National Library Service

Audiobooks app for visually impaired readers

Company Profile

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.

The National Library Service (NLS) for blind and physically handicapped is a program within LOC to provide books, magazines, foreign language, and locally produced materials in braille and recorded formats to blind and print disabled individuals in the US and US citizens living abroad.

Business Situation

NLS is undergoing modernization to increase the availability and discoverability of content. Some of the modernization projects include building out infrastructure, improve processes, understand users and research needs, and preferences of current and potential readers. The eventual goal is to elevate digital delivery and make NLS’s Braille and Audio Reading Download, BARD system scalable, and user-friendly. Users should be able to access books on demand with enhancement to self-service capabilities via an intuitive voice interface that supports book reading features such as play, pause, bookmark, and search.

Google Cloud Implementation

SpringML team partnered with LOC to build this solution. The core product from GCP used to build this solution as Dialogflow. The ability for users to search by title, author, or genre was implemented in accordance with LOC’s desire to make the experience for users as intuitive as possible. Detailed analytics were also made available in order to understand how users were interacting with the application and a feedback loop was implemented to allow for constant improvement.

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