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Home > Business Plan > Appendix 2
NLS: That All May Read
Business Plan 2003
Key Requirements and Assumptions
This document was generated by NLS in conjunction with the Digital Long-Term Planning
Group that is assisting NLS in preparing for its digital future. The requirements and assumptions
listed are assumed to be valid over a five to fifteen year period, and would need to be revisited
when considering a longer planning horizon.
- System is consumer-driven.
- Basic service must be free to the user. Alternative services such as Web-Braille requiring that
the user supply some equipment may be offered, but a free version of the same service
component must be provided.
- System must be affordable by both NLS and network libraries.
- NLS primarily supplies materials and playback equipment and the network primarily supplies
direct service (reader advisory) and circulation of items to patrons.
- NLS must offer a stable player design that users and libraries can learn and become proficient
with. A system where the player and its user interface changes frequently will not be successful,
as the less adaptable patrons will be lost when the player changes, and libraries will have too
many types of players to explain.
- Similarly, since NLS is responsible for maintaining the players, the player must be either a
throwaway or a stable design NLS can provide parts for and can easily maintain.
- Player (and medium) must be based on open standards so that NLS can procure products
competitively from a number of sources and so that the loss of a single company does not
eliminate our only source of a product.
- The player must be highly durable and easy to clean.
- The user interface of the player must be able to accommodate users with physical disabilities
(limited strength/dexterity, use of mouth stick/breath switch, etc.).
- Player must be portable and operate off AC power and rechargeable batteries.
- Player must produce high-quality sound.
- Player should be able to play commercial audio books.
- Player must support fast, flexible navigation through document, along with other functions
identified in NISO feature sets.
- Medium must be robust, withstanding rough handling by patrons, long-term storage in warehouse
environment, and postal handling.
- Medium must be designed to ensure good listening experience for each user, regardless of how
many users have already read it.
- Medium must be easy to manipulate by persons with limited dexterity and enable automated
- A large proportion of program users are technically unsophisticated and unable to handle
complexity. A channel must exist that will reliably deliver books to such patrons in a manner
that they understand and can manage.
- System must provide distribution channel not based on physical medium (e.g., web-based
- System must support timely access to current NLS-produced material and allow material to be
selected by the user directly or via profile selection process.
- System must deliver material to user at least as fast as current USPS-based system.
- System must support duplication of copies at the network level.
- System must deliver the main body of audio materials in human speech or in synthetic speech
that is at least as good as human speech.
- Materials distributed to patrons must be in a specialized format to protect copyrighted content.
- System must support direct circulation of magazines to patrons.
- Addition of titles to system should continue to be based on NLS collection building policy.
- NLS-produced collection consists of unabridged titles.
- The number of titles produced annually by NLS should not fall below current level.