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NLS Operations Alert

 

No. 18-65

 

DATE          :    August 16, 2018

TO                :    Network Libraries

FROM         :    Richard Smith, Chief, Network Division

SUBJECT   :    2018 National Conference Resolutions

 

 

The following are the regional conference resolutions from the 2018 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals, which took place June 17–21, in Nashville, Tennessee, and the NLS responses.

 

Midlands Conference Resolutions

 

1.            The Midlands Conference members resolve to thank Maria Sochor and the staff of the Tennessee Regional Library for their efforts as the host site for the 2018 NLS Conference of Librarians Serving the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

2.            Midlands Conference members request that NLS begin working on the process of accepting digital signatures of certifying authority within three months of the 2018 national conference.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS is researching the feasibility.

           

3.            Midlands Conference members recommend maintaining the current committee structure, with greater meeting frequency, while also implementing new methods of collecting feedback from the network at large, including but not limited the use of tools such as Survey Monkey.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is developing a more robust program to gather and analyze relevant information from the network and patrons, and will include standing committees along with other avenues.

 

4.            As previously requested, Midlands Conference members request that NLS make the current machine-lending manual available online in an accessible format while revisions are being drafted.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is in the process of updating the current machine-lending manual to ensure network libraries have accurate and up-to-date information available and will provide a copy once completed. In the meantime, please feel free to reference the newly updated Network Library Manual or contact the Equipment Control Officer, Shana Osborne, or Equipment Repair Officer, Kevin Watson, for additional machine/accessory questions or concerns.

 

5.            Midlands Conference members request that NLS consistently utilize operations alerts or email so that librarians can proactively communicate emergent issues such as system status, software updates, BARD outages, etc. in a timely fashion to patrons.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS agrees.

 

6.            Midlands Conference members appreciate the remote control for its ability to convert DS1 to DA1 functionality and request that NLS contract a sufficient quantity for network libraries to meet patron demand until the next-generation player becomes available.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will procure remote controls to satisfy demand subject to funding availability.

 

7.            Midlands Conference members support the creation of an update to the bookshelf feature making it clearer for patrons navigating multiple books on a single cartridge.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS has implemented a feature to permit the patron to move to the next book on a multi-book cartridge without entering the bookshelf.

 

8.            Midlands Conference members wish to acknowledge the outstanding roll-out of the national advertising campaign and encourage the continuation of this caliber of outreach.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is very pleased with the success of the campaign and the cooperation of the network libraries in these efforts. NLS intends to continue outreach of this type.

 

9.            Midlands Conference members request that NLS provide Braille overlay label supplies to network libraries.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: Supplies are the responsibility of the regional library.

 

10.         Midlands Conference members request that NLS provide network library staff the access needed to make changes to a patron's magazine status without having to go through an NLS consultant.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS will consider implementing.

 

11.         Midlands Conference members request that NLS adjust the delinquent magazine notification system to include only those patrons who are in delinquent status, as well as make this information directly available in PIMMS.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS will consider implementing.

 

12.         Midlands Conference members request that NLS create an advisory group composed of regional representatives in support of NLS’s efforts in continuing to revise and update the Network Library Manual.

 

NLS RESPONSE: This will be considered. Because of never-ending change, the Network Library Manual needs continuous updating and may never be considered a finished product. NLS Education and Training Specialist, Paula Bahmani, ([log in to unmask]) welcomes comments and suggestions for improvements to the manual from the network and is committed to keeping it updated.

 

13.         Midlands Conference members thank NLS for allowing BARD registration by network staff during the application process. We further support a seamless integration of BARD registration via PIMMS.

NLS RESPONSE: You are welcome. NLS will also be pleased when this can be done.

14.         Midlands Conference members applaud NLS’ decision to provide, at no cost to network libraries, the necessary equipment and supplies (e.g. cartridges and their labels, containers and their labels, computer, scanner, printer, and file storage, etc.) that will allow network libraries to more easily transition to the Duplication-on-Demand (DoD) model.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: You are welcome.

 

15.         Midlands Conference members are pleased with the direction NLS is taking with DoD and Gutenberg, and encourage NLS to continue to work with circulation vendors so that network libraries can utilize this option as quickly as possible with existing software.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

16.         Midlands Conference members wish to thank NLS for their announcements regarding changing legislation to expand eligibility to intellectually disabled individuals and changing the name of the NLS to more accurately reflect the agency’s mission.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is pleased to consider changing the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to address the certification requirements of people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia. We have not yet considered eligibility issues for people with intellectual disabilities as that would require a change in our law.

