National Braille Press Finds Safe Way to Produce Braille Materials For the Library of Congress in Wake of COVID-19

May 1, 2020

NBP continues to produce hard copy braille materials for the Library of Congress and other essential materials during pandemic

Photo courtesy of the National Braille Press of a Braille Printing Press at the NBP in Boston

National Braille Press (NBP) announced today it has found a safe way to continue to produce printed braille materials for clients like the Library of Congress in addition to producing essential materials such as textbooks in braille for students across the country.

“Braille production requires a physical presence,” said Brian Mac Donald, President of National Braille Press. “Some of our departments were able to shift their work remotely, but setting up embossers that braille the pages and binding them into books must be done by hand. The challenge has been to re-think how to use technology and shift some of this process offsite.”

By shifting production set-up to remote work stations, NBP has been able to keep hardcopy production going with less staff on the factory floor. Longtime pressman Khith Nhem has worked at NBP for over 30 years. Over the course of his time at NBP this is the first time he has set up a braille embosser, known as a Braillo, to run from his home in Billerica.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with 170 million items including books, records, photos, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections.  NBP has been a contractor for National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, for decades. The NLS produces hundreds of books every year including bestsellers, science fiction, mysteries, and romance novels.  The NLS was founded in 1931 as a part of the Library of Congress, providing a free braille and talking book library service for blind and visually impaired people. The NLS circulates books and magazines in braille and audio formats.

“The National Braille Press takes pride in producing popular books for NLS that reaches thousands of blind and visually impaired people across the USA” said Mac Donald.

About National Braille Press

A non-profit braille publisher and producer of braille products, National Braille Press promotes literacy for blind children through outreach programs and provides access to information by producing information in braille for blind children and adults. For more information visit www.nbp.org.

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