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Fall 2009 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
Digital Talking Book player
Digital Talking Book Players are here!
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
email: tbabs.info@state.or.us
website: www.tbabs.org
           Volume 6,  Issue  3  ·  Fall  2009  ·  Editor:  Marion Bryson
We are excited to announce that the new digital players are here!
If you have notified us that you
are interested in receiving a digital player, you will automatically receive one as your name comes up on the waiting list. Veterans have first priority if they have notified us of a desire to receive a digital machine.
Remember, you must still keep your cassette machine, as most of our collection still exists in audio cassette. However, more and more recordings are being put into digital format, and eventually there will be enough of them to replace audio cassettes. For persons with Internet access, we encourage you to refer to the “Digital Transition Updates” articles on the TBABS website for information and news.
The website address is:
As Veterans’ Day approaches, we are reminded that as a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Library Service (NLS) has deemed your military service as worthy to have priority when it comes to receiving materials from NLS and TBABS.
Under the provisions of the
Pratt-Smoot Act of 1931, which initially authorized the Library of Congress to provide blind adults with library service, NLS began priority lending of its materials to honorably discharged blind and physically disabled military personnel. This priority continues to this day, as NLS considers its service to veterans to be one of its most important duties.
Thomas Miller, Executive Director of the Blinded Veterans Association, and a veteran totally blinded by a landmine in Vietnam in 1967, is a long-time supporter of the Talking Book program, and invites more veterans to enroll. “I encourage visually impaired and physically handicapped veterans of any age to look into this free service which brings reading directly into their homes,” said Miller. “It is a benefit far too many of us don’t take advantage of.”
If you know a veteran who qualifies for talking books but has not yet applied for service, we encourage you to spread the word about the program.
For interested veterans already registered and enjoying talking books, TBABS has a good collection of recordings and Braille books of military history and biographies of military leaders. Give us a call if you would like a reader advisor to perform a book search for you.
Do you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who is having difficulty reading standard print, even with the use of glasses and/or magnifiers? Please encourage them to apply for our services.  Everyone should have an opportunity to read. 
Would you like someone from this library to visit your community group, senior center, social club, support group, church, synagogue, temple, school, or professional seminar/conference to talk about our services? Please call to
confirm a date for us to visit your organization to talk about our services and our new technology.  To arrange for a speaker or an exhibitor, contact our Public Services Librarian, Elke Bruton, at 503-378-5455, or send an email to her at elke.bruton@state.or.us. 
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.
Living Among Headstones, CBX 1250, is a 2005 publication by author and Oregon State Library Board member Shannon Applegate. In 1997, Ms. Applegate was bequeathed a small cemetery in western Oregon. The neglected five acres were not only the burial site for generations of her family, but also the designated resting ground for many in the nearby logging town.
In this book, Ms. Applegate chronicles her experiences as sexton of the cemetery. She finds herself plotting graves, consoling families, and confronting the funeral industry. More than a memoir of one woman’s experience at a rural cemetery, Living Among Headstones is an expansive look at how death has been treated through the centuries, and is also a meditation on how we long for our loved ones to have a continuing place in our world.
Call TBABS if you are interested in ordering our newest recording, Living Among Headstones. 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.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of providing service
to patrons by the Oregon State
Library and Talking Book
and Braille Services. Following is the third in a four-part series which highlights events occurring at TBABS from the decade of the 1990s. (Highlights from the decade of the 1980s were featured in Volume 6, Issue 2, Summer 2009 Talking Book and Braille News; highlights from the decade of the 1970s were featured in the spring issue).
The decade of the 90s began with milestone legislation passed by Congress. In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law which gave civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to persons on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guaranteed equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
In the area of technology, 1994 saw the debut of the computer operating system known as Netscape, which provided a consistent web browsing experience for Internet users, and in 1995, Microsoft released the much anticipated Windows 95 software program. In 1998, the very first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published. This blockbuster book paved the way for another six titles in the popular fantasy series.
At the National Library Service (NLS), an analysis of the blind and physically handicapped program conducted in 1994 revealed potential for cost savings by shifting the program to a single audio product, cassette. As a result, production of flexible disc recordings were gradually phased out. The shift to cassette format was completed in fiscal year 2001, when all NLS audio books, magazines, and program materials were produced on cassette only.
At Talking Book and Braille Services, the year 1998 stands out as the year the Oregon State Library began a multi-million dollar  renovation project with significant improvements to the building, including major electrical work, a seismic upgrade, central air conditioning, and improvements
to staff work areas.
Stay tuned for a snapshot of the current decade as it relates to Talking Books in the next issue of Talking Book and Braille News, due out in December.
Large print calendars for 2010 will soon be mailed to all legally blind or visually impaired patrons who have used this service during the past year. A calendar will automatically be sent to you unless you have previously informed us that you do not wish to receive one.
The calendar is brought to you courtesy of the many generous donations from patrons and friends of Talking Books. Additionally, calendars are available to interested persons not registered with Talking Books for a fee of $15.
One calendar is available free of charge per registered person. We send calendars only to individuals registered for the service. For institutional accounts such as nursing homes or hospitals, we can provide a list of resources where a large print calendar may be obtained for the facility.
