March 16, 2011 Ruth Scovill Appointed Acting Director of National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Press Contact: Jane Caulton (202) 707-0521
Public Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639

Ruth Scovill has been appointed acting director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) at the Library of Congress.

“I am pleased to announce that Ruth Scovill will serve as acting NLS director,” said Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services. “Ms. Scovill, who will also continue to serve as director of Technology Policy in Library Services, has extensive experience in information technology and a knowledge and appreciation of NLS from her work with the digital talking-book system in 2008. She will work to assure a smooth transition for NLS until a permanent director is appointed.”

Scovill follows longtime NLS director Frank Kurt Cylke, who retired from federal service on February 28. Appointed to his position in 1973, Cylke was known for his dedicated stewardship and service to the nation’s libraries and blind and physically handicapped citizens. Under his leadership NLS earned a worldwide reputation for its commitment to quality, standards and cooperation among special-format libraries.

Cylke guided the NLS conversion from analog to digital technology, which included the launch of the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service in 2006 and digital talking books and players in 2009. During his four-decade tenure the program’s readership increased 155 percent and circulation grew to more than 27 million audio and braille books and magazines. In the first of two awards Cylke received from the American Library Association, the association cited NLS as a “model of library cooperation and networking on a national level.”

Scovill was the transition manager for the Library’s successful establishment of the Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. Before coming to the Library, she was president of Cinesite, a visual-effects company in the motion-pictures industry. Within her first year there, she doubled revenues and tripled output. Before leading Cinesite, Scovill was head of technology for DreamWorks Animation.

“I look forward to working at NLS and will strive to ensure a stable and seamless passage as NLS embarks on a nationwide search to find a permanent director,” Scovill said.


PR 11-061
ISSN 0731-3527