[NFBWATLK] a book published last week available on BARD

Mary ellen gabias at telus.net
Fri Jan 12 00:01:31 UTC 2018

Fabulous news!

The next paradigm shift will be getting public libraries to include more commercially produced audio books in their collection.  Blind people have not traditionally visited the public library because it's been such a desolate place for us!  Once the goal of more audiobooks in public libraries is accomplished, public libraries can ensure that their print digital ebooks are available in a format we can use.  Also, Overdrive, one of the major ebook platforms for libraries, needs to improve their app so that we can use it.

NLS is marvelous and getting better all the time.  Although she is far too modest to say so, Marci works hard on the collection development committee and that committee has been instrumental in helping NLS improve.  I believe, however, that our ultimate goal of equal access to the resources in public libraries is worth working for and that it can be achieved over time.  It would be nice if NLS could put its primary efforts into advancing the availability of alternate formats that are more complex and less likely to be produced, such as diagrams and graphics.  

When I was a little girl I scandalized a family friend by telling her that if Heaven didn't have an enormous and complete  Braille library, I didn't want to go there.  Well, what we have now is far from Heaven, but it's getting closer all the time.  What an increasingly optimistic time to be a blind reader!

-----Original Message-----
From: NFBWATLK [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Marci Carpenter via NFBWATLK
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:40 AM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List' List
Cc: Marci Carpenter
Subject: [NFBWATLK] a book published last week available on BARD

I found out this morning that “Fire and Fury; Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff is already available in audio format on BARD. This is not a post about the merits of the book or any political issues, but rather about how dramatically the timing of NLS book production has changed. There was a time, not that long ago, when it could take 2 years or more for a Best Seller to be available to us in alternate format. Now, thanks to NLS contracts with publishers such as MacMillan and the increased availability of unabridged commercial audiobooks, we can read books produced very recently. The book I mentioned above was released just last Friday in print! I understand that NLS was flooded with requests for this book. It is a topic of discussion all over the country. I used to feel very frustrated when my friends and colleagues would be discussing a current hot best selling book and I knew I couldn’t read that book until a few years later. Commercially produced unabridged audiobooks have been available for many years, and now we also have access to Kindle books, but for those without the means to purchase these NLS was/is our only option. I am very glad that we now have instant access to books via BARD, and am very thankful for the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to support and encourage NLS in modernizing book production and distribution methods. Now we need Braille books to be available in a timely manner. The NLS pilot program for making braille displays available to patrons is progressing. We should have an update from them at this summer’s national convention if not before.

All of our advocacy efforts do make a difference. Let’s keep it up!

I think I will go and read a book.

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