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Spring Newsletter 2005
T A L K I N G   B O O K  A N D  B R A I L L E   N E W S
Talking Book & Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem OR  97301-3950
(503) 378-3849 or (800) 452-0292
Volume 2,  Issue 1  ·  Spring  2005   ·  Edited byMarion Bryson

We are pleased to introduce our newest team member, and offer another opportunity to serve you with experienced, efficient staff.
TBABS welcomes to the team Andrea Clarkson, who began her service with us on January 3. Andrea assumes the position of Circulation Specialist. Her duties include performing all the tasks associated with the circulation department, such as book inspection, shelving, and preparing books for daily shipment.
Andrea comes to us with a good background in library services, having previously worked for the City of Aurora, Colorado, library department for five years. After growing up in Roseburg, Andrea lived in various locales around the country including Honolulu, San Diego, and Pensacola, Florida, before returning to Oregon last year.
Andrea enjoys a wide variety of activities including gardening, bird watching, cooking, and, of course, reading! In her spare time she enjoys mysteries and fiction by popular authors such as Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, and Dorothy Garlock.
Please join with us in extending a warm welcome to Andrea.
TBABS is happy to announce, in conjunction with Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, and New Hampshire, as well as the National Library Service For The Blind And Physically Handicapped, a new pilot project called Unabridged, http://www.unabridged.info/  that provides digital audio books for print impaired readers. Currently we have 17 subscribers to this service. If you have a computer and an Internet connection and would like to participate in this pilot project, or would simply like more information, please call Jackie Shepherd at 1-800-452-0292, or 503-378-4243 ext 265. You may also go to the web site listed above to learn more.
Once again we are pleased to offer new descriptive videos for your viewing enjoyment.
We have just purchased 12 new movies, including the highly-acclaimed Passion of the Christ. If you would like a large print or Braille list of the new offerings, please give us a call. If you need an updated catalog in Braille or large print that includes all the movies we have available, we will be happy to send one upon request.
In November, Clarence Naas of Medford called to share how much he enjoyed the service, and to propose a unique challenge for providing support for TBABS. He offered to give us $50 for every Garrison Keillor book we could send before Christmas. We naturally did our best to oblige, finding seven Garrison Keillor titles to send to him. By year’s end, Clarence made good on his promise, contributing $350 to TBABS. Thanks to Clarence for
providing us support through this creative challenge!
Perhaps you’ve got some creative ideas for supporting the work of TBABS? Please share them with us. Contact Matt Senecal at matt.senecal@state.or.us, or call 503-378-4243 ext 289.
Many of you have expressed a definite preference for a specific talking book narrator. Did you know that our new automated system makes it possible for us to key in that narrator as a preference in your reading file? Of course, that means you would receive any book that happens to be narrated by that person. Conversely, if there is a particular voice that you do not wish to listen to, we can also tell the computer not to send you books by that narrator. So, if there is a reader that you really like over and above everyone else, let us know and we will add his or her name to your preference list.
Often we get calls from patrons asking how they may contact a specific narrator. You may send your comments, criticism, or letters of appreciation to your favorite narrators by mailing them to: (Narrator’s Name), C/O Margie Goergen-Rood, Recording Studio Director, NLS/Library of Congress, 1291 Taylor St NW, Washington, DC  20542.
Everyday the staff receives a number of calls relating to the NLS cassette machine. In addition to questions regarding the actual operation of the unit, we receive calls requesting information on charging the battery, returning defective machines, and many other related items. Following are some tips that may help to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
·  Always call before returning a machine as defective. We might be able to help you with the problem over the telephone, and save you the trouble of having to return the machine.
· The battery should be charged regularly by plugging the cord into a wall outlet for at least 12 hours. You should use the unit unplugged, to enable the battery to be discharged, and then plug it into the wall again when not in use. You cannot overcharge the unit.
· Save the box and packaging materials that your player came in; you will need them should you have to return the machine.
· Only one machine may be checked out to each registered patron of our service.
· You can take your machine with you if you want to listen to talking books when you go on vacation; just remember it needs to be recharged periodically.
· Do not loan your player to others; you alone are responsible for its care, and your machine has been personally assigned to you by serial number.
· If you are discontinuing services, the player must be returned to TBABS. If you are moving out of state and wish to receive talking books in your new location, you may take your player with you. Just let us know ahead of time.
If you have questions related to the actual operation of the machine, any one of our staff would be happy to help. Just give us a call.
A gift through a will, life insurance, or trust allows Talking Book and Braille Services to plan for the future and expand current programs.
Over the years Talking Book and Braille Services (TBABS) has been the beneficiary of gifts that people have included in their wills or trusts. Here are some estate gifts that we have received recently:
Estate of Robert W. Purdy
Eugene and Edith Geswander Trust
Estate of James D. Wallace
Estate of Neva Elliot Estate of Marion R. East
The most common way people remember TBABS in a will or living trust is through a charitable bequest. You do not have to rewrite your current documents.  You simply add an amendment, called a codicil, to your will or living trust. Here is some suggested language that you can have your attorney review:
"I give and bequeath the Talking Book and Braille Services, located in Salem, Oregon, $_________" (or state a percentage of your estate, or describe real or personal property, including exact location.).
Your bequest is entirely under your control during life and becomes irrevocable only at death. If you have questions about bequests, call Matt Senecal at 503-378-4243 ext 289, or send e-mail to matt.senecal@state.or.us
An official government site now provides easy access to seniors looking for government information online. The web address iswww.firstgov.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml. In this remarkable web site you will find information relating to consumer protection, education, health, retirement, and many, many other items.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness has a web site with great articles regarding advances in macular degeneration, one of the most common age-related eye diseases, and retinitis pigmentosa. New research suggests that diets high in vitamin A palmitate and omega-3 may help to preserve retinal function, and that statin drugs (drugs designed to reduce cholesterol in the blood) and aspirin may reduce the risk of developing the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.
