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
           Volume 9,  Issue  3  ·  Winter  2012/13  ·  Editor:  Joel Henderson
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NFB-Newsline, a free service that grants users access to current local and national newspapers and magazines over the phone, has introduced several new features that now allow users to take their news with them wherever they go.  The NFB-Newsline Mobile App, NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket, and Podable News options easily connect a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, purchased digital player, or MP3-enabled device with their NFB-Newsline account.

The NFB-Newsline Mobile App is a free app available for any NFB-Newsline subscriber with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (sorry, but at this point the app is not available for Android or other smartphones).  You can search for the app in the iTunes store, and then download it to your iDevice.  Once the app is installed all you need to do is log in with your 6-digit user ID and 4-digit pin, and you have instant access.  It’s that easy.  The app is fully compatible with Apple’s Voice Over® software.

NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket and Podable News use free software programs to download publications for listening on portable devices.  NFB-Newsline In Your Pocket works with devices like the Victor Reader Stream, Icon/Braille+, BookSense, and BookPort Plus.  With the download of their free software program, you only need to plug your device into your computer with a USB cord, launch the program, and your favorite newspapers and magazines will be placed on your device automatically.  Podable News works with any MP3 or DAISY-supported player.  When you launch this free program, your selected publications will download as MP3 files onto your computer, which you can copy over to your device.  For both programs you will need to set up your FAVORITES list for the content that you want to have downloaded (see the NFB-Newsline Online website for instructions).  These services automate each process to make it as easy as possible for people who feel less than technologically savvy.

Check out NFB-Newsline Online’s website at for more information.  If you already have a Newsline account, these features are available to you immediately.  For anyone interested in signing up for a free NFB-Newsline account, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or  Please be aware it can take up to two weeks for your account to be created.


Every two months many of you receive a catalog of book titles called Talking Book Topics.  This catalog is created by the National Library Service (NLS) for all members of the Talking Books program throughout the country, including our residents here in Oregon, and is intended to advertise books that have been recently added to the NLS collection.  Here are a few tips for how to use this catalog effectively.

First, Talking Book Topics includes Order forms in the back that enable users to mark which books they’d be interested in receiving.  However, the term Order form is a bit of a misnomer.  It’s best to think of these forms as Request forms, since we only have a limited number of copies of each book and cannot always immediately send out each book to each person who wants it.  Popular books by popular authors may have quite a waitlist for them.

Secondly, always remember to return your request forms to us here at Talking Books in Oregon.  The return address on the back of the catalog is for CMLS, the company that handles the labeling and mailing of the catalogs for users across the country.  You can return forms to them, but it may take several weeks for them to reroute those request forms back to us here in Oregon where your requests are processed.  Our mailing address is 250 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301.  You can also call in or email us with your requests.  Just be sure to include the number of each book you are interested in requesting.

Next, try to keep the number of books you request at a reasonable level.  If you are a person who receives books by automatic selection, you do not need to mark every book that matches your subject preferences because our computer system will make those selections for you.  You only need to mark specific titles that you are especially interested in reading.  That way we know which books you are most interested in, and you’ll have a better chance of getting them instead of something else you’re only somewhat interested in.

Also, it’s important to remember that newer requests go out before older requests, so older requests can sometimes get buried beneath a whole bunch of your newer requests and never go out.  Requests that are more than 1 year old are automatically expired every April.  In order to keep your request list at a reasonable level to ensure you get as many of them as possible before they expire, we recommend marking up to 30-40 titles per Talking Book Topics, especially for patrons who only read 2-4 books a week.

Lastly, people who use BARD can download an audio version of Talking Book Topics directly from BARD.  Talking Book Topics is listed with the other magazines, and there are back issues available as well.  We can also load an audio copy of Talking Book Topics onto a flash drive or blank cartridge for you if you do not use BARD.  Contact us for more information and a letter detailing the process.



One of our beloved long-standing volunteers, Clyde Mullin, was recently awarded the Governor’s 2012 Statewide Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award at a banquet on November 9, 2012, in Salem.  Clyde, at 95 years old, has been an active volunteer all his life, and has logged over 8,400 hours in 21 years of volunteering with Talking Books helping to repair cassette machines.  His efforts have saved the State of Oregon over $212,000 in repair costs, and he is still coming in every other Tuesday to pick up and drop off more cassette machines.


In addition to his service to Talking Books, Clyde has also been volunteering with Meals On Wheels since 1994.  He sometimes delivers 5 days a week, 14 meals a day, to home-bound people in the Salem-Keizer community.  Clyde’s smiling face, bright eyes and gentle laughter have been a source of joy and encouragement to literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of home-bound folks over the 18 years he has driven for the program.  He not only donates his time, but also the use of his car and the gas it takes to drive it.  This level of generosity has saved Salem-Keizer Meals On Wheels over $120,000, which if you add that to the costs he has saved Talking Books, is over $332,000!


We are truly honored to know Clyde.  He is a man with a sweet, gentle soul and a warm, caring and giving heart.  Throughout his whole life he has faithfully served his family, community and the State of Oregon.  His contributions continue to affect hundreds of people on a daily basis. Clyde emulates a lifetime of commitment and generosity and is most deserving of the recognition and honor of the 2012 Oregon Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award.



The BARD downloadable book service has recently undergone an upgrade, adding a lot of new features and content to an already awesome program.  This “new” BARD includes:


-      Braille books for download: remember, the B in BARD stands for Braille.  The Web-Braille service has now merged into BARD, so users can find both audio and Braille books from the same source.

