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Summer Newsletter 2007
T A L K I NG   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
Fax: (503) 588-7119
e-mail: tbabs.info@state.or.us
website: www.tbabs.org
Volume 4,  Issue 2  ·  Summer  2007  ·  Edited by:  Marion Bryson

For some time now we have been encouraging our patrons who have a computer with Internet access to sign up for Unabridged Digital Audio Books, which may be accessed at www.unabridged.info.
This innovative website allows you to easily download books from any PC equipped with Windows Media Player onto your portable MP3 player, CD, or other Windows Media Audio Format. Each month new titles are added to this collection, and there are now more than 2000 downloadable titles.
We are excited about the number of you who continue to sign up for this free audio book service.  In hopes of getting more of you to try this service, we are once again offering MP3 players for loan to persons who are interested in trying out Unabridged for the first time, or to those of you who already subscribe to this great service, and would like to borrow one of the MP3 players. To be eligible to borrow one of the MP3 players you must be a patron who has not previously participated in the MP3 promotion, and you must have a compatible computer, and Broadband Internet access.
If you are eligible and interested in subscribing to Unabridged, or borrowing an MP3 player, submit an email request no later than July 13, 2007 to: tbabs.info@state.or.us.  In the subject line of your email type the words Unabridged Promotion. In the body of the email include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and the name of your Internet provider. You may enter only once, and only email requests will be accepted.
Based on the number of entries submitted, there will be a random drawing to determine distribution of the available MP3 players. All interested parties will be notified of the results by email.
April 15 – 21 was recognized as National Volunteer Week, and the Oregon State Library was pleased to honor 101 individuals, who worked a total of 2,713 days, for a grand total of 9,625 hours of work! That figure equals 4.63 full-time employees.
In TBABS, we were fortunate to have 10 work experience student volunteers, who use their library experience as a stepping stone to apply for eventual paid positions. We were also fortunate to have six Telephone Pioneers work to repair cassette machines. One of our long-time Telephone Pioneers just turned 90 years “young” in March. He alone volunteered 456 hours of time in 2006. In addition to machine cleaning and repair, our volunteers help in a multitude of areas, ranging from cassette book repair and cassette rewinding, to clerical tasks such as filing, typing and data entry. We simply couldn’t do it without them! Please join with us in giving a bigthank you to each and every one of these deserving folks!
In our continuing partnership with the New Mexico State Library, one more professionally narrated title has been added to the Oregon collection. “Invisible,” the first book in the Ivy Malone mystery series by Lorena McCourtney, is now available as CBX 1240.
The Ivy Malone character is an inconspicuous, older woman who has a curiosity that often lands her in trouble. When vandals romp through the local cemetery, she can't help but put her snooping eyes to work as she launches her own "unofficial" investigation. Not turning up any clues, she becomes discouraged, but after witnessing something ominous and unexplained, she can't resist putting her investigative powers to work again.  “Invisible” received favorable reviews, and was also named winner of the Inspirational Division of the 2005 Daphne du Maurier Mystery/Suspense Awards. Give us a call to reserve your copy.
Our computer system has the capability to send books in a series in the order in which they were written. We can manipulate your preferences to reflect specific series books. For example, Jan Karon has written a very popular series of books that begins with At Home in Mitford. If you tell us that you are interested in this particular series, we can adjust your account, and the computer will automatically send you the first volume, or reserve it for you until it becomes available.
Only after you have received book one will the computer send the remaining books to you in the order in which they were written.  This is a wonderful feature, and one that staff was particularly
excited about when the KLAS system was first implemented. If you have a specific author series that you would like to begin to read, give us a call, and if we have the series, we can begin to send it to you in correct order.
NFB-NEWSLINE, the free telephone service which allows you to listen to over 240 newspapers and seven magazines, now offers TV listings. Each TV listing contains the channel, time, program title, and a brief program description. By simply entering your zip code, your TV provider (Comcast, Dish Network, etc.), and your time zone, you can obtain easy access to your local TV listings.
If you haven’t yet signed up for NFB-NEWSLINE, give us a call and we will immediately send you all the information you need to get started.
It’s official! The last installment of the Harry Potter series is coming to bookstores everywhere beginning July 21st! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in the popular fantasy series by J. K. Rowling, and is breaking a record with 12 million print copies set for its first printing.
Due to the immense popularity of this series, TBABS has arranged to purchase commercially-produced cassette versions of this book now, so that you may continue to read the series just as it becomes available to the public! The NLS cassette and Braille versions will also be available at a later date.
If you do not want to wait for the NLS-produced audio version, TBABS encourages interested Potter fans to give us a call to reserve a copy of the commercially-produced edition.
Beginning this July, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) in Princeton, NJ, will offer audio books only in CD format. Many of you have used RFB&D services in the past, as they often were the only available resource for textbook material in audio cassette. We would like to encourage those of you who have an RFB&D book checked out (they come in the light blue containers as opposed to the green TBABS containers) to return it as soon as possible.
In order to play the new CD’s, users will need specially adapted players or software installed on their players. RFB&D offers a complete line of players, software, and accessories for nonprofit sale, including a hybrid CD/four-track cassette player to help members make the transition from cassette to CD format. Contact RFB&D at 1-800-221-4792 with questions regarding the new CD format, or you may also logon to www.rfbd.org  for additional information.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has launched a new, totally accessible, multi-media web- site that offers instructional videos, easy to implement tips, and testimonials to help this country’s growing low vision population maintain independence.
