The United States Congress has until the end of September 30 to pass a budget or the government will go into a partial shut down. The shut down will effect a number of agencies, including access to their websites. The National Library Service will close their doors on October 1 if the budget does not pass, according to an official. Users of the NLS Braille and Talking Book program will likely be effected and will need to make book requests or download books from the BARD website prior to the shutdown. This nearly happened during a similar situation in 2011 though this shutdown was avoided at the last moment.
If Congress doesn't come to an agreement, access to NLS books will likely be restricted starting on Tuesday, and services will not return until congress passes a budget. While no official statement has been made from BARD administrators specifically, we anticipate loss of download functionality for the BARD mobile app as well. Books that have already been downloaded should still play. Government aid programs including Social Security and Food Stamps will not be effected as they are considered essential services. New applications for benefits would not be processed however.
I thought in the previous shutdown it was going to be that BARD wouldn't shut down, but no new books/magazines would be added. If so, this is a change, if BARD will really shut down totally on Tuesday.
darknexus Monday, 30-Sep-2013 12:24 PM ET:
What do you expect? It's a service that a small percentage of the population use, being funded by the rest who cannot legally use it. I'd have cut it, and cut it for good, years ago had I been in charge and I say this as someone who is totally blind. You want books, you can buy them like everyone else.
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For the past three years Alena has been a feature writer for the online magazine Matilda Ziegler. She has also been a contractor for the Oregon Commission for the Blind, helping blind adults learn to use adaptive technology. She is studying to be a teacher of the visually impaired at Portland State. You might also recognize her from the Serotalk podcast Triple Click Home.