NLS Operations Alert


No. 20-43


DATE         :  July 06, 2020

TO             :  Network Libraries

FROM        :  Zaneta Watson, Head, Production Control Section

SUBJECT  :  Delay in braille magazines and resumption of DB distribution



Operations of several NLS vendors have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months. As parts of the nation begin to reopen, some vendors have returned to their facilities and resumed production. However, network libraries and patrons should still expect delays or disruptions in shipments of products, including braille magazines, talking books, and braille books.

Currently, two of the three NLS braille magazine producers are fully operational and are distributing braille magazines to patrons. However, patrons should still expect to see delays in distribution of some titles until the third producer returns to operation.


While distribution of DBs was suspended, NLS temporarily authorized the duplication and storage of DBs with the intent to have them distributed once libraries reopened. A status of “Ship” in PICS temporarily indicates that a lot has been duplicated by our producer but not necessarily shipped. Libraries that are closed or have not received any shipments but have been notified in PICS that DBs have shipped should disregard those notices.


The NLS producer for DB duplication resumed distribution the week of June 22. However, libraries that are registered for copy allotment should still expect to see delays. NLS is tracking the operating status of each library weekly. This list is divided into three tiers: Closed, Partially Closed, and Open. As we roll out distribution we will begin with libraries that are listed as Open. Once we determine which of the libraries listed as Partially Closed can receive mail Monday through Friday, we will also resume distribution to those libraries.


If your library is currently listed as Open, we recommend waiting until at least August 24 before reporting that a shipment was not received. For those libraries that are still closed, we recommend allowing sixty days from the date you notify NLS that you have reopened before reporting that a shipment was not received.


To ensure duplication is processed accurately, Libraries are encouraged to update their network consultants immediately regarding any changes to their operating status.


We appreciate your cooperation and flexibility. NLS is in close contact with all of our vendors and will continue to inform network libraries as we learn about disruptions that impact patrons.


For more information, please contact:

Zaneta Watson

Head, Production Control Section

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