Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image

Talking Book and Braille Newsletter
Fall 2004
Volume 1, Issue 3                                                                          Oregon State Library
Autumn 2004 250                                                                           Winter St NE
                                                                                                        Salem, Oregon 97301

It's Back to School Time
     School has started for some or will shortly for others, and that means students will be preparing for required reading.   Remember that TBABS has a wonderful collection of classics and contemporary works, and many of the titles you will need for your assignments can be obtained by giving us a call.  If we do not have the title you need, we will check the Internet to see if it is available through another source, or perhaps refer you to an outside source. And don’t forget about TBABS for your evening and weekend recreational reading!
     Fall signals the start of the national and college football season, and we have many books about this favorite sport. We also have two holidays to celebrate in the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and we have both fiction and nonfiction titles about each of these American holidays that will satisfy the interested reader.  So plan to use your TBABS library for all of your reading needs this fall. We are here to help you find materials for both your school studies and your pleasure reading. 

Calendar for 2005
     Thanks to the generous donations of TBABS readers and their friends and relatives, we will again be publishing a large print calendar for the year 2005.  We are currently  in the process of printing these and hope to have them in the mail to you by the end of this month.  If you wish a Braille calendar instead,  please call Jackie Shepherd at 1-800-452-0292 and let her know.

Magazines Make Great Fall Reading
     It’s getting to be that time of year when temperatures begin to cool and the rain returns.  What better way to spend a rainy night than with a favorite magazine?  Perhaps you're not aware of some of the magazines offered at no costto you in Braille and on cassette. Here's a sample of four magazines targeted to very different audiences. 
 
Sports Illustrated
weekly
cassette
International sports news and articles with emphasis on American spectator sports; features on sports personalities, sports events, and outdoor activities.
 
People
weekly
cassette
News, articles, and interviews of celebrities.
 
Spider: the Magazine for Children
monthly
Braille, cassette
Stories, poems, jokes, and crafts for beginning readers ages 6-9
 
Martha Stewart Living
10 issues/year
Braille
Recipes, gardening, crafts, collectibles, reminiscence, home keeping, and home entertaining.
 
        If any of these interest you, please give us a call and we'll sign you up.  For a complete list of magazines in special media, call and ask for a catalog entitled Magazines in Special Media.  The catalog is available in cassette, Braille, and large print.

Who's Your Favorite Narrator?
     Do you ever find yourself listening to certain books because of the narrator? In response to patron requests, The National Library Service (NLS) has created a web site where patrons may learn more about the different narrators of talking books. The narrators decide whether to provide information about themselves, so not every one of them may be included. The site features an audio sample of non-copyrighted material. While there are narrators at various studios who record for NLS only, only those working at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) studio and the NLS studio are included now. As narrators at other studios make information available, NLS will include links to their studio sites. You may visit the Web page at www.loc.gov/nls/narrators/ to see if your favorite is there.

New E-Mail Address
        We have a new e-mail address.  It is:  tbabs@oslmac.osl.state.or.us . We are happy to receive your messages by telephone, mail, e-mail, or fax (503-588-7119).

From Carolynn's Corner
     In June the TBABS Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) was activated for public use after several weeks of testing by staff and selected users.  Access can be had from the link on our website or by typing in the URL http://tbabs.osl.state.or.us/catalog/  .   If you need your ID and/or password, please call us at 1-800-452-0292.
     The Wolfner Library in Missouri moved to the KLAS system before we did, and they provided their readers with a shortcut keys reference guide for OPAC users.  I am reproducing that guide here in the firm belief that no one should reinvent the wheel and with the sure knowledge that many of you will find this information helpful.  Using these shortcut keys, one may navigate through the catalogue without needing a mouse.  You can tab forward or shift + tab backwards through the screen, but these shortcuts may allow you to move more quickly through the program.  According to Wolfner these have been tested in Internet Explorer 6, Netscape 7.1, and Mozilla Firebird 0.7.
 
        NOTE: Window Eyes users must turn off MSAA/ Internet Commands (Ctrl-Shift-A).
 

