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Spring 2008 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
*T*B*A*B*S*
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 378-3849 (800) 452-0292
Fax (503) 588-7119
website: www.tbabs.org
 
 
Volume 5, Issue 1  ·  Spring  2008  ·  Editor:  Marion Bryson
 
STAFF CHANGES
 
In our first newsletter of the year we would like to bring you up to date on staff changes in TBABS.
 
Mary Mayberry, who worked with TBABS for ten years, accepted a promotion with the Library Development division of the State Library. The Library Development division of the State Library is responsible for providing leadership, grants, and other assistance to improve local library service to all Oregonians. Among the many duties in her new position as Library Consulting Assistant, Mary will be processing statistical reports for public, academic, and special libraries, and she will also provide administrative support to the Library Development team.
 
Many of you had the pleasure of speaking with Mary on the phone regarding your magazine subscriptions, and general book service. Her kind voice, helpfulness, and knowledge of books and authors were a wonderful resource. We congratulate Mary and wish her well in her new position.
 
Andrea Clarkson now holds the position that Mary held, working
with reader advisory, magazine subscriptions, transfer patrons, and keeping track of all our clientele by managing the patron database, called the Comprehensive Mailing List System (CMLS). In addition, Andrea is our point person concerning NFB-NEWSLINE, and she will become a much more familiar voice to those of you who call the library.
 
Formerly a circulation technician in TBABS, Andrea already had a wealth of knowledge about various aspects of our program. Her excellent communication skills, enthusiasm, and attention to detail are a perfect fit for the position she now occupies. We welcome Andrea to her new “cube” in the TBABS office!
 
Two other positions will soon
be filled in the circulation department. We will update you with new staff information in our next newsletter in June.
 
NFB-NEWSLINE NEWS
 
For those of you who are set up to access NFB-NEWSLINE, the free telephone newspaper service, we would like to tell you about another great feature available to you. The system now has the ability to 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! To listen to the attachments you must have an email account and a hardware or software product capable of reading DAISY files.
 
If you still have not signed up for this fabulous service, give us a call and we will rush you your User ID and Password. If you are having trouble accessing NFB-NEWSLINE or have forgotten your User ID or Password, give us a call.
 
OREGONAUTHOR SPOTLIGHT
 
Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling author of two nonfiction books and eleven historical novels, including the Oregon Book Award finalist for A Name of Her Own. Her award-winning essays and articles have appeared in more than fifty publications, including Daily Guideposts and Decision. A winner of the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker and inspirational retreat leader. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon.
 
TBABS is pleased to have several of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s books in its audio collection, including the Dreamcatcher series, and a professionally-narrated recording of “Homestead,” which details the Kirkpatrick’s life in eastern Oregon. This recording was made possible through donation funds, in our continuing partnership with the New Mexico State Library. Please give us a call if you are interested in ordering any of Ms. Kirkpatrick’s books.
 
ATTENTION AUDIO VOTERS’ GUIDE USERS  

This is a reminder that if you are 18 or older and have not opted out of the voting guide program, you will continue to receive the League of Women Voters Regular Nonpartisan Voting Guide on cassette tape, CD, large print or Braille. This guide will be available for the 2008 Primary and General Elections. The voters’ guide is an educational aide 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 any of the following apply to you: 
  • Call if you would like your name removed from the voters’ guide mailing list, and you have previously not done so.
  • Call if you would like to receive the voters’ guide on CD, in large print or Braille rather than on cassette.
  • Call if you are not currently receiving the voters’ guide but would like to begin.
 
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 can 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.

ACCESSIBLE VOTING NEWS 

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 now 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.
 
How does it work? The Alternate Format Ballot is an electronic document that opens in a web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. Once received, the voter opens the instructions and reads through them carefully.  After reading the instructions the voter opens the ballot in the web browser and works through the ballot using the keystrokes outlined in the instructions. The ballot uses check boxes and text boxes to allow the voter to make their desired choices.
When the ballot is completed the voter can review his or her selections and make any needed corrections. Once the voter is sure the ballot is marked correctly the ballot is printed.
 
What if I don’t have access to the necessary equipment?  Every county elections office will have at least two accessible computer stations. One permanent station located at the office, and one portable station that can be taken out of the office. Voters who do not have access to a computer can go to an elections office and vote privately and independently using the AFB. The portable station will allow a voter to request to vote the Alternate Format Ballot at a location agreed upon by the voter and the county elections officials.  
 
Does the AFB work with all assistive technology? The Alternate Format Ballot is designed to work with many different types of assistive technology: Screen readers, sip - puff devices, screen enlargers, Braille displays, switches, joy sticks, and other alternative input devices. While it may not work with everything, it has been designed to work with as many things as possible.
 
How do I get it? Remember that you must be registered to vote in order to obtain the AFB. Registered voters can request the Alternate Format Ballot from their county elections office. The AFB can be emailed directly to you or it can be sent by regular mail on a CD. The ballot will arrive with additional electronic text documents that will include step-by-step instructions about how to complete and return it. 
 
