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Winter 2005 Newsletter
  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
Volume 2,  Issue 4  ·  Winter  2005  ·  Edited by Marion Bryson

For some time now we have been singing the praises of the Unabridged Digital Audio Book project, which may be accessed at www.unabridged.info/.  This innovative web site allows you to download books onto your personal computer or MP3 player, and it is entirely free for you to do  so. We are excited about the number of you who have called to sign up for this service!
One of our goals for the current biennium (July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2007) is to spread the word about this terrific program, and to sign up as many patrons as possible. If you are a satisfied user of Unabridged, help us to spread the word by telling your visually-impaired friends about it. If they are already registered with TBABS, it is a simple task to sign up for Unabridged. If they are not currently a TBABS patron, we will gladly send the necessary forms so they may begin to receive service.
To give you an idea of the type of material you will find at this Site, here are two titles that have recently become available: Midnight in Death, a mystery by J. D. Robb, and The Essential Lewis and Clark, a pocket edition of one  of America’s most remarkable  endeavors, by Landon Y. Jones. Neither of these two titles is currently available through TBABS. For these and many, many more offerings, check out Unabridged today, and then give TBABS a call to sign up!
Most of us know that the language of Braille was developed by Louis Braille, but what else do we know about the man who introduced a system that forever changed the world of reading and writing for blind persons?
Louis Braille was born near Paris, France, on January 4, 1809. He became blind by an accident when he was three years old, and after much determination and his keen ability to learn, he went on to publish the first-ever Braille book when he was just 20 years old. If you would like to learn more about Louis Braille, and how he developed the system that nearly every country in the world uses today, consider ordering the following books:
The Reading Fingers: Life of Louis Braille by Jean Roblin, BR 14555.
For senior high and adult readers.
Louis Braille: Windows for the Blind by J. Alvin Kugelmass, BR 3178, or RC 9596. For senior high and adult readers.
Louis Braille: Inventor by Jennifer Bryant, RC 46863. For grades 5-8.
Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille by Russell Freedman,
BR 11319. For grades 4-7.
(Note: BR is designation for Braille; RC is designation for cassette).
We have added more new descriptive videos to our ever-growing collection. The new movie titles are as follows: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera; Finding Neverland; The Incredibles; Meet the Fockers; Million Dollar Baby; Ray; and Shark Tales. Call TBABS to inquire about any of the movies, or to reserve copies. If you would like an updated Braille or large print catalog, we will gladly send one upon request.
It’s that time of year again when a distinct chill in the air signals the beginning of the winter season, and we have long since packed away our shorts and tanning lotion. We are usually spending more time indoors, and that means we might be reading more books.
That’s where we come in! We have so many books on our shelves, there is surely something that would interest you. If you would like some holiday reading, we have a host of books relating to Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. In January we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and our collection includes a number of good books for both children and adults about this great Black leader.
In February we celebrate  Valentine’s Day, and we also honor our presidents on Presidents’ Day. For children we have books about the origin of Valentine’s Day, and for all age levels we have books about the presidents of the United States, as well as books about many of the First Ladies. So, whatever your interest may be, remember to call TBABS for all of your reading needs.

If you are a Braille reader but find Braille books somewhat bulky and cumbersome, or you just want a little more portability, why not give Web-Braille a try!

Web-Braille, the NLS system for distributing Braille books, magazines, and music scores via the Internet, has been in operation since September,1999. Books, magazines, and music scores are available for download or viewing online by eligible individuals, libraries, and schools that have Braille embossers, refreshable Braille displays, or other Braille-aware  devices. Users must provide their own equipment, an  email  address, and must have access to the Internet to take advantage of this service.

Web-Braille files are copies of files created by the contractors during the production of Braille books.  Each file represents one Braille volume. A patron can read one volume at a time online, or download their selections.

You may visit the web site at: www.loc.gov/nls/braille/ for more information about Web-Braille, or to obtain a Web-Braille user ID and password, call Jackie Shepherd at 503-378-5390 or 1-800-452-0292.
We are pleased to announce that we have developed a simplified TBABS URL to allow for easy access to our web site. To access our web site simply go to http://TBABS.org, or for the Donation site go directly to http://givetoTBABS.org. We hope you will find these new URL’s to be much more “user friendly,” and also easier to remember!
As most of you know there will be major changes in the Medicare Prescription Program in 2006. If you would like a Braille or audio version of the brochures entitled Medicare & You 2006, or Your Medicare Benefits, please give us a call. We have a few copies in each media available on a first come, first served basis.
For more information about the changes, or to request copies in alternate formats, you may call
1-800-MEDICAR (1-800-633-4227). If you would like a TBABS staff person to assist you in accessing this information, give us a call, and we will be happy to walk you through the steps. 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is the selection for Multnomah County Library’s “Everybody Reads” community wide reading project for 2006. The highly-acclaimed novel has been a favorite selection of book clubs due to its emotionally riveting story, and its timely focus on the Middle East.
“Everybody Reads 2006” will be the fourth annual community reading project of Multnomah County Library, made possible by The Library Foundation and numerous private and corporate sponsors. The project kicks off in late January with events, book discussions, and other programming taking place throughout the month of February at libraries and other locations in the Portland area.
You may get a copy of The Kite Runner on cassette from TBABS by ordering RC 57457, or in Braille as BR 15785. If you would like more information about the “Everybody Reads” project, you may contact Terrilyn Chun at 503-988-5469. You may also visit the web site at www.multcolib.org/reads.
If past years are any indication, coming up in the first Talking Book Topics issue of the new year (January/February) will be an article about Magazine of the Month. Please be aware that the magazines featured in Magazine of the Month are not available as regular, individual subscriptions. Magazine of the Month only allows readers to sample these periodicals once. The same holds true for Young Adult Magazine of the Month.
Have you ever wondered where those magazines in the green boxes come from? All of them (with the exception of Guideposts) come from other Talking Book libraries that generously loan us one copy.  From that single copy we duplicate as many copies as are required to satisfy our subscribers.
Sometimes the originals we get are not of the highest sound quality; they are quality tested and sent back unused if they fail to meet standards. Otherwise they are duplicated immediately right here at TBABS and sent out to patrons.
While this generosity on the part of libraries enables us to offer magazines we would not otherwise be able to offer, the downside is that we also get the magazines on a rather irregular schedule. If you wonder why you go so long between issues of Saturday Evening Post, for example, that is why.
Have you ever wondered just how your tax dollars are being spent in the state of Oregon? The League of Women Voter’s web site has a link that interested persons may want to visit to learn more about their government at work. Funding Oregon: The Ins and Outs of State Finance, by the League of Women Voters of Oregon Education Fund, is an interesting in-depth report about the state of the State.
To read the full transcript or just a summary of the report, log on to http://www.lwvor.org/. You can also download an audio version if you have media player on your computer. The League of Women Voters of Oregon is located at 2659 Commercial SE, Suite 260, in Salem. Their telephone number is 503-581-5722.