 

17.         The Midlands conference requests that NLS take a stronger leadership role in the building or facilitation of a nationally integrated library system. The Midlands Conference feels that NLS is in a prime position to do so since they are currently engaged in their own strategic transformation and the development of their own automated information systems and infrastructure. An integrated library system is the crucial component for network libraries in the delivery of NLS equipment and reading materials to patrons nationwide. We feel that a national integrated library system that connects the network with NLS in the administration of this service is too critical to leave solely to the considerations of third-party ILS vendors.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS continues to support smaller libraries with Web-READS, a no-cost paradigm which limits our ability to provide the features required by many libraries and provided in commercial systems. At this time, NLS is not equipped to provide a full-featured ILS at no cost to all NLS libraries. NLS may consider conducting a cost-benefit analysis of this possibility in the future.

 

Northern Conference Resolutions

 

1.            The Northern Conference members resolve to express thanks to Karen Keninger, NLS staff, MaryBeth Wise, and the Tennessee Regional Library staff for a wonderful conference! Well done.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

2.            The Northern Conference members resolve to thank all conference presenters for their informative and interesting presentations.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

3.            The Northern Conference members resolve to ask NLS to clarify and communicate in a timely manner information about the re-naming and re-assignment of NLS jobs and job titles. This should include how the new positions’ duties relate to and affect the network libraries.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS will follow up on this.

 

4.            The Northern Conference members resolve that NLS continue working to create a secure, electronic submission of applications that could be customized by network libraries; and that NLS develop an automated certification process that allows frequent certifying authorities to become registered to submit electronic applications, advance a process for a certifier to enter their email address, and be contacted for a scanned signature. This would enable network libraries to become more responsive to 21st-century expectations.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: This will be investigated.

 

5.            The Northern Conference members urge NLS to investigate and repair the recurring problem of MARC records giving the incorrect number of Braille volumes for titles.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS would like to request that the Northern Conference members share specific examples of where this is happening so that we are clear about what you are referring to before starting an investigation. Is the incorrect number of braille volumes found in MARC records for network-produced braille, NLS-produced braille, or both?

 

The number of braille volumes is provided to NLS by braille producers for recording in-catalog records. NLS would be interested in talking to all parties involved to identify where or when the incorrect number of braille volumes in MARC records originated. Once we have a clear understanding of the issue, NLS will work with the Northern Conference members to reach a solution that suits everyone.

 

6.            The Northern Conference members resolve that the NLS change their name from "The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped” to a name that focuses more on accessible materials and formats and less on the person's disability. This change in name would move the agency from deficit model, and be more service centric with marketing and program initiatives from the network libraries. NLS is encouraged to look to the renaming of TN and VT libraries as examples.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: This is being pursued.

 

7.            The Northern Conference members resolve that regional librarians be given the authority to raise the Lost and Overdue quotas of their MOC patrons. Having two items lost/overdue in 2014 should not impact a person's current service. Neither should two lost cartridges in an area with known high USPS loss and delay keep someone from receiving their magazines.

 

NLS RESPONSE: This has already been addressed by the recent change, which automatically regards cartridges overdue by more than eighteen months lost.

 

8.            The Northern Conference members resolve that regional librarians be allowed the option to raise the quota of all their active MOC patrons across the board if they deem it necessary to counter post office problems and ensure uninterrupted patron service.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will consider this; however, this will require more cartridges and the problem may have been addressed by the recent modification to automatically regard cartridges overdue by more than eighteen months lost.

 

9.            The Northern Conference members resolve that MOC cartridges be given longer loan periods. Patrons getting five to six magazines on a cartridge should be permitted a reasonable length of time to read all and return the cartridge on time.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS will investigate how to implement this proposal.

 

10.         The Northern Conference members resolve that Talking Book Topics be sent as a standalone cartridge and not with other magazines, and that it have an extended loan time as well. This should reduce patron confusion, allow additional time for perusal of the catalog, and help serve patron needs for their only option for an accessible catalog. Talking Book Topic issues should be assigned DB numbers so they can be requested from Multistate Centers.

 

NLS RESPONSE: This would require a large increase in the number of cartridges and thus would be expensive. A high proportion of patrons receiving talking book topics on cartridge only receive that publication. NLS will investigate lengthening the time this cartridge is in circulation before regarding it as late.

