Newsletter of the Oregon Talking Book
and Braille Library

250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 378-5389 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 585-8059
Issue  62  ·  Summer  2015

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.


We are excited to announce that the Android version of the BARD Mobile app is now available!  You can download the app for free from the Google Play store; just search for “BARD Mobile” and find the app authored by the Library of Congress.  The app is compatible with any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.1 or higher.
In order to use BARD Mobile you must already have a BARD account.  You will be required to log in when you first open the app, but after that it will remember your login information.  If you do not have a BARD account, visit our website at and click the link for creating an account.  Also on our website you can find a How-To page with answers to some of the common questions we get about BARD Mobile. 
The BARD Mobile app enables users to download audio books and audio magazines directly to their iOS and Android devices.  The user guide is available from the bookshelf of the app and online in HTML format. Help screens are also available from inside the app and are accessed by selecting the More Options button and then selecting Help.
If you have any questions or run into a problem related to the BARD Mobile app, please feel free to contact us at 800-452-0292 or Happy downloading!


Since 1984, Portland Arts & Lectures has been bringing the world’s most celebrated writers, artists, and thinkers to our community.  As part of Literary Arts programming, this lecture series has grown from a humble basement gathering in the Portland Arts Museum to sold-out shows at the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall.
In conjunction with their 30-year milestone anniversary, Oregon Public Broadcasting is partnering with Literary Arts to present The Archive Project: a retrospective of some of the most engaging talks from the world’s best writers over the first 30 years of Literary Arts in Portland. Every Wednesday since October 15, 2014 at 9PM OPB has been live broadcasting the most sought-after Portland Arts & Lectures discussions.
With the gracious permission of OPB and Literary Arts, we have compiled the first 30 lectures of The Archive Project into a three part audio book series.  Each part contains 10 lectures, with writers such as Bill Bryson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joyce Carol Oates, Abraham Verghese, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Ruth Ozeki.  As more lectures are broadcast we will add more books to the series.
You can request individual books (DBX 1273, 1274, and 1275) or the whole series by contacting us at 800-452-0292 or  You can find more information about The Archive Project and Portland’s Literary Arts online at


The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind invites people with low vision to their popular Living with Vision Loss Seminar.  The 3 day, 2 night seminar will guide you through three steps to greater independence:
1)  Knowing where you are and where you want to go, safely
2)  Communication skills – writing, phone, and other specialized technology
3)  Daily living skills for performing every-day tasks
Their Level 1 seminar will be held October 13-15, and Level 2 will be held on November 2-4.  Registration is $100 per level, and includes two nights single occupancy lodging in the Oral Hull dorm facility, all meals, and all activity supplies.  Space is limited to 15 participants.
The seminar is held at Oral Hull Park, 43233 SE Oral Hull Rd, Sandy, OR 97055.  Pick-ups can be arranged at two SE Portland locations, as well as bus or Amtrak stations in Portland.  Call Oral Hull at 503-668-6195 for more information and to reserve your spot.


We are very excited to announce that we will be offering a phone-in book group on Thursday, October 22nd from 3 - 4pm to discuss Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (DB 80393).
The book examines the secrets of the Chinese-American Lee family of Ohio before and immediately after the 1977 drowning death of their middle child, high school sophomore Lydia. History professor James and his wife Marilyn, whose medical school plans were ended by pregnancies, had high hopes for Lydia. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2014.
Whether you would like to download or borrow a copy, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or by October 1st to RSVP for the discussion.


In our last newsletter we sent out our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey, which was a first for us.  We have usually had volunteers call a random selection of users, but this year we decided to give more of you the chance to submit your feedback by making the survey available in large print and online as well.  This new method proved successful, as we received almost double the number of responses we’ve gotten in years past.
Your feedback really does make a difference, and while we may not be able to make every change that is recommended, we are committed to being a creative and innovative library for our users.  And we are genuinely touched by your support and encouragement.  Your positive ratings and the kind words interspersed throughout your responses mean as much to us as we hope our books mean to you.


