The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Braille Production Department has been increasingly busy in the past several months with new local books being transcribed, proofread, and made available to library patrons. A big part of this is due to WTBBL’s stellar volunteers, who are flexible and willing to explore new ways to improve the braille production process.
In fall 2018, WTBBL launched a pilot program to test the feasibility of having volunteer teams perform offsite proofreading.
The first of these teams was Rick and Mary, who have volunteered with the braille department since 2009. Using web-accessible conferencing software and a refreshable braille display, Rick and Mary can proofread braille via an internet connection. The project has been successful.
This arrangement allows them to work more often and log more hours than traditional onsite proofreading. Thanks to WTBBL’s Braille Production Department Coordinator, Ed Godfrey, and the library’s excellent volunteers, local production remains strong and keeps innovating!
Here’s how braille production at WTBBL works: librarians at WTBBL select books written by local authors from the Pacific Northwest or books about the Pacific Northwest to add to the collection. The books are transcribed from print into braille by trained volunteer transcribers offsite. When the transcription is complete, proofreading teams comprised of a tactile braille reader and a sighted monitor (called a copyholder) review the transcribers’ work to ensure accuracy against the original print book.
Our goal is to make certain the book we produce in braille is equal to the print version. Thanks to great volunteers like Rick and Mary, we’re able to create more braille books for circulation.