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Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service

Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Crane Room
Lincoln, Nebraska
Friday, June 7, 2013, 9:30 a.m.


Persons in Attendance: Jim Berryman, Kate Borchman, and Beth Pakiz, attended in person. Kristal Platt and John Wick were on conference call. Linda Mentink was on conference call briefly, but the connection was lost due to telephone difficulties.
Members Absent: Shelly Gray, Brad Meurrens, and Susan Ledder.
Staff Members in Attendance included: Annette Hall and David Oertli.


Main agenda items for the June 7, 2013 meeting include the following but may be modified at such meeting:
  • Welcome; introductions.
  • Minutes of the last meeting. Action to approve the minutes was postponed until our fall meeting.
  • Recommendation concerning PR subcommittee. Our previous discussion regarding our bylaws revisions lead to a considering of how to organize a PR subcommittee. Linda, Shelly, and Brad were asked to form a recommendation regarding this.
    Members of the subcommittee were not in attendance. David Oertli briefly summarized their discussion. The subcommittee felt that the way to involve committee members in outreach is two-fold: first, use the spring meeting to determine the ability of committee members to maintain contact with organizations in their communities; and second, use the advisory committee agenda to keep outreach an ongoing concern. Further discussion about this was postponed until the fall meeting.
  • The national audio magazines, formerly on cassette, are now being circulated by Library of Congress on flash cartridge. Each magazine cartridge typically contains more than one magazine. The software loaded in the players contains a Bookshelf feature in order to navigate from one magazine to another and then to select the desired magazine. Some borrowers find Bookshelf confusing. What can we do to help them?
    -Include written instructions
    -Change the name “Book Shelf” to a more descriptive name—magazine rack or next title
    -Have reader advisor explain Book Shelf feature at a time when it will not be overwhelming to add more details
    -Post directions on website
  • Staff recently attended the Western Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals. We will brief you on the highlights. Nebraska was one of 16 states belonging to the Western Conference. The biennial conference was held in Salem, OR. Several states had travel restrictions. The Key Speaker was Nan Russell who spoke on how downsizing causes employees to mistrust. A good way to re-build trust is to give trust by having employees start making small decisions. She said that supervisors need to go with their strengths.
    NLS is looking for ways to increase Braille use; one way may be to use refreshable Braille displays. There is a need to decrease the expense of refreshable Braille technology.
    Nationally the Library budget was decreased by 2.5 million dollars.
    NLS is developing phone apps to download BARD books.
    NLS has had success working with commercial audio producers. This led to a discussion of how far to go in alerting borrowers such elements as strong language in commercially-produced audio.
    There have been questions raised about Free Matter use which is essentially pre-paid postage.
    Member libraries of the Western Conference would like NLS to reconsider its current practice of only allowing physicians to certify reading disability.
  • We have produced a short YouTube video entitled Talking Books: Here, Now, as an outreach tool to school resource teachers, school librarians, and qualifying students. The YouTube was distributed statewide through several listservs late winter and will be sent out again late summer. What else can we do to make use of this outreach tool?
    Link to Video The video was finished in April, 2013. The contact information appears as text on the video but is not in audio. The video was played. The video needs to be part of an ongoing strategy to build a relationship with schools and ESUs. It might help to know if certain book titles are commonly used in curriculums.
  • We are planning on conducting another borrower survey and would like to find a way to increase the response rate so our sample size is representative of our readership and the results are more reliable. What strategies might we use to increase our survey response rate?
    The last survey was done two years ago. Some libraries have used volunteers to complete phone calls but David has some concerns that borrowers may be hesitant to provide answers over the phone. Kristal mentioned that she and John serve on the Share A Fare Board and recently completed a phone survey. Of the approximate 50 individuals surveyed, only two did not want to participate and most wanted to talk at length.
    An online computer survey that is short was suggested; this may not catch the majority of users. Survey Monkey was also suggested. A variety of tools may need to be used. The survey tool may depend on the questions that are asked and/or whether the Library is sampling frequent or infrequent borrowers, or some other category.
    David was asked whether the Library has enough volunteers to conduct a phone survey. Perhaps surveys could be completed at senior centers where surveys could be done together.
  • Other items: Dental care for English Language Learners will be offered in Lancaster County through Mission of Mercy, August 23 and 24. Jim felt this would be a good place to provide participants with information about the Library. He offered to help distribute flyers.
  • Date for fall meeting; Adjournment. Thursday mornings are not good for Jim. David will let the committee know of possible dates. The meeting adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Respectfully submitted,
Kristal Platt Secretary

For more information contact:
Scott Scholz, Director
Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service.
Scott Scholz

For more information, contact Scott Scholz.