The NLS Reading Technology Advisory Group (RTAG) needs new members! RTAG meets twice a year to provide feedback on new NLS products and initiatives. Currently, RTAG is focused on updates to BARD, the Braille eReader project, and a “smart speaker” voice-controlled device. Each of these initiatives will have its own working group within RTAG. Meetings—to be attended online—will resume in fall 2020. Although RTAG members can be network library staff, hardware repair volunteers, and other subject matter experts, NLS patrons are especially encouraged to apply to join RTAG. For questions, please contact your local network library or email questions directly to NLS-RTAG@loc.gov. Applications—a statement of your background and qualifications (no more than two pages)—should be submitted to NLS-RTAG@loc.gov by Wednesday, September 30.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) produces minibibliographies to assist staff at cooperating libraries with finding books for local patrons. These minibiographies are bibliographies based on subjects that are narrow in scope. They cover such topics as: prize winners, hobbies, and famous people, to name a few.
Here is a link to a full listing of NLS minibiographies: https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/listings-on-narrow-topics-minibibliographies/
Recently, NLS has produced a minibibliography on changemakers. Changemakers are those people who by their words and actions have made the world a more accessible place for those with disabilities. Some changemakers have fought to make services available to all people regardless of disability. Others have excelled at a sport, an occupation, or an artistic endeavor previously denied to or under-represented by those alternatively abled.
The Changemakers minibibliography is organized alphabetically by subject or area in which the changemaker excelled or made their mark. Some subjects include: Academia, Science, and Service to Blind Individuals.
A couple of Changemakers listed in the minibibliography are Texans: Christine Ha, located under the heading “Food” and Larry Johnson, located under the heading “Media” are both examples of changemakers from the Lone Star State.
To learn more here is a link to NLS’ minibibliography on Changemakers: https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/listings-on-narrow-topics-minibibliographies/changemakers/
Beginning in early March, a sample of 10,000 reader/patrons across the country who currently use services provided by the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped–also known as NLS–will be invited to participate in a nationwide survey. The information collected from this survey will guide NLS as they move forward on a variety of projects to enhance and expand the braille and talking- book program. As a part of NLS’s cooperating network of libraries, the Texas Talking Book Program encourages invited patrons to respond to the survey at their earliest convenience. Insights gathered from this survey will help us better understand the needs of all of our patrons. You may receive an invitation by mail, email, or phone. In order to ensure ease of use, readers selected for the survey will be given the option of responding in a number of ways to their invitation. Once you have received your invitation, if you have questions, please feel free to contact Gallup Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-297-8999.