Talking Book and Braille News
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
Issue 57 · Fall 2013 · Editor: Joel Henderson
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BARD MOBILE IS HERE!
official! The BARD Mobile app for iOS
devices (iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches) is now available for free download
from the Apple App Store. Just search
for “BARD Mobile” and find the app by the Library of Congress (it should be one
of the top results). The app is
available for devices running iOS 4.3.3 or higher (the most current version is
iOS 7). You do need an active BARD
account in order to use this app.
current BARD Mobile app is very, very similar to the beta version we reported
about in our last newsletter; in fact, we couldn’t really find any differences
between the versions. There are four
main tabs in the app for Bookshelf, Get Books, Settings, and Now Playing. The Bookshelf tab organizes the items on your
device by audio and Braille, then by books and magazines. You can download items from the Get Books
tab, either from your My Wishlist, which enables you to download any available
item on BARD you’ve added to your wishlist through the app or on your computer,
or from the Recently Added pages. The
Settings tab is where you can change the default settings of the app, and also
where you can choose to use cellular data to download items instead of using
wi-fi only. Lastly, the Now Playing tab
will show what book or magazine you are currently listening to. It looks and functions almost exactly like an
advanced digital player.
reviews of the BARD Mobile app have been very positive. Almost everyone we’ve heard from says the app
is intuitive, easy to use, and efficient.
Some of our favorite features of the app include:
extraction: the BARD Mobile app automatically downloads, extracts, and
authorizes the books and magazines you download. Just click the download button for an item
and it does the rest. Hurray!
login: once you log into the BARD Mobile app, it remembers your username and
password, so you don’t need to log in every time you open the app.
devices: you can have up to five iOS devices using the BARD Mobile app
connected to your BARD account. However,
your progress through each item will not sync with other devices like it does
only default: BARD Mobile defaults to downloading items only using a wi-fi
connection, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally using up all your
cellular data allowance for the month just by downloading books.
Mobile takes advantage of a variety of VoiceOver features and gestures, and
also responds to several shortcut commands from a blue-tooth connected Braille
display. For users familiar with
VoiceOver, swipe and double-tap gestures work as they normally would. You can find a complete list of features in
the Help Guide, which comes pre-loaded with the app.
created a special section on our BARD information page just for the BARD Mobile
app, and if you have any further questions you can contact us at 800-452-0292
or email@example.com. Happy downloading!
1976 to 2009 our talking books were on analog cassettes that required a special
4-track player to be read. As some of our
longer-standing users will remember, these cassette players had a tendency to
require repair quite often, and with 5,000 users across the state, there were a
lot of players to repair. Enter the
Telephone Pioneers, a group of volunteers who over the decades helped us repair
thousands of cassette players, totaling 19,294 of donated time and effort and
saving us approximately $464,000.
honor of their generosity and to preserve their memory for future generations
of Talking Books staff and volunteers, on August 27 we held a ceremony
dedicating the newly renovated room in which they had worked as the Pioneer
Room. A special plaque bearing the
control keys from an old cassette player has been mounted to the wall, and
reads, “They hold the keys to the hearts of library staff and the thousands of
Talking Book patrons who have benefitted from their work repairing Talking Book
machines.” Three retired Pioneers and
the wife of one who has passed away were present, and each received
certificates from the National Library Service thanking them for their
is safe to say we could not be where we are today without the great
contributions of the Telephone Pioneer volunteers, as well as all the other
fantastic and dedicated volunteers that help us serve our users. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
OREGON READS 2014
in January, the Oregon Library Association (OLA) will be kicking-off their
Oregon Reads 2014 program, which will be celebrating what would have been the
100th birthday of William Stafford.
Stafford was named the National Poet Laureate in 1970, and was Oregon’s
fourth and longest standing Poet Laureate from 1975 to 1990. Over seventy libraries all over the state of
Oregon, including the State Library, will have public events highlighting
Stafford’s life and work. Check with
your local library about their schedule of events, since some things will be
happening as soon as February.
Books will be participating in Oregon Reads 2014 as well. Four books of Stafford’s poetry previously
unavailable on digital cartridge will be offered starting in January, including
an Oregon-exclusive book of poems created especially for Oregon Reads.
· A Glass Face in the Rain (DBX 782)
· Even in Quiet Places (DBX 1266, BR 11313)
· Stories that Could be True (DBX 757)
· William Stafford Centennial Celebration Collection: Poems
by William Stafford
This last book will feature 51
recordings provided by the generous permission of the William Stafford Archives
at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. You can also access these
recordings and other information about one of Oregon’s most beloved Poet
Laureates online at www.williamstaffordarchives.org.
you are interested in placing an advanced request for any or all of these
books, please call us at 800-452-0292 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
of the most important features of your digital player to be familiar with if
you get digital magazines is the bookshelf feature. The bookshelf feature is the way you to move
from one magazine to another if there are multiple issues on the same cartridge. You can usually tell if there are multiple
magazines on a cartridge when you plug the cartridge in. Your player will announce how many magazines
it recognizes on the cartridge and default to playing the first one according
to alphabetical order.
order to access the other magazines on the cartridge using the bookshelf
feature, press down the square green Play/Pause button until you hear your
player beep and say “bookshelf.” Once
you’re in the bookshelf use the Fast Forward and Rewind buttons to toggle
through the magazine issues. When you
find the one you want press the Play button again. Your player will automatically remember your
progress through each magazine, so don’t worry about losing your place in one issue
if you switch to reading another.
order to keep costs at a reasonable level, digital magazine producers are not
making the option available to have only one magazine issue per cartridge. And just as a reminder, you can always
download current and back issues of digital magazines from BARD or through the
BARD Mobile app on your compatible iOS device.
