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Spring 2010 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
Digital Talking Book Machine
Digital Transition Update
 
 
 
 
 
 
                            
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 7,  Issue  1  ·  Spring  2010  ·  Editor:  Joel Henderson
 
DIGITAL TRANSITION UPDATE
 
Our transition to the new digital machines is going well.  Thus far we have sent out over 1,000 machines, and we have served all of our veteran patrons who requested a new machine.  That means we’ve also started sending out digital machines to our regular patrons on the waiting list.  Our goal is to complete the waiting list in 18 months, and so far we are on track to meet this goal!
 
We have also started sending digital machines to all of our new patrons.  The book limit for those with a digital machine is two books at a time with the same 6-week loan period.  However, with a digital machine comes the option of downloading books through the NLS program called BARD.  From BARD you can download as many books as you want and play them on your digital machine using a USB flash drive, and you can keep them for as long as you like.  Just delete them and download new ones when you are done!
 
The waiting list for those wanting a new digital machine is on a first come, first serve basis.  Once your name comes up, if you are in good standing you will automatically be sent your new machine, plus a shipment of two new digital books.  You should still keep your cassette machine since our collection of digital books is currently not as extensive as our cassette book collection.  We are receiving new digital books every day, and remember, if we don’t have a book you are looking for in our collection, it may be available through BARD, so be sure to sign up for BARD once you get your new digital player!
 
If you have not contacted us in order to get yourself on the waiting list for a new digital player, please give us a call.  We can then add you to the list right away.
 
NEW LOOK TO TALKING BOOK TOPICS
 
If you receive the bi-monthly Talking Book Topics catalog, either in large print or on cassette, you will have noticed some changes to that publication, which started with the November / December edition.  Talking Book Topics now includes a notation of which titles will be available in Digital Book format.
 
The designation for Digital Books is DB.  The number for the cassette edition (RC) and digital edition (DB) of a book is the same.  For example, The Complete Chronicles of Narnia is DB 50083 and RC 50083.  Talking Book Topics will list a book that is available in both formats with the prefix DB/RC and the number.
 
The order form in the back of the catalog or included with the cassette edition also reflects the ability to order certain books in either format.  To make sure you get your requested books as soon as possible, if you have a digital player and are ready to receive your requested titles on digital cartridge, please check DB on your order form.
- Borrowed from Fresno, CA Talking Books Newsletter
 
VOTERS’ GUIDE
 
This article is a reminder that if you are 18 or older and have not opted into the Voters’ Guide program you will not receive the League of Women Voters Nonpartisan Voters’ Guide this year. 
 
The Voters’ Guide is available on cassette tape, CD, large print or Braille, and is an educational aid produced and distributed by three partners: Secretary of State, Talking Book and Braille Services, and the League of Women Voters of Oregon.  The guide has been offered since 2004 and the program is funded by the Help America Vote Act and managed by the Secretary of State Elections Division.  The next guide will cover the 2010 Primary and General Elections.
 
The guide includes important information on all statewide candidates and measures for each election, and 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 Statewide 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.
 
If you haven’t already opted into the program, please call TBABS now at 1-800-452-0292 or 503-378-5389 if you would like to receive the Voters’ Guide on CD, audio cassette, Braille or large print. 
 
Text and audio versions of the League Voters’ Guide 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 number is toll free and can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 AM – 5 PM.  If you need help in order to register, you can request that assistance when you call.
 
IRENE PRICE SOCIETY
 
Recognizing the generosity of our patrons and friends
 
Twenty years ago, Thomas Price of Grants Pass, Oregon left a large portion of his estate to Talking Book and Braille Services. His bequest was made in memory of his wife, Irene, who enjoyed talking books throughout her lifetime. Thomas’ bequest made it possible to establish the Talking Book and Braille Services endowment fund and a Legacy was born: The Irene Price Society. Since then, many other visionary individuals have helped build the endowment fund through their gifts. Today, the endowment fund remains as a permanent fund to ensure that future generations may continue to enjoy talking books and other special services for print disabled Oregonians.
 
We want to honor and recognize the generosity and vision of our patrons and friends, who, like Thomas Price, have chosen to leave a legacy to Talking Book and Braille Services through their estates or other deferred gifts. Enrollment in this honorary society is simply a matter of advising us about your plans to make a legacy gift, such as a bequest in a will or living trust, or designation as beneficiary of an individual retirement plan or life insurance policy.
 
To obtain additional information and become a member of the Irene Price Society, please contact Susan Westin, Program Manager of Talking Book and Braille Services, (503) 378-5435, or Robin Speer, Fund Development Coordinator, (503) 378-5014. 
 
