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WASHINGTON, D.C.—During the next year, NLS will focus on developing a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) to organize and store its extensive digital talking-book (DTB) collection. NLS is currently defining the system’s requirements, which will guide the selection of a contractor to build the system. The program is slated for installation in early 2007.
Frank Kurt Cylke, NLS director, perceives that "the Digital Asset Management System is a major piece of the digital project. In order to manage the digital collection with the same efficiency as the cassette collection, NLS is taking advantage of new technology that will support digital management."
DAMS is essentially advanced software that manages large volumes of information or data electronically for easier usability. DAMS will be engaged in some aspects of DTB production and Web download in addition to archiving the digital collection. These activities will aid DTB collection accessibility to users.
"DAMS is a complex system with a simple goal—to make DTBs easily accessible to NLS patrons and librarians," said Michael Martys, NLS automation officer and DAMS project manager. "All of its various functions ultimately work together to achieve that end."
DAMS will archive both catalog records and master recordings of all titles. The system will also support online access to the collection and enable patrons to download desired titles. In addition, the software will perform the key administrative function of capturing and reporting statistical data for use in monitoring and maintaining the system.
More than 23 million copies of recorded and braille books and magazines were circulated to a readership of 799,718 in 2004. The International Union Catalog provides access to 423,500 titles (19 million copies). Audiobook readers borrow an average of 31 books and magazines a year. Braille readers average 20 books and magazines a year.
An overview of the NLS digital talking-book project may be found in Current Strategic Business Plan for the Implementation of Digital Systems at www.loc.gov/nls/businessplan/2003.html. For enrollment information, visit www.loc.gov/nls or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).
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Posted on 2011-01-10