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DOWNLOAD ONLY RESERVES
If you regularly use our online catalog,
chances are you’ve come across a book with a status of Download Only. This status means the book is available in
the digital format, but we don’t have a physical copy here in our library. Instead, it is currently only available for
download from BARD. Most of the time
you’ll see this status on older books with a DB number below 65,000. A lot of people ask the question, “Can I
still request a download only book be mailed to me?” The answer is yes.
When you request a book that is download
only, you’ll want to mark it as a rush.
Our catalog will allow you to mark three books as rushes each day. If you choose to rush a book it is added to
your list as a reserve, which is like telling us you really want this book ahead
of the other books you’ve requested. We
regularly review the list of books with reserves on them and select titles to
add to our collection. These titles will
then start circulating to the people who have it reserved.
You also always have the option of signing up
to use BARD and downloading the title yourself.
With BARD there is no waiting for copies to be available, since every
title is available every day for every user.
We have detailed step-by-step instructions on our website, as well as
several video and audio tutorials. And
the BARD Mobile app for iOS devices now makes downloading books even easier and
more portable. But if you cannot use
BARD, rest assured there is still a way to get those download only books.
In August 2013, the Salem mail processing
center officially closed. All of our
mail, including outgoing and incoming books, now travels all the way to the
processing center in Portland before it is distributed across the state. This change has led to an increase in the
turnaround time for our books, especially for our users in Southern and Eastern
Oregon. Many of our users are
experiencing an extra 1-2 days transit time both ways, meaning it can be
sometimes more than a week from when you put books back in the mail to when you
get new ones.
Now is an excellent opportunity for the
reminder that we strongly recommend putting books in the mail as soon as you
are finished with them. You are more
than welcome to send books back one at a time, which helps keep a steady cycle
of books coming in and going out.
Holding onto a large stack of books before returning them increases your
wait time for new books, and at times you may have nothing to read for several
days. Our system is set up to only send
out new books when old books have been returned. Calling in to say your books are in the mail
does not bypass the system.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to
adjust to the changing realities of public organizations we all rely on. We are actively working on ways to maximize
efficiency to ensure our turnaround times are as low as possible. Here’s to hoping someone invents
CALLING ALL LOST CARTRDIGES
Please remember to always double check and
make sure the book cartridge is in its container before mailing the container
back. We have had an 8-fold increase in
the number of empty containers coming back to us over the last six months. If you find a book cartridge all on its own,
double it up inside the container with another book and mail it back. Thanks!
HOW TO TALK ABOUT TALKING BOOKS
Talking Book and Braille Services is a FREE
library that loans books and magazines in accessible formats to people who
cannot see standard print, cannot hold a book, or have a physically-based
But what does that really mean? Here is a handy guide to help you talk about
- Talking Books are not JUST for blind people. The library is available to people who experience
physical disabilities or illnesses that prevent them from holding a book,
sitting up for periods of time, or turning the pages of a book.
- Our library serves people of ALL ages. Our youngest user is 3 years old and our oldest is
104…and we have books for all tastes and interest levels!
- Talking Books are completely FREE.
There is no charge for the books, the talking book player, or the postage to
mail the books back to the library.
- What kind of books does the library have? All kinds! Our library has the same books that are found
in your public library.
- What happens if the books get lost in the
mail? If the books are lost or damaged just call
the library—there is no charge for lost or damaged materials.
- How does a person get signed up for Talking
Books? The process is very easy. Just fill out an application
for service and have the last page signed by nurse, doctor, librarian,
therapist, activity director, social worker, or teacher.
- All of the audio books (and
most of the Braille books) provided by our library are available for on-demand
This library has existed in Oregon since 1932; one year after the NLS
began creating regional libraries across the country.
Anyone can help us extend the joy of reading
to people who are eligible by sharing your experiences with people you
meet. You never know when sharing your
story might inspire a friend or family member to reach out to us on behalf of
someone else. Word of mouth is our best
method of outreach.
THANK YOU, ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
We would like to take this opportunity to
thank our two outgoing Advisory Council members for their many years of
service: Marcia Mee, the representative for Reading Disabled users, and Bob
Disher, the representative for the Vision Working Group. Marcia served for two full terms, a total of
eight years, and Bob served one full term and was elected chair of the Advisory
Council his last year. We sincerely
appreciate their contributions, their insights, and their advocacy for our
Their vacant positions have been filled by
Mike Tobias and Scott McCullam. Each
began their four-year term this past January.
Mike is a stay-at-home dad, and Scott comes to us from the Northwest
Regional Education Service District (NWRESD).
Both are just as enthusiastic about Talking Books as their predecessors,
and we are grateful for their willingness to serve. In 2014 we are planning to develop a new
long-range plan, and their perspectives will be valuable throughout this
Talking Books has developed a partnership
agreement with Oregon Textbook and Media Center (OTMC) to help provide
accessible books to Oregon students.
OTMC handles literature and textbook requests from students who need
their books in Braille or audio. Now,
whenever OTMC receives a request they check with our library first to see if we
can provide the book to the student for free.
This partnership will save OTMC thousands of dollars by reducing their
need to purchase Braille-embossed books, and it will increase awareness of
Talking Books among students and teachers.
It’s a win-win for both agencies!
