Talking Book and Braille Service Policies

Table of Contents

BARD Policy for Facilities

Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) Policy for Facilities

I. Background
Library of Congress / National Library Service (NLS) and its network of cooperating libraries have a long history of serving eligible individuals through schools and care facilities. The policies relating to facilities for physical talking book and Braille services will also apply to facility accounts on the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).

BARD is a password-protected web site that enables eligible readers, upon approval by the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, to download any of the thousands of titles, as either audio or Braille files, provided by the National Library Service for its readership.

To maintain intellectual property protection, the National Library Service and the Talking Book and Braille Service ensures that only eligible readers can receive NLS and talking-book-network produced materials. The U.S. copyright law Chafee Amendment (P.L. 104-107 1.c) permits recording and brailling of books and magazines, without prior permission, to create special-format materials exclusively for blind and physically handicapped residents of the United States. In addition, the United States Postal Service Free Matter mail privilege requires that the dispatched materials be in a special format and that recipients meet the NLS eligibility requirements.

In the digital environment, the NLS and Talking Book and Braille Service commitment to protecting intellectual property has been taken one step further. NLS and Talking Book and Braille Service books are produced on flash-memory cartridges, proprietary to NLS, and each book has a software key that enables it to be played on an NLS or NLS-authorized commercial player.

II. Facilities Already Using Talking-Book Services
Facility accounts for BARD will be available to agencies that already receive talking book service. These agencies may continue to borrow audio books and playback equipment, and may also apply to download books from BARD.

III. Facilities That Have Not Used Talking Book Services in the Past
Upon receipt of a properly certified facility application, the Talking Book and Braille Service will send audio books and magazines, playback equipment, and Braille; or, if the application is for BARD only, a notification that the facility may apply online for BARD service. A designated staff member at the school or care facility will oversee the downloading, will track the use of NLS equipment, and will handle any necessary returns. A facility may borrow playback equipment from the Talking Book and Braille Service, or purchase commercial players authorized to play NLS books.

The following criteria will be applied to Nebraska schools or care facilities applying for BARD service:

  1. Any facility currently receiving Braille or talking books or magazines from the Talking Book and Braille Service may request physical copies of audio books and magazines. Subject to availability, the Talking Book and Braille Service may lend audio books, magazines, playback equipment, and Braille to an existing deposit collection or to a new facility applicant.
  2. In addition, the National Library Service has identified three categories of access to BARD:
    Category A
    BARD access may be granted to Nebraska schools for the blind. Access may also be granted to Nebraska public or private schools and college / university disability centers, provided that they submit a list of the names of eligible students who will use the service. The school or center should also submit properly certified applications for students who are not already registered users of the Talking Book and Braille Service. The students need not be set up to receive individual service, but the applications should be retained by the Talking Book and Braille Service to verify eligibility. Public and private schools need to submit a new eligible-student list at the beginning of each school year and certified individual applications for students not yet set up with the Talking Book and Braille Service.
    Category B
    BARD access may be granted to an employee of a Nebraska rehabilitation agency or center for the blind in order to demonstrate to eligible Nebraskans how to download books from BARD. This employee does not have to be an eligible reader. The Talking Book and Braille Service may approve this type of application as long as applicants accept the BARD web site pledge and understand that they will be held accountable for how the materials they download are used.
    Category C
    BARD demonstration access may be granted to Nebraska public libraries. Public libraries must establish a facility account with the Talking Book and Braille Service prior to applying for a BARD account. Each public library may designate an employee to demonstrate BARD services to eligible residents. using their public library professional e-mail address. Public libraries may then use their approved BARD library account to demonstrate how to download digital books or magazines for eligible Nebraska residents registered with the Talking Book and Braille Service.

(Approved by the Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library CommissionTalking Book and Braille Service, June 5, 2012.)

Collection Maintenance Policy

Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Collection Maintenance Policy

I. Purpose

The purpose of this statement is to delineate policies which regulate the maintenance of materials within the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. The collection maintenance policy is applicable to those books provided by the National Library Service/Library of Congress and to all other materials added by this library to the collection.
The Talking Book and Braille Service adheres to the applicable policies and procedures as contained in the Network Manual provided by the National Library Service/Library of Congress, and the standards and guidelines contained in the Revised Standards and Guidelines for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, American Library Association.

