NLS on the Move

November 25, 2020

The latest on our new initiatives


Our virtual national conference is just six days away!

If you haven’t registered yet for our virtual national conference, you can do so up til it begins next Tuesday—but why delay? Sign up at

We are delighted that Haben Girma was able to accommodate our schedule changes to be our keynote speaker at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday (all times are eastern standard time). Girma spoke about her experiences as a deafblind braille reader seven years ago during the Braille Summit at Perkins School for the Blind. She was a Harvard Law student then, and has gone on to become a full-fledged lawyer whose resume includes successfully representing the National Federation of the Blind in a lawsuit against book subscription service Scribd over the inaccessibility of its online offerings. Girma’s memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law (BR22702, DB96188), was published in 2019. You can read more about her in this story that ran in the January-March issue of NLS News.

Other conference highlights include updates on new NLS products and initiatives and sessions on implementing the Marrakesh Treaty, uploading locally produced books to BARD and the impact of changes in the publishing industry on NLS collection development. At 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, we will recognize this year’s Network Library of the Year award winners—the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Talking Books and Braille Center at the San Francisco Public Library. And NLS staff will be available to chat and answer questions in virtual meet and greets from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The conference will be held on the Zoom for Government platform. Information on best practices for using Zoom for Government will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the conference.

“We’ve put together an excellent program that offers many opportunities to share information in groups large and small,” Director Karen Keninger said. “While it’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t gather in person this year, holding the conference virtually gives more people in the network the chance to attend—and I hope all of you will take advantage of that next week.”

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You’ll also have a chance during the conference to meet Mark Santangelo, chief of the new Patron and Network Engagement Division. Mark comes to NLS from the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, where he had been chief librarian and archivist since 2012, the year before it opened.

“During the course of the pandemic I have looked for opportunities within my profession to make a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “Through NLS, I found a strong network of people and libraries working toward greater literacy, making knowledge available to everyone. I’m proud to be a part of this mission at the Library of Congress.”

Happy holidays! Watch for the next issue of On the Move in your inbox on January 28!