My number 4 statement may not be nice and cozy, but it is still one of my reasons for scanning books that NLS does on tape. I can back my statement up quite easily. You could too if you gave it some thought and do a little digging. What I said may sound mean to you, and that's ok. I learned what I have as a result of doing research for a book I'm writing about how blind people communicate and access information. I did not start out with my current bias and actually would have reacted as Jill and Cindy did. My interviews with several former committee members, current employees, and a Congressional aide active in the late eighties has left me feeling both stunned and disillusioned. I would suggest that you do some reading from older issues of the NLS Flash newsletter and ask yourself some questions about what's actually being said in that newsletter. You might also consider some of the report from the General Accounting Office about why that office thought funding should be cut. I'm not agreeing with them. I'm asking you to consider why they said what they said and ask yourself if they have background information that you may not have yet. You might also ask yourself why the new digital talking book player is only slightly smaller than the current NLS cassette player when digital books can actually be stored on a much smaller memory card. You might wonder why it has taken NLS a total of 25 years to implement digital books once they became aware of the need to move to digital technology. The first discussion of the need to move beyond cassettes appears to have occurred in the early eighties, in 1982 as best as I can find out. You might ask yourself why they continued to invest heavily in cassette production long after the rest of the world, including library systems in other countries, had begun digital talking book production. You might also ask yourself why NLS is steadily losing influence with many people under the age of 40 and how they have responded to this trend. Use your analytical skills to find answers to these questions. If you come to a different conclusion, so be it. For my part, I think the service is on shaky ground an am unwilling to put all of my efforts into building a book collection that assumes that I can get books from NLS in the future. I would like to be wrong about some of this. I hope NLS improves and lasts much longer than my lifetime. For now, I will prepare for the worst and hope for the best.