Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Spring Newsletter

STAYING CONNECTEDState Library Alternate Logo-COLOR-Talking Books_1.png

Newsletter of the Oregon Talking Book
and Braille Library
State Library of Oregon
250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 378-5389
Toll Free: (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 373-7439

Issue 85  ·  Spring 2023

To adjust the size of the text in your browser, press Ctrl++ to enlarge the text and Ctrl+- to shrink the text.  To return to your browser's default text size, press Ctrl+0.


Max with his Wife and DaughterWe are excited to announce that on February 21, 2023, Max H. Robinson joined the staff of the Talking Book and Braille Library as our new Administrative Specialist and Recording Studio Coordinator. In this role, Max will be supporting patrons of Talking Books with programmatic reviews and updates, community outreach and communications, library cataloging, and the production of new and local audiobooks.

Max made the transition to Talking Books from the Library Support and Development division team at the State Library. In his previous role, he worked mainly with grant funding programs to provide essential financial support to libraries throughout Oregon. Max also assisted with continuing education coordination, distributing school library databases, and conducting library outreach. Max comes to Talking Books with years of radio experience working at Oregon Public Broadcasting, as well as many years of administrative experience in commercial and collegiate settings.

Max holds a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus in radio and audio production, as well as a master’s degree in library science with a concentration in leadership and administration. Upon graduation from Emporia State University in 2022, Max was awarded the Outstanding Master of Library Science Graduate Award from the Beta Phi Mu International Honors Society. This award is given to select individuals with excellent scholastic aptitude, scholarship, and leadership potential.

In his free time, Max enjoys taking nature walks with his wife, Laura, and their baby daughter, Abigail. As a family, they share a love for baseball games, performing music in the community (Max plays guitar and Laura sings), learning about the animals at Oregon zoos and aquariums, and, of course, reading! Welcome, Max. Thanks for being a part of Talking Books!



The time of year has arrived for the Talking Book and Braille Library to announce their 2023 selections for which books will represent the Oregon Center for the Book. These books will travel with us to Washington, D.C., in August to the National Book Festival where they’ll play a prominent role in promoting the literary scene of our state. Read on for the Center for the Book’s official selections!  

Book Cover for Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence with a girl riding a bike with a cat in the basketSir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas (Children’s)
Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.

Book Cover for Little Monarchs with a girl getting into a kayakLittle Monarchs by Jonathan Case (Young Adult)
Little Monarchs is a new kind of graphic novel adventure—one that invites readers to take an intimate look at the natural world and the secrets hidden within. Elvie and Flora’s adventures take place in real locations marked panel-by-panel with coordinates and a compass heading. Curious readers can follow their travel routes and see the same landscapes—whether it be a secluded butterfly grove on the California coast or a hot-springs in the high desert. Through both comic narrative and journal entries, readers learn the basics of star navigation, how to tie useful knots, and other survival skills applicable in the natural world.

Book Cover for The Day I Die with 3 dandilionsThe Day I Die by Anita Hannig (Adult)
Lyrical and lucid, sensitive but never sentimental, The Day I Die tackles one of the most urgent social issues of our time: how to restore dignity and meaning to the dying process in the age of high-tech medicine. Meticulously researched and compassionately rendered, the book exposes the tight legal restrictions, frustrating barriers to access, and corrosive cultural stigma that can undermine someone’s quest for an assisted death―and why they persist in achieving the departure they desire.

Congratulations to the authors of this year’s selections! All three books will be made available on audiobook for registered Talking Books’ patrons by the National Library Service.


Last December, Oregon Talking Books brought on a new customer service assistant to connect with our readers directly. You may have received or be receiving a call from Jasmine for a few different reasons. She is reaching out to new or recently added patrons, checking in on your current services, and following up on people with whom we have not heard from in a while. Jasmine is a friendly voice who comes to us with over 13 years of experience serving low-vision users in various optical workplace settings. She is also currently studying Public Policy and Administration at Western Oregon University. Welcome, Jasmine. We are so glad you are here!


Did you know that your library card gives you access to a series of excellent audio magazines? We are happy to report that the National Library Service has recently added over 20 new magazine titles including:

Baseball Digest (Bimonthly)
- “Baseball Digest keeps subscribers up-to-date with current action while infusing the rich history of the game in each issue.”

Consumer Reports: On Health (Monthly)
- “Get expert reviews and ratings for health, fitness, and food products from Consumer Reports, and read the latest on drugs, hospital safety, and more.”

Selecciones del Reader’s Digest (Monthly)
- “Spanish-language version of Reader’s Digest.”

Yoga Journal (Monthly)
- “Yoga Journal is your source for yoga pose instruction, sequences, free video classes, guided meditations, and information on the yogic lifestyle.”

Please check our website for the full list of available titles:


Talking Book & Braille Library will be closed on the following holidays:

  • May 29, Memorial Day
  • June 19, Juneteenth
  • July 4, Independence Day
  • September 4, Labor Day

Remember that holidays create mail delays for both incoming and outgoing books.  Be sure to get any book requests in several days ahead of these dates to improve the chance of receiving those books before holidays.

This newsletter is available in large print, audio, Braille, or on our website. Contact the Talking Book & Braille Library if you would like to change the format you currently receive.

Any mention of products and services in Staying Connected is for information only and does not imply endorsement.