to the network library.

       NLS Response: NLS will work with the producers to include packing lists on shipment to network libraries.

4.      Resolve that NLS restock the supply of braille instruction sheets for the DS1 and DA1 players housed at the multistate centers for ordering by network libraries.

       NLS Response: NLS is in the process of ordering braille instruction sheets for the DS1 and DA1 players to restock supplies housed at the multistate centers for ordering by network libraries.

5.      Resolve that NLS publish the Network Library Manual online in a searchable format.

       NLS Response: NLS s investigating the feasibility of doing this.

6.      Resolve that NLS pursue development of an API to interface and connect library inventory management/automation systems with the NLS interlibrary loan system for more efficiency.

       NLS Response: The NLS ILL (interlibrary loan system) system is a component of PICS/NIOSS. As part of the NLS multiyear effort to modernize and ultimately replace PICS/NIOSS, the existing PICS/MIOSS ILL system will be replaced with an updated ILL system. At the present time, this new ILL system is planned to be a new, stand-alone system. NLS agrees that direct computer-to-computer communication via an API is the best way to achieve efficiency, and NLS intends to make the new ILL system have an API that would allow the automation of many, if not all of the ILL functions. This project is in the early stages; thus, NLS cannot provide details on the API nor the work flow at this time, but will do so in the future.

7.      Resolve that NLS develop clear instructions for network library staff to use in supporting the increasing number of calls from patrons indicating that their book is giving them the "media error" message. Guidance is needed on what to tell patrons when this occurs.

       NLS Response: NLS will develop a process to assist libraries in dealing with bad cartridges.

8.      Resolve that NLS consider development of guidelines and recommended process for secure, electronic submission of applications that could be customized by network libraries to become more responsive to 21st century expectations.

       NLS Response: Excellent suggestion; NLS will investigate the feasibility of implementing the recommendation.

9.      Resolve that NLS develop an automated certification process that will allow frequent certifying authorities to become registered and submit electronic applications.

       NLS Response: NLS will investigate the feasibility of implementing the recommendation.

10.   Resolve to express thanks and appreciation to NLS and the local San Francisco planning committee for hosting the 2016 biennial conference.

       NLS Response: NLS concurs.

Western Conference Resolutions

1.      The Western conference thanks NLS, Isabella Marqués de Castilla and MaryBeth Wise for the great conference in San Francisco and all the hard work that went into the planning and execution.

       NLS Response: Thank you.

2.      The Western Conference thanks Library for the Blind and Print Disabled and Jane Glasby and the Library for the Blind and Print Disabled staff for a great conference in San Francisco.

       NLS Response: NLS concurs.

3.      The Western Conference encourages the National Library Service to use round tables in the conference seating configuration to allow easier exchange of ideas among participants.

       NLS Response: This will be considered for future meetings.

4.      Western Conference commends NLS for taking action and fixing the battery issue.

       NLS Response: Thank you.

5.      Western Conference encourages NLS to continue acquiring more books in foreign language, the conversion of the foreign language cassettes to digital, and the development of a separate collection development committee with an emphasis on foreign language.

       NLS Response: The NLS Foreign-Language Librarian is currently pursuing several different avenues to acquire materials in languages other than English, including the purchase of Mandarin titles, which are in high demand, the conversion of analog titles at the Multistate Center East, and the acquisition of titles made available via international exchange efforts. Existing analog materials from the NLS catalog are posting to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) as the analog-to-digital conversion project enters its final surge. The suggested establishment of a separate foreign-language advisory committee is noted with interest and can be pursued at the next regular Collection Development Advisory Group meeting in 2017.

6.      Western Conference encourages NLS to also develop outreach materials in foreign languages for example Spanish, Russian, Chinese.

       NLS Response: NLS has no plans to prepare materials in languages other than English at this time.

7.      Western Conference commends NLS for the release of high volume player for our hard of hearing patrons.

       NLS Response: Thank you.

For more information, contact:
Richard Smith
Chief, Network Division
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