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Summer 2004 Newsletter
TALKING BOOK AND BRAILLE SERVICE
NEWSLETTER
Volume 1, Issue 3 Summer 2004
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

 
HOW TO LEAVE A VOICE MAIL MESSAGE 
          At TBABS our goal is to answer all incoming calls personally. But sometimes we simply cannot meet this goal. Each week we register approximately 50 new patrons. While we are thrilled to get everyone who is eligible connected with our program, this generally means many more phone calls from patrons who have questions.
          If you call us and find that you always seem to reach a recording rather than a "live body", please understand that this generally means that staff is on another line with someone else, and unable to take your call. Please don?t be discouraged! We record our voicemail promptly; generally as soon as we are off the phone with the previous caller. If you need to speak with someone, please state this and we will be happy to return your call. Many times, however, we can get all the information we need to successfully process your request if you remember to include the following information with your message: Always spell your last name. You would be surprised at how many ways one could spell the name Meyer. Or is it Mayer? Or, maybe, Meier? Surely, it isn´t Myer, is it? We realize that your name is obvious to you, but not necessarily to us. It is most discouraging for us to receive a detailed book request that we cannot process because no last name is attached to it.
          Next, tell us why you are calling. If you have book request numbers from the catalog, or a machine replacement request, please leave that information. Simply leave the RC or BR book numbers (titles are not needed). By the way, book request numbers and requests for machine replacements are the most common type of message we receive. There is no time limit on our message machine, so don´t worry about being "cut off". Finally, don´t forget to leave your complete telephone number, along with area code. That way, if we have a question about your request, we will be able to contact you. Of course, if you would prefer to speak with someone personally, we will call you back as requested. We do thank you for your patience.
 
FEDERAL STUDENT AID 2004
          The Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office provides information on grants, loans, and work-study to help students pay for their postsecondary education. These materials include publications in alternate formats for blind and visually impaired students.
TBABS has available a compact disc entitled the Student Aid Audio Guide, which contains an overview of the department´s federal student aid programs, and information on nonfederal sources of aid. If you would like to borrow the disc, contact TBABS and ask for Marion. Students may also listen to the Audio Guide online at the following web site: www.studentaid.ed.gov/audioguide. You may also call the information center toll-free at 1-800-433-3243.
 
NEW MAGAZINE AVAILABLE
          A new magazine has been added to the list of free periodicals offered on cassette. Vital Speeches of the Day is a bi-monthly magazine that features eight to ten speeches by people prominent in the fields of politics, economics, education, sociology, criminology, business, finance, health, law, and labor. It is recorded by volunteers at the Brevard Association for the Blind in Florida. If you would like to start receiving a copy, please give us a call.
 
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL-GAME
          It's that time of year when America´s favorite sport, baseball, is in full swing. Most of us never get the opportunity to see a major league game in person, so watching it on television, or listening to the play-by-play on the radio, is the next best thing. You may find yourself "glued to the set" night after night, hoping your team will make it this year. And when the game is over and it´s time to turn off the tube, you may still find yourself going over the plays, or wondering about your favorite player. When the game starts to preoccupy your mind in this way, it could just mean that you are ready to listen to a good talking book about the sport! Our collection contains many baseball books for all age levels, including biographies about many of the players. Following is a brief sampling of some of the many titles on our shelves. So, curl up on the couch with your books and "peanuts and crackerjacks", and you won´t have to care whether you ever get back!
Playing For Keeps: A History of Early Baseball by Warren Goldstein. RC031848. A professor of American studies explains the difference between the history of baseball as a profession, and the history of baseball as a personal experience for many Americans who played the sport in childhood.
Era: 1947-1957; When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World by Roger Kahn. RC038108. Recreates a period when baseball was dominated by three New York teams. The era began with Jackie Robinson breaking the racial barrier, and Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle became stars. Contains some strong language.
The Head Game: Baseball Seen From the Pitcher´s Mound by Roger Kahn. RC051995. Discusses the psychology and physics of baseball pitching, as well as some of the major personalities immortalized in the history of the sport.
The Thinking Fan?s Guide to Baseball by Leonard Koppett. RC052790. Explains the principles of pitching, batting, game tactics, and strategies, and the relationships between players, spectators, and the press.
All My Octobers: My Memories of Twelve World Series When the Yankees Ruled Baseball by Mickey Mantle. RC039866. Recollections of a man whose name is a symbol for baseball. Mantle writes about playing for the Yankees at a time that stands in the record books, twelve trips to the World Series in fourteen years.
Joy in Mudville: A Little League Memoir by Greg Mitchell. RC051781. Explores the father/son relationship in the author's chronicle of the highs and lows of coaching his preteen son's baseball team during two diverse seasons in Nyack, New York.
Baseball: A History of America´s Game by Benjamin Rader. RC042304. Traces the sport from its pre-Civil War roots through the late 1980´s demise of the dynasties. Also shows how the growth of baseball reflected urban growth, helped to define cities´ identities, and reduced the social strife from racial, religious and class divisions.
The Only Way I Know by Cal Ripken. RC044808. Memoir of Cal Ripken, who in 1995 broke Lou Gehrig´s record of playing 2,130 consecutive games. His feat established him as a baseball great and earned new acclaim for his team, the Baltimore Orioles.
The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played itby Lawrence Ritter. RC048889. The history of baseball in the early 1900s as recorded in first-person accounts by twenty-six major league players.
Red Smith on Baseball: The Game´s Greatest Writer on the Game´s Greatest Years by Red Smith. RC050569. Five decades from the 1940s to the 1980s of baseball columns by the Pulitzer-prize winning reporter. Includes pieces on Mickey Mantle´s first game, numerous World Series contests including Don Larsen's no-hitter in 1956, the ascent of Jackie Robinson, and the death of Babe Ruth.
And for the "Little Leaguer" or younger reader in your house:
World Series Classicsby Dan Gutman. RC043418. Play-by-play narrations of what the author considers to be the five most exciting World Series in the history of baseball. For grades 5-8.
Who is Baseball´s Greatest Hitter by Jeff Kisseloff. RC050693. Explores the history of baseball, the role of statistics, and changes in game rules in order to determine the greatest hitter. Summarizes the careers of thirty-two outstanding sluggers to help you decide. For grades 5-8.
          TBABS also has available both the National and American League baseball schedules in Braille. Call if you are interested in receiving a copy, or for any of the above-mentioned titles. We can also help find other books about baseball, or books about other sports, such as basketball and football.
 
