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Summer Newsletter 2005
  T A L K I N G   B O O K  A N D  B R A I L L E   N E W S
                            Talking Book & Braille Services
                                    Oregon State Library
                                      250 Winter St NE
                                Salem OR  97301-3950
                         (503) 378-3849 or (800) 452-0292
                       e-mail: tbabs@oslmac.osl.state.or.us
                     Volume 2,  Issue 2  ·  Summer 2005  ·  Edited byMarion Bryson

Every two years TBABS contacts
a randomly selected pool of its customers to determine their satisfaction with our service. This survey also provides customers an opportunity to comment on how we could improve our service to them, and also aids the State Librarian in informing the Oregon State Legislature about how well the Library is meeting customer needs.
Our thanks to the 312 patrons who responded to the 2005 telephone customer survey conducted in January. Comments regarding overall service were favorable: 88.06% rated our service as excellent, and 11.61% rated our service as above average. 15.7% offered us feedback on issues ranging from technology to
improvements in the customer service area.
We are encouraged by these numbers, and will continue to work to meet those goals and objectives
that will provide the best possible service to you, our customers. 
Vision Voice is a powerful tool from Vision Northwest that gives people access to information usually available only in print, and is accessible to anyone with a touch tone telephone.  
This information line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the service is free. The type of information you will find when you call includes grocery ads, cable and television schedules, and community announcements. While
some announcements focus on the Portland metro area, the grocery ads are from the major chains, and should be applicable all over Oregon.
Information about TBABS is now also available through Vision Voice. We are committed to getting the word out about our service, so that eligible persons may begin to receive talking books.
Call Vision Voice at 503-684-2849. To hear the ad for TBABS, listen for instructions to access community announcements, which is selection number 4. Once you have selected box 4, you will hear a numbered menu from 1 through 9, which allows you to hear different announcements. As of this writing, TBABS may be heard by selecting box number 2. It is not necessary to listen to all 9 announcements if you do not want to; simply select box 2 as soon as you reach the community announcement section. If you would like to hear all that is available in this section, you will want to listen to all 9 choices.
For several years, the Library of Congress has been planning the transition from cassette books to digital audio books. Current plans are to use flash memory to replace cassette tape. Patrons will use a playback machine provided by the Library of Congress, or use a USB connection to read the book on their personal computer. The playback machine will be about one quarter the overall size of the current C1 cassette player. The digital audio book cartridge will be slightly larger than a credit card and capable of holding a complete audio book. Patrons should find flash memory cartridges easier to use than audio cassettes. Overall sound quality should also be better than the sound currently provided by the cassette player.
The Library of Congress is currently requesting proposals from companies to design a system that includes both the flash memory card and the playback machine. The new technology will be phased in beginning in 2008, over a period of four years. The library will continue to circulate cassette books during and after the transition, so that patrons who want to continue using cassettes will be able to do so.
The Library of Congress has been using digital technology to record books for the last several years. As a result, there should be about 20,000 titles available in the digital format in 2008. Plans are also in the works to make digital audio books downloadable like currently available Web-Braille files. Stay tuned for further developments as they become available.
This article courtesy of the Utah State Library.
According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 18.2 million people in the United States suffer with the chronic disease known as diabetes. Since it is such a prevalent disease, it is important to keep informed with current information.
For the most far-reaching information concerning diabetes, the quarterly magazine Voice of the Diabetic is highly recommended. Published by the Diabetics Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind, each issue features personal stories, recipes, and a resource column of aids and appliances. It is available free of charge in print or on cassette tape. For further information contact Voice of the Diabetic, 1412 I-70 Drive SW Suite C, Columbia MO 65203, or call 573-875-8911. Their web site is www.NFB.org/voice.htm.
Another good resource for information is the American Diabetes Association. For a free newsletter and referral services, simply call 1-800-232-3472.
Among the many books TBABS has regarding diabetes are the following, listed in numerical order:
RC 49100 – American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association. This guide to managing diabetes explains the two types of the disorder, their causes and the importance of maintaining overall good health.
RC 51254 – Living with Diabetes by Jenny Bryan.  Discusses the causes and symptoms of diabetes and the effects of diet and medicine. For grades 3-6.
RC 55973 – The Whole Foods Diabetic Cookbook by Patricia Bertron. A collection of vegetarian recipes using whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
RC 56378 – One Hundred One Foot Care Tips for People with Diabetes by Jessie Ahroni. Provides answers to common questions about foot problems associated with two complications of diabetes—poor circulation and nerve damage.
RC 56478 – Mayo Clinic on Managing Diabetes by Maria Collazo-Clavell. Guide to managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes through diet, exercise, and medication.
RC 56822 – Carol Gruber’s Type 2 Diabetes Life Plan by Carol Gruber. Nutritionist combines fact and inspirational suggestions in a guide on how to live well with Type 2 diabetes.
RC 57648 – Diabetes A to Z: What You Need to Know about Diabetes, Simply Put by the American Diabetes Association. Revised and updated 2003 edition explains diabetes-related issues in clear, simple terms.
Once again we are pleased to inform you of the purchase of
27 new audio described movies. Classics such as Stagecoach and Little Lord Fauntleroy are a couple of examples of the type of movies you will find in this new selection. If you are interested in a Braille or large print list of the new offerings, give us a call.
Are you frustrated because you always seem to receive books from us that are not to your liking? Do you send in request lists, only to receive everything but your requests? Do you find yourself approaching the weekend with no talking books to keep you company? We sympathize with your frustration and want you to know that service is our number one priority at TBABS!
