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Fall 2008 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
TBABS logo
Talking Book and Braille News
¨ T    B   A  B   S ¨
Talking Book & Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 378-5389 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 588-7119
Starting in 2009, TBABS will begin the process of transitioning from
4-track cassette tapes to digital cartridges. Recently we had a visit from a representative from the national office, and he demonstrated the new player that will be needed to accommodate this new technology. We are very excited about this new player!
Some of the main features of the new player are: superior sound quality, ease of use, lighter in weight than the current cassette machines, and able to play up to 15 hours on a single charge. The majority of the books will have one title per cartridge. Just think - no more flipping tapes over or changing the slide selector switches! And for those folks who like to read before going to sleep, the new player will have a built in sleep switch in the shape of a half-moon. 
Now I know many of you are excited and ready to get this new player; however, at the start of distribution we will have a limited number of players and we must provide them to veterans first. So it will take some time to distribute the new players to everyone who is interested in receiving one. 
Veterans should have already received a letter and called in to be placed on the priority distribution list. If you have not done so, please call TBABS at 1-800-452-0292 to be placed on the list.  If you have already called in it is not necessary to call again. 
Patrons who are not veterans will be receiving a letter later this fall inviting you to place your name on the distribution list. Please do not call until you have received the letter, so watch your mail for letters coming from Talking Book and Braille Services.
Stay tuned for more information about the exciting new digital talking books as they become available.
We are happy to introduce a new member of our TBABS Team,
Robin Speer.
Robin was already an employee of the Oregon State Library, serving as Administrative Services Coordinator for the Library Administrative Services team since 2001. In her new position, Robin will be splitting her time between two jobs: one as TBABS’ Fund Development Coordinator, and the other as the State Library’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Robin is a watercolor artist, preferring buildings, landscapes, and boats as her favorite objects to paint. She and her husband, Joe, love to sail on their 27-foot boat. They were fortunate to travel to Germany last August to visit an exchange student they previously hosted. Robin enjoys historical fiction and is now reading some books by Philippa Gregory. Please join us as we welcome Robin to the
This November Americans will go to the polls (or vote by mail as is the case in Oregon) once again to elect the next president of the United States. This election year
in particular many people are developing a renewed interest in our political process, and wish to make their voices heard.
To learn how elections in the USA operate, check out The Presidential Nominating Process, RC 58091 or BR 15388. This book examines the role of voters in determining presidential nominees. Another interesting title is Party of the People: A History of the Democrats, RC 57723, and Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans, RC 57736. In addition, TBABS has books by candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.
Give us a call if you are interested in these or other politically-themed books. The following two articles will give you important information about accessible voting, and the Oregon Voters’ Guide.
The Oregon Secretary of State
and the Elections Division are committed to making voting more accessible to people with disabilities. The goal is to provide the opportunity for voters in Oregon to vote as privately and independently as possible. A new voting tool that is available to persons with disabilities is the Alternate Format Ballot (AFB).  
One of the many exciting things about the Alternate Format Ballot is that it allows voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently at home if they have, or have access to, a computer with a web browser and a printer.
To learn more about the Alternate Format Ballot, go to the TBABS web site at http://www.tbabs.org/OSL/TBABS/accessible_ballot.shtml; click on Alternate Format Ballot. To view a video about the AFB go to the following web site:
http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/HAVA/accessibility.shtml; click on Alternate Format Ballot Video.
Contact your County Elections Office to request the Alternate Format Ballot. For more information about the Alternate  Format Ballot call Gene Newton at 503-986-2352 or dial the toll free elections information line at 1-866-673-8683. That’s 1-866-ORE-VOTE. If you have a disability and need help completing your ballot or registering to vote, you can request assistance. Call your local county elections office or dial the toll free elections information line at 1-866-673-8683.
This is a reminder that if you are 18 or older and have not opted out of the voters’ guide program you will continue to receive the League of Women Voters Nonpartisan Voters’ Guide based on your previous media choice: cassette tape, CD, large print or Braille. This guide will be available for the 2008 General Election.
The Voters’ Guide is an educational aide produced and distributed by three partners: the 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 any of the following apply to you: You would like your name removed from the voters’ guide mailing list and have previously not informed us to do so; you would like to change the media in which you receive the voters’ guide; or you are not currently receiving the voters’ guide but would like to begin to do so. All formats of the voters’ guide do not need to be returned upon completion.
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 web site and some large counties produce their own local voters’ guides that may be available to
you in audio format.
Text and audio versions of the League of Women Voters’ Guides and the Statewide Voters’ Pamphlet are also available at the Secretary of State’s web site 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 can request that assistance when you call.
In our continuing partnership with the New Mexico State Library to professionally narrate books for
us about Oregon or by Oregon authors, we are happy to promote the latest entry in our collection.
