Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
January 2004

Outreach Efforts Target Health Care Providers

Talking Book and Braille Service has recently completed a massive mailing to nearly 900 occupational therapists, optometrists, and ophthalmologists across Nebraska to provide current information about our services. We also provided information to numerous librarians at the Nebraska Library Commission's booth during this year's combined state convention of the Nebraska Library Association & Nebraska Educational Media Association. 

Eye care professionals have long been a major source of referral to our services. A mailing to occupational therapists is a new avenue which we felt was worth exploring. 

The cost of these promotional materials, plus postage, was paid through donated funds. 

Reader surveys have repeatedly shown that talking book borrowers telling their friends and neighbors about our services plays a major role in new borrowers signing up for service with us. Knowing someone who receives talking books greatly helps someone to take that step for themselves.

Library Closed for Winter Holidays

Nearly all readers know the Talking Book and Braille Service is closed on New Years Day. Did you know we will also be closed on Martin Luther King Day, January 19, and again on Presidents' Day, February 16?

If you wish to contact the Talking Book and Braille Service during a holiday, a weekend, or evening hours, you can call and leave a message on our answering machine. Local calls: 471-4038 or toll-free: 1-800-742-7691. You can also contact us via email. We will listen to or read all messages the first working day after a weekend or holiday.

Volunteer Profile-Margery McNabb

One of our volunteers since July 2001, Margery McNabb, processes new cassette books from the Library of Congress so they are ready for our readers to enjoy. When new books are caught up, she helps with mailings and with the cleaning of cassette boxes. Margery says she volunteers because the staff is friendly.

Margery is also a volunteer at her church, where she is on call to help when needed.

Retired from the Financial Responsibility Section of the State Department of Motor Vehicles, Margery likes to read in her spare time. She especially enjoys biographies. Her favorite author is Bess Streeter Aldrich. She enjoys nearly all kinds of food but likes Kentucky Fried Chicken the best. Her favorite artist is Thomas Kinkade. Her favorite color is pink.

Helpful Hint . . .

Question: During the winter I spend more time reading. How can I increase the number of books I am receiving?

Answer: A call to your Readers Advisor is usually all it takes to adjust the number of books you are receiving. We can adjust the "circulation quantity" in response to borrowers who let us know they are getting too many or too few books.

Ongoing communication with your Readers Advisor is important in having the right number of books coming to you. Let us know right away if you are running low on books. When you phone in book requests to us, make sure we know whether or not the books should be sent right away.

Free Cassette Magazines for History Buffs

If you enjoy reading about how past events impact our lives today, you might be interested in the following selection of free cassette magazines from the Talking Book and Braille Service:

American History covers personalities, as well as social, political, military, and artistic themes that played a role in the development of our country. This bimonthly publication is produced by Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind.

Smithsonian, a monthly publication, offers a wide variety of articles about science, history, art, archaeology, and ecology. It also covers events at America's foremost museum, the Smithsonian Institution. It is produced by the Florida Regional Library.

If you would like to learn about your own state, you would enjoy Nebraska History, a quarterly publication of the Nebraska State Historical Society. This publication is recorded in the studios of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.

You can also learn about history through programs on public television and radio. Networks, Nebraska's electronic viewing guide to NETV and NETV2, along with Nebraska Public Radio's listening schedule, are recorded monthly in the studios of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.

To sign up for these free cassette magazines, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor.

Great Books for Winter Reading

Here on the Great Plains, January and February are times when most of nature lies dormant, waiting for spring. Yet for writers of both fiction and nonfiction, these months are as exciting and important as any other. Here are some books from our collection that are somehow tied in with January and February.


RC 37225 Gospel, by Wilton Barnhardt

In February of 1990, Dr. Patrick O'Hanrahan leaves the University of Chicago to search for the lost Gospel of Matthias and is not heard from again. Lucy Dantan, graduate student at the university, is sent to find him and bring him back. But Lucy also gets involved in the pursuit, and together they bounce across Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. The text of the Gospel is interwoven with their quest. Some strong language.

RC 38106 Feather Crowns: A Novel, by Bobbie Ann Mason

On February 26, 1900, Christianna Wheeler gives birth to quintuplets in the rural town of Hopewell, Kentucky. The family-Christianna, James, the three older children, and the babies-quickly become a national sensation. But they are not prepared for the commercial world blooming outside their hardscrabble way of life. Nor are they prepared for what happens to their love for each other when tragedy strikes. Some descriptions of sex.

RC 39137 The Empire of Ice, by Richard Moran

February 3, 2000. The Abyss and its crew, led by American geophysicist Ben Meade, are above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge checking on the rapidly growing R-9 volcano, whose peak is not less than one hundred feet below the ocean surface. It has disrupted ocean currents, and an ice age is imminent in the British Isles. When R-9 erupts, it upsets the political and scientific worlds, as well as the physical. Violence and strong language.

RC 40775 Dead Men Don't Ski, by Patricia Moyes

It's January and Chief Inspector Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy are on a skiing holiday in the Italian Alps. But it's no restful vacation when the inspector discovers some of the hotel guests are part of an international smuggling ring, and a dead man is riding the ski lift.