CALLING TALKING BOOKS
 
1-800-452-0292 (Toll-free)
503-378-5389 (Local)
 
Just a quick reminder for whenever you call Talking Books and leave a voicemail message, please include the following information:
 
  1. Your full name, spelling your last name (slowly)
  2. Area code and phone number
  3. City
 
This information helps staff find your account records quickly and avoid confusion.  Feel free to leave a list of book requests on the voicemail.  We will immediately add your requests to your account once we receive your message.  Also, please begin your message with your reason for calling so we can be better prepared to help you.  Thanks!
 
KIDS / TEENS CORNER
 
Be sure you’re on the list to receive the new Digital Player.  We don’t have a lot of children’s and young adult books on cartridge yet, but the collection is growing every day.  When you have your new machine, if there are specific titles you need for school, we may be able to produce them for you to listen to on cartridge.  Or, if you know about downloading to a flash drive and unzipping and extracting zipped files, you can sign up for the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) program and download books to a flash drive that you can plug into the player.  A wide variety of books are available on the BARD web site.  Don’t forget that we still have lots of cassette titles for you to enjoy as well.  We look forward to hearing from you.
- Borrowed from Fresno, CA Talking Books Newsletter; edited for content
 
DESCRIPTIVE VIDEOS – WHAT DO YOU THINK?
 
In 2007, the company responsible for providing us with descriptive VHS videos stopped producing new movies.  Since then, the goal of TBABS has been to update the descriptive video collection with descriptive DVD movies.  At this time there are two companies that produce descriptive videos in the DVD format.  One company produces recently released movies but, unfortunately, does not provide an auto-start DVD—a vital component for vision impaired individuals.  The company that does produce auto-start DVDs is only producing movies that can be considered “classic,” that is, no recent movie theater titles.
 
So far, we have taken a “wait and see” approach.  We had planned to wait and see if the company with the widest selection would implement an auto-start function to the DVDs.  After nearly 3 years no new progress has been made.  Now TBABS wants to know what YOU think.  Should we continue to wait, purchase auto-start Classic DVD movies only, or purchase non auto-start, more recently released DVD movies?  Please call us with your choice.  Thanks!
 
STAFF UPDATES
 
After nearly 30 years of service with Talking Books Marion Bryson has retired. She will be enjoying new adventures, including planting a garden, and trying out all those recipes she have been collecting over the years!  Most of all, she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband and their three dogs and two cats.  As a parting toast, she says, “God bless, and enjoy those digital books!”
 
Talking Books has also had to say goodbye to Amandeep Gulaini, one of our Circulation Technicians.  Amandeep has taken an opportunity to pursue other business ventures, and we hope you will join us in wishing her (and Marion) the very best.
 
Now, if you haven’t already, you may be hearing a male voice the next time you call our front desk to request books or change your address.  That’s because TBABS is pleased to announce our two newest team members: Joel Henderson and Erich Peppler!
 
Joel Henderson is the new Administrative Program Coordinator, and is responsible for patrons records, processing ILL requests, and (among other things) editing this newsletter.  He comes to TBABS from the Government Research Services department of the State Library, and has previously worked as an A/V tech at Willamette University and as a houseboat driver.  In May Joel and his lovely wife are expecting their first child, a boy.  On the book front Joel is a fan of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and Shakespeare, and likes those books with some thoughtful humor and magic tossed in.
 
And back for an encore performance is Erich Peppler.  As our newest Circulation Technician Erich helps maintain our core service by preparing books for shipment, as well as checking and shelving books when they return.  Two years ago Erich left Talking Books to move to Arizona, where he worked as a teller.  When he’s not at work Erich likes anything related to music, snowboarding, swimming, and hanging out with friends.  Erich he likes reading biographies and historical non-fiction.
 
We are glad to have these two outstanding men join the TBABS team, and we invite you to join us in giving them a warm welcome.
 
REQUEST LIST CHANGES          
 
In the interest of satisfying book requests for patrons in a timely manner, Talking Book and Braille Services has made the following change to the book request and reserve policy: as of April 1, 2010 book requests and reserves will expire after one year.
 
OVERDUES
 
Since December, 2008, TBABS began mailing overdue notices every month.  Getting an overdue notice doesn’t mean you are not a reader in good standing.  It simply means that we are trying to keep an accurate record of our collection and making sure that our books continue to circulate on a regular basis.  Now that we are making the transition to digital materials, we have been ordering fewer copies of cassette titles, and our collection of digital cartridges is still quite small.  Titles by popular authors are always in high demand and waiting lists can be long.  Prompt returns keep waiting lists short for everyone.
 
Our current loan policy states that books must be returned within 6 weeks of receiving them.  It’s ok if you need a few extra days to finish a book as long as it is returned within a reasonable time.  If you need to keep books for an extended period, please contact the library and request they be renewed.  If you should receive an overdue notice for books you have already returned or never received, just let us know and we will remove them from your patron record.
 
TBABS CLOSURES
 
TBABS will be closed on the following state office closure days and legal holidays:
March 19, Closure Day
April 16, Closure Day
May 31, Memorial Day
 
State Office Closure Days:
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.