Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

August 30, 2000

United Kingdom Catalog Records Expand Holdings of International Union Catalog Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals

Margaret Bennett, Chief Executive of the National Library for the Blind (NLB) in Stockport, England, and Frank Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of Library of Congress, have announced the addition of more than 30,000 catalog records from NLB to the Library of Congress's International Union Catalog of Braille and Audio Materials. NLB is committed to making all books listed available to users of the International Union Catalog through interlibrary loan or sale.

"Receiving these records has been extremely gratifying," says Robert Axtell, head of the NLS Bibliographic Control Section. "The British have an outstanding collection of tactile materials."

Records include materials in braille, Moon Type (an embossed format based on the standard English alphabet), large print and electronic text books as well as tactile maps. Catalog users will also be able to locate unique materials, such as a series of guidebooks created specifically for blind visitors to English cathedrals.

The largest braille lending library in the United Kingdom and one of Britain's largest braille producers, the National Library for the Blind has become the most recent contributor to the growing International Union Catalog, which now holds records representing some 21.4 million copies of more than 370,000 books and magazines from collections in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress is a free national library program of braille and recorded materials established by an act of Congress in 1931 and administered through a nationwide network of cooperating libraries. In 1999, more than 22 million books and magazines were circulated to a readership that exceeds 764,000 individuals.

The International Union Catalog is intended to serve as a tool for direct access by United States readers and for interlibrary loan as well as to reduce the duplication of effort among producers of books in special formats throughout the world.

For further information contact: Robert E. Fistick, Head, Publications and Media Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, 1291 Taylor Street N.W., Washington, DC 20542; telephone: 202-707-9279; fax: 202-707-0712; email: rfis@loc.gov.

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PR 00-124
8/30/00
ISSN 0731-3527

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