-      Music: BARD users can now download audio and Braille music instructional materials.

-      My Wish List: if you want to save a book for download later, you can now add it to your My Wish List.  Once you download the book, it will automatically be removed from your My Wish List.

-      My Previous Downloads: now you can see a list of all the books and magazines you have downloaded.

-      Updated settings: if it is easier for you to use BARD in black and white rather than color, or if you only want to see results for audio or Braille instead of both, you can make these changes to your account.


If you are interested in signing up to use BARD, you can visit our website at and follow the links on our homepage to the application, or you can contact us for assistance.  There are detailed, step-by-step instructions on our BARD information page, as well as information for purchasing blank cartridges and flash drives.  Happy downloading.



Since our last newsletter we’ve had quite a few staff changes and additions here in Talking Books, and we’re excited to finally be fully staffed again considering it’s been over a year since we’ve had a full team!  Here’s the inside scoop on the new faces in our office.


In October we hired Crystal Grimes to fill one of our Circulation Technician positions.  She comes to us from the Dallas Public Library, where she had worked for three years as a library assistant.  Now she helps us mail books out in the morning and check in returned books in the afternoon.  Crystal spends her free time reading fantasy and science fiction books, and is in the process of writing some of her own stories.  Her favorite authors include C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Patricia Briggs, and Jane Austin.


In November our other Circulation Technician, Meagan Button, was promoted to our Readers’ Advisory Coordinator position.  She is now our primary front desk staff member, as well as the coordinator for our Newsline and Braille services.  Meagan will also be working on call plans to help keep our users active and happy.  She and her husband are expecting a new baby boy in the spring.


In December we hired our newest Circulation Technician, Brandon Button, to fill our final open position.  He comes to us from Roth’s Fresh Markets, and will be working with Crystal to ensure our books go out and come in efficiently.  Brandon is crazy about movies, having seen over 2500 of them, and likes to read up on urban planning.


Please join us in welcoming Crystal and Brandon and congratulating Meagan on her promotion.  And thank you to all our users for your patience as we’ve worked through several staff shortages this year.  We really appreciate your support.



Occasionally you may hear the “end of book” message when you start playing a newly received cartridge.  Oftentimes you hear this message because you have already read the book, or because there is a slight error with your player.  In most cases resetting the player profile will correct this issue.


Resetting the profile on your player returns the player to factory default settings.  This action will remove all the progress bookmarks your player has stored in its memory.  Overtime your player stores up too many bookmarks and needs to have them wiped clean.  You will lose your place in any books you are currently reading, so be sure to make a note of where you are so you can fast forward to that spot after the reset.


To reset the profile you will need to do the following:

·       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. 

·       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.



For our newer patrons, we wanted to include a quick refresher for how you return the books you have finished reading.  All of our books have a 6-week loan period, but you are more than welcome to return books as soon as you want.


To return a book, just flip the mailing card on the bottom side of the container over.  This card will be showing your name and address when you receive the book, and has our return address and the Free Matter postage designation already printed on the opposite side.  You can tell the card is showing our return address when the hole punched in the card is in the top-left corner.  There is no need to put any stamps or other postage on the mailing card; all books are returned to us at no cost to you.  Just place the container with the mailing card showing our return address in your home mailbox or in any USPS mail drop.  That is all you need to do.


If you need a replacement mailing card, contact us at 800-452-0292 and we can send you one.  Just let us know your full name, spelling your last name, your phone number, and how many mailing cards you need.  We look up your address and get the mailing cards out to you as soon as possible.  Thanks.



Have you ever wanted to try BARD, our downloadable book service, but have been hesitant because you feel like a beginner when it comes to using a computer?  For those readers who find the process too difficult with a screen reader, too confusing for a beginner, or who have had other technical problems, there is a product you can purchase that may help simplify the BARD download process.  The product is called CDESK for Media by AdaptiveVoice, a high contrast, Large Print, fully-speech enabled program for Windows PCs that reduces the BARD download process to just 3 steps:


1.  Enter the book title or author’s name in the search feature

2.  Select the book you want from the results list

3.  Choose GET


CDESK for Media will automatically download, extract, and transfer the book from BARD onto your flash drive, blank cartridge, or purchased Victor Reader.  You can download a free 15 day trial version of CDESK for Media, after which you will be required to purchase the software.  There are tutorials available on their website:  If you are interested, visit their website and contact AdaptiveVoice directly for more information.



The Volunteers of Vacaville, The Blind Project @ CMF is a non-profit organization founded in 1960 for the purpose of providing the visually and physically disabled community with audio book recording.  They offer services like an audio book lending library ($25 yearly membership), aural transcription of books (to CD, cassette, or MP3), and have also recently expanded their services to include Braille Transcription and Braille Writer repair.  They are partnered with, and supported by, the Lions Club International, and provide inmates with opportunities to learn social responsibility and valuable job skills while serving their terms at the California Medical Facility.


If you are interested in the services provided by Volunteers of Vacaville, The Blind Project @ CMF, contact them at 707-448-6841 ex 2044, via email at, or visit their website at



TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays and state office closure days:

·       January 18, Closure Day

·       January 21, MLK Jr. Day

·       February 18, President’s Day

·       April 19, Closure Day

·       May 24, Closure Day

·       May 27, Memorial Day


This newsletter is available in large print, audio, Braille, or on our website at Call TBABS if you would like to change the format you currently receive.
Any mention of products and services in Talking Book and Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.