Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
April 2002

Talking Book "Veterans" Needed for 50th Anniversary

The Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service came into existence in 1952, making this year our 50th anniversary. In order to commemorate this milestone, we would like to visit with talking book borrowers who have used our services for several decades or longer.

We would like to find out from long-standing borrowers what talking books have meant to you, and how service has changed over the years. We would record the interviews and use them in news releases and other ways to help promote the Talking Book and Braille Service.

These interviews could be conducted either in person or over the telephone.

We hope to include borrowers from various parts of the state and different-sized communities. If you would like to be interviewed, please call 471-4038 or toll-free: 800-742-7691.

New Committee Members

Karen Drevo, Chair of the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries, has recently appointed four new members to the Advisory Committee of the Talking Book and Braille Service.

New to the Committee are Roy Hobley (Lincoln), Bruce Howe (Wood River), Deb McWilliams (Syracuse), and Kathy Tooker (Omaha). Alisa Gunther (Gering), was appointed to a second two-year term.

The Advisory Committee of the Talking Book and Braille Service exists to represent the needs of borrowers and to offer advice concerning library policies, services, and programs. A meeting of the Committee is planned for early spring.

Cassette Magazines for Every Occasion

In previous issues of this newsletter, we have featured articles promoting the cassette magazines we distribute. Here are some "leftovers" that readers might well find appealing. Humpty Dumpty, produced by the Florida Regional, is a magazine full of stories, poems, puzzles, activities and more to engage children age 4 to 6. The magazine's philosophy is to help kids have fun through creative ways to exercise, eat right, and play safely.

An interfaith magazine, Guideposts offers inspirational stories of human interest. This magazine is recorded by American Printing House for the Blind.

N-Compass, produced by the Talking Book and Braille Service, is a newsletter highlighting the activities of the Nebraska Library Commission and Nebraska libraries and media centers. This newsletter also provides information about national library and information service issues.

Providing an overview of proposed federal and state legislation, regulations, and policies, Report on Disability Programs contains articles of interest to individuals with disabilities. It is produced by the Talking Book and Braille Service.

To sign up for these cassette magazines, please use the order form below.

Slow Tapes? What to Do

Do any cassette books from our library sound very, very slow on your Library of Congress cassette player? Most cassette books play at 15/16 inches per second. But a handful of books need to be played at 1 7/8 inches per second. If you encounter a tape that sounds extremely slow, try moving the rocker switch from 15/16 to 1 7/8.

This switch, the fourth control from the front, is located on the top of your Library of Congress cassette player. For most cassette books and magazines, this switch should be depressed to the left; but to play 1 7/8, it needs to be on the right. Just remember to press it to the left once again in order to play the vast majority of tapes from our library.

If you have been assigned an E-1 or Easy cassette player, you will not be able to play cassettes at 1 7/8.

Nature Books for Springtime

With spring, our thoughts turn to the beauty of nature as it awakens from its winter sleep. Here are some cassette books recommended for nature lovers.

RC 49405 The Nearsighted Naturalist
by Ann Zwinger

A nature writer depicts the flora and fauna of the wild in twenty-one essays spanning two decades of exploration. She describes Robinson Crusoe's island off the coast of Chile, the Snake River Canyon, the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, and other natural wonders.

RC 47922 The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness
by Rick Bass

Three novellas exploring people's connection to nature. In the title piece, a forty-four-year-old woman returns to the west Texas family ranch where she grew up. She recalls experiences with friends and relatives, linking them to the wildlife and flora of the area, and explains the joy of knowing that land intimately.

RC 47861 Quick & Easy Indoor Topiary: Crafting and Decorating With Nature
by Chris Jones

A guide to growing and shaping plants into beautiful indoor sculptures. Covers the mechanics of "nonplant backbone," plant basics, and techniques for making the suggested designs or developing one's own creations.

RC 47788 The Greening of Faith: God, the Environment, and the Good Life
edited by John E. Carroli, Paul Brockelman, and Mary Westfall

Examines the relationship between religion and the environment. The essays are written by representatives of different faiths including Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish, and Native American religions. Urges readers to simplify their lives and to respect the earth.

RC 42813 The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life
by Thomas Moore

Moore avers that a spiritual, enchanted engagement with life is not a childish thing to be put away with adulthood but a necessity for personal and collective survival. Describes how such ordinary aspects of life as gardens, food, and language can take on a new sense of wonder and beauty.

RC 41561 Nature Crafts With a Microwave
by Dawn Cusick

Microwave ovens can be used to dry fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, mosses, fungi, cones, pods, seeds, and nuts. These items can be shaped with floral wire, picks, pins, tape, and glue to form objects such a wreaths, birdhouses, jewelry, and ornaments, or made into potpourri, lip balm, tea, and clothing dye. Included are general and specific instructions and designer tips for more than eighty projects.

RC 40250 The Age of Missing Information
by Bill McKibben

The author, seeking an answer to the question of whether there is any correlation between having more information available and knowing more, records and watches a day's entire cable-television programming in one city. To balance this experience, he spends an equal amount of time observing nature on a mountaintop. McKibben compares the two experiences and gives his conclusion in this book. He also addresses environmental issues.

