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Spring 2007 Newsletter
 
  T A L K I NG   B O O K   A N D   B R A I L L E   N E W S
                            
  ¨ 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 4,  Issue 1  ·  Spring  2007  ·  Edited by:  Marion Bryson
                                                                  

 
 
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
 
As 2007 begins to unfold, we look ahead to some of our goals for the new year, such as implementing a marketing plan, and doing more outreach to increase awareness of our program, and we also look back on many of our accomplishments in 2006.
 
Some of the highlights of the past year include the implementation of the NFB-NEWSLINE service; the professional narration of three Oregon books in partnership with the New Mexico State Library; the MP3 player promotion for the Unabridged program; the TBABS radio and television media blitz; and our partnership with the Secretary of State to make available the non-partisan Voter’s
 
Guide in the media of one’s choice. In addition, we hired two excellent student workers, Erich Peppler and Elke Bernal, and a terrific new Fund Development Consultant, Marcia Martin. In calendar year 2006, TBABS staff circulated a total of 387,984 cassette books, which is an increase of 14, 415 books over calendar year 2005.
 
We hope you continue to enjoy all that the TBABS program offers, and we look forward to meeting those goals that will provide you with the very best service this year.
 
NEW DESCRIPTIVE VIDEOS
 
Once again we are happy to say that thanks to your donations we have purchased another 12 audio described movies. Included in this group are familiar oldies such as King Solomon’s Mines, Pygmalion, and Witness for the Prosecution.  As always, you may call to request an updated descriptive video catalog in large print or Braille. You may also access the descriptive video catalog at our website.
 
EUGENE-REGISTER GUARDNOW AVAILABLE ONNFB-NEWSLINE
 
NFB-NEWSLINE, the free telephone service providing audio access to daily newspapers, recently announced the addition of the Eugene-Register Guard. Participating newspapers now number more than 250, including four Spanish-language newspapers. Also newly available are daily TV listings. If you aren’t already a subscriber to this amazing service, contact TBABS today!
 
OREGON COLLECTION
 
In our continuing partnership with the New Mexico State Library, two more professionally narrated titles have been added to the Oregon collection.
 
Shadow Leader, CBX 1234, by Tara K. Harper, is a 1991 publication that continues the author’s Grey Wolf series, first begun in “Wolfwalker,” CBX 866. The series focuses on a young woman named Dion, and her telepathically linked wolf, Gray Hishn, who join a group of travelers drawn to an ancient mountain sanctuary which contains the keys to a lost and forbidden art of healing. Vivid details of wilderness survival and a strong, resourceful heroine highlight this fantasy series.
 
Rogue River Journal, CBX 1233, by John Daniel, is the author’s
intriguing account of six months  spent alone in a remote location in Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon. The book weaves together a narrative which is part memoir, part family portrait, part natural history, and part Zen journal. It was awarded a 2006 Book Award by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Give us a call to reserve copies of any of the
above-mentioned titles.
 
PLACING AUDIO BOOKORDERS ONLINE
 
Many of you now place your audio book orders via our website online, and we are pleased to see that more of you are starting to take advantage of this option. However, it has come to our attention that there is some confusion as to the correct procedure to follow when ordering audio books online. (Note: Braille readers may search the catalog, but need to call TBABS to place book orders).
 
To order audio books go to the TBABS website at www.tbabs.org.
Our homepage has a number of links on the left hand Menu column, one of which is titled TBABS Catalog. In the catalog you may search by Author, Title, or Subject. The Search Results screen that appears will list whatever is available in your specified query. Media designations for items that may be available include the following: V for Descriptive Video; B for Braille; L for Large Print (limited children’s collection only); and C for Cassette.
 
Once you have found the selection or selections that interest you, add a check mark to the Request box next to those particular titles. If you are only interested in what is available in the cassette media, for example, do not check boxes that may appear for anything other than the C for Cassette designation. Better yet, you can refine your search initially to show only those titles that come in cassette by using the Media drop-down box in the Search Option area. (Note: the default for the number of items displayed in your search is set at 25, but you may adjust this number if you wish).
 
