Friday, August 27, 2010

DAISY Talking Books Center : Progress Report – August, 2010  Public Library Innovation Program (PLIP)

Progress Report

  1. Summary Information
Organization Name:Ulaanbaatar City Public Library
Project Title:Establishment of DAISY Digital Talking Books Center
Primary Contact Name:Ch.Altantsetseg – Project coordinatar
Primary Contact,
Reporting Period:01/5/2010-16/8/2010
Date Submitted:16/7/2010
Next Report Due:20/11/2010

II. Progress Narrative

a. Please list successes in implementing the project during the reporting period.
The funds approved for the implementation of the project were received at the account of the State Central Foundation, the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia, on May 6, 2010, and were transferred to the State Foundation of the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality on May 17, 2010. We submitted the documents related to the Project to this Foundation and thus got permission to use the money allocated there at our account on May 20.
On May 24-27, 2010 the delegation of the Ulaanbaatar Public Library, including Ms. Ch.Altantsetseg, Project Coordinator, and Mr. J.Begzsuren, Project's IT Advisor, participated in the PLIP Meeting in Ljubljana city, Slovenia.
This Meeting provided an excellent chance to exchange views and news with the people concerned in the library developments, learns from the valuable experience of other winner-libraries and helped to fully realize all the requirements that should be followed during the project implementation process.

  • When arrived we started our work from the issue of primary importance which was the setting up of the DAISY Studio. For the Studio being able to fulfill its tasks properly, we approached the Mongolian National Center of Standardization and conducted the construction and electric repairing work in accordance with requirements of the Center.
    The DAISY Studio consists of 3 parts which are as follows: (a) Recording Cabin for the Sighted Reader, (b) Producer's Room for the Daisy Expert and (c) Office Room.
    The Recording Cabin and Producer's Room was assembled with a plywood of 1.5 cm thickness. The ceiling was changed by fixing a hanging/suspension ceiling that was to reduce noise from the outside. The entire inside wall of the Cabin was covered by a 1.5 cm Mongolian white fine felt that was applied in two layers. Additionally, the felt itself was covered by the fabric suitable to the acoustics. Also the heating pipes close to these rooms were wrapped by felt.
    The Recording Cabin and the Producer's Room were divided off by a door made of sound-blocking vacuum materials. These 2 rooms are also separated by a 2-glasses-vacuum window. In addition, the floor in 2 rooms was wholly covered by a carpet with a felt and rubber on the bottom side.
    The Office Room wall's paint base was twice applied and then painted with a light green color emulsion, and the floor covered with PVC materials. Also the Office Room window was changed by a vacuum one to reduce the noise from the street. The door was changed to have a better look.
    A special attention was paid to the repair of the electrical networks in the studio. For it being functioned well to meet technical safety and fire prevention conditions, all the lamps and plugs were changed, and the cable was connected from the library's central electrical control panel.
    In accordance with the instructions given by EIFL, the logo and banners of the funding and cooperated organizations were designed and printed out. They could be seen in the DAISY Studio where also the room address and other necessary signs are placed.

  • Another important work conducted was the successful procurement of all the needed equipment including 2 pcs of Plextalk PTR-2 (Digital Book Recorder) from Shinano Kenshi Co. Ltd, Japan and 40 pcs of Book Sense-DAISY players from HIMS Co. Ltd, South Korea. The procurement was conducted via the bank transfer of payments as well as the contacts with DHL, FedEx and the Customs offices.
    During this period bought were 2 computers that meet the requirements (noiseless power supply block, processor's fan and hard disc) for the work in a DAISY environment. These computers were purchased with the supplies which are as follows: USB external sound card, 2 sets of studio microphone, 2 sets of headphone and additional cables).
    One more computer was bought for the use in the DAISY Talking Book Center where people can browse the Internet for improving knowledge and for copying DAISY digital books directly to the BookSense DAISY player from that computer.
    We contacted to the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities asking them to help with the programming/licensing issues and thus were provided with a right to download and use on our computers the software for recording DAISY books.
    Above this, the software for making DAISY books named was needed. The licensing with the permission to download and use it was to be received for starting our activities. Fortunately, this permission was kindly and promptly provided by the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. The name of the program is "My Studio PC".

  • From the shortlist of all the candidates, Ms. M.Erdenechimeg was chosen for the work in the Studio as a sighted reader. She is a graduate of the Journalism Faculty and used to work in the studio of FM 98.5 that is operative in Ulaanbaatar city.
    The DAISY expert conducted 1-week software training for the sighted reader while teaching her how to deal with electronic equipment and how to make the recording with the use of "My Studio PC" software.
    The manual for using the "BookSense – DAISY Player" was prepared to distribute in the libraries of 21 provinces and other places. Now the manual is being designed for the publication. Also the manual has been read as an audio manual.

  • A public opinion poll was conducted for finalizing the list of books that should be recorded. For getting opinions, a 5-page Large Script as well as a 4-page Braille text with DAISY introduction materials was prepared to be distributed among the low vision and blind people. The Project implementing officers took part in the Youth Forum and the Open Discussion Meeting of Women organized by the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB). At these meetings they participated in debates, explained the tasks of the DAISY Project and disseminated the opinion poll materials. Much talk was around the questions of improving library services, mailing and transportation, educational status of the young and blind and the skill development of the adults.
    The Youth Forum was held in the MNFB Culture Center on June 2 and was attended by 50 delegates. The Women's Open Discussion was conducted on June 10-11 in Ulaanbaatar where all 21 provinces as well as 9 districts of the capital city were presented by 40 delegates. At the Discussion Meeting we met with MNFB activists in 21 provinces, MNFB Board Members, members of the Women's Council of the Federation, members of Culture, Sport and Elderly Councils, as well as people from the Rehabilitation and Training Center for the Blind, and the Specialized School No 116. Totally almost 100 persons were explained in detail about DAISY books project and answers were received to the opinion poll questionnaire.

