Hello to all.
The following is something you don’t wish to miss.
Blind or Sighted, I highly recommend you attend.
Please read below for the announcement.
Major sections of this newswire are at heading level 1. Contact information is at heading level 2.
Tek Talk welcomes Karen Keninger, Director National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress to discuss the topic: “BARD, Past, Present and Future” April 22, 2019.
Time: 5:00 pm Pacific, 6:00 pm Mountain, 7:00 pm Central, 8:00 pm Eastern, and elsewhere in the world Tuesday 00:00 GMT.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has been circulating books and magazines in braille and audio for nearly 90 years. From the start, it has harnessed the latest technology to help people who are unable to use standard print materials continue to experience the joys of reading.
That innovative spirit is driving more than a dozen projects currently underway at NLS that are exploring new products and services.
“Rapid advancements in technology are giving us new tools to connect with current and future patrons in whatever way is most convenient for them,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said. “In some cases, that means providing the technology for people who don’t have it. But more and more, it means maximizing the compatibility of our service with the devices people already have.”
For most of NLS’s history, patrons could only receive materials by postage-free mail or pick them up at NLS-affiliated libraries. As digital delivery became ubiquitous for all types of media, NLS launched its Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service in 2009. The BARD Mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices came along a few years later. More than 105,000 books are now available on BARD—and in the 2018 fiscal year, NLS patrons downloaded more than 4 million braille and audio books and magazines.
Projects now underway are preparing NLS for a future where service is centered around BARD. For example, NLS is exploring the use of a voice user interface, similar to commercially available virtual assistants, to navigate the collection and play books on a smart device. NLS is also testing streaming content. Streaming audio has several advantages over downloading, including the ability to listen to a book as soon as a user selects it. Also, streaming audio is mobile. Patrons can start listening to a book on their device at home and then, if they leave the house, pick up wherever they left off on their smart device.
Another project is exploring solutions for NLS patrons who can’t use BARD because they don’t have a computer or Internet access. “We recognize that many patrons don’t have high-speed data connections, so we’ve been testing an easy-to-use wireless device that will allow them to download books from BARD via public cellular systems,” Keninger said.
One project that’s close to becoming reality will provide braille eReaders to patrons who can’t afford to buy their own. NLS will soon purchase a number of prototype devices, specifically designed to read NLS braille materials, that will be piloted in Spring of 2020.
While all this is going on, NLS continues to expand its collection by acquiring more commercial audiobooks—nearly 1,700 in fiscal 2018. Many of those commercial titles are available only on BARD, another reason for NLS to make it easy for its patrons to go “digital first.”
Without doubt, all these advances are exciting, but Keninger is quick to emphasize the deliberate pace of innovation behind the scenes at NLS. “We won’t be adopting technology for its own sake. The goal is to use technology to enhance the reading experience for our patrons—to make it easier and more efficient, to improve their quality of life. That’s what NLS is all about.”
For more information about NLS programs, contact Kristen Fernekes, Head of Communications and Outreach at 202.707.0521 or by email at email@example.com.
About 10 minutes before each program dial the Zoom numbers or work with your computer link found on your Zoom invitation.
Welcome to the Zoom platform:
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The Zoom meeting invitation for this Training Class is the following:
Robert Acosta is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Tek Talk welcomes Karen Keninger, Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress to discuss the topic: “BARD, Past, Present and Future.”
Time: Meets Monday, April 22, 2019, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern. If you have installed the Zoom client software on your computer, I would recommend your starting that software before executing the below link on your computer. If you have installed the Zoom Cloud Meetings app on your smart device, I suggest you open that app before executing the below link on your smart device.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/839935813
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16468769923,839935813# or +14086380986,839935813#
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 408 638 0986
Meeting ID: 839 935 813
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/cnnUjZ1oh
If you execute the above link from a computer with installed Zoom client software, the software should automatically launch and take you to the meeting. If you execute the above link from a smart device containing the Zoom Cloud Meetings app, the app should automatically launch ant take you to the meeting. If you prefer to use your iPhone as a regular phone without the app to call into the meeting, you can double tap on one of the above two numbers to initiate the call.