II. Objectives of the Library

The primary objective of the Talking Book and Braille Service is to provide informational and recreational materials in braille and recorded formats to the residents of Nebraska who are unable to use standard print due to visual or physical limitations.

II. Considerations in Maintaining the Collection

The Talking Book and Braille Service shall participate in the National Library Service/Library of Congress copy allotment process for determining how many copies of each new National Library Service title shall be added to the collection. This determination shall be made in anticipation of the expected demand from library users.
Prior to each circulation from the library, all materials shall be examined for completeness and for operating condition. Borrowers who return defective books will be sent replacement copies upon request.
For each title produced in recorded format by the National Library Service/Library of Congress and also for each title added to the Nebraska Collection, the Talking Book and Braille Service shall retain a minimum of one copy. This provision shall not apply to those titles which the National Library Service has authorized to be withdrawn.

Loan Policy

Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Loan Policy

I. Purpose

The following policy governs the circulation of books, magazines, and equipment to eligible blind and/or physically disabled borrowers of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Eligible borrowers who borrow materials from the library accept responsibility for using materials with reasonable care, returning them to the library according to established loan periods, and not losing or damaging them through negligence. Violation of this policy can result in suspension of some or all library services.

II. Policy

Braille, recorded books and magazines, and Library of Congress playback equipment will be loaned by this library to eligible registered borrowers without charge, and this library will keep records of all such loans. The borrower should notify the library of changes of address, a desire to cancel the service, or temporary or permanent transfer of service to another geographic area.

Playback equipment necessary to read audio materials may be borrowed on extended loan for as long as the borrower is using it for materials provided by the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. A borrower is eligible to retain a Library of Congress digital player as long as he or she is a borrower in good standing. To be in good standing requires that a person has no more than one Library of Congress player in their possession at a time, and has not demonstrated a pattern of lost or damaged library materials in any format. Furthermore, a borrower is eligible to retain a Library of Congress player as long as he or she has borrowed or has downloaded from BARD at least one audio book or magazine in a twelve month period. Preference will be given to borrowers who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States. In the event that a borrower ceases to remain active, he or she is required to return the playback equipment to the library.

In the event that playback equipment from the library ceases to function properly or needs repair, it should be returned to the library, and a replacement will be provided. Under no circumstances should a borrower attempt to repair the playback equipment or accessories.

A borrower in good standing may check out a maximum of twenty audio books and ten in Braille at any one time. Once a borrower reaches the maximum number of books, no additional books will be sent until books are returned. In special circumstances, a borrower may request an increase in the maximum number. For each book returned, a replacement book may be sent to the borrower. The loan period for books is six weeks. No fines for overdue books will be levied, though overdue notices will be sent. Borrowers are urged to observe the loan period so books can be available for other borrowers.

No initial limits are placed on the number of audio or Braille magazine titles loaned to any one borrower of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service; however, the library reserves the right to place limits on the number of magazines on digital cartridges loaned to any one borrower of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Borrowers who fail to return magazines to the library will be notified that magazines are overdue. Borrowers who do not return overdue magazines, after having been notified to do so, will not be sent subsequent issues of that magazine until past issues have been returned.

The borrower will ensure that books, magazines, and equipment being returned to the library as Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped are delivered into the hands of the United States Postal Service by placing these items in a mailbox or delivering them to the post office. Placing items on the doorstep of the borrower’s home for the mail carrier to pick up does not constitute delivery into the hands of the Postal Service. If materials are not delivered into the hands of the Postal Service, the borrower is responsible for the lost or damaged books.

Borrowers may not lend library books, magazines, or equipment to other persons.

In-person or telephone service may be suspended to any borrower who engages in verbal abuse of library staff. Abuse or neglect of library materials or playback equipment may also result in suspension of service.

III. Suspension Procedures

In the event that any of these policies are violated, the borrower's service may be suspended for a period of time after being given a written warning and an opportunity to reply. If after reinstatement of service, abuse continues, service may be suspended again.

In the event of suspension, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The library will first contact the borrower by telephone, in person, or by letter to discuss the problems noted with the borrower, then will send a warning letter that summarizes the discussion and the problem and provides an opportunity for the borrower to reply.
  2. If service abuse recurs, a written communication will be sent to the borrower, listing examples of subsequent abuse, giving the borrower an opportunity to reply by a certain date, and then suspending service for a stated period (up to six months). A specific date for resumption of service will be included in this letter.
  3. When the service is resumed, a letter will be sent to the borrower notifying him or her of the resumption of service and reminding the borrower that further recurrences of documented abuse will result in another suspension of service.

