LIC/STV programme 1999-2000

In 1999, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport made available a grant of 200,000 to be used "to ensure that blind and visually impaired people benefit in a much wider way from access to library and reading services". The grant is administered by the Library and Information Commission, which in partnership with Share the Vision has determined to make best use of the grant by identifying several essential building blocks for the improvement of services and bringing them together in a co-ordinated programme. The programme consists of a range of projects, which are being undertaken by a number of contractors. UKOLN was contracted to carry out Project One part A.

1. Developing and Maintaining the National Union Catalogue of Alternative Formats

1A. Technical specification of the metadata requirements for NUCAF
The original commission to UKOLN was to produce a technical specification of the metadata requirements for NUCAF, the union catalogue created and currently maintained by the Royal National Institute for the Blind. This brief was extended to include a review of the future role of the union catalogue and its accessibility to a range of professional users and the general public. A report was submitted to the Steering Committee in January 2000 and the recommendations accepted. The full text of the report and an accompanying briefing paper are available in Word7 and pdf formats. A major recommendation was to develop the existing union catalogue into REVEAL: The National Database of Resources in Accessible Formats. A bid has been made to the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Funding Call to progress the development work.

1B. NUCAF Retrospective Conversion Project
The existing union catalogue is the only current method for finding out what titles are available in accessible formats. The way it has developed has meant that there are gaps in its coverage and this project is concerned with identifying the missing sections and acquiring appropriate records to rectify this. The National Library for the Blind, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and an independent consultant, Juliet Leeves, are working in partnership on this project. Phase 1 of the project reviewed the current situation and produced estimates of the extent of missing records and identified producers whose output is not currently recorded. Phase 1 was completed in January 2000. Phase 2 focuses on getting the missing data on to the database; a pilot for this is being undertaken in February and March 2000.

2. Enhancing Ease of Access for Visually Impaired People

2A. Developing a National Inter-Lending System for Visually Impaired People
The North Western Regional Library System (NWRLS) has been contracted to produce a procedure for a national system of inter-lending. The local steering group is the Accessible Library partnership (North West) which has addressed and continues to address a wide range of issues concerned with library services for visually impaired people.

2B. Enhancing Access to Library based ICT Services for Visually Impaired People
This project is being undertaken by HumanITy in association with Technability and will produce a technical specification for a portability software package and other recommendations.

3. Best Practice / Best value

3A. National Survey on Current Levels of Service
The Library and Information Statistics Unit (LISU) at Loughborough University is carrying out a survey to identify the current position in order to assist future developments and for benchmarking.

3B. Best Practice Manual
Share the Vision has produced a specification for the production of a Best Practice manual aimed at library staff which meets their needs in serving visually impaired people in any setting. Linda Hopkin has been appointed as Lead Editor; the contributors are Peter Bosher, Peter Brophy, Gill Burrington, Ann Chapman, Peter Craddock, Viv Griffiths, Tim Harries, Patsy Heap, Jo Heaton, Mike Heery, Alan Issler, Deborah Ryan, Margaret Wallace.

3D. Donation of STV News
STV News is published by RNIB on behalf of Share the Vision. It is published quarterly and is targeted at library staff serving the general public, including visually impaired people and library managers. It provides a useful digest of current news and developments. As part of the programme, it has been agreed to donate the four issues for 1999/2000 to every public library authority, every university, higher education college and further education college library, and every regional library system, library and information school and national library in the UK. The donation comprises a print copy and a disc copy.

3G. Community Information for Ethnic Minority People with a visual impairment
The Talking Eyes Information Service was set up in 1996 as a partnership between Birmingham Librarie and Birmingham Focus, the main local voluntary group for blind and visually impaired people, and also works with EMERGE (Ethnic Minorities Resource Group for Equality). The partnership produces a monthly magazine style Community Information audiotape in Urdu, Gujerati, Punjabi, Bengali and Hindi. It also produces a Consumer Issues audiotape with Birmingham Trading Standards Department three times a year, and a single topic Talking Pamphlet twice a year. The Talking Eyes partnership, working with Share the Vision, will produce and send a copy of each of their community language products to every public library. 

Further elements of project 3 have yet to be commissioned.

4. Co-ordinating Alternative Format Title Selection

In this project, Capital Planning Information will seek to utilise public library expertise in book selection techniques to assist the producers of alternative formats to improve the effectiveness of their title selection procedures.

[Bibliographic Management]

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