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Winter 2011 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
Digital Talking Books Player
 
 
 
 
 
                            
Talking Book and Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-5389 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 588-7119
email: tbabs.info@state.or.us
website: www.tbabs.org
 
                                                                      
 
 
 
 
 
        
           Volume 8,  Issue  3  ·  Winter  2011  ·  Editor:  Joel Henderson
 
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BARD BLITZ
 
In Oregon, we all know it gets colder and darker outside during the winter, and for many book lovers like you that means more time to cozy up with more good books.  However, more people reading also makes getting popular books like The Help more difficult, since we only have a limited number of copies in our library.  Thankfully, there is BARD, your one-stop shop for any book available in the digital format.
 
Through our BARD service users can download their very own copy of any digital book for free, as well as current issues of 50 magazines, including National Geographic, Consumer Reports, and Sports Illustrated, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  No more waiting lists; no more due dates; no more mailing books back and forth.  And there are no limits: you can download as many books and magazines as you want, and so can every other BARD user. For FREE!
 
You will need to provide your own flash drive or blank cartridge, which you will load the books you download onto.  Flash drives can be purchased at any consumer electronics store, and blank cartridges can be purchased from either American Printing House for the Blind (800-223-1839) or Perkins School (617-972-7308).  Either option makes a great gift idea this holiday season for patrons who use the service.
 
If you haven’t yet opened a BARD account, follow the link on our homepage (www.TBABS.org) to the online application, or call us at 800-452-0292 for more assistance.
 
EVELYN KIMBRELL RETIRES
 
With the new year approaching, we here at Talking Books have another retirement to announce.  Evelyn Kimbrell, who has been with the State Library for over 22 years, including 20 years with Talking Books, will be starting her retirement in January.  Evelyn has been a Jane-of-all-trades throughout her time with Talking Books, working with serials, equipment, circulation, and our catalog, along with taking regular shifts at the front desk.  In her current position as Collection Coordinator, Evelyn is primarily responsible for overseeing the duplication of digital books; if you’ve ever received a digital book in a grey box, you can be sure Evelyn was involved in its creation.
 
Evelyn is looking forward to spending time traveling with and without her new thoroughbred rascal horse, Tara Lee, and getting back into weaving.  She has always been a dedicated knitter as well, a hobby she will continue to pursue.
 
In closing, Evelyn would like to share the following words: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Talking Books.  I especially liked connecting with so many of our patrons, getting to know their tastes in books and being able to suggest other reading I thought they might enjoy.  It’s not very often you get to flirt with a 90-year-old, or share ideas with someone who lived through so many changes in their lives.  I’ll miss them all.”  We will miss you too, Evelyn; happy retirement!
 
WEBSITE CHANGES
 
In the coming months the State of Oregon will be transitioning to a new vendor for the state’s online content management system (or in plain language, the program we use to manage our website).  The State Library is part of the beta test group, so we are being transitioned over to the new system early on in the process.  The new vendor, NICUSA, will be doing most of the work migrating content from the old system to the new one, then we will take over and polish everything up.
 
This transition will mean several things for you our patrons.  First, some of the URLs for our pages may change, so you’ll need to update any bookmarks you may have set in your browser.  Thankfully, only pages managed by the state (the Oregon.gov domain) will be affected.  Our TBABS online catalog, BARD, WebBraille, NFB-Newsline, and any other external site will NOT be affected.
 
Second, towards the end of 2012 we expect the look and feel of our website to change, which means the location of links and layout of the pages will be different.  We recognize any changes that are made will affect our patrons who use screen readers the most, and we will keep you updated and hopefully be able to give you a heads-up as more information becomes available.
 
Lastly, it may take us a few weeks to familiarize ourselves with the new system, so we’d like to extend our appreciation in advance for your patience and understanding as we navigate this transition with you.  With a new year starting, our State Librarian Jim Scheppke retiring, and a new website, it feels like everything is changing, but you can count on one thing to stay the same: our commitment to providing you with great books and great customer service.
 
