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LBPH Newsletter

LBPH Newsletter Fall 2011


     Although difficult and challenging at times, 2011 has been a year of progress for the library and its patrons with the prospect of continued progress in 2012.

     As of late November, 2,400 digital players were in distribution. New Mexico has been recognized as one of the top three network libraries in the assignment of its digital player allotment. Both new and established patrons have access to digital and cassette players. About 3,500 cassette players are still in circulation; however, as cassette player manufacture was discontinued nearly five years ago, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the existing stock.

    The circulation of digital books began to exceed cassette books in June. Additionally, those using the BARD download service have been averaging about 2,000 books per month, which is nearly 20% of total circulation. Over 400 patrons have signed up for BARD with about 150 actively using it each month.

    The library received permission to post a half-time reader’s advisor position in December. It is hoped that the position will be filled early in 2012.

    In May, the National Library Service (NLS) announced the opening of BARD to institutional accounts with some limitations. These borrowers fall into three categories:

Category A in which BARD access may be granted to schools for the blind. Additionally, access may be granted to public or private schools and college/university disability centers, provided that they submit a list of the names of eligible students who will use the service.

Category B in which access may be granted to an employee of a rehabilitation agency, a center for the blind, or a Lighthouse for the Blind, who is applying for service to be able to demonstrate to eligible readers how to download books from BARD. This employee does not have to be an eligible reader.

Category C in which access may not be granted to public libraries. Eligible individuals may sign up for BARD directly and use public libraries as their e-mail and download access source, but they must be served through an individual account, not an organizational account. Public libraries are allowed a limited number of demonstration-only downloads.

    The library is in the process of mailing out postcard invitations to eligible institutions regarding requests for digital players. It is our expectation that all eligible institutions will have the opportunity to receive a digital player by the end of 2012.

    Finally, it is worth noting that we receive more basic digital players than advanced by a ratio of about 3 to 1. Basic players are recommended for listeners of popular fiction and non-fiction, who do not need features such as the bookmark. Advanced players are recommended more for readers of non-fiction, who like to bookmark locations for revisiting later.


Occasionally patrons may be interested in giving a financial contribution to the library. The Friends of the NMLBPH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that can accept and maintain tax-deductible donations for the benefit of the library program.

    The Friends’ support is used generally for supplemental funding of materials or travel, where state funding has been reduced, or in areas such as the local recording program, which may not routinely be supported by state or federal funding. In the past year, Friends’ funding has contributed to a staff person attending a regional conference in the Denver area and an upgrade of subject listings in the library’s book catalog. Contributions to the Friends may be addressed to Friends of the NMLBPH, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507.