RC 37777 Profiles in Wisdom; Native Elders Speak About the Earth
by Steven McFadden

Fourteen essays resulting from interviews with Native American elders who were willing to speak about how sacred traditions and personal experiences influenced their lives. The author asked each person to share his or her ideas about living with respect for the Earth and in harmony with its inhabitants. The emphasis is on contemporary relationships and lessons to be learned when changes fail to reflect wisdom.

RC 35497 Heaven Is Under Our Feet
edited by Don Henley and Dave Marsh

Billed a book for Walden Woods, this collection of essays was compiled to raise money to protect the development-threatened woods made famous by Henry Thoreau. The concerned authors include a number of celebrities such as Robert Redford, Cesar Chavez, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Carter, Wallace Stegner, Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, and Edward Kennedy. They discuss either Walden Woods or other environmental problems.

RC 35383 Ishmael; a Novel
by Daniel Quinn

Responding to an ad for a pupil who desires to save the world, a man finds Ishmael, a gorilla who telepathically communicates why humankind is destroying the environment. Ishmael explains that since the agricultural revolution, the myth that the earth belongs to humans has led them to destroy other species. Conversely, some societies didn't follow this track and still obey the peacekeeping laws of nature.

RC 32990 Great Possessions; An Amish Farmer's Journal
by David Kline

Kline's collection of essays, originally written for the Amish magazine "Family Life," is a celebration of nature. Kline lives on a 120-acre farm in Ohio, and, along with his family, tills the land and delights in the wonders of nature-especially the birds. These essays, arranged by season, record such events as a walk in the woods on a wintry day or a May morning, maple sugaring, and making sassafras tea.

To request these books, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor.

Volunteer Profile-David King

That new voice you've been hearing on our cassette editions of Nebraskaland and Life Lines magazines belongs to David King. A volunteer with us only since late November, David has already made major contributions in several areas within our library. In addition to narrating, David assembles new borrower packs, prepares bulk mailings, and assists in our Book Circulation area.

David volunteers in order to give back to the community that he feels has given him so much. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and feeling of accomplishment. Prior to becoming our volunteer, David received management training in Indiana and studied sports medicine in Ohio. His work experience includes downloading legal precedents off the Internet onto CDs for sale to lawyers. He enjoys drawing cityscapes and portraits, and going to Pioneers Park with his girlfriend.

David's favorite book is Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (RC 26275), and his favorite movie is Philadelphia. His favorite food is Sesame Chicken.

Just for Fun . . . .

Since April is Volunteer Recognition Month, here is a fun question posed to Talking Book and Braille Service staff: What do you enjoy most about our volunteers?

I enjoy the conversation. (Bill)

I enjoy getting to know each of them and learn about their interests and concerns. It is wonderful that they are willing to give up their time to help us and our borrowers. Every volunteer is a very special person. (Cherie)

I enjoy seeing them walk in the front door with smiles on their faces. They seem so happy to give of themselves, of their time and talents. It makes me feel honored. (Dave)

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 873 People of the Old Missury: Years of Conflict
by Nancy M. Peterson
3 cassettes

Stories tell about the fearless men and women who penetrated the far west. Contains biographies about the fur trade and the opening of the West. Historical accounts, which span the years 1848 through the 1890s, continue where People of the Troubled Water (RC 825) leaves off. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 888 Waiting for My Sailor
by Genevieve Eppens
1 cassette

The powerful story of one midwestern family's attempt at a normal life during the uncertainty of World War II. Newly married, the author and her beloved husband experienced long and painful separations and joyful reunions after he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Narrated by Tami Works.


RC 831 American Jewish Fiction
edited by Gerald Shapiro
4 cassettes

This anthology presents an ambitious cross-section of American Jewish short fiction. It opens with stories by two important immigrant writers from the early twentieth century. It also features stories by some of the finest contemporary American writers, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow, Tillie Olsen, Grace Paley, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth. Narrated by Marjory Gloe. (Contains strong language, violence, and explicit descriptions of sex.)

New Braille Books for Young Readers

Below are two of the new titles recently added to our Braille Browsing collection. To request, please contact your Readers Advisor:

BBR 21003      Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
By J.K. Rowling

Special edition of an approved textbook used by Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An A-to-Z listing of magical beasts, it briefly describes such creatures as the centaur, hippogriff, troll, unicorn, and ten breeds of dragons. For grades 4-7. Bestseller.

BBR 21004      Quidditch Through the Ages
By J.K. Rowling

A history of the game avidly enjoyed and played at Hogwarts School. Begins with the evolution of the flying broomstick-which Harry Potter excels at maneuvering. Discusses the rules of Quidditch, famous teams of other centuries, and worldwide developments of the game. For grades 4-7. Bestseller.

Order Form and Ordering Instructions

You may place your order by mailing or e-mailing it to the Talking Book and Braille Service, or by calling your Readers Advisor.

For mailing, please mark the magazines and books you wish to order and enclose this page in an envelope. Instead of using a stamp, you may put "Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped" on the corner of your envelope. Send your request to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023. Be sure to include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

For e-mailing, send your order information to the Talking Book and Braille Service. Please include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

You may reach a Readers Advisor toll free by calling 1-800-742-7691. Be prepared to give your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

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