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The Library of Congress, as authorized by Public Law 89-522, administers a national reading program for blind and physically handicapped residents
To ensure the availability of a basic, high quality library service for eligible blind and physically handicapped individuals, the following management goals are represented in this fiscal 2001 budget request:
1. With cooperation from the network of librarians serving blind and physically handicapped individuals, the National Library Service
2. Maintain a level of sound reproduction machines able to satisfy basic users' requirements while developing no waiting lines; and
3. Explore digital technological possibilities to the point of considering adaptations of a cost effective, efficient, internationally acceptable, user-friendly delivery system through implementation of the NISO/ANSI/ISO process.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
BOOKS FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED SALARIES AND EXPENSES
Anyone who is unable to read or use standard printed materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations may receive service. A survey sponsored by NLS found that two million persons with some type of visual impairment may be eligible and another million with physical conditions such as paralysis, missing arms or hands, lack of muscle coordination, or prolonged weakness could benefit from the use of reading materials in recorded form.
Books are selected on the basis of their appeal to a wide range of interests. Bestsellers, biographies, fiction, and how-to books are in great demand. A limited number of titles are produced in Spanish and other languages for readers whose primary language is not English. Registered borrowers learn of new books added to the collection through two bimonthly publications, Braille Book Review and Talking Book Topics. Through a union catalog available on microfiche and CD-ROM, every network library has access to the entire NLS book collection and to the resources of several cooperating agencies.
Seventy-nine magazines in audio and braille formats are offered through the program. Readers may request free subscriptions to US News and
Free correspondence courses leading to certification in braille transcribing (literary, music, and math braille) and braille proofreading are offered.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The NLS research program is directed toward improving the quality of reading materials and related equipment, controlling program costs, and reducing the time required to deliver services to users. Significant research activities include development of a national standard for a digital talking book player and the creation of an economic model for use in comparing alternative talking book delivery systems.
In fiscal 2001, the major NLS objectives related to funding requests for providing service to a projected readership of over 761,000 blind and
The Library is requesting a total of $48,983,000 to support this program in fiscal 2001. This includes $367,389 in mandatory salary costs and $813,950 in price level increases.
Fiscal 1999 Actual Fiscal 2000 Budget Fiscal 2001 Estimate FTE
(2) Annualization of January 2000 pay raise
2000. This increase is necessary to provide for annualization of the 2000 pay raise of 4 94 percent effective in January
(3) Funding for January 2001 pay raise
This increase is necessary to provide for a 3.7 percent pay increase effective January 2001.
$171,395 32,565 $203.960
(4) Personnel benefits increase
This increase is necessary to provide for the 0.6 percent personnel benefits increase effective in fiscal 2001. This increase represents the most current OMB estimate for benefits increases.
(5) One less day
Fiscal 2001 has 260 days - one day less than fiscal 2000.