The launch of AFB Senior Site at www.afb.org/seniorsite comes amid concerns from health officials that diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy are expected to double as the nation’s 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age and beyond. Check out the informative site for a wealth of information designed to help you cope with your vision loss.
Summer is here, and that means it’s time for younger readers to Get a Clue @Your Library. That is the statewide theme for this years’ summer reading program for children. The theme suggests mystery and detectives, so if you want to solve riddles and be a super sleuth, investigate TBABS to get hot on the trail of what books we have in audio or Braille that will aid you in your search.
In Salem, summer reading officially begins on June 5th. Please check with your local public library for dates and times in your area.
The Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind celebrates 100 years of service for blind persons this year. The inaugural issue of March, 1907, contained congratulatory letters from Helen Keller, Grover Cleveland, and Teddy Roosevelt.
This general interest monthly magazine is funded by an endowment from an heiress to a family fortune made in the baking powder business. Mark Twain called it “one of the noblest benefactions” of his lifetime. Matilda Ziegler herself was also the mother of a blind son. Each issue contains a variety of articles selected from a broad range of periodicals; short stories; poetry; humor; a pen pals column, and news of special interest to visually impaired persons. The magazine is free and available in Braille, cassette, or online at www.matildaziegler.org.
If you would like to begin a subscription to this periodical, you may call 212-242-0263, or write to The Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind, 80 Eighth Av, Rm 1304, New York, NY 10011. You may also send an email request to blind@verizon.net.
(Special thanks to the Utah State Library for this article).
A free service that provides automatic Braille conversion is called RoboBraille. Originally developed in Denmark, RoboBraille automates the translation of text documents into Braille and speech. The service is available free of charge to all non-commercial users.
With RoboBraille, you can translate documents into contracted Braille; translate documents into speech; translate text into visual Braille; convert text documents between different character sets; convert Braille documents to specific Braille character sets, and partition documents into smaller parts. For more information about this new technology, visit their website: www.robobraille.org.
Large print calendars for 2008 will once again be mailed to all legally blind or visually impaired patrons who have used this service during the past year.  A calendar will automatically be sent to you unless you have previously informed us that you do not wish to receive one. If you have not already let us know that you do not wish to receive the calendar, give us a call and we will note your account accordingly.
The calendar is brought to you courtesy of the generous donations from patrons and friends of Talking Books. One calendar is available per person; we send calendars only to individuals registered for the service. For institutional accounts such as nursing homes or hospitals, we can provide a list of  resources where a large print calendar may be obtained for the facility.
Persons must be individually registered and maintain an “active service” to receive the calendar. An “active service” is defined as borrowing at least one book or NLS-produced magazine per year.
Look for the calendar to start appearing in your mailbox in September. Remember to notify us of any change of address so that your calendar will not be delayed. Individuals who have previously received a Braille calendar will once again receive the 2008 calendar in Braille instead of in large print.
The 2007 tour of THE EYE SITE, the National Eye Institute's (NEI) traveling exhibit on low vision, stops in Oregon this spring and summer. The exhibit is designed to increase knowledge about low vision, local low vision services and resources (including Talking Book and Braille Services), and aids and devices that help people with low vision. 
The exhibit features five colorful kiosks ranging in height from six to eight feet, with an interactive multimedia touch-screen program. The exhibit and touch-screen program explain the causes of low vision, offer personal accounts of people living with low vision, and provide a self-assessment to help people determine whether they or someone they know may have low vision.
THE EYE SITE traveling exhibit will be in the following locations in Oregon:
Lloyd Center, Portland, from May 26 through June 21;
Lancaster Mall, Salem, from June 23 through July 12;
Valley River Center, Eugene, from July 14 through August 9
THE EYE SITE is a part of the NEI's National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP). The goal of the program is to prevent blindness and promote vision rehabilitation.
Our Fund Development spring appeal is currently underway. Gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated, and all donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your generous support!
At this time we would like to inform you of some important staff changes at TBABS. Machine program coordinator Eugene Newbill, and equipment technician Andrea Blake, have each accepted a position with the Government Research and Electronic Services (GRES) Team here at the State Library. While we are sad to lose both Eugene and Andrea’s enthusiasm and capability in TBABS, we are also happy that each one of them will be involved in new and exciting ventures right here at the State Library, just with another Team.
You can be assured that these changes will not affect your service, and you may continue to call TBABS for all your equipment needs. While each of the TBABS staff has a general knowledge of the workings of the cassette machine, there are times when more expertise is definitely in order. Evelyn Kimbrell, long-time TBABS staff member, has assumed many of the duties associated with the machine program, and is available to answer questions and troubleshoot machine problems that may arise from time to time.
She may be reached directly at 503-378-5005, or 800-452-0292, ext. 85005.
Jim Woolery, who has been with TBABS for over five years, will be retiring in June. Jim worked as a circulation specialist, preparing books for shipment, and also checking in and shelving our books and videos.
While we will miss Jim, we are happy that he now will be able to spend more time with his family, and enjoy his hobbies of hiking and antiquing.
TBABS will be closed on the
following legal holiday:
Independence Day, July 4
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