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Winter 2007 Newsletter
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TALKING BOOK AND BRAILLE NEWS
*TBABS*
Talking Book and Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-3849 * (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 585-8059
 
Volume 4, Issue 4 * Winter 2007 * Edited by Marion Bryson
 
A SEASON OF GIVING: THANK YOU FROM TALKING BOOKS
 
As we enter the holiday season, Talking Book and Braille Services gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our patrons and friends. There are so many organizations worthy of your support, and we are very thankful for the many gifts we receive to support our mission so “that all may read.”
 
Donations to Talking Books allow us to enhance services to our patrons beyond the basics provided by the National Library Service. Private donations make it possible to produce professional recordings of books by Oregon authors, add more descriptive videos, and provide our patrons
 
with free access to NFB-NEWSLINE, the largest audio news service in the nation.  Donations also fund patrons’ access to audio books from Unabridged, the online borrowing service, and to provide patrons with MP3 players to listen to the audio books.
 
How To Make a Gift
 
  • Gifts of Cash
Your cash gift will have an immediate and positive impact on our programs serving people who are blind or who have low vision or other disabilities.
 
Employers who offer matching gift programs often supplement cash gifts. Cash gifts are deposited into our Talking Book and Braille Services Annual Fund unless the donor specifies another purpose for the gift. These funds are separate from any State funding and are used only for Talking Book and Braille Services. Charitable gifts of cash to our program are fully tax-deductible.
 
Cash gifts can be made by check and mailed to Talking Book and Braille Services, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-3950. Or, if it is more convenient, gifts may be made by credit card. To make a gift with your credit card, visit our secure website at www.givetotbabs.org or call Susan Westin, Program Manager,
at 800-452-0292, ext. 85435.  
 
  • Using Your IRA to Make a Charitable Gift
Thanks to the success of tax-deferred investments within qualified retirement plans, many people have found that they have sufficient funds for retirement with funds left over for distribution to their heirs and charitable causes they wish to support. If you're looking for the most tax-effective gift to make to a charitable organization like TBABS, your individual retirement account (IRA) may be the best choice.
 
Currently, there are two ways to give using your IRA:
1) Special Legislation Allows Charitable Gifts from Your IRA
Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, you may be eligible to make a gift while you are living using funds from your IRA without incurring any undesirable tax effects. This new law is in effect through 2007 and allows individuals aged 70 ½ or older to make gifts to qualified organizations like TBABS by transferring funds of any amount (up to $100,000) directly from an IRA on or before Dec. 31, 2007.
 
Any charitable gift you make from your IRA under this law counts toward your required minimum distributions. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you will receive the benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
 
To make a gift, simply contact your IRA custodian to make a direct transfer from your account to Talking Book and Braille Services. Be sure to have the custodian send the funds electronically, or by check payable to the Oregon State Library Talking Book and Braille Services. (If the custodian makes the check payable to you, and you write a personal check for the charitable gift, you will not be eligible for the special tax breaks).
 
2) IRAs as Charitable Bequests
If you are planning to make a charitable bequest to Talking Books, an IRA can be one of the best assets to use because of favorable tax provisions. As a qualified charitable organization, Talking Book and Braille Services is tax exempt and will be able to keep the full amount of your gift, free of all income and estate taxes.
 
To make a charitable bequest from your IRA assets, name Talking Book and Braille Services as the beneficiary on your IRA beneficiary designation forms. If you would like to leave some of your assets to Talking Books and the rest to your family and friends or to another charitable organization, then extra steps may be advisable.
 
There are specific rules for mandatory distributions from your IRA after you reach the age of 70 ½ or after you die. One alternative is to establish a separate IRA account for Talking Book and Braille Services. The daughter of one of our patrons did so this year. Another way is to use an existing IRA and move the funds to the new IRA, naming our program as the beneficiary.
  • Legacy Giving from a Will or Trust
This year, we established the Irene Price Society to recognize individuals who have designated Talking Book and Braille Services as beneficiary of their will or IRA. The society is named after Irene, the wife of Thomas M. Price of Grants Pass, Oregon, who passed away in 1988, leaving $75,000 in cash to Talking Book and Braille Services. Irene, who had passed away earlier, was an avid reader of Talking Books.
 
