Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
October 2000

A Few Facts About the National Program

The Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service is part of a national program coordinated by a division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Here are some interesting facts about the greater organization of which our library is a part:

Staff Profile-Annette Hall

Our new Volunteer Services Coordinator, Annette Hall, began her duties in July. Before joining our staff, she spent many years volunteering for a variety of organizations. During her three terms with AmeriCorps*VISTA, she enjoyed working with youth and adult volunteers across the state. She joined our staff because she felt a kinship to the objectives of the Talking Book and Braille Service and thought what she had learned elsewhere could be put to good use.

Annette grew up on a farm in south central Nebraska and graduated from Bertrand Community School. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and St Mary College, where she received a B.S. in elementary education. Her husband recently retired from the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Annette and her husband have three children; one attends SOAR, and two are students at UNL.

If Annette wasn't working at the Talking Book and Braille Service, her second choice would be to work with the Department of Education's Learn and Serve Programs. She loves to read, do needlepoint, walk and fence. She also plays bells, and has joined a newly-formed orchestra.

Governor Johanns and Adjutant General Heng Lend Their Voices in Our Studios

Nebraska's Governor Mike Johanns and Adjutant General Stanley M. Heng visited our studios in order to record segments from the book, Operation Recognition; Honoring Nebraska War Veterans, by Ivan Schoone.

This book, still in the process of being recorded, features men and women veterans who give courageous accounts of their experiences during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Volunteer Profile-Mariann Schafer

If you enjoy the cassette editions of Country, Midwest Living, or Reminisce magazines, one of the reasons is probably Mariann Schafer's voice. A volunteer narrator since September 1996, Mariann has been recording magazines and books for the past four years.

A retired teacher, Mariann enjoys a busy life filled with Nebraska football, golf, bridge, traveling, and activities with her children and grandchildren. She volunteers in order to give something back to the community. "Everyone has a responsibility to do this in their lifetime," she says. Mariann finds it satisfying that she is providing a service for individuals who would not otherwise enjoy access to magazines and books.

In addition to narrating within the Talking Book and Braille Service, Mariann's volunteer experiences include serving as a Greylady at hospitals, a docent for historical mansion tours, and assisting at the Food Pantry.

Mariann's favorite author is Sidney Sheldon. Her favorite all-time movie is Doctor Zhivago. And her favorite food is either prime rib or ice cream.

Volunteer Profile-John Sposato

John, a volunteer in our new book processing area for the past three years, takes his volunteer duties as seriously as if they were a paid job. He especially enjoys unpacking new books that arrive from Library of Congress and placing them in numeric order onto the processing shelves.

When he isn't volunteering at the Talking Book and Braille Service, John is a Library Aide at Lincoln City Libraries. He enjoys being around books. His favorite author is Dean Koontz, and he has just finished reading Koontz's Ice Bound. John's favorite book of all time is Peter Norwood's Rules of Engagement.

John's favorite dessert is cake. His companion is his beloved cat named Tanner.

New Stickers But Same Service

You may have noticed a new style of label on the side of your cassette books. This label, which is slightly wider than our older style, features a barcode with the words "Nebraska Library Commission" above it. Our computer system reads this barcode in order to check out books to you and to check them in as they are returned.

The Talking Book and Braille Service is planning on converting its entire collection to barcodes because of advantages that barcode technology offers. Right now, barcodes are used with newer books and with older books that need to have their labels replaced.

Nothing has changed in terms of the books themselves. We anticipate the newer style labels will help the Talking Book and Braille Service to remain current in its use of automation.

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 793 Busted Tractors and Rusty Knuckles; Norwegian Torque Wrench Techniques and Other Fine Points of Tractor Restoration
by Roger Welsch
2 cassettes

The author revisits his favorite pastime, tinkering with beat-up tractors. This book follows the rescue of a scrap-yard refugee Allis-Chalmers WC tractor; a journey that pulls Welsch deep into a bottomless morass of broken bolts, smashed fingers and frozen pistons. Sequel to Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them (RC 00689).
Narrated by Helena Whitaker.

RC 796 Light Dances; Illuminating Families With Laughter and Love
by Shirley K. Trout
2 cassettes

A guide to help parents use their sense of humor to survive the perils of parenthood. This book shows the importance of learning to see the light side of parenting now, rather than waiting until years later as you remember the joyful and tough times you shared with your children.
Narrated by Marjory Gloe.

RC 819 KFOR Best of Problems and Solutions, Volume 5
by KFOR Radio
1 cassette

Most-requested homemaking solutions from radio listeners. Includes laundry hints and stain removal, hints for outdoor and automotive tasks, food, and cooking tips.
Narrated by Jim Hewitt.

RC 821 Rock Island Town; Fairbury, Nebraska; Western Division
by Michael M. Bartels
1 cassette

The colorful history of the Rock Island Railroad in Fairbury, Nebraska, includes famous travelers such as Al Smith and Presidents Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower. A railroad town for over 100 years, Fairbury served as Rock Island's Western Division Headquarters.
Narrated by Alice Timm.

New Children's Braille Books

This summer we've added numerous new titles to our Children's Braille Browsing Collection. Two new Board Books are intended for the youngest braille readers:

NBR 321 Caterpiller to Butterfly, by Barbara Reid (first and second graders)
NBR 1303 Moo, Baa, La La La!, by Sandra Boynton (pre-schoolers)

We now have three of the popular Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling for fourth through seventh graders:

BBR 21000 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
BBR 21001 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
BBR 21002 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Another Source for Braille Over the Internet

Previous issues of Interchange provided information concerning the National Library Service now offering braille books over the Internet. Users must provide their own Braille reading device, an e-mail address and access to the Internet. They need to contact their Readers Advisor to sign up for this service.

Another organization, the International Braille Research Center, offers additional braille titles through its web site: http://www.braille.org.

This organization is dedicated to encouraging the use of braille. Over 1000 titles can be read off-line using a refreshable Braille device or Braille embosser. Readers can download individual parts of a book, an individual book, or an entire collection by a specific author by selecting the appropriate link.

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 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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