When you have completed checking those titles that interest you, click on the Add to Book Basket box, which is found at the bottom of the page. These requests then become a part of your Book Basket, which is the next screen displayed. You may add as many requests as you would like to in your Book Basket; however, you may only have up to three items shipped on any given day by adding a check mark to the “Rush This Item” box.
 
Please make note of the availability of copies for any particular title. If you see the phrase Copies Available, you can be assured that the selection (s) will be sent to you on the following work day. Listings that show Checked Out mean that no copies are on the shelf on that particular day, but you may still check the box for a Rush. A copy will be sent as soon as it becomes available.
 
However, if you find the phrase Not Yet Available, please do not put a check mark next to the title (s). Instead, give us a call and we will order the book or books for you. In most cases, this phrase means that a title is no longer a part of the available TBABS shelf inventory, generally because it is an older title, or, in the case of Braille titles, they are no longer housed at TBABS and must be ordered by staff. New books that are in the process of being recorded will also list as Not Yet Available. In any case, do not Rush or leave in your Book Basket any items that have the phrase Not Yet Available next to it. If you have checked such an item, simply use the Delete box to remove it from your Book Basket, and give us a call.
 
When you have completed your order selections, click on the Proceed to Checkout box, which is found at the bottom of the page.
At this point it will be necessary to key in your confidential User ID and Password, which you may obtain by giving us a call.
 
For those of you who have an automatic turnaround service based on subject interests, or a request service based on specific book numbers/titles you have supplied us with, the computer will automatically send the available requests you have just designated as Rush (remember, only 3 at a time) in the following work day mail, and leave any additional requests in your Book Basket for future shipments.
 
You may return to the website to Rush more books the next day if desired, or whenever you want more books shipped. This is particularly important to know for those of you who have an “on call only” type of service. In this case it is necessary for you to go to the website every time you want to Rush available book selections. Simply putting them into your Book Basket would not generate a book shipment. This is comparable to calling us on the telephone, or sending us an email to get the specific books of your choice when you actually want them, and differs from a “request only” service, where you submit occasional request lists from which books can be sent to you randomly as you return books.
 
Give us a call if you are uncertain as to whether your account is set up as “on call only.” We can change your account to reflect exactly the type of service you prefer. Once you begin to use the online catalog more frequently, you will become more familiar with these points. If you need assistance at this time, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
 
WELCOME NEW TBABSADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS
 
We are pleased to announce four new TBABS Advisory Council members. Their names and the group each one represents are as follows: Elizabeth Rousseau-Rooney (National Federation of the Blind – NFB); Morgen Brodie (Oregon Dept. of Human Services); Kitt Jordan (Senior Citizen Patron- at-Large); and Leone Holden (Parent of Minor as Parent-at-Large). We thank these individuals who have agreed to volunteer their time and energy to serve on the Council.
 
The purpose of the TBABS Advisory Council is to act as an advisory group to the Oregon State Library Board of Trustees, considering requests of policy change and funding, and when appropriate to make recommendations to the National Library Service (NLS) on practices, policies, and goals of library services to blind and physically disabled individuals. The Council also serves as an advocate for the promotion and further development of library services for all blind and physically disabled individuals.
 
Our new members join other voting members of the Council: Doris Grolbert (Public Librarian); Marcia Mee (Reading Disabled Patron); Daniel Long (Vision Northwest); Annis Holsworth (Patron-at-Large); Adrienne Steele (American Council for the Blind); Sharon Baker (Senior Citizen Patron-at-Large); and Frank Synoground (Commission for the Blind). Susan Westin, our Regional Librarian, Marcia Martin, our Fund Development Consultant, and Jim Scheppke, our State Librarian, also serve as non-voting Council members.
 
NEWS ABOUT UPCOMINGDIGITAL TALKING BOOKS
 
As the year 2008 is now only one year away, many of our patrons are beginning to ask questions about the new digital talking book player that will make its debut at that time.
NLS has recently published an informative article complete with pictures of the proposed new playback equipment and cartridge which may be accessed at
http://www.loc.gov/nls/businessplan/playerdescription.html.
 
