Policies and Practices
Pursuant to Article 9, clause 2, of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress (Library) makes available the following policies and practices pertaining to the implementation of the Treaty. Article 9 (“Cooperation to Facilitate Cross-Border Exchange”), clause 2, of the Treaty states: “Contracting Parties undertake to assist their authorized entities engaged in activities under Article 5 to make information available regarding their practices pursuant to Article 2(c), both through the sharing of information among authorized entities, and through making available information on their policies and practices, including related to cross-border exchange of accessible format copies, to interested parties and members of the public as appropriate.” The entire text of the Treaty may be found here: https://wipolex.wipo.int/en/treaties/textdetails/13169 External.
• NLS establishes contractual arrangements with authorized entity (AE) partners before initiating any exchange;
• NLS makes Accessible Format Copies available to AEs through digital means only, in a format determined by NLS;
• NLS only exports its titles and digital music braille files to contracting AEs. NLS does not provide items directly to individuals in other countries except to those individuals who are NLS patrons;
• NLS makes its catalog available at https://nlscatalog.loc.gov ;
• NLS excludes from exchange all titles acquired under contract with publishers unless those contracts specifically include such permissions;
• NLS continuously update the catalog with select additional titles and periodically share those with other AEs;
• NLS does not export titles acquired from one contractual partner AE to another partner AE; instead, NLS will refer the requesting AE to the originating AE;
• Exported NLS titles are provided in the NLS standard, unencrypted z39.86:2002 format, using the AMRWideband compression codec. Receiving AEs are responsible for reformatting NLS content for use by their patrons. NLS provides appropriate tools to convert the audio compression to MP3 upon request;
• As an AE under the Marrakesh Treaty and a member of the Accessible Book Consortium (ABC), NLS works with the Global Book Service (GBS) to facilitate international exchanges. Further information can be found here: https://www.accessiblebooksconsortium.org/portal/en/index.html.
For more information, please contact NLS at [email protected].