NEW CIRCULATION TECH
 
With several staff retiring recently, it’d be nice to introduce a new staff member to balance everything out.  Well, thankfully we can!  We’d like you all to meet Meagan Button, our newest State Library Specialist 1: Circulation Technician.
 
Meagan started in October, and has been doing a fine job getting acquainted with our little operation.  Her primary duties include daily mail operations, quality inspection of books and equipment, and making sure our stacks stay well organized.
 
Meagan is also no stranger to the Oregon State Library.  She had previously worked here as a genealogy volunteer in the Reference Room, responding to family history questions and research requests.  She has also worked as a cashier for Roth’s, and as a license services assistant for the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
 
When off the clock, Meagan enjoys playing guitar, singing karaoke, watching entire TV series on Netflix, and spending time with her 6 month old daughter Aurora.  Her genealogy volunteering has also turned into a personal hobby as well.
 
On the book front, Meagan likes reading historical fiction and classic novels, as well as non-fiction history and biography.  Please join us in welcoming Meagan Button to our team.
 
THE ECONOMIST
 
An audio edition of The Economist is now available for download through BARD.  It is being made available to NLS patrons by the kind permission of The Economist Newspaper Limited, and contains the full contents of the print edition, recorded by professional broadcasters in London, England. Except for the addition of standard NLS opening announcements, the publication is presented unaltered.
 
The Economist is part of a pilot project to increase the availability of magazines to patrons. Subscriptions to The Economist will not be offered on cassette, but the magazine will be available in the digital format when the magazine program has transitioned to cartridge.
 
If you would like to open a BARD account and start downloading The Economist, or dozens of the other magazines and thousands of books available, find the link on our homepage (www.TBABS.org) and fill out the online application.  If you have any questions, contact us at 800-452-0292 or tbabs.info@state.or.us.
 
NOTATIONS ON LABELS
 
We have been noticing an increase in the number of instances where patrons have been hand-writing notes on the side labels of books and containers, including notes for how long a book is and the date it was received or due.  Please remember that the books and containers you receive are federal property and MUST NOT be defaced in any way.  If you need to make a note to yourself regarding a book you’ve received, please create a system that does not involve writing on the containers or books.  We will be contacting you if we see notes on books you return, and an interruption of service may be required if the problem persists.
 
NEW DESCRIPTIVE DVDs
 
We’ve added a few new DVDs to our descriptive video collection, bringing our total of DVDs now to 14.  Just as a reminder, these DVDs include a DVS 2.0 audio option that must be manually selected from the setup menu in order to watch the movie with the accompanying audio descriptions.
  • True Grit (DVD0012): Mattie Ross is determined to avenge her father’s blood by capturing Tom Chaney, the man who shot and killed him for two pieces of gold.  Just fourteen, she enlists the help of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texas Ranger LaBouef (Matt Damon) to track the fleeing Chaney.  Rated PG-13
  • Secretariat (DVD0013): A housewife with little knowledge of horse-racing fosters one of the greatest race horses of all time as the story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner comes to the screen in this inspirational underdog drama based on the novel Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack.  Rated PG
  • Tangled (DVD0014): Disney presents a new twist on one of the most hilarious and hair-raising tales ever told.  When the kingdom's most wanted - and charming - bandit Flynn Rider hides in a mysterious tower, the last thing he expects to find is Rapunzel, a spirited teen with an unlikely superpower - 70 feet of magical golden hair! Together, the unlikely duo set off on a fantastic journey filled with surprising heroes, laughter and suspense.  Rated PG
 
If you are interested in requesting any of these titles, or if you would like to request a full catalog of all our DVD and VHS descriptive videos, you can give us a call at 800-452-0292, or email us at tbabs.info@state.or.us.  Thanks.
 
NAVIGATING THE BIBLE
 
The Bible can be a tricky book to navigate through using a digital player since it has so many levels of content (testaments, books, chapters, and verses).  The best player to use when trying to navigate through the Bible is the advanced digital player (DA1). 
 
