Talking Book and Braille News
Digital Talking Books Player

Talking Book and Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-5389 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 588-7119
           Volume 9,  Issue  1  ·  Spring  2012  ·  Editor:  Joel Henderson
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On Friday, February 24, the Oregon State Library Board of Trustees selected MaryKay Dahlgreen to be the 9th State Librarian of Oregon.  MaryKay had been serving as interim State Librarian since January 1, 2012, following Jim Scheppke’s retirement.  Her tenure as the State Library’s permanent chief administrative officer began on March 1, 2012.
MaryKay is a familiar face to staff here at the State Library.  For the past sixteen years she has served as Library Development program manager and as Youth Services consultant.  In fact, she will only be moving one door down from her current office when she assumes leadership of our agency.
Library services are very special to MaryKay, who has worked in a variety of libraries, both rural and metropolitan.  It is comforting and inspiring to see our new leader show such passion and import such sincere significance into the business of our agency.  This legacy of commitment was shared by our last State Librarian, and we here at Talking Books look forward to MaryKay’s continued support.
However, it won’t be all business-as-usual when MaryKay steps into her new office.  The Governor’s Office and the Department of Administrative Services are working on a 10-year plan for Oregon state government, which will bring new processes and pose new challenges for an already uncertain future.  Thankfully, MaryKay has already started planning for these changes, preparing the State Library to strategically position itself in the years ahead.
On the book front, some of MaryKay’s favorite books include Beauty, by Robin McKinley (DB 55360), East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (DB 49676), and The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame (DB 24592).  In closing, MaryKay would like to add, “I am honored to have been appointed the 9th Oregon State Librarian, and look forward to working more closely with the TBABS community.”  Congratulations, MaryKay!
Have you thought about opening a BARD account, but are still on the fence?  To help encourage you, here are the top 10 reasons to open a BARD account and start downloading books today:

1.            No due dates: once you download a copy of a book from BARD, it can be yours forever

2.            No waitlists: you can download any book you want right now

3.            No limits: you could download a copy of every book available through BARD (assuming you have enough hard drive space)

4.            It’s FREE: there is no subscription fee, no charge per download.  Free is one of our favorite words here at Talking Books
5.            Books arrive in minutes: no need to wait for a book to arrive in the mail when you can download it in minutes

6.            Multiple books on a flash drive or cartridge: you could load the whole Lord of the Rings series onto one flash drive

7.            Access anywhere: on vacation?  Visiting friends and/or family?  Traveling for work?  No problem.  You can access BARD from any computer with internet access (high-speed preferred)

8.            Advanced copies: when a new book is recorded by the National Library Service, they usually post it on BARD before we get copies, so you can read it as first

9.            Retroactive collection: many of our older titles that were previously only available on cassette are now available for download from BARD

10.      Coming soon…apps for smartphones: the National Library Service is currently working on apps for smartphones that will allow you to play the books you download from BARD.  We’re hoping they’ll be ready in the next 6 months to a year.