Persons must be individually registered and maintain an “active service” to receive the calendar. An “active service” is defined as borrowing at least one book or magazine per year, or by subscribing to any of our enhancement services, such as NFB-NEWSLINE, Unabridged, or Descriptive Videos.
Look for the calendar to start appearing in your mailbox this fall. Individuals who have previously received a Braille calendar will once again receive the 2010 calendar in Braille instead of in large print.
Circulation Facts:
▲ TBABS mails between 1,000 and 1,300 books to patrons each day.
▲ Everyreturned book is inspected to make sure that the correct tapes are in the container, and that each tape is rewound and in good working order. Staff and volunteers inspect between 1,000 and 1,300 books each day.
Machine Facts:
▲ Every machine returned to TBABS is cleaned before being repaired.
▲ TBABS currently has seven volunteers repairing cassette machines.
▲ TBABS has 3 off-site locations where cassette machines are repaired, in addition to our in-house repair staff.
▲ Every repaired machine is quality checked to make sure it is in good working order before it is sent to a patron.
Tips For Troubleshooting Your Machine Before Calling TBABS:
Is the machine properly charged? The machine will not function properly if it has a dead battery. Is the machine plugged in? It is now acceptable to leave your machine plugged in 24 hours a day.
This practice will not damage the battery. Are the toggle switches in the correct location? Double check to make sure your side selector and/or variable speed control switches are in the correct position.
Have you tried other tapes? If you have the same results with several tapes, most likely you will need a replacement machine; please give TBABS a call to request a new machine.
NLS is no longer providing the magazine U. S. News and World Report in audio format. In its place is the weekly news magazine The Week. All U. S. New and World Report subscribers will automatically receive The Week unless they notify us to cancel their subscription.
In a similar fashion, NLS has replaced the Braille edition of the Washington Post Book World with a Braille edition of the weekly New York Times Book Review.
The Braille magazine Parenting has recently begun publishing as two separate magazines---Parenting: Early Years, and Parenting: School Years. Subscribers to Parenting will receive both magazines if they take no action to notify us of a desire to cancel their subscription. TBABS subscribers to all of the above mentioned magazines were previously sent a notification of these changes; however, our catalog of Magazines in Special Media, which is requested by many patrons, still lists the magazines that have now been cancelled.
The Talking Voice is a new home produced magazine available in audio cassette. Features include recipes, technology, interviews
with visually impaired persons,
and much more. Subscriptions
are $10/yr. For further information, contact Carl Belnap at 503-857-5687, or send him an email at thetalkingvoice@gmail.com.
Here are some book selections
that TBABS staff has suggested
for your reading pleasure. These overlooked titles are waiting on the shelf for you right now:
RC 64080 Twin Cities Noir edited by Julie Schaper and Steven Horwitz. Fifteen authors from the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, area present original stories of past, present, and future detection and mystery. In Judith Guest's Eminent Domain, someone hijacks a web domain name, and in K.J. Erickson's Noir Neige and Mary Sharratt's Taking the Bullets Out, cultures collide. This book contains some strong language. 2006.
RC 64365 Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir by Danielle Trussoni. The author recalls a childhood shaped by her father's Vietnam War experiences. She describes his emotional distance and the dissolution of their family, and presents her father's combat recollections alongside her own memories of her journey to Vietnam. Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2006.
RC 64487 The Owl and Moon Café by Jo-Ann Mapson. Monterey, California. When thirty-three-year-old Mariah Moon loses her assistant professorship, she helps her hippie mother Allegra and her grandmother run the family café. Mariah begins dating a handsome Scotsman while Allegra, recently diagnosed with leukemia, follows her heart and reveals the identity of Mariah's biological father. Some descriptions of sex. 2006.
RC 64586 Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn. A guide to achieving a state of "mindfulness"--an awareness of the present moment. Explains traditional Buddhist meditation techniques and exercises, such as postures that help cultivate consciousness. Offers ways of incorporating mindfulness into daily life to gain wisdom and find direction. First published in 1994; includes 2005 afterword.
These and many, many other books are just waiting for someone to check them out! Give us a call and let one of our reader’s advisors help you find the “hidden gem” that will add to your reading enjoyment.
NFB-NEWSLINE offers free access to more than 250 newspapers nationwide to anyone who cannot read conventional newsprint. Oregon residents will be happy to know that the Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal and Eugene Register Guard are available through this service. There are a number of ways in which you can access the local or national papers:
  • Telephone – you have 24 hours access, seven days a week by calling the 800 number.
  • Email - you can receive all the newspapers you have saved in your “Favorites” file as DAISY formatted files, which are then attached to email messages and sent to you each morning. 
  • Web – the same great newspaper service that you have access to over the telephone is now available on the Web.   
  • Mobile - Download your favorite newspaper to your Victor Reader Stream, Icon or Braille Plus.
If you have not signed up for this fabulous service or want more information on the different ways to access NFB-NEWSLINE, please give us a call at 800-452-0292. If you are having trouble accessing NFB-NEWSLINE or have forgotten your User ID or Password, just give us a call.
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
November 11, Veterans’ Day
November 26, Thanksgiving Day
State Office Closure Days:
October 16 & 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.
Any mention of products and services in Talking Book and Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.