Refurbishing of Digital Talking Books
or The National Library Service, Library of Congress
Employees at ForSight Vision provide the National Library Service (NLS) a cost effective solution to their Taking Book Program. Employees refurbish both the digital Talking Books and the plastic mailing containers used to mail Talking Books to NLS customers.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress provides reading materials in recorded and braille formats to U.S. residents and U.S. citizens living abroad who are unable to use conventional print materials because of visual or physical limitations. There is a readership of over 500,000 persons and over 101 regional and sub-regional libraries that participate in the program. All services and products are funding by the U.S. Congress and are provided to patrons free of charge. Each year, more than 26 million books and magazines are circulated and NLS has about 167,000 titles in its collection and adds 2,500 titles annually.
ForSight Vision is the exclusive provider of refurbishing services to NLS and operates under the Ability One federal program. The specification for our work mandates that we keep records on the number of cartridges and containers received from individual network libraries. Our refurbishing process then ensures that cartridges and containers are cleaned, inspected, quantified and formatted for reuse.
To meet the specification, we operate two distinct lines of operation. For the mailing containers, we remove the digital cartridge. Containers are examined for damage and those that can be refurbished are delivered to employees who remove all mailing labels affixed to the container except for one permanent label. Containers are then inspected and packed for shipment to recording libraries.
Employees on a second line remove labels on the digital cartridges. The process includes the removal of all adhesive residues. The cartridges are then sent to the refurbish room. Here the cartridges are loaded into “toasters” which hold five cartridges. Through computer software, the books recorded on the cartridges are erased and then reformatted so that a new book and be recorded onto the cartridge. Working with NLS, the software has audible cues so that a totally blind person can operate the refurbishing units and receive feedback on the success or failure of each cartridge to be erased and reformatted. The processed cartridges are then wrapped in anti-static film, boxed and placed on pallets for eventual delivery to recording libraries.
For FY 2014-14, ForSight Vision is charged with refurbishing 363,461 cartridges and mailing containers.