On the Move

July 28, 2022


Our Braille-on-Demand pilot is off to a strong start


Five weeks in, Braille-on-Demand is proving popular. “Some patrons can't believe it—they are excited when we tell them that it’s true,” MD1A’s Ashley Biggs says.

The details:

• Patrons have ordered 265 titles so far.

• Our Braille-on-Demand vendor, the Clovernook Center’s Braille Printing House, has produced and shipped 200 titles, with more coming out every day.

• Cookbooks, knitting books, and titles in the Harry Potter series are among the most popular requests.

Barbara Penegor, branch manager at KY1A—where one of the first Braille-on-Demand requests was for Robert’s Rules of Order—says librarians should be prepared to help patrons who aren’t comfortable using the online form to request a book or who don’t know the book number or correct title or author. She also has had to reassure a few patrons that NLS wasn’t doing away with regular braille circulation.

“We really appreciate the support that network libraries have provided to patrons in answering questions and completing Braille-on-Demand request forms,” says Meg Greene of NLS’s Audio and Braille Production Section. “We’re thrilled that patrons have shown such a level of interest in the first month of the pilot!”

She shared a few of the comments NLS has received from patrons:

• “I'm loving the Braille-on-Demand program and shed a tear when receiving my first book!” (California patron)

• “This is a wonderful opportunity to get books that I need. . . . Without this program, I would have to transcribe everything myself.” (Indiana patron)

• “I'm looking forward to this! Nothing like being able to pick up a book and randomly page through it.” (Missouri patron)

Please help us spread the word about Braille-on-Demand in your newsletters, websites, and social media outlets. You can find some suggested language in our Network Library Outreach Promos (feel free to customize!).


• • •


We were excited to exhibit in-person again at the national conferences of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the National Federation of the Blind this month. One thing we heard over and over at both of those consumer-group conferences: people are REALLY excited about the new NLS braille eReaders. NLS staff members also answered a lot of questions about BARD and its new features, our plans for the next-generation digital talking-book machine, and Braille-on-Demand.

“Additionally, patrons expressed enthusiasm for our growing collection of new books and offered great suggestions for books and magazines to add to the collection,” says Collections Division Chief Alice O’Reilly, who attended ACB in Omaha, Nebraska. “Language-learning books, braille-audio hybrid titles, and Marrakesh Treaty books in a variety of languages were highlighted as materials patrons are really enjoying!”

And we have to share this story from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired conference last week, where a mom told us her six-year-old son loves the DTBM. “He calls it his ‘Player On,’” she said—after the voice prompt you hear when the DTBM is turned on.


Watch for the next issue of On the Move in your inbox on August 25!