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  65  ·  Summer  2016

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If you regularly visit our website you’ll notice we’ve made several changes that we hope will help you find the information you need more quickly and easily.  All of our pages now feature a unified look and feel, with larger font, more white space, wider margins, headers for easier navigation using a screen reader, and the most useful information at the very top of a page.


We’ve also updated our BARD, BARD Mobile, and Online Catalog pages so it’s easier to find instructions and training topics.  BARD instructions have been especially updated to include specific steps depending on your computer’s operating system and web browser.


These changes were made in direct response to your very helpful feedback from our Customer Satisfaction Survey.  Thank you to everyone who took the survey; we really are listening to your suggestions.


Talking Books is hosting a BARD Mobile training here at the State Library in Salem on Friday, October 21, 2016.  This two-hour in-person training will take your through the whole process of downloading and playing books with BARD Mobile on your smartphone or tablet, with time for questions at the end.  Attendees will need to bring their own compatible device (Android or iOS) and must have an active BARD username and password prior to attending the training.  The training will focus exclusively on BARD Mobile, so a working familiarity with your own device is required.


If you are interested in attending, please contact our BARD Coordinator Meagan Button at  Space is limited, and registration for the class will close at the end of September.


Talking Books here in Oregon is part of the larger National Library Service network of libraries across the country.  Some of the other libraries in the network have recording studios so they can record books of local interest to supplement the national collection.  The switch over to digital audio has made sharing these locally-recorded books much easier, and libraries are now starting to upload their books onto BARD for even easier access by other network libraries and their users.


A selection of these books are starting to show up in the Talking Book Topics catalogs, and you can also download them from BARD.  However, because these books are recorded by network libraries rather than directly by the National Library Service, the opening announcements may be a little different than you are used to.  Most books mention the state where the book was recorded, and will have a book number that starts with an unfamiliar code like DBC.  But usually that’s the only difference between a locally-recorded book and an NLS-recorded book.


We are very grateful for this increase in cooperation with other network libraries because it means you all have an even wider collection to enjoy.  Yay for technology and teamwork!


Miles Access Skills Training (MAST) in Portland is a company that specializes in teaching high and low tech skills to people with vision loss so they can remain independent and meet their professional and personal goals.  They offer 1:1 sessions, small group sessions, and larger workshops on a variety of topics, including: adaptive technology, orientation and mobility using assistive GPS, employment accommodation, website accessibility, daily life skills, etc.


MAST partners are highly qualified to assist clients through the learning curve of the skills of accessibility because they use these skills every day.  Niklas Petersson, founder and a member of the blind community himself, has been where people with vision loss have been and wants to share his lifetime of academic, professional, and real-world experience.  For more information about MAST you can contact them at 971-217-0516 or, or visit their website at 


Are you moving soon?  Here are some suggestions for what to do with your books that will hopefully ensure a smooth transition.


First, call us just a couple of days before your move.  When we change an address in our system the change takes effect immediately, and we all don’t want books going to your new address too soon.


Second, hold onto your player and just one or two books, then return the rest of your books rather than packing them up with your other belongings.  Books that get packed up are frequently ending up lost in a move, so as an extra precaution you can simply send them back.  This way there are a few less things to pack!


Lastly, if you’re moving out of state you are more than welcome to transfer your Talking Books account to your new state.  You can even take your player with you.  Just let us know whether the move is permanent or just temporary.


We hope any future moves you have planned go smoothly, and thank you for always being mindful of your books.


The National Library Service has added several new magazines to its magazine-on-cartridge program, including:


·       AARP, the Magazine & AARP Bulletin (bimonthly): These two magazines are bundled and come together.  Published by the American Association of Retired People, AARP - The Magazine and AARP Bulletin contain news and short articles with a focus on seniors.

·       The New Yorker (47 issues/year): Each audio edition will feature selected material from the print edition, chosen and recorded by Audible, Inc.

·       O, the Oprah Magazine (monthly): Gives confident, smart women the tools they need to explore and reach for their dreams, to express their individual style and to make choices that will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.

·       Smithsonian (monthly): Science, natural history, art, archaeology, history, and ecology.  Also includes information about events at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.


If you would like to subscribe to any of these magazines, or to request a full list of what magazines are available, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or  You can also download magazines direct from BARD.


With the general election coming up in November, we wanted to give everyone a chance ahead of time to sign up for an accessible Voters’ Guide.  We provide this Voters’ Guide in partnership with the League of Women Voters.


You can request the Voters’ Guide in one of three formats: Large Print, Braille, or audio.  There will not be a separate edition for Republicans or Democrats; all candidates will be in the same guide.  This guide is also for state-wide elections only; no county or city candidates or ballot measures.


If you would like to subscribe to receive the Voters’ Guide, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or and let us know what format you would prefer.  The cut-off date to subscribe for the upcoming election will be late September.


As a division of the State Library, we here at Talking Books enjoy being connected to the larger library community across the state.  Oregon libraries are an excellent example of the kindness of neighbors, helping each other by pooling and sharing resources so any Oregonian can have an excellent library experience wherever they live.


For this Partner Spotlight we’d like to say thank you to Cami Nielsen, the Klamath County Library Outreach Librarian. Cami does an awesome job going out into her surrounding community and promoting Talking Books to people who are eligible.  She is frequently sending in signed applications for new users, as well as helping current users by communicating with us on their behalf.  We commend Cami for being such an excellent all-around example of the Oregon library spirit.


And like Cami, 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.  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.


Any Oregonian with a print-disability is eligible to sign-up for Talking Books.  There are three main categories of print-disabilities:


·    Blind or visually impaired: legally blindness or needing aids stronger than regular reading glasses to read.

·    Physically impaired: inability to hold or handle a book or turn its pages.

·    Reading impaired: impairment in print comprehension resulting from an organic dysfunction.


Contact us with questions: 800-452-0292 or, or visit our website


Choice Magazine Listening (CML) is a free audio magazine for adults with print disabilities.  Four times a year, subscribers receive 12 hours of great stories, poems and articles from publications such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Scientific American, and The Atlantic.  All of CML’s selections are wonderfully read by some of America’s top audiobook narrators.

For more than half a century, CML is proud to serve adults with print disabilities.  This quarterly publication is completely free of charge due to the support of a charitable foundation established to ensure that all Americans could enjoy the best writing from leading magazines.


If you would enjoy this free magazine, please call CML directly at 1-888-724-6423 to find out more.  Between 9AM and 4PM EST they will answer your call directly – not with a machine.  Further information is also available on CML's website:


The National Federation of the Blind of Oregon’s state convention will be held October 14-16 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eugene.  Visit their website at for more information.


The American Council of the Blind of Oregon’s state convention will also be held October 14-16 at the Red Lion in Salem.  Visit their website at for more information.


We mail letters to our users for a variety of reasons, not just appeals for donations, including: courtesy reminders, cartridge retrieval letters, and inactive notices.  Please open all letters you get from us because they usually require action on your part; donation appeals only go out once in the spring and once in the fall.


Also, please remember to treat our books gently.  Book cartridges should not be written on with markers, and tape can cause the words on book container stickers to peel off.  The books you receive from our library need to be kept clean and handled with care so others can enjoy them as well.


Lastly, just a friendly reminder to please check your containers to make sure the correct cartridges are inside before you mail them back.  Mix-ups and missing cartridges can delay the turn-around of your books. 


Talking Books will be closed on the following legal holidays:


·       September 5, Labor Day

·       November 11, Veterans’ Day

·       November 24-25, Thanksgiving


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 also available in large print, audio, or Braille.  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.