The Japan Braille library has produced and loaned braille books since its foundation in 1940. Books used to be transcribed into braille using slates and typewriters. In 1990, transcription via computer was introduced. In the past, books were printed out one by one using a braille printer and loaned out to users.
Today, readers can access digital data directly from the Sapie Library, a virtual library system. Aside from production of books for circulation, the library also produces textbooks and books for sale. In 1984, our publishing section adopted a computerized auto-platemaking system (automatic platemaking on zinc plates).
Production and supervision of information in braille, tactile guide maps and braille signs
The Japan Braille Library produces various materials in braille such as PR magazines and product catalogs on commission from local governments and private companies. The library also produces and maintains tactile guide maps and braille signs in public facilities.
Research and dissemination (standardization)
Various industrial standards have been established to help persons with disabilities and senior citizens for their safety and convenience. Staff members of the Japan Braille Library participatein research projects and drafting committees for such standardization. The library also contributes actively to the work of the International Standardization Organization.
The Japan Braille Library started its production of and lending service for talking books in 1958. The medium for the books used to be open-reel tapes, then cassette tapes and thereafter CDs. Today, digital data is produced in the DAISY format and distributed not only via media such as CDs and memory cards, but also through the Sapie Library.
The library has 18 recording studios where some 70 reading volunteers work on a regular basis. Another 80 volunteers work from home reading, proofreading and editing through the system on the Internet.
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