 

11.         The Northern Conference members resolve that a webpage/database be made to track and troubleshoot braille magazine subscriptions for each patron in a way similar to the MOC process for audio versions.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS understands the need and benefit of a tool of this nature to the conference members. Based on a preliminary evaluation, building a tool of this nature would not be a small project. NLS would need to do further analysis before it could provide a substantive answer. NLS would like to partner with several members of the Northern Conference who could provide additional detail into the requirements underpinning this request.

 

12.         The Northern Conference members thank NLS for looking into eliminating the MD requirement for people with reading disabilities and encourage them to continue pursuing it to eliminate this unfair barrier ASAP. Bookshare has gone to court over this and won. IEP managers, reading specialists, school psychologists, and social workers should be allowed to certify all applications. We hope to be able to better serve this part of the community as soon as possible.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is moving forward with this change. NLS plans to coordinate the change in certification requirements with the expanded infrastructure and capacity to ensure that all patrons will have a positive, full-service experience.

 

13.         The Northern Conference members resolve that NLS record recent GED/TASC prep materials with image description for the charts and graphs in order to serve a very important need in our patron community, which is not being filled anywhere else. Please work to make the image description similar to that encountered on the actual test. This would be extremely helpful to our community. We would also like to have updated citizenship and naturalization prep materials.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is in the process of exploring different ways to provide the GED prep material in audio, including using multiple narrators in our in-house studio, or coupling text-to-speech with narrated image description by our studio. If this is successful we can explore using the same treatment for the citizenship/naturalization materials if they, too, prove too costly to be contracted for narration.

 

14.         The Northern Conference members request that at future conferences, regional meeting be scheduled towards the end of the conference and not the beginning. This will allow the regions to address new information provided at the conference, and develop resolutions for items not addressed by NLS during the conference. 

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will take this into account when planning the next conference.

 

15.         The Northern Conference members request that given NLS' emphasis on moving towards a duplication-on-demand model, we would like support in tracking those pilot programs and support in figuring out how we can each make the switch. We resolve that NLS create a sharable spreadsheet or section of the LBPH wiki to track each state that is starting this process, with which ILS system, and how it is going. Also, that checklists be solicited or made of steps for how each state made the transition and what other libraries need to prepare for when planning a switch to the new process.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS wants to support libraries on making the switch to duplication on demand. The Duplication-on-Demand pilot libraries shared their experience at the national conference in Nashville. In addition, NLS has been in contact with ILS system vendors and have shared the appropriate documentation (APIs). Finally, NLS is currently exploring options to improve communications of all NLS pilots and projects with network libraries. Thank you for this resolution; it will be an option as we redefine our communications with network libraries.

 

16.         Given that the library profession holds key values of diversity and inclusion, and given that there is a history and tradition of professional library organizations not holding conferences in states that provide a discriminatory experience for attending staff (see notes below), and given that some NLS staff are unable to attend conferences in discriminatory states due to city regulations which put them at a professional disadvantage, and given that NLS staff include LGBTQ staff who would be placed in a hostile, discriminatory, or dangerous environment, and that staff who do not want to attend because of those circumstances would be placed at a professional disadvantage, the Northern Conference members resolve that NLS and regional groups NOT hold conferences in states that do not protect or that actively allow discrimination against LGBTQ people. It is not right to ask LBPH staff to put themselves in a situation of risk by travelling there or to put them at a disadvantage by having them not come or not be allowed to participate by their own city rules. Attached is the Covered States Memo from California, which could be adopted as the guideline.

 

Additional Information in support of this resolution:

 

After the 1936 ALA Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia, in which Black librarians were barred from many sessions of the conference (including any session involving eating) due to segregation laws, the ALA stipulated that future conferences would be held only in areas where meeting space could be obtained “with proper regard for its own self-respect and that of its members.” [7] While this did not officially ban southern states from being hosts to the annual conference, the ALA did not return to the South until 1956, when it could obtain non-segregated space in Miami Beach, Florida. However, in the pre-Civil Rights Act era, Black librarians attending ALA conferences still struggled to find lodging, either having to stay with friends or relatives, or at small hotels and YMCAs. (From https://archives.library.illinois.edu/ala/action-not-reaction-integrating-library-profession)

 

and

 

Therefore, be it resolved, that as ALA continues to negotiate for conference sites, that the Association adds its voice and effort to the passage of the Amendment by committing future conferences only to states that have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. (From https://alair.ala.org/handle/11213/2281)

 

All librarians and library professionals are committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings, and we will work tirelessly to ensure full representation of all members of society… ALA provides gender-neutral restrooms at our conferences, and we will not hold our large and economically impactful meetings in states where ‘bathroom bills’ have been passed. Our Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) division canceled one such program in North Carolina last year. (From http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/02/ala-strongly-protests-rollback-protections-our-nation-s-transgender-students)

 

NLS RESPONSE: The 2020 NLS conference is scheduled to take place in Nebraska, a state which is not on the California travel ban list.