I KEEP RUNNING OUT OF BOOKS!
          Many of you have been registered with the talking book program for many years. Sometimes you use the bi-monthly Talking Book Topics catalog to order books, and other times you rely on the automated computer selections for your reading material. This is a very good method to follow. If you order your own books, you will obviously be receiving those titles that interest you and that you know you will enjoy. But if your specific requests are checked out a good deal of the time, it is always good to have a "back up" system in place. That is where the automated selection system comes into play. Our computer will automatically try to send you your specific requests first. If none is available, and you have not opted to allow the computer to "fill in" for you, you will not have any books to read! With some people, this is just fine?they would prefer not to have anything unless they have asked for it. But for many others, the prospect of a long weekend with nothing to read makes them very unhappy indeed. To make certain this doesn?t happen to you, make sure your file is set up to receive books in the topics of your choice whenever your requests are not available. You can call and speak with a reader advisor about some of the subjects you might like, whether it be old love stories, biographies of your favorite movie stars, or the latest best seller. Remember that we receive a limited number of copies of a given title; the more popular titles do not stay on the shelf for very long once they have been received, so there is a good chance that something on your order list will not be available as you would like.
It is a good idea to try to order as many books as you can; orders containing more than 20 titles should be mailed into the office, but we will accept the shorter book lists over the phone at any time. You do not need to repeat book orders; we keep the list on file until they have all been sent to you. If you find you are not receiving your requests, give us a call so that we may take a closer look at your file to see what the problem might be.
           Another scenario that makes for an unhappy experience is simply not receiving enough books. You have plenty of requests on order, and you have allowed the automated system to choose for you, too, but you are getting maybe only a couple books when you would prefer at least six or eight! This is easy enough to correct; just give us a call and we can increase your shipments. Of course, if you are "request only", and you have only a few numbers on order, we will not be able to satisfy your request. You will either have to place additional book orders, or allow the automated system, or a reader advisor, to select material for you.
          Our shelves are filled to the brim with books of every description. NLS produces approximately 1400 titles for the collection each year; and we have access to the Internet and other sources for possible interlibrary loan. If you need assistance with your book selection, or you would like to change the manner in which books are currently being sent to you, please give us a call.
 
TBABS VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE SPECIAL AWARDS
          On April 20 of this year the Oregon State Library held its annual volunteer recognition celebration. There were four special award recipients notable to the Talking Book program. Jeremy Mitchell and Willard Eggers jointly received the Margaret Epley Award, which is given to volunteers who act as role models in sharing the gifts and joys of volunteering, and is named in honor of the late Margaret Epley, who served as both a volunteer and paid staff member of Talking Books. A freshman in high school, Jeremy contributed work in both the machine lending area and the circulation area of TBABS. In the year 2003, Jeremy contributed 144 hours of time in the preparation and boxing of new equipment, processing returned equipment, and inspecting returned cassette books.
           Willard Eggers is a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, and in his 7.5 years of volunteering at TBABS has contributed a valued service for talking book patrons. In 2003, Willard provided over 408 hours of cassette book machine repair. The cost savings to state government, based on NLS repair cost figures, provide that the hourly cost to repair a playback machine is $25.26.
         The Volunteer of the Year award was given jointly to the Telephone Pioneers, and TBABS patron Nolan Crabb. The Telephone Pioneers donated over 1500 hours of valued service repairing the playback equipment. It is their dedicated work which assures that we have a steady supply of working equipment available on a daily basis. Nolan Crabb provides support in the maintenance of the TBABS Web page. As a long-time subscriber to talking books himself, Nolan provides valuable insight as a member of the TBABS Advisory Council, and is always happy to experiment with new programs and new procedures.
Without the tireless contributions of these dedicated people, TBABS would likely not be able to successfully meet the needs of all the patrons who depend on us for their reading enjoyment. Please join with us in congratulating each of these deserving individuals!
 
LOW VISION ACCESSORY STORE
           Vision Northwest began the Low Vision Accessory Store about three years ago because there was no place in Oregon that carried products of interest to the visually-impaired community. Potential customers had to order from catalogs, which meant dealing with suppliers out-of-state. The store has products such as talking watches and clocks, office supplies, large button telephones, remote TV controls that talk, a large array of magnifiers, and many other items. Their staff specializes in service, and they take the time that´s needed so that each customer can choose the items that are most suited to them.
The Store is located at 9225 SW Hall Blvd. in Tigard. The hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm. You may call 503-684-8389 or 1-800-448-2232 for more information and directions.
 
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
Independence Day (Observed) July 5, 2004
Labor Day, September 6, 2004
Any mention of products and servces is for information purposes only and does not imply endorsement.
 
TBABS
250 Winter St.
Salem, OR 97324
Free Matter for the Blind and Physically Handicapped