Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120, Meadowlark Room
Friday, June 1, 2007
The Advisory Committee to the Nebraska
Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service held its regular
meeting Friday, June 1, 2007, at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, NE.
Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal
Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission
Members Present: Carolyn Bennett, Joan
Davis, Ana Kalin, Robert Kalin, Sandra Kelsey, Shirley Schmidt, Mike
Steinmeyer, Avis Wiest, Dave Oertli, and Annette Hall.
The meeting was opened by Dave Oertli
and a welcome and introductions were made.Minutes were read by Carolyn
Bennet from the September 7, 2006 meeting. Minutes were accepted as
corrected. Ana mentioned it would be nice to have the minutes available on
Dave gave an update on visual
conversion. He attended a conference in Arizona on Talking Books. Digital
Rollout was the topic and a timeline has been established, contingent on the
Federal Budget. Funding has currently been secured for 55,000 new players
nationwide, with an additional 5,000 more for test centers. 2008 will be the
first year for the new machines, but it is uncertain whether they will be
introduced in the spring or the fall. Nebraska will have 400-500 new
players the first year, which is based on quota and the number of users.
Nebraska currently has 5000 users, which is a modest number. In addition,
the NLC will have two players for test purposes.
In order to fund the cost of the
players, a total of 76 million dollars over a four year period (19.4 million
a year) has been requested from the Federal government. This is in addition
to the regular budget. The General Accounting Office (GAO) raised a concern
and an audit occurred. The GAO drafted a concern that I-Pod, MP-3 players,
etc. should have been looked at instead of all new technology. It was
explained that people who used Talking Books have different needs that can
not be met with these other tools. Examples were given by Dave and Mike S.
of how the cassette player differs from current technology on the
market. People with disabilities such as arthritis or visual impairment
would have a difficult time working the controls of the models currently
used by the general public. In addition, Talking Books are unabridged,
whereas commercial books are not, and Talking Books operates with a
different set of copyright laws.
After this was explained to the GAO,
they have decided to remain neutral on the acquisition of new players,
verses against the expenditure. Carolyn read an editorial that Dave received
from The Washington Post that strongly promoted and supported Talking
Books and the new recorders.
Discussion was held on how the
conversion to digital books would take place and what abilities the new
players will have. Dave and Annette said that 20,000 titles will be
converted to digital, but some titles will never be digitized. For a while
borrowers will need both the old and the new players. The new digital
battery will be good for twenty hours and 90% of all books will fit on one
flash memory. The question was raised as to whether magazines would be
digitized and Dave explained that the cost will be too prohibitive for
this. The cost of the new players is slightly less than current players.
There are two models and the advanced model contains the ability to spell
words to the person reading the book and has many sub sections.
The regular model allows the reader to
navigate from introduction to chapters, etc. In April the last current
cassette player was made and 2010 is the deadline for the last books on
cassette to be made.
Ana brought up the importance of
children learning Braille, not just relying on tape, computers, etc. Sandy
mentioned that her daughter is learning Braille and is a very active six
year old and takes part in all of the things a girl her age enjoys.
Dave said the the NLC will be
purchasing "Book Wizard Producer " software for $200 and this permits books
to be digitized, marked for navigation and compressed. Encryption for
copyright must come from the Library of Congress.
There were several questions of the
current policy 's wording. Under "PURPOSE " it was decided in Section I to
add the word "magazines " so that the phrase now reads ". . .the
circulation of books, equipment and magazines. . . "
Under "POLICY " the word
"borrower " replaces "reader "; and the word
"title " following magazine should be taken out.
The motion was made by Ana to make
changes to the loan policy and seconded by Mike S. The vote carried.
It was agreed that the policy will be
looked at and revised as needed and that with the current changes in
technology it was understood that this might have to happen every couple of
Discussion was held about having
borrower receptions throughout the state. Possible topics to be
covered: updated technology, review of services for targeted audiences such
as nursing homes, Area Agency on Aging, etc. Sandy suggested it would be a
good idea to reach out to parents of visually disabled children, including
optometrists and ophthalmologists would be good, too. Discussion of where to
host receptions was held and various areas were suggested. This led to
discussion of people 's prejudice and perceptions of the blind. After brief
discussion, it was decided to target parents, teachers and students. Annette
suggested that have two receptions in a day might be a good idea; the
morning reception could be for borrowers and doctors while the afternoon,
evening reception could be for teachers, students and parents. It was also
discussed that the Public Library would be a good place to have the
reception. It was suggested that picking two towns and experimenting with
two receptions would be a good idea. Dave suggested that we focus on ESU 's
and see what events are already in place we could work through.
The next meeting will be help either
in September or October. The meeting was adjourned and interested members
were given a tour of the facility.
Joan Davis, Secretary
For more information contact Dave Oertli, Director, Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.