Screen Area                                                Shortcut Keystroke
Basic Search                                                  Alt + X
First Form Box                                               Alt + J
Browse                                                         Alt + W
Submit                                                          Alt + S
 
Advanced Search                                          Alt + Z
First Form Box                                              Alt + J
Browse                                                        Alt + W
Submit                                                         Alt + S

Search Results Screen
Add to Book Basket                                      Alt + G
E-mail Marked Items                                    Alt + Shift + @
View Book Basket                                        Alt + B

Book Basket Screen
E-mail List                                                  Alt + Shift + @
Proceed to Checkout                                   Alt + P

Patron Information                                      Alt + I
Patron Summary                                         Alt + U
Patron Has Now                                         Alt + W
Patron Has Had                                         Alt + H
Patron Reserves/Requests                          Alt + Q

Patron Search Options                                Alt + Z                                      
Note:  This shortcut is also used for Advanced Searches
 
Patron Record                                            Alt + R   
Note:  This shortcut is also used for requests
 
Place Requests                                           Alt + R
Place Requests by Book Number                Alt + Shift + #
View Book Basket                                      Alt + B
Log Off                                                      Alt + L     
Help                                                           Alt + Shift + ?

Other Links                                                Alt + W  
Note:  This shortcut is also used for Has Now
 
           With the help of volunteer Nolan Crabb we are currently in the process of developing a tape to help users learn to order books and check their accounts via the Internet OPAC.  We will announce the availability of these tapes in a future newsletter

TBABS Advisory Council Promotes Petition to First Lady
     Because many of our readers are interested in when the National Library Service (NLS) is going to update its technology, and in fact, are asking that this be done sooner rather than later, the TBABS Advisory Council has published a petition addressed to Laura Bush asking for her support in requesting NLS to move forward with its technology plan but to move the adoption of a better recording/playback solution than cassette tapes to the year 2006 rather than 2008.  NLS  is planning to start this technological shift in 2008 with books being distributed on flash memory cards to be played on new machines currently being designed for the exclusive use by NLS Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.   Anyone interested in reading and/or signing this petition may access the site at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/talking/petition.html .
        Anyone who would like a good overview of the plan NLS is following may access this at http://www.loc.gov/nls/businessplan2003.html .
 

Devers Eye Institute To Do Research in Native American Populations
     Devers Eye Institute/Discoveries in Sight, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and the Northwest Portland Area tribes are working together to determine the kinds of eye diseases found in Native Americans from Oregon, Washington,  Idaho, and Alaska. Studies indicate that these communities more commonly develop systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension in comparison to other ethnic groups. Also, poor vision is a leading cause of disability and impairment among Native Americans. Unfortunately, little is known about eye diseases in these communities
even though statistics show that vision loss is the sixth leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of impairment in these groups .
        The Institute received a five-year $1.1 million grant from the National Eye Institute to study eye disease in Northwest Native American populations .  The participants will study the age-specific prevalence of eye diseases causing visual impairment, blindness, and ocular disease. The study has two main goals: to determine the prevalence and type of eye disease in the Native American population of the Northwest and to determine if screening eye exams can be reliably administered by ophthalmic technicians, which could improve access to eye exams and lead to earlier detection and treatment.  The study’s principle investigator is glaucoma specialist Dr. Steven Mansberger.
     If it is determined that ophthalmic technicians are able to efffectively and reliably administer eye exams, this would greatly increase access to screening eye exams not only to Native Americans but to all those who live in small, rural communities.
        (Information for this story came from The Business Journal of Portland, week of June 21, 2004.)
 

