NLS on the Move

June 30, 2020

The latest on our new initiatives


Operations update, our new ad campaign, materials safety, and more


NLS, along with the rest of the Library of Congress, began a phased return to on-site operations last week. The Library has instituted numerous layers of mitigation to prevent coronavirus infections in its buildings, including daily self-assessments and temperature checks, social distancing, and face-mask requirements. For now, the great majority of NLS staff continue to work from home. As conditions in the Washington, D.C., area permit, more staff will return to the office.

Please continue to keep your network consultant (Pamela Davenport or MaryBeth Wise) apprised of any changes in your library’s operating status.


NLS's latest digital outreach campaign launched on June 1 after a delay of two months due to coronavirus-related closures of network libraries. A phased launch was chosen as the best approach, with the first step being keyword searches on major search engines. On July 6 the campaign will add nationwide brand awareness advertising on multiple social media platforms. These will be general information advertisements intended to build interest in the program. A surge of specific call-to-action advertisements is planned for later in the summer, with a gradual uptick in frequency and reach continuing into the fall. The current digital campaign will run through late 2021.


The Library of Congress is participating in a project with OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and research and development firm Battelle to study how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on various library materials. Battelle released some encouraging preliminary results last week; read the details in this news release.

Braille books and NLS talking-book cartridges are at Battelle for testing, and we hope to have some results on those in the next week or so.


After a great deal of consideration, NLS has decided not to hold an in-person gathering for our 2020 biennial meeting. We have been assessing possible alternative dates for a virtual meeting, and have tentatively settled on three days in early November. Network consultant MaryBeth Wise will share additional information in the coming weeks regarding registration, agenda, and details on the date and time. We look forward to the opportunity to exchange ideas and share updates on all of NLS’s initiatives!


A reminder that NLS is searching for a Network Division chief. Details were shared in Operations Alert 20-38. The job announcement closes on July 13.