Thanks to Elke Bruton, Talking Books Librarian, and Bob Disher, OTMC
Manager, for working out the details of this beneficial and efficient
DONATIONS THANK YOU
With 2014 already in full swing, we here at
Talking Books would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our
generous supporters for your donations throughout 2013. Your donations go straight to keeping our
library well staffed and well supplied.
State budget tightening means we are increasingly dependent on
donations, and you have genuinely warmed our hearts with a constant, steady
flow of financial support. Every
donation is sincerely appreciated, and remember that your donations are also tax
NAME TALKING BOOKS IN YOUR WILL
In the early 1990’s, Thomas Price of Grants
Pass left a large portion of his estate to Talking Book and Braille Services in
memory of his wife Irene who had enjoyed our audio books throughout her
lifetime. His bequest made it possible to establish the Talking Books Endowment
Fund and the Irene Price Society.
Today, we’re excited to announce our
Endowment Fund has risen to $1.4 million, with almost $600,000 coming in the
last 3 years, thanks to many individuals who include Talking Books in their
estate planning. The Endowment Fund ensures that future generations will
continue to enjoy Talking Books and other special services for Oregonians with
If you have plans to name Talking Books in
your will, let us know and we will add you to our Irene Price Society
membership. We will honor you with a gift for becoming a member. This gift is
our way of saying “thanks” to you on behalf of future generations who will
benefit from this great program.
Our planned giving contact person is Robin
Speer. You can reach her at 503-378-5014 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over time, most rechargeable batteries lose
their ability to charge back up to their original maximum level. Cell phone batteries go from lasting a full
day to only half a day on a full charge.
Camera batteries can only handle taking 100 pictures instead of
200. It is the same with our digital
players. After faithfully reading
countless books their ability to recharge to their original 29+ hour level
slowly dwindles down to 20 hours, then 15 hours, and on until finally they
cannot charge up at all. This behavior
is normal and expected.
To help increase the life of your player’s
battery, here are some tips from our equipment coordinator.
- If you use you player mostly on battery, try
to recharge the player after it announces that the battery is low and has less
than 1 hour of charge left. Ideally, you should let the battery drain
completely and then recharge it, but we understand why some users would not
want to do that. Waiting till the player announces the battery has less than 1
hour left is the second best thing.
- When recharging, let the player recharge for
at least 8 hours. You are still able to listen to books when the player is
- If you are able to, leave the player plugged
in at all times or as often as possible.
If your player works when you need it to and
you’re happy to keep using it as is, we’re happy too. But if your player gets to the point where it
only reports having 12 hours or less of battery life on a full charge, and that
amount is not adequate for your reading routine, then we’d be happy to replace
it for you. All you need to do is
contact us with your name, phone number, and a brief message letting us know
how low your battery charges up to and we’ll get a replacement out as soon as
WHAT TO DO ABOUT OVERDUES
We make a regular practice of mailing out
overdue letters as a way to remind people their accounts show books checked out
beyond the six-week loan period. These
letters really are just meant to be reminders; they are not invoices, and you
will never be charged a late fee, replacement fee, or any fee of any kind. Instead, we want to make sure your account is
not cluttered with books you don’t actually have.
Oftentimes a book goes overdue because it
gets lost in the mail, either before it gets to you or on its way back to us. There are times when the mailing card will
fall out and the post office doesn’t know where to deliver or return the
book. In these instances we recognize
the lost book is overdue by no fault of your own.
If you get an overdue notice for a book,
double-check to make sure you don’t still have it. If you find the book, mail it back and all
will be well. If you cannot find it,
give us a call and let us know you don’t have the book and we’ll remove the
record from your account. We really
appreciate your conscious efforts to be good stewards of the books you get, and
we understand sometimes things happen beyond your control.
Magazine users may also receive overdue
notices if their cartridges are not returned.
These overdue notices are printed on bright green card stock, and will
list which weeks are overdue on the label.
Because of the much higher cost of cartridges over cassettes, it is very
important for magazine users to return their cartridges promptly. Overdue and lost cartridges could potentially
cause the NLS magazine program to fail, and are one of the main reasons several
publishers are hesitant to switch over to the digital format.
If you receive an overdue notice for a
magazine cartridge you cannot find or you’ve already returned, call and tell us
so we can mark the cartridge as lost.
Otherwise your magazines and Talking Books account may wind up blocked. You will never be charged for lost magazines,
so you can feel safe keeping us in the know.
ACCESSIBLE TAX FORMS
It’s tax season again, and Talking Books is
here to help connect you to the plethora of accessible forms and publications
made available by the IRS. They have
forms and publications on their website in Large Print, Braille, and accessible
PDF. You can find them directly at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Accessible-IRS-Tax-Products.
The IRS also offers customer service
assistance for persons who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities. People
with TTY equipment may call 800-829-4059, which is a toll-free number, for
People who are unable to complete their tax return because of a physical
disability may get assistance from an IRS office, or through the Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) sponsored by the IRS. Taxpayers can find a
nearby location by calling 1-800-906-9887.
Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax
implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, and is available
on the IRS website.
NOTES IN BOXES
As a reminder to our users, it is against the
federal Free Matter postal regulations to send us notes inside the mailing
containers of talking books you are returning. To send us requests,
please call, email, or mail them in a separate envelope. You may write
“Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” on the envelope so it is still free
to mail. To report a defective book,
just mark the box in the upper-left corner of the return mailing card. Continuing to send notes in talking book
containers could result in the loss of Free Matter mailing privileges.
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
- May 26, Memorial Day
- July 4, Independence Day