When using the advanced digital player, first insert the cartridge or flash drive with the Bible on it before you turn on the player.  Then push the Menu button to select which level you want to navigate by (testament, book, etc).  Keep pressing the Menu button until you hear the level you want:
  • Testament (jump): Takes you between the Old Testament and the New Testament
  • Book (jump):  Navigate in order through the books of the testament
  • Chapter (jump): Navigate through the chapters of the book you are in
  • Phrase (jump): Move through the chapter by phrases (verses)
  • Bookmark:  Place bookmarks at your favorite verses by pushing the Mark button, then jump from one bookmark to another.
 
When you've found the desired level, use the Next and Prev buttons to jump ahead or go back.  These navigation features also work for other books as well, not just for the Bible.  If you do not have an advanced digital player and would like one, contact us and we'll be happy to send you one.  This information can also be found on our BARD information page under the BARD FAQs section at www.oregon.gov/OSL/TBABS/bard_info.shtml.
 
DIGITAL PLAYER UPDATE
 
The National Library Service has released a new software update for the digital players.  This update, DTBM 2.1.7, will start being added to digital-book cartridges by book producers. It is anticipated that this software update has been included as part of titles we started receiving in early December.
 
When a book with the new software update is inserted into a player that has not yet been upgraded, it will announce, “Updating your player’s software; please do not power off your player or remove the cartridge from the player.” There will be a series of beeps while the player is updating. When the update is complete, the player announces, "Software upgrade completed; stand by while your player is restarted.”  Do not remove the cartridge while it is updating the player’s software.
 
You can also download a copy of this update from BARD.  Just click the link towards the bottom of the main page under the Additional Links header called “Latest DTBM firmware and instillation instructions.”
 
CARTRIDGE ON THE M.T.A.
 
Every so often we get a call from one of our patrons saying they have accidentally mailed back an empty container without its cartridge.  There is an easy fix for this situation: just put the left-behind cartridge in with another cartridge when you’re returning it.  The container will show a noticeable bulge, but it will shut, and the bulge will tell us there is an extra cartridge inside that needs to be matched to its empty container.
 
To immortalize this phenomenon in legend and lore, we have written up a folk song for you.  If you’re familiar with the song Charlie on the M.T.A., our song is sung to the same tune.  Enjoy!
 
Cartridge on the M.T.A.
Let me tell you a story
‘Bout a Talking Books cartridge
On a tragic and fateful day.
He had just finished playing
Read the End of Book message
He was rarin’ to get on his way.
 
The eager cartridge got pulled
From the slot in the player
All ready for his journey home.
But when it came time to leave
There was just one problem
His container was already gone.
 
Chorus:   
    And did he ever return?
    NO, he never returned,
    And his fate is still unlearned.
    He may sit forever
    All alone and abandoned;
    He’s the cartridge who never returned.
 
In the USPS
Sits a lonely container
Wonderin’, “What will become of me?
I’m goin’ home empty handed;
Got nothing inside me;
There’s no cartridge in my pear tree.”
 
Chorus
 
But there’s a happy easy ending
To this sad, little story
‘Bout this star-crossed and misplaced pair.
Send the cartridge back
On top of another
We’ll match them back up when he gets here.
 
Chorus:
    And did he ever return?
    YES, he finally returned,
    And his fate is now well-known.
    He will ride out again
    To make another patron happy;
    He’s the cartridge who finally returned!
 
2010 CATALOG
 
The Digital Talking Books Plus comprehensive catalog of all audio books produced by the NLS in 2010 is now available!  This catalog includes both cassette books and digital books, and should have already arrived for many of our long-time patrons who requested one back in September-October 2010.
 
For our newer patrons, if you would like a copy of this catalog, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or tbabs.info@state.or.us.  Digital Talking Books Plus 2010 is the most current comprehensive catalog available, and is a great way to find books you many have missed from previous issues of Talking Book Topics.
 
If you have already received a copy of Digital Talking Books Plus 2010, we kindly ask you to not request another one at this time.  We only have a limited number from our initial order.  Thanks.
 
TBABS CLOSURES
 
TBABS will be closed on the following legal holidays and state office closure days:
  • December 26, Christmas
  • January 2, New Years
  • January 16, MLK Jr. Day
  • March 23, Closure day
 
 
This newsletter is available in large print, audio, 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.