Home> Press release archive > Library of Congress finalizes digital talking-book system design and prepares for production; progress benefits NLS patrons

NLS Press Release

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FINALIZES DIGITAL TALKING-BOOK SYSTEM DESIGN
AND PREPARES FOR PRODUCTION; PROGRESS BENEFITS NLS PATRONS


For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2007
Contact: Robert E. Fistick
(202) 707-9279 or rfis@loc.gov

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FINALIZES DIGITAL TALKING-BOOK SYSTEM DESIGN
AND PREPARES FOR PRODUCTION; PROGRESS BENEFITS NLS PATRONS

WASHINGTON, DC—WASHINGTON, DC—The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, recently completed two reviews: one for engineering design and the other for critical design. Both are essential steps toward finalizing the digital talking-book system’s technical specifications. During these important development phases, NLS examined technical specifications for the digital player, book, and mailing containers to ensure they operate properly and meet all required specifications. The system passed inspection and NLS has advanced to the manufacturing stage of the digital transition.

"We’re pleased to have completed the engineering and critical design reviews," said Frank Kurt Cylke, NLS director. "These assessments confirm that our designs for the key components of the digital system are functional and can be built with confidence. With these milestones behind us, we will move forward to produce and test preproduction prototypes."

During the engineering design review, conducted in early April, all technical and mechanical specifications of the player, cartridge, and containers were examined to ensure that each function performed optimally. The team checked and finalized a range of elements, including how well the player’s battery retains power and recharges itself when faced with low power. Engineers were pleased with the battery’s performance and approved its specifications. NLS also tested the device’s electromagnetic compatibility to ensure the device’s functionality is not disrupted by outside electrical interference. The player’s electrostatic discharge was also assessed to verify that the device is static prone.

With the engineering design issues settled, NLS moved on to the next stage of the process, critical design review. "The critical design review is essentially a top-to-bottom review of the design so far to ensure it meets NLS expectations and standards. It really helps us hone the design and resolve any software and mechanical problems that could potentially disrupt manufacturing," said Michael Katzmann, chief, Materials Development Division.

The critical design review confirmed that all designs are operational and ready for production. NLS can now provide manufacturers with a technical data package that will guide them in building the player.

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/businessplan2006.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