Hopefully these reasons are enough to sway you.  Here at Talking Books we all think it’s a service well worth learning how to use.  To register for a BARD account today, click the link for the application on our homepage at, or contact us at 800-452-0292 or for assistance.
Some patrons are reporting that the capacity of the batteries in their digital players is no longer at “Greater than 29 Hours”. This decrease occurs naturally with use and is not a cause for concern.  The National Library Service (NLS) has set the minimum standard for what they consider an acceptably-charged battery at 12 hours. 
You can keep your battery operating in peak condition by following these simple tips:
·       Allow the battery to fully discharge before recharging.
·       Recharge when the battery is at 1 hour.
·       Allow the player to recharge for at least 4 hours (Keep in mind that you can still listen to books while the player is charging).
·       If you are not going to be using your player for an extended length of time (more than 3 months), it is best to leave it plugged into an electrical outlet so that the battery is not completely drained and irrevocably damaged.
·       If it is feasible, you can always leave the player plugged into an electrical outlet at all times.
The digital player has been designed to only start the recharging process when the battery charge drops below 75% of battery capacity.  This design feature means the battery will not always recharge when you plug it in.  However, when you plug the player in it will run off the power from the wall, so there is no danger of the player ceasing to function as long as it is plugged in.  If you hear the player announce either of the following messages:   “Battery Low” or “Battery charge remaining 1 hour” you will need to plug your player in for recharging.
If you follow the above recommendations and continue to have problems with your digital player battery, please contact TBABS for further assistance.
Also, BARD users that download to flash drives may have noticed that the latest software version 2.1.7 will affect the batteries in the digital players by decreasing the capacity by 10 hours.  In order to improve the connection between the flash drive and the player and eliminate some of the reported problems from patrons, the latest version allows the player and flash drive to communicate continuously which puts a big drain on the battery life of the player.  To avoid having such a large drain on the battery, patrons can purchase blank cartridges (like the ones you receive in the mail) through one of two online vendors: Perkins School (617-972-7308) or American Printing House for the Blind (800-223-1839).
In March many of you should have received a large-print order form for catalogs that were produced by the National Library Service (NLS) in 2010–2011 and those that will be produced in 2012 (the Braille letter is expected to mail in April).  If you have not returned this form and would like any of the catalogs detailed on it we strongly encourage you to return the form in the enclosed postage-paid envelope as instructed.  The order form needs to be returned directly to the vendor, CMLS, NOT Talking Books, and should be returned within three weeks.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept requests for these catalogs by phone or email.  CMLS needs to receive directly the large-print or Braille order form with your patron ID on it in order to put your request(s) into their system.  If you have lost your order form, please contact us at 800-452-0292 and we will help get another copy for you.
For our new patrons (accounts created on or after March 1, 2012), we can request a copy of the order form be sent to you as well, since your accounts were opened after the cutoff date for printing mailing labels.  The catalogs you can order using these forms are primarily the comprehensive catalogs of all books published in 2011 and 2012, as well as an audio or Braille copy of the Westerns bibliography.
If you have any further questions regarding the NLS Publications Order Form, please contact us and we will do our best to help. 
There are many ways to show your appreciation for Talking Books, including volunteering or making a donation.  Here is one easy way for you to give a donation every month to Talking Books without having to write a check:
Inform your bank or credit union to set up an automatic payment to Talking Book & Braille Services.  They will arrange to automatically send a check to us in the amount you specify as often as you indicate (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc).  And just like your books you won’t even have to pay postage; the check comes directly from your financial institution.
This method will free you up to spend more time enjoying a good book while you are supporting the services you care about.  Call your bank or credit union and get an automatic payment started today!
Talking Books is now on Facebook!  You can visit our Facebook page at, and while you’re there checking us out be sure to “like” our page so you receive the updates we post, including book recommendations, service updates, and more.
We will still be sending out information via our email listserv, our website, and our newsletter; Facebook is just one more way for us to stay connected with you our patrons.  If you don’t have a Facebook account, don’t worry; you won’t miss out on any big announcements.
And if you’ve tried Facebook before and found it too difficult, especially with a screen reader, there is an html version of the site you can use at  This version reorganizes the page so that information and links are more linear, and makes accessing many of Facebook’s features easier and navigating the site simpler.
One bit of caution we will mention: be sure to remember that comments you post on our page can be read by anyone, and should reflect a respectful attitude.  We look forward to keeping you updated and staying connected, and hope you enjoy the things we share.
Here are three good reasons you should have an Estate Plan:
1.  Your family
2.  Yourself
3.  Talking Books, so that all may read!
Call Robin Speer today for more information – 503-378-5014, or call toll free at 1-800-452-0292 and leave a message for Robin to return your call.
This article is a follow up to an article that was in the winter edition of our newsletter concerning notations on labels.  We are still seeing a large number of books coming back though the Circulation Department with handwritten notes on the side labels of the mailing containers (where the book name and number are printed), including: notes for how long the book is, series names, and the date the book was received or due.  It is against Talking Books policy to make ANY type of notation on a mailing container or on a cartridge itself.  Please remember that the books and containers you receive are federal property and MUST NOT be defaced or damaged in any way.   We suggest that you keep a notepad nearby when listening to your books so that you can make notes to yourself, or use the address card for notations regarding a book’s due date.
We have begun replacing these defaced labels by using supplies that were purchased with donation funds or that come from the National Library Service.  Replacing these labels costs Talking Books not only for the supplies, but also staff and volunteer time to generate and apply the new labels.  We are strongly encouraging all our patrons to be good stewards of our materials and our resources.  Though we do not charge fees like other publicly-funded libraries would for damages to materials, if we repeatedly see notes on books you return we will be calling you and an interruption of service may be required if the problem persists.
For our patrons who have a care giver, family member, or friend that helps you manage your books, please pass this message along to them as well.  We want to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Thanks.
We here at Talking Books periodically receive phone messages or emails from our patrons requesting a reminder or a reset of their password.  We are happy to help in this situation, and can usually provide you with this information in a timely fashion, but there is just one catch.
We provide four services that all require a different and unique set of login information, including:
·       Talking Books Online Catalog: this service is for requesting books and managing you account online.  Your user ID and password are automatically generated based on your name and contact information.  You need to contact us in order to receive your user ID and password before you can access your account online.
·       BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download): this service is for downloading audio book and magazines.  Your username is your email address, and you create own password.
·       Newsline: this service is to have the newspaper read to you over the phone.  Your ID is a six-digit number, and your password is a four-digit number; both numbers are assigned to you.
·       Web-Braille: this service is for downloading electronic Braille books and magazines.  Your username is your email address, and you create your own password.

If you use more than one of these services, please be sure to specify which username and password you need help with when you contact us.  Also, be sure to include your full name and phone number in any voicemail message or email you send so we can locate your account quickly.  Starting with this specific information will enable us to help you in an efficient manner.

Occasionally your digital player may respond in a way that is unexpected.  In most cases resetting the player profile will correct the issue.  To reset the profile you will need to do the following:
·       Turn the player off and remove any cartridge or flash drive connected to the player.
·       Place your left index finger on the TONE UP button.
·       Place your right index finger on the SPEED UP button.
·       Place your right thumb on the VOLUME UP button. 
·       Lastly place your left thumb on the POWER button.
·       Press and hold all 4 buttons simultaneously until you hear your player beep and say "Creating new profile".
If resetting the player profile does not correct the issue, please call Talking Books at 800-452-0292 for further help.
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays and state office closure days:
·       May 25, Closure Day
·       May 28, Memorial Day
·       July 4, Independence Day
·       August 17, Closure Day
·       September 3, Labor Day