The generous gift from the Price Estate was the first such gift received by the State Library, and the impetus to establish the Talking Book and Braille Services Endowment Fund. Today, the fund continues to grow through the receipt of other bequests, wills, trusts and IRAs, as well as donations to the program made in memory of a loved one.
 
Becoming a member of the Thomas Price Society is quite simple. In fact, you have already qualified for membership if you have named Talking Book and Braille Services in your will or have otherwise included us in your estate plans. When you inform us of your gift, we respect your wishes for participation, recognition or anonymity, as you prefer. Any details of your gift that you disclose are held in strictest confidence. To thank members, we provide a small gift as a token of our appreciation. 
 
If you are considering remembering Talking Books in your will or living trust, you may pass any amount you wish to us, free of estate tax. You can bequeath a specific amount of cash or a percentage of your estate, with or without restrictions. To make sure that your will accomplishes your goals according to your wishes, we recommend that you obtain the professional counsel of an attorney who specializes in estate planning.
 
For More Information
If you would like more information about making a charitable gift to TBABS, please contact Susan Westin, Program Manager, at 800-452-0292, ext. 85435 or send an
email message to susan.b.westin@state.or.us. As always, we encourage you to seek professional advice when making financial decisions.
 
This information is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney, tax professional, or investment professional.
 
VOLUNTEERS HONORED
 
Clyde Mullin, one of our longtime telephone pioneers, was recently honored as one of 14 statewide winners of the 2007 Regional Oregon Governor’s Volunteer Awards. Clyde is a 90-year-old World War II veteran who has volunteered for TBABS for almost 16 years, coming “to work” faithfully twice a week to repair the cassette players. We congratulate Clyde for all the volunteer work he does for TBABS, and for this special award.
 
Other TBABS volunteers were recognized at a luncheon at the State Library on October 20th. TBABS volunteers recognized for their service this year were Marilyn Robinson and Marge Napper, each being recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award.
 
Marilyn assists staff with the cassette repair and duplication program, and also monitors items that are under warranty, making certain that they are sent to the manufacturer for replacement in a timely manner. Marilyn repairs approximately 250 cassette book items each week. Without her help, the staff would have to allocate valuable circulation hours to the repair program, limiting the number of patrons we can serve every day.
 
Marge Napper has officially been volunteering since 2004. While Marge’s main task in TBABS is to quality inspect books that have been returned from patrons, she also serves as a reader for a visually impaired staff member, and is extremely active with the Oregon State Library Charitable Fund Drive. She also brings in the weekly grocery store ads and specials for those who do not receive the local newspaper.
 
Please join with us and the entire staff of the Oregon State Library as we congratulate our wonderful volunteers!
 
TBABS SCHOOL SCENE
 
Unabridged School Download Library:
 
Since 2006 many TBABS patrons
have been enjoying the Unabridged downloadable digital books. For those not familiar, Unabridged is another FREE service offered through TBABS that allows you access to quality audio books. If you are a current patron of TBABS, all you have to do is request a library card and pin number and then start downloading books to listen to on your computer or personal music device. 
 
In October of this year, Unabridged just got a whole lot cooler! Now students in grades K-12 can enjoy a special library created by the folks who brought us Unabridged!  The Unabridged School Download Library has hundreds of grade and age appropriate titles available for checkout. Most of the titles are available all the time, so students won’t have to wait in line or compete with adult readers for books that they need for school projects and book reports. 
 
Students can visit the Unabridged School Download Library at http://unabridgedsdl.lib.overdrive.
com and use their current Unabridged library card and pin number. You can also access this link from the TBABS website under “Downloadable Audio Books.” If you are not a current Unabridged user, just call Jackie Shepherd at 800-452-0292, ext. 85390 to request a library card and pin number. 
 