  • Thanks to the above-mentioned activities to introduce the purpose and tasks of the Project, many more people contacted us by telephone and sent their suggestions in a written form. After a thorough consideration of the received answers and all the opinion poll materials, the following 12 Mongolian titles were chosen to start the reading for setting up the DAISY library:

     1. World History (2 volumes)
    2. Mongolian History
    3. Human Body Anatomy and Physiology
    4. Manual on Massaging
    5. Bulgakov M.A "Master and Margarita"
    6. Western Mongolian "Jangar" Heroic Epic Poetry
    7. Literature read in high schools - Mongolian and World Classics (2 volumes)
    8. Ayurzana G."Essay and stories"
    9. Samuel S."Self-Support Techniques"
    10. A Computer Handbook
    11. Narangerel S., Oyuntsetseg B. "New Technologies - for Production" (cooking classes)
    12. Everyday household advice


          The recording of the first Mongolian DAISY book named "World History" began on July 26. Its editing started on August 9 and was completed within 3 days. When producing DAISY books, the provisions of the Mongolian Copy Right Law as well as the position of the International Federation of Library Associations are taken into account.

          The recording of the 2nd book named "Master and Margarita" by Russian writer M.Bulgakov began on August 12 and is being continued currently.

    b. Please list challenges that were experienced in implementing the project during the reporting period. Please explain what caused the challenges and what steps were taken to overcome them.


          The main problem that we have encountered was related to the financial issues. They were as follows:

          1/ the money transferred to our account were received to our account at the Central State Foundation which is actually a State Bank.  It is a too much busy institution and the transactions to Japan and South Korea to buy equipment were done very slowly. Due to this some valuable time to be used for creative activities, was lost.

          2/ Sudden rise of building materials prices made influence also on the unpredicted raising of payment to the work related to the repairing of rooms as well as electricity wiring work.

    c. Please describe any variances from the project plan.


          There were 3 issues that were not taken into account when we prepared our project plan.

          We did not realize the necessity in a computer that was to be installed in the DAISY Digital Talking Book reading room where DAISY digital books could be copied directly to the BookSense DAISY player from that computer, blind and low vision readers to read a book using Daisy book player software on this computer. Finally using Internet for improving knowledge about DAISY technology and others

          We were to predict that the prices of construction materials may rise when the spring comes. It was winter time when the project was written and the prices were probably frozen at that period.

          When the Studio preparation work started, we found that the electricity network and wiring condition were at the level that could not meet Technical Safety and Fire Prevention requirements. Important was to change all the wiring in the rooms.

          For tackling problems that were encountered and completing the Studio preparations at a quality level and buying the DAISY player computer for blind and low vision readers, we used money that became available due to the price difference when 40 pcs of BookSense-DAISY Player and 2 pcs of Plextalk PTR2 Digital Book Recorder were purchased. Detailed explanation of the balance is given in the Financial Report with all the related documents attached.


    d. If there are stories from your experience in implementing the project that you would like to highlight, please provide narrative below and/or pictures (optional).


          Of immense importance was the participation of Mr. M.Tsengel in the project idea development process. He was well aware of this new and advanced technology of information dissemination as he had participated in DAISY Seminar held in Malaysia before. He is an excellent expert able to use PC and electronic equipments while being a blind person himself. As Mr. Tsengel, the Project's Team Member, is closely related to the modern media technologies and also can feel the necessity of the visually disabled persons, this project has much chances to be greatly successful.


          In the near future, when the DAISY Talking Book Center will attract more persons with visual disabilities, some preparations may become necessary to increase convenience for them to enter and exit the library building by adjusting the entrance door, pavement and nearby areas to the needs of these people.


          We created a Face Book page to share our project photos and news at
III. Activity Progress

a. Please insert all agreed upon Activities as outlined in your proposal. If there are additional Activities necessary to complete project, please highlight and explain in section II c.
On Track or Completed
On Track with Challenges
Challenges Experienced
  1. Ordering the required equipment, installation and training when received

  1. Re-designing of the room in the library (UPL) for meeting the DAISY recording requirements
  1. Preparation of the detailed planning, editing of scenarios and the announcement of the vacancy on the Sighted Reader (and hiring).
  1. Training of the hired Sighted Reader as well as the volunteer students on
    Software (My studio PC) and Hardware (PLEXTALK Portable CD recorder)
  1. Based on the opinion poll among the blind persons, start creating DAISY digital books for kids, as well as various inquiries, manuals on foreign languages, history, use of computer, etc.
On Track
  1. Prepare the stock of digital books and start duplicating CDs
  1. Include DAISY books in the library stock and OPAC and make it known to all the branches as well as in the province and college libraries
On Track
  1. Official opening of the Digital Talking Books Center.
    Advertise on public media.
  1. Prepare an audio manual and conduct training courses among 300 persons while using the reading devices
On Track
  1. Operate moving library to serve the workers of the Rehabilitation and Training Center for the Blind and the students of the special school No 116.
  1. Start organizing services for the blind people living in rural areas (via the rural libraries network and MNFB branches)
  1. Conduct Book Fairs where the meeting with authors will be organized
Twice a year
  1. Conduct public opinion poll through the "Librarians" journal on the topics of DAISY books to be created
  1. Publicity of the project and the digital books during the International White Cane Day, in cooperation with MNFB.
  1. In the framework of the MNFB's Volunteers Program organize activities for increasing the number of sighted readers.


b. Please provide a narrative describing achievements and progress on activities.


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