[mountainstate] [leadership] changes that BARD and NLS are making
A. C. McGhee
miscwell at atlanticbb.net
Wed May 16 19:03:34 EDT 2012
---- Original Message ------
From: "Ardis Bazyn" <abazyn at bazyncommunications.com
Subject: [leadership] changes that BARD and NLS are making
Date sent: Wed, 16 May 2012 15:50:46 -0700
The following article, which appears in this week's edition of
Ziegler Magazine for the Blind, describes some of the
enhancements to the
BARD and NLS programs we can expect to see this year:
Feature Writer John Christie - National Library Service Increases
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
making some positive changes to the Bard web site that I think
like. First and foremost, you will be able to read talking books
iPads, and Android based mobile devices. However, these mobile
have to protect Talking Books from unauthorized use. All of
their files will
have to be encrypted so that only devices authorized by NLS and
registered patrons will be able to access books. This process
was one of the
biggest hurdles to overcome while they were developing the app.
Plans are also in the works to distribute audio magazines
Book Topics on digital cartridges. At least three magazines can
be put on a
single digital cartridge. Because of the higher cost of these
though, users will have to mail them back to the library so that
magazines can be put on them.
Web-Braille, which was started in 1999, will be on the Bard
website as well.
Now, you will be able to download Braille magazines, music
Braille books all from just one website. Previously, Web-Braille
had its own
The NLS collection will now also have a broader selection of
synthetic-speech narration because they will be joining forces
commercial audiobook producers. NLS still has to be granted
the rights holders to use commercial audiobooks, but they are
working on that issue.
In recent years, audiobooks have come from one producer,
NLS has only had the money to obtain 200 audiobook titles a year.
are reaching out to other audiobook publishers. "For the most
are pretty happy with BARD: it is simple, it provides a basic
need, and it
does that well. [But] it is growing like crazy, and we have to
that," said Michael Martys, an NLS automation officer.
It costs $4,500 to produce a talking book from scratch. However,
much less when you have the master files of a commercial
includes the work that NLS has to do with the book which includes
navigational markup and metadata and convert the files into
books. Because the commercial audiobooks don't cost as much to
could free up funds to produce more books each year.
Working with commercial audiobook producers will also allow NLS
to "get the
book out much, much faster," said Neil Bernstein, NLS research
development officer. And patrons will get to hear a wider
narrators--perhaps even discovering some new favorites.
In the months ahead, NLS will evaluate the quality of various
programs and begin to experiment with producing books using that
technology--not to take the place of live narration, but to
they have. For example, it could be used, by patron request, to
download-only audio versions of books that are not in the
Finally, a remote control unit will be available for those with
mobility and dexterity issues in early 2012.
It's good that NLS is making an app for mobile apps. It's also
they are adding Web-Braille to their site and also adding
commercially-available audiobooks to the Bard website. These
changes to the
site, along with adding magazines, will make the site even more
friendly to the blind and visually impaired and will be a one
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