For further information about this and many other findings, please go to their web site at www.FightBlindness.org
The Center for Senior Health of Lane County has developed The Guide, Senior Programs and Services in Lane County. It can be accessed online at  www.laneseniorservices.org
We have available for loan a diskette copy of the Student Aid Audio Guide for 2005-2006, produced by the U.S. Department of Education. It is available on a first come, first served basis. Give us a call if you are interested in receiving it. For more information about Federal student aid, call 1-800-433-3243, or visit their web site at www.studentaid.ed.gov
On January 27, the Oregon State Library celebrated 100 years of library service to Oregonians with a reception and special activities. A highlight of the event was an exhibit of 100 Oregon Books, chosen by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission for their unique literary merit. This is an ongoing exhibit that may be enjoyed throughout the year. Special guests attending the festivities included Governor Ted Kulongoski, state legislators, Oregon authors, and the State Library Board of Trustees.
It was in 1905 that the State Library was established as the Oregon Library Commission, with Cornelia Marvin appointed as the first State Librarian. Miss Marvin instituted many innovative programs, including the first books-by-mail service in the country.
Our current State Librarian, Jim Scheppke, was appointed in 1991. The first comprehensive renovation of the Library was successfully completed in 2000, under his guidance. Jim is also a strong advocate for the Talking Book and Braille Services program.
We welcome you to visit TBABS if you are ever in the Salem area, and also to enjoy the beautiful, historic State Library in which TBABS is housed. In addition, many of the 100 Oregon Books are available to TBABS patrons on cassette. The entire list has been posted on the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission web site at http://www.ochcom.org/. While we do not have all of the titles that were selected, we do have many of them, and we welcome your inquiries about the titles you are interested in.
Spring ushers in the baseball season, and once again we will  offer both the American and National League Baseball schedule in Braille. If you are interested in receiving a copy, give us a call.
It’s that time of year again when we take some time to clean out our closets and other storage areas. Are there green boxes hanging out on your shelves? If so, we would appreciate your returning them so that others may also enjoy them. If you no longer have the reversible mailing cards needed to return the containers, you can substitute a regular index card, and put the “Free Matter” designation in the upper right hand corner.
Summer is right around the corner, and that means many public libraries will be sponsoring summer reading programs for children.  The statewide theme for youth this year is Dragons, Dreams, & Daring Deeds, and it formally begins on June 7. Check with your local library to see about events and activities that will be held throughout the summer months. You may also call TBABS to see if we have some of the suggested  titles on your reading list.
People with disabilities will be able to vote privately and independently by 2006 thanks to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). To help the Secretary of State make decisions on just how that is going to happen, the HAVA Disability Subcommittee will host a vendor fair for those companies developing and/or producing voting systems that are accessible to people with disabilities. 
The vendor fair will be held on April 4, 2005, from 8 AM to 4 PM in the State Capitol Galleria in Salem. Attending vendors will represent companies that are creating, or have created, a variety of solutions to make voting accessible to people with disabilities. There will be concurrent events in Room 50 in the morning, and Room 350 in the afternoon.
Congress passed HAVA in October 2002 to make sweeping reforms to the nation´s voting process. It includes provisions to ensure that voters with disabilities are provided the opportunity to vote privately and independently, and to have equal access to the process.
Gene Newton, HAVA Program Officer, chairs the Disability Subcommittee and is coordinating the event with the help of committee members and the Oregon Cross Disabilities Coalition (ORCDC). 
The vendor fair will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to have hands-on opportunities to test several technologies that claim to provide voting accessibility for them.  For more details, call 1-866-ORE VOTES (1-866-673-8683).
You may also contact Gene Newton or Frank Garcia, Jr. at  503-986-1506 or 503-986-1527
Fax: 503-373-7414
web sites: www.uhavavote.org
The Oregon School for the Blind Alumni Association announces a reunion of former students and staff. The date is set for August 12-14, 2005, and the event will be held at the School for the Blind in Salem. Activities include a Friday pizza social, swimming, bowling, and a dinner and dance with live music. If you are interested, send for a registration packet by May 1 to Kirk Wagner, 448 NW Riverview Way, Gresham OR 97030-6266.  You may also send an e-mail request to Kirk at kwagner@runningblue.com
If your organization is hosting an event associated with visual  impairments, we would be happy to consider publicizing it for you in this quarterly newsletter. For information on timelines, contact Marion Bryson at 503-378-4243 ext 266, or send an e-mail to marion.j.bryson@state.or.us
Now gifts can be made to TBABS online using a credit card through a secure web site. Simply go to http://library.state.or.us/home/tbabs/donate.html and follow the instructions on the screen. For more information you may contact Matt Senecal. His e-mail address is matt.senecal@state.or.us, or call 503-378-4243 ext 289.
Following are excerpts from some of the many nice letters we receive from you. We do appreciate your kind words, and the fact that talking books are so important to you.
Dave passed away this morning, so I’m returning his equipment. It has been his biggest lifeline and I’m very appreciative. Thanks for being there…he read 1,475 books.”
You helped my husband a lot during his last years of legal blindness because of macular degeneration. Thank you for being there.”
When macular degeneration took away my central vision in 1990, I turned to talking books for help, and you have saved my sanity and also my life. I am eternally grateful.”
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holiday:
Memorial Day, Observed
Monday, May 30
This newsletter is available in large print, on cassette, in Braille, or on our web site at www.oregon.gov/osl/tbabs

Any mention of products and services in Talking Book And Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.
OREGON STATE LIBRARY                                                                                             
250 WINTER ST  NE