Everybody Reads Is Coming Again to Multnomah County in 2005
     Multnomah County Library will again be sponsoring an Everybody Reads event in 2005.  The book chosen to be read by everyone in Multnomah County is House on Mango Streetby Sandra Cisneros, the author of Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories.   First published in 1984, the book consists of a series  of vignettes introducing the friends and family of the narrator, Esperanza,  who lives on Mango Street in the Puerto Rican section of Chicago.  Esperanza, whose name means "hope," learns to cope with being an out-of-step girl by telling stories.   
        “The House on Mango Streettouches on many important issues such as the immigrant experience and identity and assimilation,” said Molly Raphael, director of libraries. “We are also looking forward to building on the library's outreach efforts to the Spanish speaking community through this project. Everybody Reads is about bringing people together and making cultural connections.”
        Everybody Reads 2005 will include book discussions, film screenings, community forums, and other related events. Events and activities will begin in January 2005. Check with the Multnomah
County Library for further details.The web site is http://www.multcolib.org/news/2004/er2005.html
            If this sounds like something of which you would like to be a part,  be sure to Reservea copy of this talking book by calling us at 1-800-452-0292.

What's Happening in Your Community?
     Sharing our experiences with literature is fun and a great way to meet people.  If you don’t live in Multnomah County, please call your local library and see if it has a similar program.   Let us know what the books are, and we will try to get them for you if we do not already have them in our collection. 
        We are aware of a few programs in which you could participate using talking books or Braille books from TBABS.  If you live in Deschutes County, the public library   will be hosting their second annual “A Novel Idea…Read Together” program in April 2005.  This program is similar to Multnomah’s “Everybody Reads.”   The Corvallis-Benton County libraries have a book club; the book to be discussed in October is Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,and the November selection is Follow the River.   We have both these books in our collection.  If you live in Salem, the public library will be the first library in Oregon to host  Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature, a national traveling exhibit.  In conjunction with this exhibit, the library will host a 6-week Salem Community Learning Experience.  We have several of the books recommended to go along with this event.     
        So, if you haven’t been to your local library lately, give them a call and ask what programs they offer.  We may be able to provide you with materials to enable your participation.

Online Book Club
     Another opportunity to share your ideas about what you read is an online book club.  If you have an e-mail address, you may join one online book club  by subscribing to the Yahoo list for blind and visually impaired persons.  You can talk about your favorite authors and plots by sending a blank e-mail to Readingclub4theblindsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.  You will receive a message from the group, and you just have to send that message back by using “reply” in order to get started.  You may unsubscribe at any time.

Ski for Light Returns to Colorado
     Ski for Light (SFL) attracts skiers at all levels—beginners to advanced competitors.  Skiers and guides come from every adult age group and occupation. Held at a different United States location early each year, SFL is a cross-country skiing program that pairs visually and mobility impaired skiers with sighted instructor/guides.  The skiers set the pace, asking their guides to assist with skills, technique, endurance or simply enjoying the outdoors.  The week ends in a race and rally.  For many skiers the goal is simply completing the 5 or 10 kilometer course, while others compete against the clock.
        More than 325 active adults from across the U.S. and around the world will celebrate the 30th annual Ski for Light International Week event in Granby, Colorado from January 30-February 6, 2005.  Participants will stay at the Inn at Silver Creek and ski each day at Sno Mountain Ranch, the “YMCA of the Rockies.”  While priority is given to new registrants, it is common to find both skiers and guides who have participated for 5, 10, even 20 years.
        SFL is always seeking new skiers and guides.  Those interested in attending SFL may contact the appropriate coordinator.  Visually impaired individuals may contact Lynda Boose at 906-250-7836 or lynda@sfl.org.  Mobility impaired individuals may contact Jeff Pagels at 920-494-5572 or jeff@sfl.org.  The application deadline for skiers is November 1, 2004.
        To be a guide, no experience with visually or mobility impaired people is necessary.  For those who are confident  on skis, SFL holds an intensive one-day training session with seasoned skiers and guides.  Contact Brenda Seeger at 507-274-5502 or brenda@sfl.org.
        Ski for Life, Inc.® is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization.  Information and application forms are available at www.sfl.org.
 