Are you registered to vote? Do you wish you had better access to statewide candidates and measures before you vote? Would you like to get an Audio Voters’ Guide on cassette? The Secretary of State and Talking Book and Braille Services are joining efforts to produce and deliver an Audio Voters’ Guide to all those 18 years old and older that are currently receiving services from TBABS. 
Voters will be sent a cassette tape of The League of Women Voters’ of Oregon Nonpartisan Voters’ Guide and The League of Women Voters’ Easy To Read Voting Guide. Both guides will be included in the same mailing and are designed to give the voter clear and easy to understand information about the election.
Text and audio versions of both guides will also be available on the Secretary of State web site prior to each Federal election. It is anticipated that the Audio Voters’ Guide will be produced for every Federal Election. That means that every even numbered year you will receive the Audio Voters’ Guide for the May Primary Election and the November General Election. 
The Audio Voters’ Guide will include important information on all statewide candidates and measures for that election. It will help you become a more informed voter. The guide will not include local races and measures.  However, local information will beincluded in the text and audio versions on the Secretary of State web site. Additionally, some large counties produce their own local voters’ guide that may be available to you in audio format.
How do you sign up? No need. If you are currently receiving services from TBABS and are at least 18 years old you will automatically receive the Audio Voters’ Guide.  You can choose not to receive the Audio Voters’ Guide. Just simply call TBABS at 1-800-452-0292 to request that you not be included in the Audio Voters’ Guide program.  Your name will be removed from the Audio Voters’ Guide mailing list. Be looking for a special announcement from TBABS and the Secretary of State in late January. The announcement will provide you with more details about this exciting program.   
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 to register make sure you request it when you call. 
You need to update your voter registration if you have moved, have changed your name, have changed your signature, or if you would like to change your political party. If you are unsure about your registration status please call
1-866-673-8683 to get more information.    
The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library is now offering a computer workstation for people with disabilities. The computer has magnification and voice recognition software as well as physical components that will make the Internet and other computer applications more accessible. Software installed on the computer includes Zoomtext, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Co-Writer. If you would like a large print brochure which details the Workstation, we will gladly send you one if you give us a call.
The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library is located at 645 NW Monroe Ave in Corvallis. The reference desk telephone number is 541-766-6793.
Many of you have called to discover that the voicemail message you hear on the other end of the receiver is different than it has previously been. This is due to a change in the statewide telephone system of which the State Library is a part. However, even though the message has changed somewhat, our service remains the same!
If you call and we are unable to answer, you will now have the opportunity to select one of four options to leave book requests, a machine replacement request, magazine subscription orders or cancellations, or changes of address. In addition, you may also choose to leave a message for our Program Manager, Susan Westin. These options will serve to expedite your requests more efficiently. Of course, staff will be happy to return your call if you wish to personally speak with a representative.
We are sorry to inform you that our Fund Development Officer, Matt Senecal, has resigned his position with TBABS to be the new Foundation Director with the Providence Benedictine Nursing Facility in Mt. Angel. While we are saddened to lose his expertise at TBABS, we are happy for this new opportunity for him. During his year at TBABS, Matt helped to raise the public consciousness level relating to planned giving, and he was also responsible for implementing three successful appeals.
While we are in the process of recruitment for the Fund Development Officer position, you may call Susan Westin for any questions relating to fund development. Her direct telephone number is 503-378-5435.  
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays:
Christmas Day observed,
Monday, December 26
New Year’s Day observed,
Monday, January 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
Monday, January 16
Presidents’ Day,
Monday, February 20
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. All of us at Talking Book and Braille Services (TBABS) would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays, and a bright new year ahead.
This newsletter is available in large print, on cassette, in Braille, or on our web site at http://TBABS.org
Any mention of products and services in Talking Book And Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.
SALEM OR 97301-3950