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Fall 2006 Newsletter

¨ TBABS ¨                                    
Talking Book & Braille Services                                    
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem OR  97301-3950
(503) 378-3849 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 588-7119
e-mail: tbabs.info@state.or.us
website: www.tbabs.org
Volume 3,  Issue 3  ·  Fall  2006  ·  Edited by Marion Bryson

For some time now we have been singing the praises of the Unabridged Digital Audio Book project, which may be accessed at www.unabridged.info. This innovative website allows you to download books onto your personal computer, and it is entirely free for you to do   so. We are excited about the number of you who have called to sign up for this service!
In hopes of getting more of you to try this service, we have purchased a limited supply of MP3 players for loan to persons who are interested in trying out Unabridged for the first time. To be eligible to borrow one of the MP3 players you must be a patron who is currently not subscribed to the Unabridged service and:
  • Have a compatible computer
  • Have Broadband Internet access
If you are eligible and interested in subscribing to Unabridged, please submit an email request no later than October 20, 2006 to: tbabs.info@state.or.us. In the subject line of your email type the words Unabridged Promotion. In the body of the email include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and provide the name of your Internet provider. Only email requests will be accepted.
Based on the number of requests submitted, there will be a random drawing to determine the distribution of the MP3 players. All interested parties will be notified of the results by email no later than November 1, 2006.
Recently TBABS sent a mailing to all patrons regarding an exciting new service available from The National Federation of the Blind called NFB-NEWSLINE. We are excited that so many of you have decided to sign up, and we want to encourage those of you who still are undecided to give this remarkable new service a try.
NFB-NEWSLINE offers free telephone access to more than 230 newspapers to anyone who cannot read conventional newsprint. The service is available over any touch-tone telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Oregon residents will be happy to know that the Portland Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal are available through this service, as well as two Spanish language newspapers, El NuevoHerald from Miami, and La Opinion from Los Angeles.
In addition to newspapers, some magazines are also accessible, including Diabetes Self-Management, The Economist, The New Yorker, and AARP the Magazine. Those of you who currently subscribe to AARP on audio cassette  (free through TBABS), or The New Yorker, which is only available for a subscription fee, may wish to avail yourself of the free telephone access.
If you have not already done so, we would like to encourage you to take advantage of this unique service. Just give us a call to register, and we will send you an identification number and security code which you will need to access the NFB-NEWSLINE service. Also available to anyone who would like additional information is a helpful tutorial. You can access the tutorial via our website at www.tbabs.org, or you can call us at 800-452-0292 and we will be happy to send you a large print copy.
Many TBABS patrons have requested an audio weekly newsmagazine other than the two currently available selections, U.S. News and World Report, and Newsweek. (Newsweek is available only by calling the American Printing House for the Blind at 800-223-1839). In cooperation with the Talking Book library in Iowa, we are now able to offer Time magazine on audio cassette, free of charge.
When you subscribe to this magazine, the issue you receive may not be the most current one. The tape that is duplicated here in Salem arrives about four weeks after the original publishing date.  As an example, we received the May 22nd issue on June 19th, meaning some information may not be very timely. However, there is a good deal of other information such as political commentary, general interest topics, as well as book, film, and music reviews, and articles about famous personalities that you may enjoy.
In addition, courtesy of the Nebraska Talking Book Library, we will soon be able to offer two new bi-monthly magazines on audio cassette: Country, and Reminisce. Country is a publication of rural and small-town living, crafts and foods, as well as reviews of country inns and farm vacations. Reminisce features general interest articles with sentimental reflections on the past. 
If you are interested in subscribing to any of these magazines, please give us a call.
You recently received a letter about the audio Voting Guide. If you have already responded to the letter, your account has been updated, and you do not need to do anything further. If you have not yet responded, there is still a brief window of time in which you may notify us of your desire to receive the Guide, and in which format you would prefer to have it sent.
This is a reminder that if you are 18 years or older and have not opted out of the program, you will be receiving the League of Women Voters Regular Nonpartisan Voting Guide on cassette tape in early October. This voting aide is produced and distributed by three partners: Secretary of State, Talking Book and Braille Services, and the League of Women Voters of Oregon.
Call TBABS now at 1-800-452-0292 if you would like to receive the Voting Guide on CD, in large print, or in Braille rather than cassette, or if you would like your name removed from the Audio Voters’ Guide mailing list.  The Guide includes important information on all statewide candidates and measures for that election. It can help you become a more informed voter. It does not include local races and measures.  However, local information is included in the text and audio versions of the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet on the Secretary of State website, and some large counties produce their own local voters’ guide that may be available to you in audio format.
Text and audio versions of the League of Women Voter Guides and the Statewide Voters’ Pamphlet are also available at the Secretary of State website at www.sos.state.or.us/elections/Publications/pub.htm, prior to the election.
If you are not registered to vote and would like to find out how to register, please call 1-866-673-8683. This is a toll free number that you may call Monday through Friday from 8 AM – 5 PM.  If you need help in order to register, you may request that assistance when you call.
Important Note: The Secretary of State now has LARGE PRINT voter registration cards to help those with visual impairments complete the form.
You need to update your voter registration if you have moved, have changed your name, have changed your signature, or if you would like to change your political party. If you are unsure about your registration status please call 1-866-673-8683 to get more information.    
The second in a series of five professionally narrated titles written by Oregon authors is now available and ready to be checked out to interested readers.