With the implementation of our new automated system last year, the staff found that while there were many new features we were able to employ, it took a good deal of time and practice to understand the new procedures and to successfully use them. Though there were some “bugs” in the system, there has been great improvement in our overall operations. If you have a desire to change the way your account is currently set up, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
The future of TBABS depends on the generosity of people who care about the services it provides. An excellent way to provide support for TBABS is through a gift plan. Gifts made through wills and other estate plans are applied to the TBABS Endowment Fund and assure that TBABS will be there for future generations of Oregonians.  Would you like more information about how you can include TBABS in your will, trust, life insurance or other estate plan? Perhaps you have already included TBABS as a beneficiary of a plan? Please let us know; contact Matt Senecal at matt.senecal@state.or.us or call 503-378-4243 ext. 289, or toll free at 800-452-0292.
Would you like to cancel a magazine subscription? If so, please call and let us know. Do not mark the package “refused” or “cancelled” and send it back. The Comprehensive Mailing List Service (CMLS), the organization that sends you Talking Book Topics and most other magazines, will automatically suspend your service for all periodicals if you do this. If we do not notify them they will cancel your service entirely, not just for the magazine. Your subscription can be reinstated, but it often takes weeks for this to transpire, during which time you may not be receiving the magazines you do want. So, please remember to always call TBABS with your desire to cancel subscriptions.
If you subscribe to Newsweek or Reader’s Digest magazines, please note that you are required to reinstate your subscription each year in order to continue receiving each issue.
In January of each new calendar year, the American Printing House (APH), which is the publisher of these two magazines, sends a letter to each person receiving the magazine, asking whether or not you want to continue your subscription. If you fail to complete and return the form to APH, your subscriptions will cease. Therefore, it is very important that you return the form if you wish to continue to receive each issue. Please do not send the form to TBABS, as we have no direct involvement with the circulation of these two magazines.
Employment opportunities for the visually impaired are now available at Internal Revenue Service offices around the United States. IRS office locations seeking to hire clients with partial vision or total blindness include those in Portland. The next class for the Taxpayer Service Representative vocational course begins on August 1, 2005. Clients must report by July 4 for the required evaluation period.
The five-month course trains persons who are blind or visually impaired to work in the Customer Service Division of the IRS. Course qualifications include good independent living and orientation and mobility skills, as well as the ability to read print at 100 wpm with 75 percent comprehension, or Braille at 80 wpm with 75 percent comprehension.
For more information please call Sherrill Wilson, Director of Admissions & Special Projects at 1-800-248-0734. You may also send e-mail to training@lwsb.org
Do you ever experience difficulty when trying to open the plastic containers that the cassettes are packaged in? If so, the circulation department suggests using a regular kitchen spoon as a quick and easy alternative to your fingers! The sturdy metal handle is just the right tool to pry open those stubborn plastic straps.
Have you ever been listening to one of your books on tape, and all of a sudden it just stops? You may be wondering if the battery has suddenly run down, which is possible, but more than likely you just have a tightly wound tape that needs a good tap to loosen it up and get it back on its merry way. Simply rap the cassette firmly on a hard surface, such as a table or counter. Most of the time this little effort does the trick. If this doesn’t work, give us a call if you would like another copy of the book.
Most patrons who sign up for the Talking Book program elect to receive their materials in the cassette media, generally because they do not read Braille. However, we do have a small population of avid Braille readers, and we find that those patrons who use both cassette and Braille media actually prefer to read their books in Braille.
While the Braille collection is very small in comparison to the cassette collection, each volume of a Braille title is very expensive, and we only have one copy of each on our shelves. Therefore, we are asking that you help us to protect the collection, and keep it in good repair for all the future Braille readers we hope to register. Just one damaged or lost volume of a set means that we cannot circulate the whole book; if a patron happens to want that particular title, we must then special order it from our multi state center in Utah, and withdraw the incomplete set.
How can you help us to protect those Braille volumes? One way is to be certain not to eat or drink beverages while reading. Other suggestions are not to make marks on the pages, or fold the pages. Try to keep books away from heaters, and even direct sunlight, to preserve the covers.
We have noted that sometimes the volumes are returned with broken spines, a result of the bindings snapping apart when too much force is used to flip open the cover. When this happens we have no alternative but to withdraw the volume, as it cannot be repaired effectively.
Of course, it also helps if you return all volumes in a set at the same time. We cannot circulate a title unless we have all of the volumes to make a complete set.
If you are a Braille reader who has not enjoyed reading a good book in awhile, we would like to encourage you to do so. Many volumes are just sitting on the shelves, waiting for a pair of interested hands to enjoy them. If you are not signed up for Braille Book Review, which lists the bimonthly selections of new Braille titles that are available, give us a call to begin your subscription today.
Following are excerpts from some of the many nice letters we receive from you. We do appreciate your kind words, and the fact that talking books are so important to you.
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of my aunt. As her world has progressively shrunk over the past few years, Talking Books continued to bring her tremendous pleasure and richness.
She and I enjoyed discussing our common reading interests. She has compulsively kept a record of every one of the talking books she has read, with a short note of her impression and a mark that indicated those she particularly enjoyed. I plan to compile a list of her favorites to distribute to family and friends. Thank you, thank you.”
I enjoy talking books so very much. Life would not be as good without them. Thank you.”
Now giving to TBABS is even easier. Simply go to the TBABS website at http://oregon.gov/OSL/TBABS/index.shtml and on the navigator bar at the left click DONATIONS. At the bottom of the next page that appears click on the link under the phrase TO GIVE NOW (toward the bottom of the page.) Follow the directions and use your credit card to make a contribution to TBABS. 
No checkbooks, envelopes or stamps to fuss with, and it’s completely secure. Check it out!
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
Independence Day, Monday, July 4
Labor Day, Monday, September 5
This newsletter is available in large print, on cassette, in Braille, or on our website at www.oregon.gov/osl/tbabs



Any mention of products and services in Talking Book And Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.
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