Important note! After you mark and print the Alternate Format Ballot, you will need to return it in the secrecy and signature envelope included in the standard print ballot package sent to you by your county elections office. Your print ballot package is mailed approximately 14 -18 days before Election Day. Even if you vote at one of the accessible stations provided by the county you will need to bring your print voting packet with you. You will use the secrecy and signature envelope to cast your ballot after voting.  

Testimonials:“I voted privately and independently for the first time in my life last year using the Alternate format Ballot,” said Angel Hale, Salem resident and business owner, “I was able to take my time, vote in the comfort of my own home, and make my selections using a tool I use every single day—my computerwith JAWSsoftware. It was such a liberating and empowering experience! If you can’t mark a printed ballot without assistance right now, you will absolutely want to take a look at this new voting tool.” 
 
Jeanne-Marie, a Eugene resident, stated, “I can tell you that having a secret ballot was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.  It’s a different way to vote and it’s a huge change, and very well worth it.”

The Alternate Format Ballot will be available to voters in Oregon beginning with the May 2008 Primary Election. Contact your County Elections Office to request the Alternate Format Ballot for the Primary Election.  
 
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-ORE-VOTES. That’s 1-866-673-8683.
 
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 number listed above.
 
ARE YOUR BOOKS OVERDUE ?
 
How can you tell if the materials we send to you are overdue? In the lower left corner of the address card that comes with each book, you’ll find a date. That’s the date we sent the book to you. Now add six weeks to that date for cassette books, and you have the due date.
 
The TBABS loan period for recorded cassettes and Braille materials is set at six weeks.  Descriptive videos can be borrowed for a maximum of three weeks. If you have any green boxes, Braille, or descriptive videos that are overdue, please return them to TBABS right away. Keep in mind that the books you borrow must be shared with print disabled Oregonians from all over the state—that’s over 5,000 people! 
 
When you keep a book or movie for longer than the accepted loan period, you are preventing other patrons from enjoying the same materials. So please, take a few minutes and look around your house for TBABS books and videos—check your storage, your garage, and even your attic! If you find any overdue materials, get them back to TBABS right away. 
 
Sometimes books and videos get damaged, lost, or even stolen. If this has happened to any of your TBABS materials, give us a call at 1-800-452-0292. We promise not to hold it against you! We just want to remove the items from your account to reflect accurate information.
 
Occasionally books become overdue because you are receiving too many books at one time, or you don’t return the books as you read them. Call us to find out what your maximum book allowance is set for. If it is too high for you to keep up with, we can lower it to a more manageable number. Or, if you feel that you can read more books than you are receiving, let us know that too—we can always send you more books! 
 
TEN REASONS TO SEND US
YOUR OWN BOOK REQUESTS
 
1.  We promote a philosophy of independence for those we serve. Speak your mind and voice your choices.
 
2.  Though we do our best to personalize our selections to you, we must send book shipments to thousands of readers, so we must rely on the computer to choose the majority of your books.
 
3.  Your reading tastes may vary. Only you know when your mood changes from mysteries to biographies to westerns.
 
4.  There are more than 60,000 titles in our collection. Using various catalogs and the Talking Book Topics opens up a world of books of which you might otherwise be unaware.
 
5.  We can send you books by authors or on subjects not listed in the catalogs. Ask us for works by your favorite writer, or for books on your favorite hobby.
 
6.  We have numerous requests for the same titles. The more choices you give us, the more likely you are to receive your requests.
 
7.  Treat yourself to a change of pace - experiment with new authors. You can always return to the "tried and true" later on.
 
8.  You can tell us what you want when you want it. For example,
you may want Christmas recipes
in July!
 
9.  We make it easy to send requests: you may use the U.S. mail, email, fax, telephone, or order through our website.
 
10. Most important: only you
know best what you want to read!
 
When preparing to send us your request list, it is recommended that you don’t write “send me these books” on the order form. Now that may sound like a perfectly legitimate request, but in the TBABS office we are often confused. Do you mean send them all right away, or just send them as they become available?
 
Generally speaking, when book requests are received in the mail, we simply add them to your account. We draw from the list as you return books. This procedure is in effect even for those of you who have subject preferences in addition to specific book titles. The computer system automatically selects available book numbers and author choices over generic subjects. All requests remain in your account until they are filled, so it is not necessary to repeat them.
A problem sometimes arises when a patron who previously wanted only specific titles once in a while sends in a list of 20 or more titles asking us to “send as they become available.” If all 20 are available, do you really want them all at once? So you see, sometimes asking us to send you books turns into a guessing game for the staff!
Unless we are given other instructions, we will assume that you want books sent as you return them. Please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about book orders, or would like to start ordering your own.

BASEBALL SEASON IS HERE  

Spring ushers in the baseball season, and once again we will  offer both the American and National League Baseball schedule in Braille. If you are interested in receiving a copy, give us a call.

HOLIDAYCLOSURE
 
TBABS will be closed on the
following legal holiday:
 
May 26, Memorial Day observed
 
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 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.