Since the pandemic, the United States Postal Service has instituted new policies for pickup of packages such as braille and digital books. When you want to return materials to the library by postage-free mail, you may need to schedule a pickup. You can do so by completing the short online form at https://tools.usps.com/schedule-pickup-steps.htm. You might be able to streamline the process by speaking with your mail carrier directly.
NLS is working to address book and magazine production delays that impact the timely upload of materials to BARD and the physical distribution of materials to patrons. Delays have been caused by ongoing problems with the new production and inventory control system that NLS began using last year. Producers are diligently working through the resulting backlog, with priority being given to new books added to the collection and bestsellers. We apologize for the impact these production delays are having on patrons, and assure you that NLS is working with all parties to reduce the backlog as quickly as possible.
Looking for the latest non-English language books? The publication formerly known as Foreign Language Quarterly is now International Language Quarterly. This reflects a broader change, as NLS has shifted its terminology to better represent its non-English language materials. “International” embraces the fact that languages other than English are not only spoken abroad, but also right here in the United States. In fact, the NLS collection includes books in Native American languages that predate the arrival of English. The latest issue of ILQ, available at www.loc.gov/nls/ilq, includes recently digitized books in Algonquian and Cherokee, as well as a wide selection of books in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and other languages.
NLS will soon have free braille calendars in both wall-sized and pocket-sized formats available for patrons. We expect the first calendars to be available in July. In future years, calendars will be released by January. Please reach out to us at 775-684-3354 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to subscribe to receive a calendar annually.
NLS staff members offer tips, answer questions, and demonstrate new features of BARD, the BARD Mobile app, and BARD Express each month during The Many Faces of BARD. This online event is open to all patrons and is held at 7 p.m. eastern time on the second Thursday of every month. Get details on upcoming sessions and login information at www.loc.gov/nls/about/services/many-faces-of-bard.
The March–April issues of Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review were the first with mostly publisher-provided book descriptions. These longer descriptions, which you will also find in the NLS Catalog for most new titles added since May 2022, provide a more complete picture of a book than the short annotations that NLS staff members produced for decades. We hope they will make it easier for you to identify titles of interest!
A few things to be aware of: NLS uses publisher-provided book descriptions verbatim, with no editorial changes. The descriptions often have a different tone than NLS staff-produced annotations and may reference other works or supplementary materials that are not available from NLS or contained in the NLS edition. And they do not represent the position of the Library of Congress.
NLS will continue to provide rating taglines to flag strong language or descriptions of sex and violence in the books it produces in-house, though it does not provide ratings for commercial audiobooks added to the collection.
Applications for the 2024 Erica C. Vaughns Aspiring Leaders Internship Program are due November 1. The program offers legally blind college students and recent graduates an opportunity to work at NLS for 12 to 15 weeks over the summer in areas of study or interest.
The program was renamed this year in memory of Erica Vaughns, who created and managed it and was a dedicated NLS employee for nearly 20 years until her death in February.
Details on the internship program are online at www.loc.gov/nls/about/internship-program.