In Plain Sight, CBX 1244, by Lorena McCourtney, is the second book in the Ivy Malone series. In this installment, Ivy decides to go into hiding after the killer she brought to justice in Invisible, CBX 1240, uses his vindictive family to carry out their brand of justice by turning Ivy into "road kill." But it's difficult for Ivy to keep a low profile after she finds a body in a lake, and her curiosity gene kicks into overdrive as she sleuths for the killer and finds elusive trails to follow. All too soon Ivy discovers she and her aging Thunderbird may not be hidden as well as she hoped, and she in fact may be very much In Plain Sight.
Fans of a strong, regional amateur sleuth tale combined with humor and a subtle Christian message will appreciate this book. In Plain Sight was selected as the second place winner in the Inspirational Division of the 2006 Daphne du Maurier mystery/suspense awards. Call TBABS if you are interested in ordering this title. Like all of our professionally-narrated Oregon books, this title is made possible by the many generous donations from patrons and friends of Talking Books. We want to thank you for your continued support.
Did you know that our great State of Oregon is turning 150 years old on February 14, 2009? It’s true!  And one of the ways that Oregonians are marking this landmark anniversary is by reading. In 2009 all Oregonians are encouraged to read at least one of the following books:
Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler (adult level)
Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff (young adult level)
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson (children’s level)
All three books will be available in 4-track Cassette, Braille, and even Web Braille. In addition to reading one, or all, of the Oregon Reads books, local libraries will be hosting an array of events including book talks, discussion groups, web casts, pod casts, online chats, and even chances to meet the authors!  Information will be sent to you as more details are available.
You know the old adage about not judging a book by its cover? Well that goes for book genres, too. A quick look in the TBABS catalog yields over 2,000 available Young Adult titles (YA). In most of our adult patron records, young adult books are excluded from the nightly auto-selection services.  This is too bad because it means that YOU may be inadvertently overlooking some fantastic American literature.
About 2 years ago, I rediscovered YA literature while listening to various titles on TBABS’ Unabridged downloadable audio book service. The plots, settings, and characters found in young adult novels are every bit as advanced as those found in adult level literature.
Although young adult literature has experienced a surge in publishing in the last decade, it is hardly a new genre. Some of the earliest young adult novels like The Swiss Family Robinson and Oliver Twist were printed in the early 19th century.
A few of the most notable young adult titles I have read this year include:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (Unabridged download).
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak (RC062431, Unabridged download, NLS Bard, and pending in Braille).
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig (Unabridged download).
The Twilight series (soon to be a motion picture) by Stephenie Meyer (RC062066, RC064367, NLS Bard, and Unabridged download).
To add young adult books to your reading list, contact TBABS about searching for and selecting YA books, or simply request that YA materials NOT be excluded from your account. 
Mark your calendar for a day of information and inspiration! On Saturday, October 4, 2008, the Casey Eye Institute will host a macular degeneration and low vision expo at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel in Portland. This free event will include talks by Casey experts on the latest research and treatments available, and will feature small group sessions to help with daily living, and also exhibit various products and services. TBABS will be one of the exhibitors at the event. To register for the expo, call
503-494-8511, or register online at www.caseyamd.com. For more information you may contact Joan Kahn at 503-494-3537.
Our new Oregon State Library Board member is Sam Hall of Salem. Sam is retired from the faculty at Willamette University where he taught mathematics for 26 years. Sam has also been very active with the Salem Public Library, serving on the Library Advisory Board for a decade.
He currently serves on the Board
of the Salem Public Library Foundation. Sam is married to former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Sue Leeson, who served with Governor Kulongoski when he was on the Supreme Court.
We are delighted to welcome Sam as the newest member of the Oregon State Library Board of Trustees.
Golden Hours Radio, a local, 30-year-old reading service serving the blind, elderly, disabled and homebound communities, announces its new base of operations at the Portland-based Oregon Commission for the Blind. Golden Hours Radio, streamed on the Internet through OmniMedia Networks, provides international, national and regional news up to an estimated two-hundred-thousand blind, elderly, and disabled persons living in the state of Oregon.
Jerry Delauney, 57, is founder of the not-for-profit OmniMedia Networks and long-time program director of Golden Hours, which was formerly affiliated with Oregon Public Broadcasting. He says, "We are human beings reading the news to people who often feel isolated from the world. Our on-air readers become like family in the lives of our listeners. We're the friend they can count on."
Golden Hours Radio re-launched programming services from its new home at the Oregon Commission for the Blind on April 21, 2008. The radio service is unique with its user-friendly Internet access, links with other reader services around the state, and its affiliation with the IAAIS, which advocates for the visually-impaired community's access to audio information services.
Listeners can tune in to the service 24/7 to hear volunteer hosts read news from The Oregonianthe Statesman-Journal and the Eugene Register-Guard along with editorials, business and entertainment news. Golden Hours also features "Old Time Radio" and airs works of literature, non-fiction, westerns and children's books. To listen to Golden Hours log on to www.omnimedia.org.
This fall TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
Veterans’ Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, November 27
Our automated voicemail system will accept your messages 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
so you may be confident to leave a message for us at any time.
This newsletter is available in large print, on audio cassette, in Braille, or on our web site 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.