November Election Information
     It will soon be time to vote. That means that the voters’ pamphlet mailed out in print to all registered Oregon voters will be available to the visually impaired in cassette format and via your computer.  However, TBABS does not provide this information. The cassette version of the pamphlet is available through Independent Living Resources, in Portland.  Once you have received the pamphlet on cassette, you are on their mailing list and will continue to receive it for each election.  If, however, you have never received the pamphlet on cassette and you would like to begin receiving it,  Independent Living Resources may be contacted at 503-232-7411. 
            In previous years, the League of Women Voters has also recorded their Voters´ Guide on audiotape and distributed the tapes to visually impaired voters. These tapes were expensive to produce, and very few of them were used.  This year, thanks to the efforts of Rebecca Smith and Tina Hansen, the League decided to try something different.   As before, actors were recruited to read and record the Voters´ Guide.  However, this time audio computer files of the recordings were created in MP3 format, the same format now used to distribute and play popular music on the Internet. These files were uploaded to a web server hosted by the Portland League with links at www.lwvor.org.  Any voter with Internet access can download and listen to this audio Voters´ Guide at his or her convenience.  The Oregon Public Affairs Network was also recruited to distribute the audio Voters´ Guide in streaming video format. So this year, voters who are vision impaired have several options for learning more about the candidates and the issues before voting. 

Do You Have a Story to Tell?
     Hello, my name is Beth Omansky and I am legally blind.  I live in Portland, Oregon.  I am currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Social Work and Applied Human Sciences as a distance-learning student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.  I am interested in recording the life stories of legally blind people as a part of a sociological examination of blindness.  I will ask you to participate in at least one in-person interview and one follow-up interview.  We will meet in a place that is convenient and accessible to both of us.  I hope that you will consider particpating in this unique study.  As a legally blind person myself, I am committed to the betterment of legally blind people’s place in our society.
        In order to be eligible for participation, you must
                1. Be between 21 and 65 years old
                2. Have been legally blind for at least 5 years
                3. Not be totally blind
                4. Be a resident of the metropolitan Portland area
        As a participant, you will have an opportunity to share your life story with me.  You will participate in every stage of the research, including helping me decide what will be important to learn about you.  In order to make sure that your life story is being told accurately, you will be asked to read my transcription of your words along with my interpretation of your life experience.  I will keep you involved at every step of the research, including reading final drafts.  I will offer the research materials in whichever format you prefer, large print or diskette, for example.  Your participation is completely voluntary.  You are free to withdraw at any time and there is no penalty if you decide to withdraw from the study.  Your confidentiality and anonymity will be protected during every stage of the research.
        Please call me at (503) 892-5668 if you would like to participate in this study. I look forward to hearing from you.
 

Reader's Digest and Newsweek
     If you have been among those who recently signed up to receive Reader’s Digest or Newsweek, you should know that the magazines won’t be available for 60 to 90 days after you sign up. Because of staff changes at American Printing House for the Blind the magazine orders are backlogged. Those of you who signed up during the winter should know that we have not forgotten you. The orders are being processed as quickly as possible, and we are working with the printing house to bring all of the orders current.

TBABS Plan Emphasizes Outreach and Innovation
     On August 13th, the State Library Board approved a 10-year strategic plan for Talking Book and Braille Services. The plan was developed by a steering committee of the Talking Book and Braille Services Advisory Council members, TBABS users,  and TBABS staff, working with consultant Sara Behrman. The plan includes 10 goals dealing with recruitment and retention of new TBABS users, utilizing new technology, improving service to TBABS users in their local public libraries, and developing stable and sustainable funding for TBABS. The plan will be posted on the TBABS website. Funding has already been approved by the State Library Board to begin to address the goal dealing with increased outreach and marketing. A budget of $15,000 in donation funds will be used to contract with a professional marketing firm this year. Donation funds have also been budgeted to address the goal of providing a wider variety of services. Later this year, TBABS will join regional libraries for the blind in Colorado, Illinois and New Hampshire to experiment with a shared web-based audiobook collection, working with OverDrive, Inc., a provider of circulating web-based e-book and audiobook collections.

Keep the Cards and Letters Coming!
     We have had  a number of letters come in recently and we really appreciate your comments. Those of you receiving the print version of this newsletter may have noticed that the format and type style have changed each issue.  Those changes are in response to feedback we have received from our customers: YOU.  

TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
Veterans’ Day, November 11
Thanksgiving,  November 25