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Ulaanbaatar City Public Library, Mongolia
Impact Assessment Results
First rural library service for the blind
For the first time, 21 rural libraries in Mongolia are able to serve blind and visually impaired people.
Before the Ulaanbaatar Public Library’s DAISY Talking Books service, rural libraries in Mongolia’s 21 provinces reported that no blind and visually impaired people visited their libraries. After just one year, three people are coming in every day.
The new service creates digital talking books and makes them available on DAISY BookSense readers. The advantage of DAISY technology is that it makes talking books easier to read. Users can navigate in the text, go backwards and forwards with ease, and cross-refer when doing research.
Working with its partner agency, the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB), the library has recorded 29 titles, including recipe books, epic poetry, history textbooks and books on physiology and massage. The books are already being used in schools and in training courses. They have distributed BookSense readers to libraries across the country.
‘Thanks to this project I am confident that I will successfully complete my massage course. I am changing my profession, and I was not sure that I could become a true massage therapist. I did not know Braille and was not able to read the manuals. Now I believe in myself because listening to DAISY books helped me to understand a lot,’ said Erdenebat, 38, of Ulaanbaatar, who lost his sight in a traffic accident.
With its partners, UPL believes the future of the talking books service is secure. UPL has secured a salary for a manager for the DAISY recording studio and the service is attracting interest from donors.
Previous project updates:
The Ulaanbaatar City Public Library is producing DAISY Digital Talking Books. The aim is to set up a national network of libraries, one in each of Mongolia’s 21 provinces. The project will improve the quality of life of blind people throughout Mongolia by making books – fiction and non-fiction – available in DAISY format.
There are 130,000 blind and partially-sighted people in Mongolia. Many are part of nomadic communities, and Mongolia’s freezing weather makes life even more difficult for them. There is a library in each of Mongolia’s 21 aimags (provinces), and 300 small libraries in the counties. But except for Ulaanbaatar, none have facilities for blind people.
The project uses DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System). DAISY creates digital talking books from analogue audio or from text. The main advantage of DAISY over traditional analogue audio formats is that the user can navigate within the text. This makes it possible to re-visit sections of books or papers, to move backwards and forwards, and to cross-refer when doing research. Navigation is difficult and time-consuming in analogue formats, which require linear listening.
Ulaanbaatar City Public Library has set up a studio for recording and migrating analogue books, known as the DAISY Digital Talking Book Centre. The library has purchased 40 DAISY book readers for distribution to 21 provincial libraries, who will in turn make them available to 300 small rural libraries, at county level. The library will train provincial librarians in the new technology at the centre.
The Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB) is the major project partner. Established in 1978, the MFNB has expertise in DAISY and in serving the blind. MFNB has worked with the Ulaanbaatar City Public Library since 2004.
To find out more about this project, contact:
Ms Choi Altantsetseg
Ulaanbaatar City Public Library
Tel.: +976 998 613 26