RC 42377 Enigma, by Robert Harris

February 1943. Cryptanalyst Thomas Jericho is recovering from a nervous breakdown suffered while deciphering Hitler's codes at Bletchley. While recuperating, Jericho develops a relationship with cryptographer Claire. A month later, he is recalled to Bletchley where he must break Hitler's new codes to save a convoy of American ships headed to England. And he must find the missing Claire, who may have been a spy. Some strong language. Bestseller.

RC 46204 The Mercy Seat: A Novel, by Rilla Askew

In February 1887, the Lodi brothers leave Kentucky and head west. They carry with them their families, their belongings, and an ancient tragedy that will play itself out in the mountains of Oklahoma. The story is told by ten-year-old Mattie, who, following her mother's death, attempts to hold her disintegrating family together. Some strong language and some violence.


RC 154 In All Its Fury, compiled by W. H. O'Gara

This oral history of the famous blizzard of January 12, 1888 uses the personal accounts of Nebraskans who relate their activities on that memorable day.

RC 827 Daniel and Agnes Freeman: Homesteaders, by Beverly S. Kaplan

On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman filed the first homestead in the United States near Beatrice, Nebraska. His and his wife's story, told by their great granddaughter, brings to life the spirit which carried the early homesteaders through drought, depression, and disease; and still allowed them to tell a good story or lend an ailing neighbor a hand.

RC 37876 Theirs Was the Kingdom: Lila and DeWitt Wallace and the Story of the "Reader's Digest," by John Heidenry

Lila and DeWitt Wallace built a communications empire from an idea DeWitt had while serving in World War I. Heidenry discusses the Wallace's family life and describes Dewitt's philosophy for the Reader's Digest, first published in February 1922. The author shows how the magazine's emphasis and staff have changed over the years-while the format has remained almost unchanged.

RC 39868 Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business, by Dolly Parton

Parton, born on January 19, 1946, in a one-room cabin in East Tennessee, was the fourth child in a family that would eventually number twelve children. Parton discusses her early years, especially her schooling and love for music; the strong ties that kept the family together; her relationship with her best friend Judy Ogle; her rise to fame in Nashville; and her marriage of twenty-eight years to Carl Dean.

RC 46947 Like Judgment Day: The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood, by Michael D'Orso

In January 1923, the African-American mill town of Rosewood, Florida, was destroyed by a mob seeking a rape suspect. An unknown number of people were killed, and the townspeople never returned. For decades no one spoke of the tragedy until Sixty Minutes broadcast the story in December 1983. Violence and strong language.

RC 50966 Sun Mountain: A Comstock Memoir, by Richard S. Wheeler

On January 2, 1900, journalist Henry Jackson Stoddard, age sixty-one, begins his recollections of people encountered and events witnessed in Virginia City and the Comstock Lode since his arrival there in 1861. Among his acquaintances was Samuel Clemens when he was a young reporter, and the mining town was the place to be.

RC 52198 Dale Earnhardt: Remembering the Intimidator, edited by Linc Wonham, et al

Describes the fatal last race of the NASCAR legendary driver on February 18, 2002, during the Daytona 500. Eleven articles briefly trace Earnhardt's life and highlights of his long and successful career-including seven Winston Cups, as well as his legacy. Bestseller.

RC 53400 Hearts, Cupids, and Red Roses: The Story of the Valentine Symbols, by Edna Barth

Traces the history of Valentine's Day, and the little-known stories behind its symbols. For grades 4-7.

RC 53596 Granny D: Walking Across America in My Ninetieth Year, by Doris Haddock with Dennis Burke

Chronicle of Doris "Granny D" Haddock's fourteen-month walk across America, which she completed on February 29, 2000. Even though she was ninety years old and suffered from arthritis and emphysema, Granny D made her famous walk to publicize the need for U.S. campaign finance reform.

RC 54401 Valentine's Day, by Alice K. Flanagan

Explains how the holiday celebrating people in love got its name and why cupids, hearts, flowers, and cards figure into the traditions of February 14. Suggests ways to mark this special day. For grades 2-4.

New Nebraska Cassette Book


RC 951 Together Apart
by Dianne E. Gray
1 cassette

Several months after barely surviving a devastating blizzard of January 1888, fourteen-year-old Hannah and fifteen-year-old Isaac both leave their abusive homes to work for Eliza Moore, the judge's widow, who is publishing a newspaper to promote women's suffrage. Their story, told in the alternating perspectives of a boy and a girl, reveals late nineteenth-century attitudes toward women's rights and class consciousness. For grades 5 to 8. Narrated by Frances Buell.

What to Do With "Left-Over' Cassettes

Many times borrowers call to let us know they have forgotten to send back all the cassettes for a book. Don't worry-just enclose the cassettes in the next book that has room for them. We will find them here and match the orphan!

Five Ways to Read This Newsletter

In addition to large print, Interchange is offered on cassette and in braille, upon request. Readers and their family members can access Interchange at our Web site as well. At /tbbs/tbbs1.html you will find it as a text file and as an MP3 sound file.

If you are already receiving Interchange in large print but want it on cassette or in braille instead, please call your Readers Advisor. Of course, you don't need to contact us to enjoy the Web-based editions of Interchange.


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.

Back to Interchange Archives