For this partner spotlight, we would like to recognize not just a single person, but the whole staff of the Oregon Commission for the Blind.  On a daily, sometimes hourly basis, their rehabilitation instructors are submitting applications for people all over the state.  The feedback we receive from the people they refer is almost universally and extraordinarily positive.  They are brilliant advocates for the blind and visually impaired community, and they are well connected to a variety of resources.  Their partnership is truly invaluable to our library.
If you would like to connect with the Oregon Commission for the Blind, you can call their headquarters at 971-673-1588, or visit their website at  They have all kinds of trainings available, and can even schedule house calls.
And like Cynthia, Dennis, Kevin, Nathan, Patrick, Richard, Robin, and the many others at the Commission, if you believe our library can benefit someone you know, maybe a family member, friend, neighbor, or even a stranger you meet, tell them about Talking Books.  Our library is for any Oregonian with a print-disability, meaning not only blind and visually impaired people, but also people with physical disabilities like Parkinson’s, MS, and severe arthritis, as well as reading disabilities like dyslexia.  You can call and ask for an application, or give them our phone number: 800-452-0292.  We need your help, and you really can make a difference.


That’s what could happen if you contribute to the Talking Books endowment.
There are many ways you can support Talking Books.  One lasting way is for you to name the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library in your will as a recipient of part of your estate.  All of your contribution will be added to our endowment.  The balance is over $1.9 million today.  We are able to use the interest we earn from this fund to support Talking Books.
If you let us know you have made arrangements in your will, then we add your name to the Irene Price Society roster, which is a special way for us to honor and thank you for your support of this wonderful program.
To learn more about the Irene Price Society and how to name Talking Books in your will, visit our website at and click on Planned Giving. You may also contact Robin Speer at 503-378-5014 or, or leave a call back number for Robin on our toll free number 1-800-452-0292.


Please don’t share books with other users.  The books have a tendency to get mixed up or become overdue, which usually means you won’t get new books as quickly.  If a friend wants to read a book, have them request their own copy.
Be sure to check your blue or grey book containers to make sure the right book cartridge is in there before mailing it back.  If you do accidentally mail a book container back empty, we send a letter with a return envelope for the book cartridge so you can easily send it back.
Changes to the USPS are having an effect on delivery times for our books.  Every book we mail out now gets routed to Portland to be sorted, which can add extra time between mailing and arrival both ways.  These changes are outside our influence, and we appreciate your understanding.


We’re in the process of finalizing a new subject preference: staff picks!  Here is a taste of what will make it on the list.
-      The Fever (DB 79711) by Megan Abbott
-      Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (DB 32152) by H.G. Bissinger
-      Heir to the Jedi (DB 81193) by Kevin Hearne
-      The Inimitable Jeeves (DB 44504) by P.G. Wodehouse
-      Memory Man (DB 81260) by David Baldacci
-      The Toughest Indian in the World (DB 50590) by Sherman Alexie
-      Without Remorse (DB 37058) by Tom Clancy
If you would like to add this subject preference to your account or request any of these books, contact us at 800-452-0292 or


Many computers, smartphones, and tablets have screen-reading software that can read text from documents, websites, emails, etc.  But what about reading text “on-the-fly” while you are out and about?  That’s where OrCam comes in!
OrCam is a device you clip onto your glasses that reads printed text on menus, signs, books, magazines, etc; all with just a point.  You point at something and OrCam reads it to you.  Its sophisticated camera system can recognize and read text in real time, and the system learns as you use it over time.  OrCam can even identify faces of people you’ve stored in its memory.
Right now OrCam is only available in the United States and only available in English.  You can purchase an OrCam device at select locations within the Unites States.  Visit the OrCam website at or call them at 800-713-3741 for more information. 


The American Council of the Blind of Oregon 2015 State Convention will be held October 16 through 18 at Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove, Oregon.  Visit their website at or contact ACB of Oregon President James Edwards at 541-404-8214 or for more information.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Oregon 2015 State Convention will be held October 23 through 25 at Seven Feathers Resort and Casino in Canyonville, Oregon.  Visit their website at or contact NFB of Oregon President Carla McQuillan at 541-653-9153 or for more information.


Talking Books will be closed on the following legal holidays:
·       September 7, Labor Day
·       November 11, Veterans Day
·       November 26-27, Thanksgiving
·       December 25, Christmas Day
Remember that holidays create mail delays for both incoming and outgoing books.  Be sure to get any 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 at Contact Talking Books 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.