 

2018 Southern Conference Resolutions

 

1.            The Southern Conference of Librarians serving Blind and Physically Handicapped people (SCLBPH) expresses its gratitude to the following:

 

a. Tennessee Regional Librarian Maria Sochor and her staff for planning local arrangements to welcome (or welcome back) the network to Nashville, and for providing an interesting tour of the Tennessee State Library.

b. MaryBeth Wise for all her hard work organizing another successful and instructional conference, as well as all NLS staff who participated both behind the scenes and in presentations.

c. Maureen Dorosinski (FL) for her enjoyable presentation on teambuilding.

d. Craig Hayward (NC), Miles Lewis (TX), and Barbara Penegor (KY) for their informative presentation on analog to digital conversion.

e. Departing Executive Committee members Shellie Zeigler (MS)

President, and Letitia Gittens (VI) Member-at-Large, for their service to SCLBPH. Best wishes in their future endeavors!

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs and agrees.

 

2.         The members of SCLBPH are grateful to NLS for its national television, Internet, and radio ad campaign, and we congratulate NLS on the effectiveness, as libraries have seen a noticeable increase in contacts and applications. 

a. We encourage NLS to continue such wide-reaching campaigns, and recommend they produce similar ads aimed at children and young adults aired on sites and stations they are likely to frequent.

b. The Southern Conference requests that NLS study the impact the campaign success will have on supplies and resources necessary to serve the desired increase in patrons, and plan accordingly.

 

NLS RESPONSE: a) This will be considered in subsequent outreach efforts. b) We have been very pleased with the success of the current campaign and appreciate all of the cooperation that we have received from the network libraries in these efforts. We will begin looking at our next creative products and associated audiences in the coming months and your input will be a significant factor in that decision.

 

3.            As four of the six libraries who participated in the WebReads Duplication-on-Demand Pilot are Southern Libraries, and as Texas has very recently become one of the first large libraries to transition to WebReads, the Southern Conference extends a formal “thank you” to NLS and Data Management for developing and implementing WebReads Duplication-on-Demand circulation.

 

a. There are multiple advantages for both patrons and libraries, and we urge NLS to expedite the transition of more libraries to DoD so resources used on physical books can more rapidly be deployed towards other projects.

b. As more innovations are planned by NLS and implemented by Data Management, and as more and larger libraries transition to WebReads from other automation systems, current and future WebReads libraries request that Data Management adjust resources as necessary to maintain efficient and friendly customer service.

c. We advise NLS to devise a plan for which libraries may efficiently return DB collections made obsolete by DoD.

           

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is confident that network libraries will recognize the value to all stakeholders of duplication on demand and is encouraged by the response of libraries currently using the system. Data Management is a contractor and is directed by NLS. The tasks given to the contractor are governed by need and funding.

 

4.            SCLBPH thanks NLS for the changes to the Recall for Reuse program (R4R), which eliminates the need to count book copies and enter shipments on an online spreadsheet. We also welcome the decision to allow libraries to reuse white cartridges for local DoD circulation, and anxiously await implementation.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is thankful that the R4R changes are helping network libraries. NLS envisions that the use of white cartridges for local DoD will start soon with Gutenberg DoD libraries.

 

5.            SCLPBH librarians request that NLS grant network libraries the ability to forgive overdue or lost MOC magazine cartridges in order to facilitate resumption of service for readers.

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS will consider implementing.

 

6.            Libraries of the Southern Conference implore NLS to follow the example set by similar organizations and allow qualified educational professionals to certify applications for those with a reading disability. Any definitions of those professionals should take into consideration that educational agencies and professional titles vary from state to state.

           

NLS RESPONSE: NLS is moving forward with this change. NLS plans to coordinate the change in certification requirements with the expanded infrastructure and capacity to insure that all patrons will have a positive, full-service experience.

 

7.         While the RUB (Rating Unrated Books) is an admirable project undertaken on a volunteer basis by several libraries, it requires each library to manually update each book record as it is rated. The Southern Conference requests that NLS incorporate committee rating results into the NLS book record so libraries may import the updated files, therefore streamlining the task and eliminating duplication of effort.

