National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Beginning with November-December 2009, Talking Book Titles (TBT) listings will include digital books as well as cassettes. Digital Books have a DB prefix, to tell them from the familiar RC (recorded cassette) format. The five-digit number is the same for a particular title in DB and RC. The number of cassettes will be replaced by a time in hours and minutes (one cassette can hold six hours). When ordering, please be careful to mark your prefix, so we can get the correct format to you. If you would like to have a digital player and have not requested one, or want to confirm that we have you on the list, please call us. We are receiving players each month, so your turn is likely to come sooner than you may think.
Keep the Books and Players Moving
We recently sent out overdue letters, including a request that those who are not interested in continuing the service turn in their players. This has caused a bit of a misunderstanding, so we would like to clarify: We value your participation and look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.
The transition to digital will cause the supply of books and players to become increasingly tight, so it is very important that we not allow equipment to go unused while others who need it may be waiting. Even if a player is not working, it is important to return it. We may be able to repair it, or at least salvage parts to repair others. We no longer have a driver to pick up and deliver machines, but we can send a box with a shaped Styrofoam liner to make it easy to pack up. Then flip over the address card, just as with books, and mail it back, postage free.
The supply of RCs is also a concern. At one time, we received nine copies of each title. With tight budgets at NLS, a need to store more titles in the same space, and natural wear and tear, we now only have one to two circulating copies of a title. The best remedy is for users to return tapes as soon as they finish with them, so they become available to others—and tapes others have used become available to you.
New Braille Reading Corner
Our new Braille Reading area features print/Braille books for children, Braille magazines for adults and Braille learning materials. The DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, because of limited shelf space in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, decided in 2005 to contract with Perkins Talking Book and Braille Library to provide circulating Braille material to D.C. patrons. If you would like to know more, call or e-mail us and we can answer your questions and sign you up. Once registered, you can call 1-800-852-3133 toll-free to order material directly. We will be updating our records with Perkins in October. Please call to confirm that you would like us to keep your account active and to be sure we have current information.
Braille Instructional Material
Musical scores in Braille and instructional materials are available from the Music Division of the National Library Service (NLS). Please note that this is material to help you play an instrument or sing, not recorded music for listening. If you are interested, let us know, and we can register you for this service. Once registered, you communicate with NLS directly.