PRESS RELEASE: 1 June 2000

British Library funds work on database for visually impaired people.

A grant from the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme has enabled work to proceed on the development of a new database for visually impaired people, Reveal. A team from the National Library for the Blind, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the UK Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN) together with an independent library consultant will work on the management and technical aspects of Reveal. The end result will be a detailed implementation plan for a 'one stop shop' allowing visually impaired people quick and easy access to information on the range of material available to them. Work began in May 2000, and will last for approximately four months.

Visually impaired people need a range of materials to carry on reading. They might need their daily newspaper on tape; the latest blockbuster novel in Braille or Moon; online reference material; or a children's book using pictures, print and Braille to allow them to share their reading experience with a sighted person; or any combinations of these. More than 230 specialist organisations transcribe material from standard print into other media. With so many organisations and media formats, it is necessary to have a single, easy to use source of information on which titles are available in which formats.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) developed the National Union Catalogue of Alternative Formats (NUCAF) as a first response to this need. Initially the service was only available via RNIB but access was then extended through regional library systems' union catalogues. In 1999, a programme of work funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Library and Information Commission working with Share the Vision reviewed the requirements for NUCAF. It was recommended that NUCAF should be made completely accessible and comprehensive and that it should be relaunched on the web as Reveal. The development work being funded is the stage in achieving this objective.

Further details on the project are available from:

Helen Brazier, National Library for the Blind
Tel: 0161 355 2008

[Bibliographic Management]

Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 03-Jun-2005
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