Bait and Switch, CBX1231, a 2004 publication by Larry Brooks, is an intelligent tale of corporate corruption, laced with plenty of surprise twists. The plot revolves around a newly single male model looking for an excuse to leave the advertising industry. He finds his opening when a billionaire offers him a million dollars to seduce his wife! This action triggers a prenuptial clause that leads to a complicated series of events involving betrayal and murder.
When it was published in 2004, Bait and Switch got rave reviews, and was even named Publisher’s Weekly magazine’s Editor’s Choice for Fiction for the month of July that year. Give us a call if you would like to reserve a copy of the book.
Three additional titles by Oregon authors will be narrated as part of our partnership with the New Mexico State Library. Stay tuned for more information as the books become available.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) recently launched NFB-LINK, a new online mentoring program for blind persons and others interested in learning about blindness.
NFB-LINK provides mentoring relationships for individuals who would like resources and guidance on a variety of blindness topics. NFB-LINK can help people get the information needed to live life to the fullest by matching people seeking information and resources with knowledgeable mentors via the Internet. Please visit their website for more details of the program: www.nfblink.org.
Young readers are encouraged to participate in the 24th annual Braille Readers are Leaders contest, sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind in partnership with the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille.
Dates for the contest run from November 1, 2006 – January 31, 2007. Any blind or visually impaired Braille reader from kindergarten through grade 12 is eligible to enter. All contestants receive a certificate and a ribbon in recognition of their participation, and there are other awards and prizes for winners in each category.
There are many good reasons to participate in this contest: Braille is fun, and there is no special secret or mystery to becoming a good Braille reader---it just takes lots of practice! Braille literacy increases opportunities for participation in your community, and Braille literacy skills established early in life increase the prospect for successful future employment. We are happy to report that Braille patrons in Oregon have access to the world’s largest source of Braille reading materials in partnership with the Utah State Library, so give us a call and let us help you find some Braille books you will enjoy.
For more information about the contest, contact Barbara Cheadle, President, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children,1800 Johnson St., Baltimore MD 21230. You may also send an email message to Mrs. Cheadle at bcheadle@nfb.org
Twenty-year-old Oregon resident Rachael Scdoris has written a book about her experiences as a professional sled dog racer.
In her book No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer,
RC 61948, Scdoris describes being introduced to the sport by her father, becoming the youngest athlete to win a 500-mile race, and the obstacles she overcame to qualify for the Iditarod. If interested, call TBABS to reserve your copy.
NLS is pleased to announce the inauguration of a web page for children, Kids Zone. The site offers an online search engine to locate children's books in the national collection, and provides annotated bibliographies of award-winning books such as Newbery Medal and Honor books, Coretta Scott King and John Steptoe winners, and Schneider Family Book Award winners. Kids Zone also lists books in popular series such as the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Redwall Abbey, and Swallows and Amazons. Other features include information on children's magazines, and a link to the Library of Congress Kids and Families website.
Kids Zone may be accessed by visiting the TBABS website at www.tbabs.org. See “Topics of Interest.
A CITY company has successfully launched the world's first free-talking computer software - Thunder - which is likely to be a great success for blind
and partially sighted people worldwide.
Thunder was launched by Screenreader.net, run by blind CITY couple Margaret and Roger Wilson-Hinds, from their home in Orton Wistow, Peterborough, England. The couple, who have been running Choice Technology, which specializes in products for blind and partially-sighted people since 1992, were runners-up in Peterborough Enterprise Centre's first-ever competition to find the region’s best business idea for 2006. They are delighted to have achieved their ambition to launch the software, which will help bring computers and the Internet alive for the blind and partially sighted.
The Thunder screen reader turns a normal PC into a talking computer by reading out loud what's on the screen. It will enable people to listen to Internet sites, shop online, hear their emails, and, with the software reading out to them as they type, create letters and other documents with ease.
Screenreader.net is a not-for-profit community interest company which developed the software in partnership with Manchester-based Sensory Software Ltd. Thunder is entirely free to individuals, with multi-user packages available to organizations for an annual subscription fee, which also includes training. Thunder has already received the backing of a number of organizations,
including the National Blind Children's Society, the Royal Blind Society and the New Zealand Association for the Blind.
All that is needed to use the Thunder screen reader is a computer running Windows 2000, Windows XP or Vista, plus speakers or headphones. For more information, and to download Thunder for free, visit www.screenreader.net
It is hard to believe that summer will soon be giving way to autumn, which means our mornings will likely be cooler, and the days will become shorter. Children will be going back to school once again, and we want to remind you that our shelves are stocked with a variety of reading material…something for everyone. Whether you need books to read for your school reports, or you want a good mystery to keep you company at night, give us a call and let us send you reading that you will enjoy.
Fall signals the start of football season, and in addition to a wide variety of books about this sport, we have available in Braille the NFL schedule, so give us a call if you are interested. With the November General Election rapidly approaching, you might be interested in books of a political nature, and we have many of the most popular non-fiction best sellers available right here on our shelves.
So give us a call and let us add some reading enjoyment to your fall list of “must do’s!”
TBABS has a new email address: tbabs.info@state.or.usthat you may use at any time to communicate with us. We are always happy to hear from you!
TBABS will be closed on the
following legal holidays:
November 10, Veterans’ Day observed
November 23, Thanksgiving Day
You may call to leave your book orders, machine replacement requests, or other information on our 24-hour voicemail system.
This newsletter is available in large print, on audio cassette, in Braille, or on our website at www.tbabs.org. 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.
OREGON STATE LIBRARY                                                                                
TALKING BOOK AND BRAILLE SERVICES                                                                      
250 WINTER ST NE                                                                              
SALEM OREGON 97301-3950