Braille Book Review

September-October 2002

In Brief

JBI braille collection to NLS

The Jewish Braille Institute (JBI) has donated its large collection of braille books on Judaism and many areas of Jewish interest to NLS and is in the midst of transferring nearly 8,000 titles in more than 70,000 volumes to the care of the national service. As they are processed over the next months, the books will become accessible through the NLS International Union Catalog, identified as JBI books by the special prefix BRI. The collection will be available to patrons through the NLS network of cooperating libraries as well as the JBI Library. JBI, now taking advantage of digital technology, continues to develop its collection of Judaica in braille.

New and updated publications available

A number of new or revised and updated NLS publications have become available.

Date finder. Braille date finders for July 2002 through June 2003 are now available free from NLS. Date finders give the day of the week on which the first day of the month falls during the twelve-month period. The pocket-sized card also incorporates a convenient cut-out signature guide window. To receive one or more date finders, contact the Reference Section, NLS, Washington, DC 20542.

What's New? The 2002 edition of What's New? is now available in braille, in large print, and online. The annual update, designed for people already familiar with the NLS program, describes recent developments in the service, including new publications and reference materials, and advances in automation and technological research, including Web-Braille and the Digital Talking Book Project. What's New? is available in braille and large print from the Reference Section, NLS, Washington, DC 20542, and on the NLS web site

Two new catalogs have been completed, both available in large print and online: Cassette Books 2001 and For Younger Readers 2000-2001. Braille Books 1999-2000, already available in print and online, has been published in braille. These and other annual catalogs are accessible at>.

Three new factsheets have been released:

Facts: Web-Braille (2001). Available in large print and online at Also available in braille by request from the NLS Reference Section.

Frequently Asked Questions: Digital Talking Books (2002). Available in large print, in braille, and online at

Music Services for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals (2002). Available in print, in braille, and online at

A new reference circular, Magnifying Devices: A Resource Guide (2002), has been produced and is available in print, in braille, and online at

A report titled Digital Talking Books: Progress to Date (May 2002) has been issued and is available in braille and large print, on audiocassette and computer diskette, and online at The report updates developments in digital technology at NLS; the digital talking-book standard; the computer-based cost analysis system; the Digital Long-Term Planning Group; recording systems; and Web-Braille.

The following NLS-produced reference publications are now available in alternate formats, as indicated:

Bibles and Other Sacred Writings in Special Media (1999). Available on audiocassette, in braille, and online at

Blindness and Visual Impairments: Information and Advocacy Organizations (2001). Available on audiocassette, in braille, and online at

Braille Embossers (2000). Available in braille and online at

Magazines in Special Media 2000. Available on audiocassette, in braille, and online at

Sources of Custom-Produced Books: Braille, Audio Recordings, and Large Print 2001 (formerly Volunteers Who Produce Books). Available in braille and online in HTML format at

A revised bibliography, Library and Information Services to Individuals with Disabilities (June 2002), has been issued in standard print.

The NLS Music Section has prepared a list of braille and recorded librettos and supporting materials keyed to the 2002-2003 season of Metropolitan Opera radio and television broadcasts. The opera performance schedule, which runs from December 7, 2002, through April 19, 2003, along with information for ordering the appropriate supporting materials may be found online at


The following announcements may be of interest to readers. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reserves the right to publish announcements selectively, as space permits. Items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

New from National Braille Press. Finding eBooks on the Internet, by Anna Dresner, tells how to obtain books in accessible formats from such sites as Web-Braille and Bookshare; books in public domain from sources such as Project Gutenberg and the eText Spider; and accessible books from commercial services, including Baen Books and FictionWise. This detailed how-to book also includes information about the Digital Talking Book Standard and instructions for accessing different types of files, including DOC and PDF. Keyboard commands are given for using Internet Explorer with JAWS and Window-Eyes.

A review and the full table of contents appear online at

Finding eBooks on the Internet is available in braille (two volumes) or large print for $14 from National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302; telephone 800-548-7323 toll free or (617) 266-6160, ext. 20; e-mail

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