The Unabridged School Download Library is special for a few reasons.  First of all, most of the books are available at all times. Secondly, the loan period for the School Download Library is 21 days, giving students plenty of time to read theirbooks and complete any school assigned work. Finally, the books in the Unabridged School Download Library are not just available in audio format—some titles are also available in eBook format. This means that some hard-to-find titles can be downloaded in text format and read with a screen reader right on your computer! 
 
Explore the Unabridged School Download Library today and get a head start on all your school reading over the holidays!
 
OregonBattleof the Books:
 
Oregon Battle of the Books is hereand TBABS has most of this year’s books available in cassette or Braille format!  What is Battle of the Books you ask? The Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide reading program in which students, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints. 
 
Lists of books are chosen and questions are written for elementary and middle school students. Students read the books, quiz each other on the contents, and then compete in teams of four students to correctly answer questions based on the books in a “quiz show” format.
For more information on Oregon Battle of the Books, and to view the 2007-2008 book list, visit the Battle of the Books website at http://www.oema.net/OBOB. 
 
Financial Aid for College:
 
For our 11th and 12th graders it’s time to start thinking about college!  If you’re planning on attending college next fall, you’ll need to fill out your financial aid paperwork as soon as the household taxes are filed in early 2008. 
 
TBABS has Braille copies available of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be submitted online, but both the directions and form are available in Braille for interested students and parents. Please call Elke at 800-452-0292, ext. 85455 to request a copy. Available copies are limited, but extras can be ordered with a short wait. 
 
Major Great News About Bookshare.org:
 
Bookshare.org is happy to announce some “Major Great News!” Recently, the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Federal Department of Education made a $32 million award to Bookshare.org. This funding is intended to support all schools and students 26 years of age and younger with qualifying print disabilities in the United States (K-12 and post-secondary). 
 
Bookshare.org will provide students with access to the entire Bookshare.org collection of accessible electronic books and to software for reading those books.  As of October 1, 2007, the website has stopped charging qualifying schools and students to join Bookshare.org. They also plan to add over 100,000 new educational titles in Daisy and Braille formats over the next five years, getting students the textbooks they need when they need them!
 
Students can visit http://www.bookshare.org today to find out more about joining this great service.
 
HOLIDAY READING
 
It’s that time of year again when a distinct chill in the air signals the beginning of the winter season, and we are usually spending more time indoors. That means we might just be reading more books.
 
If you would like some holiday reading, we have books relating to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and also Martin Luther King, Jr., day. In February we celebrate  Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and Presidents’ Day. Whatever your interest may be, remember to call TBABS for your audio and Braille reading pleasure.
 
MARCIA SAYS GOOD-BYE
 
We are sorry to inform you that our Fund Development Officer, Marcia Martin, has resigned her position with TBABS to concentrate on her consulting business. While we are saddened to lose her expertise at TBABS, we wish her all the best, and we are grateful for the excellent progress she put forth regarding fund development.
 
Marcia was instrumental in the creation of the Irene Price Society, which recognizes the generosity of those who have chosen to leave TBABS a legacy through estate or deferred gifts. Marcia also developed planned giving brochures, and helped to formulate goals for fund development in our long range plan. In addition, Marcia completed three successful appeals and also coordinated the distribution of the popular large print calendar. Please join with us in extending our warmest wishes to Marcia in all of her future
endeavors.
 
At this time you may call our Program Manager, Susan Westin, for any questions relating to fund development. Her direct telephone number is 503-378-5435, or 800-452-0292, ext. 85435. 
 
HOLIDAYCLOSURES
 
TBABS will be closed on the
following legal holidays:
Christmas Day observed,
Tuesday, December 25
New Year’s Day observed,
Tuesday, January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
Monday, January 21
Presidents’ Day,
Monday, February 18
 
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 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.