NLS CONSULTANT VISIT
August 26 – 27, we had the joy of welcoming our National Library Service Network
Consultant Pamela Davenport to our library.
Every two years our library is visited by our Network Consultant to see
how we’re doing, to talk with staff, our program manager, and our State
Librarian, to share best practices from other libraries and to gather our
suggestions for improvement. Pam is a
wonderful advocate for the Talking Books program, and even tried to help sign
someone up to get books while she was here (but it turned out he was already a
user). She was also able to attend our
Pioneer Room dedication mentioned earlier in this newsletter.
will be summarizing her observations and her recommendations in a report that
will be submitted to the Oregon State Library, then shared with our Talking
Books Advisory Council. Her report will
be a valuable and helpful tool as we continue through our library-wide
here at Talking Books have a lot of partners across the state; groups,
organizations, and individuals who help us reach people who would benefit from
our library. Our staff is small and our
office is in Salem, and we are very thankful for these allies in places like
Ashland, Medford, Bend, Eugene, and Roseburg where we usually cannot get to
with regularity. To show our
appreciation, we’d like to start a regular newsletter column highlighting a different
partner each issue, someone who makes a big difference pointing qualified
people in our direction.
first partner spotlight is on Dr. Phil Stockstad, an optometrist practicing at
E 10th St in Eugene. Dr. Stockstad has
been referring people to our library for years, and recently we have seen a
significant increase in applications certified by his office. He regularly sends in a few applications a
week, and sometimes as many as three in one day. And he does a great job prepping people for
our service by going over who we are and what we do. His patients are constantly impressed, and so
are we. Thanks Dr. Stockstad!
like Dr. Stockstad, if you believe our library can benefit someone you know,
maybe a family member, friend, neighbor, or even a stranger you meet, tell them
about Talking Books. You can call us and
ask for an application, or give them our phone number: 800-452-0292. We need your help, and you really can make a
had a growing number of digital book mailing containers returned to us without
the corresponding cartridge inside, and we’re hoping that many of these
cartridges can be found and returned to our library so they can be matched back
up with their container. Our circulation
team will do its best to contact you if we receive a container back without a
cartridge, but we’d also like to ask each of you to do a careful sweep of your
home or apartment to see if you have any loose or misplaced cartridges.
of our patrons find it easy to keep track of their books if they always put
them in the same place (i.e. a specific shelf or table) that is reserved for books
only. This way books don’t get covered
up by other things.
you’re having a hard time keep track of all your books and you feel like you’re
getting too many, please let us know and we can adjust your book limit
accordingly. Thank you for helping us be
good stewards of our materials.
MAGAZINE LOAN PERIODS
the past month we’ve seen a spike in overdue digital magazines, most notably
for the Talking Book Topics catalog
on cartridge. Just as a reminder, all
digital magazines, including Talking Book
Topics, need to be returned just like books. The loan period for monthly magazines like Talking Book Topics is four (4) weeks,
and the loan period for weekly magazines is one (1) week. In order for the digital magazine program to
be sustainable, the publisher reuses the cartridges, and each cartridge is
barcoded and checked out to your specific account. Having overdue cartridges out will cause all
your magazines to be blocked, so be sure to read and return your magazines in a
timely fashion. Magazine cartridges are
light blue and arrive in bright red containers, and are returned the same way
you return books by flipping the return mailing card over so the publisher’s
address and the Free Matter pre-paid postage are showing. Please contact us at 800-452-0292 or email@example.com if you would like to change or cancel
your magazine subscriptions.
Fall cleaning time, and this year we have a special project for everyone: now
is the time to return your old cassette machines. Just so we are clear, we are asking you
return the big, bulky, old yellow machines from the 80’s with the sliders for
volume and speed and the side selector switch, the ones that play the old
4-track cassette books in the green boxes.
We are NOT asking anyone to return their dark blue digital cartridge
players. If you are one of our newer
users or you only have a digital player, then there is nothing you need to do.
you still have the original box for your cassette machine, package it up in the
box and drop it off at the post office.
The Free Matter postage designation will already be marked on the box. If you do not have the original box for your
cassette machine, just package it up in any appropriately sized box and write
“Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” in the top-right corner where you
would usually put postage. This way it’s
free to ship the machine back to us. Our
return address is on the bottom of the machine, on the front page of this
newsletter, or on any of the return cards for the books you get.
recall is in compliance with the National Library Service’s directive to all
Talking Book libraries across the country.
The cassette machines and their accessories are federal property, and
must be returned when requested.
the holidays approach, we wanted to give everyone a heads up that our staffing
levels may be a bit low during Christmas week.
Be sure to get any requests you may have in early, preferably a week or
two ahead of time. One good way to
remember might be to mail your presents and/or Christmas cards and make your
requests on the same day. We appreciate
everyone’s understanding, and hope you all enjoy yourselves. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
FRONT DESK HOURS
Our front desk hours are 9AM – 12noon and 1PM – 4PM, Monday through
Friday. You can call anytime 24/7, but
these hours are when we return messages, answer calls, and reply to
emails. Calls are handled in the order
they are received, and we regularly have voicemails to respond to before we can
answer incoming calls directly (especially in the mornings and after
weekends). However, rest assured we’re
committed to helping you as quickly as we can.
TBABS will be
closed on the following legal holidays:
- November 11, Veterans Day
- November 28, Thanksgiving
- December 25, Christmas
- January 1, New Years Day
- January 20, MLK Jr. Day
17, Presidents Day