           

NLS RESPONSE: From August through October 2017, NLS updated 470 book records with book ratings from the RUB’s spreadsheet. This was a manual effort that was performed by staff on loan from another Library of Congress office, outside of NLS. Efforts to acquire new shared staff and interns for this project are ongoing. NLS will resume this effort as soon as extra resources become available.

 

8.         Let it be known that the Southern Conference of Libraries Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped users formally recognizes audio books as a valid form of reading. Braille, print, and audio, used alone or in combination, contribute to knowledge and literacy whether used for recreation or education, and the resulting informed and literate individuals benefit their families, communities, and society.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

Western Conference Resolutions

 

1.         The Western Conference thanks the National Library Service for making the Gutenberg duplication-on-demand system technology and hardware available and encourages NLS to continue to work with the ILS vendors in the process of implementing the system within network libraries.

 

NLS RESPONSE: Thank you. NLS will work with the ILS vendors to help them to integrate Gutenberg into their circulation systems.

 

2.         The Western Conference encourages the National Library Service to research into how a system could be designed and implemented to accept digital signatures for applications.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: This will be investigated.

 

3.         The Western Conference encourages the National Library Service to increase the number of overdue MOCs allowed to four and give network librarians the ability to “excuse” patron over dues.

 

NLS RESPONSE: A recent change, which automatically regards cartridges overdue by more than eighteen months lost, may address the underlying issue. NLS will monitor the effect of the change and may make further modifications as required.

 

4.         The Western Conference extends thanks to all the regions for the session contributions.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

5.         The Western Conference extends thanks to all the National Library Service staff and particularly MaryBeth Wise for a great conference.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: You are welcome.

 

6.         The Western Conference encourages the National Library Service to stop having conference in hotels whose room rates exceed 10% over the federal government rate.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will work toward meeting resolution, but cannot guarantee success.

 

7.         The Western Conference members recognize Sue Sugimura, Regional Librarian for the Hawaii Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for almost 37 years prior to her passing in March and extend condolences to family, friends, and associates.

 

            NLS RESPONSE: NLS concurs.

 

8.         The Western Conference requests that the National Library Service reconsider providing supplies and materials to the Network libraries as NLS has greater purchasing power, possesses existing materials specifications, and hosts an existing internal ordering structure and process for libraries.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS was able to purchase and distribute a limited number of 4GB peach cartridges, translucent mailing containers, and labeling supplies for one year. Additional supplies are the responsibility of the network libraries.

NLS/BPH will continue to provide cartridges, containers, and labels for duplication-on-demand libraries as needed (up to a maximum of six cartridges/containers per patron). NLS will maintain support of the Gutenberg appliance hardware and software. NLS will supply starter consumable supplies—address cards and printer toner—that will be sufficient for more than three months. Libraries are responsible for consumable supplies after the initial supplies expire.

 

9.         The Western Conference requests that, if NLS will not supply materials such as labels and mailing card sleeves, that NLS issue an Operations Alert one year in advance with notice of supply item discontinuation, item specifications, and contact information for known vendors.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will investigate improving the notices of discontinued supply material.

 

10.       The Western Conference urges NLS to hold its biennial national conference in the first several weeks of May as it did historically up until 2016. The 2018 Nashville conference, which we all greatly enjoyed and from which we learned a great deal, occurred over the Father's Day weekend and immediately preceding the 2018 Annual American Library Association conference in which many network library staff actively participate. We recognize that scheduling a major conference to achieve desirable dates requires negotiation as well as luck. We request that whenever possible, harkening back to precedent, NLS attempt to hold its national conference in May.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS will take this into consideration when scheduling the next conference.

 

11.       The Western Conference requests that NLS take a stronger leadership role in the building or facilitation of a national integrated library system. The Western Conference feels that NLS is in a prime position to do so since they are currently engaged in their own strategic transformation, and the development of their own information infrastructure systems. An integrated library system is the crucial component for network libraries in the delivery of equipment and reading materials to patrons nationwide. We feel that a national integrated library system that connects the network with NLS in the administration of this service is too critical to leave solely to the considerations of third party vendors.

 

NLS RESPONSE: NLS continues to support smaller libraries with Web-READS, a no-cost paradigm which limits our ability to provide the features required by many libraries and provided in commercial systems. At this time, NLS is not equipped to provide a full-featured ILS at no cost to all NLS libraries. NLS may consider conducting a cost-benefit analysis of this possibility in the future.

 

 

For more information contact:

Richard Smith

Chief, Network Division

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