IV. Responsibility for Enforcement

Final responsibility for the enforcement of this policy rests with the Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Nebraska Library Commission.

V. Revision of Policy

This policy statement will be reviewed and revised periodically as necessary with the assistance of the Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.

If you have questions or comments about this policy, please direct them to:

Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
The Atrium, 1200 N St, Ste 120
Lincoln, NE 68508-2023
Phone: (402) 471-4005 | (800) 742-7691

This policy was adopted in response to a request by the National Library Service-Library of Congress. It was approved by the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Advisory Committee. (Revised 06/2015)

Material Selection Policy

Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Material Selection Policy

I. Purpose

The purpose of this statement is to delineate policies which regulate the selection of materials to be included in the collection of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service when those materials are not produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). Such materials may be obtained through commercial sources or may be produced in a studio environment in accordance with NLS recording standards. The Talking Book and Braille Service will not provide material of a personal nature, such as documents relating to the affairs of a specific borrower or private correspondence, textbooks, or personal employment materials.

II. Objectives of the Library

The primary objective of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service is to provide informational and recreational materials in braille and recorded formats to the citizens of Nebraska who are unable to read print due to visual or other physical impairment. The Talking Book and Braille Service may provide materials in other formats, such as home entertainment movies which feature audio description. The Talking Book and Braille Service will attempt to provide its public with a well balanced and broad range of informational and recreational materials reflecting the needs of the readership.

III. Responsibility for Selection

The responsibility for selection of materials rests with the Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service who operates within the framework of policies determined by the Nebraska Library Commission.

IV. Priorities for Selection

The Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service produces materials of regional interest and otherwise adheres to the criteria for selection and selection guidelines stated in the NLS Selection Policy for Reading Materials and Freedom to Read statements adopted by the American Library Association.

Materials about Nebraska and those written by Nebraska authors (on all reading levels whether fiction or nonfiction) are given highest priority for inclusion in the collection. Materials about the Great Plains and Midwest are considered important to the collection, as are materials with subject content especially relevant to the specific circumstances of Talking Book and Braille Service borrowers. Requests from borrowers for materials to be added will receive careful consideration.

The Talking Book and Braille Service must also consider the following factors: copyright considerations; budgetary considerations; number of borrower requests; borrower interest; need for subject coverage in the collection; and suitability of material for recording (i.e., material must be within the technical capabilities of volunteer narrators and must retain its meaning without illustrations, charts, graphs, etc.).

When considering materials for production, the Talking Book and Braille Service will avoid producing material which is available from NLS, from other libraries in the NLS network, or from other sources, unless quality or format does not adequately meet the needs of Nebraska borrowers.

(Approved by the Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, November 5, 2010.)

Reproduction of Materials Policy

Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service Reproduction of Materials Policy

I. Purpose

The purpose of this statement is to delineate a policy which regulates the reproduction of library materials for circulation to borrowers of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. These materials will be reproduced by the library’s Audio Duplication Service.

II. Considerations in Reproducing Audio Materials

Recorded books and magazines will be duplicated for circulation to eligible borrowers of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Digital files of each book and magazine recorded in Nebraska Library Commission studios will be retained as storage space allows. Back issues of magazines will be provided to a borrower upon request, subject to the availability.

A copy or copies of a digital book no longer under warranty will be duplicated onto cartridges under the following conditions:

  1. A digital copy can be downloaded from the Library of Congress web site, auxiliary storage, or from the library’s own digital files, and
  2. In response to the immediate need of a library borrower or otherwise is in high demand, as indicated by Reader Services, or
  3. The cartridge is missing, and Reader Services determines that a replacement copy is needed.

Unless the need for timeliness requires an immediate response, a digital copy on cartridge shall first be requested from a Library of Congress multi-state center as per the library’s quota. First priority for use of the quota shall be the Library of Congress retrospective collection.

III. Responsibility for Reproduction of Materials

Final responsibility for compliance with this policy rests with the Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Nebraska Library Commission.

IV. Revision of Policy

This policy statement will be reviewed and revised periodically as necessary with the assistance of the staff and Advisory Committee to the Talking Book and Braille Service.

Revised as approved by the Talking Book and Braille Service Advisory Committee on 11.13.14.