2000 Conference Proceedings

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THE LOUIS DATABASE: A HANDS ON TOUR OF ITS NEW INTERFACE AND FILE REPOSITORY

Maria E. Delgado
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
Phone: (502) 899-2340
Fax: (502) 899 2363
E-mail: mdelgado@aph.org

This workshop will provide an on-line tour of the Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired. The tour will include a demonstration of the latest Louis interface - stream lined for speech users - as well as an overview of its new Repository of braille files. The Louis Database is available free of charge at: www.aph.org/

The Louis Database of Accessible Materials was successfully launched through the Internet in October of 1997. Since its implementation, Louis has been redesigned to accommodate the needs of our low vision, blind, and sighted users. Today, Louis has a new interface with higher contrast screens and a more efficient display of information for blind and visually impaired users.

The Louis Database lists location information for over 145,000 alternate media titles from 200 agencies nationwide. The database includes books, tactile graphics, music, and a full selection of products from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). Louis is updated every day in order to provide users with information about the most recent publications of our 200 contributing agencies.

Louis allows users to retrieve information about books in a variety of different ways. Books can be searched by ISBN (International Standard Book Number), title, author, subject, or catalog number. Music can be found by entering information about the title, composer, or by using key words, such as "guitar", or "piano". All APH products can be searched by name or catalog number.

Today, Louis users have two options for displaying information. The first way of displaying search results is found in the "Classic Search" interface. It displays search results in a list format. Mouse users generally prefer the list format, because it’s easy to navigate by scrolling up and down the screen.

The other interface option is called "Maria’s Favorite." This interface is stream lined for speech users. It breaks down large amounts of text into individual parts, allowing speech users to navigate and review information more efficiently. "Maria’s Favorite" enables speech users to select and read only the information they wish. It has been designed to minimize the number of keystrokes required to submit and retrieve information, while keeping all the original features and search options of the classic Louis interface.

The File Repository is an exciting, on-going project that will facilitate the sharing and exchanging of files between braille producing agencies. Registered users will be able to download computer files for braille production directly from Louis. The Repository currently includes textbook files from the American Printing House for the Blind and other contributing agencies across the nation.

APH sponsors a training program for the Louis Database. This program has been designed to provide both blind and sighted individuals with hands-on experience using the Database. The training is provided anywhere in the U.S., and can accommodate any age group. For more information about the program contact:

Maria E. Delgado
Louis Database Field Representative
Phone: (502) 899-2340
E-mail: mdelgado@aph.org 
Fax: (502) 899-2363

For people who do not have Internet access, APH provides a Telephone Reference Service to the Louis Database. Call or fax your requests, and we will search Louis for you.

Phone: 1-800-223-1839.
Fax: (502) 899 2363


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