The new digital format will provide many advantages for our patrons. Besides the potential for improved sound quality, a digital format will offer convenience to users, who will no longer need to turn over cassettes or change side-selector switches. Users will be able to jump forward or back by chapter, set bookmarks, and vary playback speed without affecting the pitch of the reader's voice. In some books, users will be able to jump by paragraph, turn on or off selected parts of the book (e.g., footnotes), do keyword searches, or hear selected words spelled.
 
Because digital talking books will be recorded on a new medium, and playback will involve many new features, NLS will develop two new playback machines. One will have only a few controls and be easy to operate; the other will have more controls, offering the user more features. Both models will be smaller and lighter than the current C-1 model.
 
The transition to a digital format will be a deliberate process consisting of several phases. TBABS will implement its own plan regarding the initial distribution of the equipment, and information will be disseminated to patrons as it becomes available.
 
Those of you who subscribe to magazines may be wondering if they, too, will be available in the digital format. Since magazines tend to be smaller and more ephemeral in nature, a wider range of distribution scenarios may be more practical and cost-effective. The flash memory cartridges being considered for distributing books may be too expensive to use with magazines, most of which are not returned to libraries. It is possible that magazines may stay on cassette for an additional few years. When conversion becomes necessary because of equipment and materials obsolescence, a variety of distribution methods will then be considered, including the Internet, telephone, etc.
 
Regarding Braille books, since1999, NLS has been making Braille books available in a digital form through Web-Braille, a password-protected web-based service. More than 4,300 books, all NLS-produced Braille magazines, and several hundred music scores can be downloaded from the Internet. Although Web-Braille is a digital format, the files were created to be embossed on Braille paper and don't contain information that would assist the user in easily navigating a book. However, a more flexible Braille reading experience may be provided by the digital talking-book format. With a properly equipped player and a digital talking book that includes the full text of the book, reading and navigating the book in Braille will be possible.
 
NLS will produce only a limited number of digital talking books that include a full text file. Nevertheless, the presence of the text file will greatly increase the usefulness of some titles, making cookbooks or reference books, for example, easier to read and richer sources of information. Stay tuned for more information about the exciting new digital talking book implementation as it becomes available!
 
SPRING CLEANING  
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 add “Free Matter for the Blind” in the upper right hand corner.
 
THANK YOU, PATRONS ANDFRIENDS OF TBABS
 
Talking Book and Braille Services gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our patrons and friends. During 2006, TBABS received $136,372 from 2,332 individuals and organizations, including a major gift from the estate of a patron who passed away this year.
 
Your tax-deductible contributions enable TBABS to provide services not funded by the State Library budget, or provided by the National Library Service (NLS). Donations to the Annual Fund make it possible for TBABS to offer NFB-NEWSLINE and Unabridged digital audio books. TBABS also uses donations to purchase descriptive videos and to produce professional recordings of Oregon books. Gifts to the Endowment Fund are held in reserve so that TBABS may continue its mission for many years to come.
 
There are many ways to support TBABS. You may specify that your gift be targeted to the Annual Fund for current use, or placed in the Endowment Fund. Bequests, planned gifts, and gifts in memory of a loved one, family member, or to honor an individual are also accepted.
 
For more information about giving to TBABS, you may  contact Marcia Martin, Fund  Development Officer, by sending an email to marcia.martin@state.or.us. Alternately, you may call her direct at 503-378-5456, or you may call the toll-free number 800-452-0292 and key in her extension, which is 85456. Regardless of how individuals choose to support TBABS, every gift benefits thousands of individuals. On behalf of the TBABS Advisory Council, the entire staff and patrons, thank you for your generous support!
 
HOLIDAYCLOSURES
 
TBABS will be closed on the
following legal holiday:
 
May 28, Memorial Day observed.
 
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
 
FREE READING MATTER FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY   HANDICAPPED