NLS on the Move

October 28, 2021


Our goals for the year ahead—which we’ll achieve together

At the start of each federal fiscal year, NLS reviews its short- and mid-range goals, updating them as necessary and making sure they still align with the Library of Congress’s goals. We recently completed this process for FY22, which began October 1. Here’s a summary of what NLS—with the help of you in the network—wants to achieve in the year ahead:

·       Increase the number of active patrons served by 2.5 percent, taking advantage of the expanded list of certifying authorities that has made it easier for applicants with print or reading disabilities to sign up for service.

·       Continue work to make BARD more scalable, user-friendly, and flexible, with a goal of having 25 percent of patrons using BARD by the end of the fiscal year.

·       Pilot test a self-service dashboard for BARD users that will reduce the number of service requests to NLS’s support line ([log in to unmask]).

·       Continue pilot tests of the new braille eReaders and procure devices in preparation for distribution to patrons.

·       Continue to pilot test next-generation digital talking-book machines.

·       Continue to implement the NLS Modernization Plan, including improvements to BARD’s infrastructure to expand its capacity.

·       Create and implement an operating model that ensures higher levels of reliable braille service for patrons, including support for newly deployed braille eReaders.

·       Continue conducting research to better understand the needs and preferences of current and potential patrons and integrate those findings into the design and implementation of new products and services.

“These goals outline our major organizational objectives for the year ahead, define a path for meeting these objectives, and support the implementation of the Library of Congress’s larger strategic plan,” Director Jason Broughton said. “We can’t do it all from here in Washington, though. You in the network have an essential role to play in achieving these goals and fulfilling our 90-year-old mission. I look forward to moving ahead together to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”

• • •

US Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas visited NLS last week to narrate her children’s book, Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman, in the NLS Studio. The book recounts her path to becoming one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

“I discovered the book while reading reviews and realized it was perfect for our collection,” said NLS Youth Librarian Jill Garcia. She originally chose the book to be produced as a print/braille picture book. “Then I decided to also do it in audio, and thought it would be more powerful if it were done in her own voice.”

The audio recording will be available to NLS patrons next month. The print/braille version is in the final stages of production, and the electronic braille version is already available on BARD (BR23723).