Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
December 2003

Nominations Sought for Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee to the Talking Book and Braille Service was formed to represent the needs of users and to make recommendations concerning library policies, services and programs. As a standing committee of the State Advisory Council on Libraries, its membership consists primarily of library borrowers but may include librarians, educators, health care providers and other individuals who understand the needs of users. The committee normally meets twice a year.

Most recently the committee has focused on ways to make the service better known, so that more qualifying Nebraskans would use it. Ideas have included working more closely with school and public libraries and producing promotional materials for use in libraries, senior centers and care facilities.

Currently there are three vacancies on the committee. Interested persons should contact Dave Oertli, Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023 by March 1, 2004. Phone: 402-471-4038 or 800-742-7691, fax: 402-471-6244, email.

Arthritis Magazine Now Offered on Cassette

Courtesy of the Florida Regional Library, Arthritis Today, a magazine about living with arthritis, is now available on cassette. Published six times a year by the Arthritis Foundation, this magazine provides updates on research and treatments as well as information about health and lifestyle. To sign up for this free cassette magazine, please use the order form below or contact your Readers Advisor.

Volunteer Profile-Brad Meurrens

A volunteer studio narrator since June, Brad Meurrens has already used his voice to record issues of Capper's, Country, Life Lines, Nebraskaland, Networks and Reminisce magazines. He is also working on recording a book about a nuclear submarine. 

A public policy specialist and registered lobbyist for Nebraska Advocacy Services, Brad has chosen a career where he can advocate for the human and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. He also conducts workshops on advocacy. 

Brad became a studio volunteer because he wanted to become more involved in the disabled community. Also, narrating touches on two of his personal interests-reading and storytelling. 

His favorite author is Toni Morrison. His hobbies are playing chess and spades, and coaching high school team debate. His favorite food is steak and gumbo; and his favorite movie is The Godfather (DVS 19733). 

Several of Brad's favorite Web sites are: www.playsite.com; www.unicam.state.ne.us; www.cato.org; and www.bazelon.org.

Newsletter One Month Sooner

We have revised our 2004 publication schedule for Interchange so that you should be receiving an issue during January, March, May, July, September, and November. This schedule moves each issue one month sooner, to the odd-numbered months. In this way you will have a list of new or recommended books in your hands each month, since Talking Books Topics, from Library of Congress, is published in the even-numbered months.

Cassette Magazines for Armchair Travelers and Seniors

If you like to read about other parts of the United States, you might enjoy Southern Living, a monthly magazine recorded by the Florida Regional Library that focuses on the southern style of life, including gardening, history, travel, and recipes. Another magazine, Yankee, recorded monthly by the Massachusetts Regional Library, offers travel destinations, history of, and local events in the New England states.

Life Lines, published bimonthly by the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging and recorded in our own studios, highlights activities within the agency's eight-county area: Butler, Fillmore, Lancaster, Polk, Saline, Saunders, Seward, and York. This publication also features general topics, programs, issues, and activities concerning the older population.

Published by the American Association of Retired Persons and recorded by the Arizona Regional Library, Modern Maturity is another bimonthly that features short articles of interest to persons over 50. Topics include travel, cooking, economics, second careers, and health.

Older Nebraskan's Voice is published quarterly by the Nebraska Health and Human Services System, Aging Services, and recorded in our own studios. This publication offers health news, legislative reviews, and personal profiles.

If you are interested in research in the field of visual impairment, you might like the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness. This journal is published and recorded ten times a year by the American Foundation for the Blind.

To order any of these cassette magazines, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor.

Helpful Hint . . .

Question: I would like to receive Reader's Digest and Newsweek on cassette. Does your library offer these magazines?

Answer: These free magazines are offered on cassette directly through the American Printing House for the Blind. To sign up for either Reader's Digest or Newsweek, call toll free: 1-800-223-1839. Order information is available at: sun1.aph.org/devel/magsubsc.htm. To continue receiving these free cassette magazines, subscribers need to respond to an annual letter from the American Printing House for the Blind. A donation to that organization is appreciated to defray production costs but is not required.

Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 872 Sterling's Carrie
by Margaret V. Ott
2 cassettes

Fictionalized biography of Caroline Morton, wife of Nebraska statesman and early settler, J. Sterling Morton. This romantic historical account set in the 1800s draws from incidents and related stories of the Nebraska frontier. Narrated by Mariann Schafer.


RC 754 Cold Snap as Yearning
by Robert Vivian
2 cassettes

In this collection of personal essays, the author shares his unique and intriguing vision of Nebraska, Omaha, and the Midwest. Kids shoot out church windows to discover what's savage; old women scavenge garbage to make order from chaos; and a broken toaster becomes a repository of dignity. Contains some strong language. Narrated by Roy Bailey.

RC 924 A Thousand Honey Creeks Later: My Life in Music from Basie to Motown
by Preston Love
3 cassettes

In this account of a musician's remarkable career, the author describes his days with Count Basie's Band during its heyday in the forties, as a studio musician in Los Angeles, a cohort of Lester Young, Ray Charles, and Dizzy Gillespie, and back-up player for Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. Love's account is filled, not only with famous personalities, but also with forgotten geniuses, and the little known world of the territory bands. His story highlights important facets of African-American history, institutional racism, and the interracial nature of the music world. Some strong language. Narrated by Dennis Lorance.

RC 926 Westerns and Pioneer
by the Nebraska Library Commission
1 cassette

Cassette books in the Nebraska collection, both fiction and nonfiction, about cowboys and pioneers, frontiersmen and settlers, emigrants and Native Americans. Narrated by Brad Meurrens, Carolin Roehr, Alice Timm, and Helena Whitaker.

RC 938 Moving Out: A Nebraska Woman's Life
by Polly Spence
2 cassettes

This autobiography of Polly Spence (1914-1998) provides a close-up view of small-town Nebraska life in the early to mid 1900s. Growing up in Franklin, a village in south-central Nebraska, Polly, as a young teenager, moved with her family to Crawford, located in Nebraska's Pine Ridge. As an adult, the author dealt with hardships through resilience and determination. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 941 Love, Sex and Tractors: The Eternal Triangle
by Roger Welsch
2 cassettes

Nebraska humorist and self-proclaimed tractor nut delves into the fine art of maintaining a healthy relationship with one's spouse and family. Contains some strong language. Narrated by Tami Works.

RC 949 Chip Shots: A Rookie State Senator's Take on the Nebraska Legislature
by Chip Maxwell
1 cassette

A freshman senator offers an insider's view of the 2001 session of the Nebraska Unicameral. Narrated by Janene Sheldon.

Country Music Magazine Is No More

The print version of Country Music Magazine ceased publication with its August/September issue. At this time the Kentucky Regional Library, which had been recording this magazine, is not planning on a replacement.

Nebraska Books from our Studios

Life on the Great Plains is sometimes hard and often fascinating. Here is an assortment of good books, recorded in our own studios, which describe living in Nebraska:

RC 501 It's Not the End of the Earth, but You Can See It from Here: Tales of the Great Plains, by Roger Welsch

A collection of stories which demonstrate that small-town Nebraska life is filled with color and variety, ideas and humor, wit and warmth. Some pieces are short narratives; others are descriptions of characters.

RC 531 Jean Rides a Tiger to Washington, by Jean Simmons Wear

The daughter of Nebraska Congressman Robert Simmons recalls the fascinating 1920s. Her memoirs include campaigning with her family in a Model-T, going to parties at the White House, and meeting President Coolidge in the Oval Office.

RC 534 Evil Obsession, by Nellie Irene Snyder Yost

A Lincoln County Nebraska woman, Annie Cook, ruled over the county poor farm with insane cruelty. She used abuse, torture, and starvation to terrorize family members and other residents of the farm. Her tyranny was made possible through the corruption and cowardice of county officials. Strong language and violence.

RC 541 Roundup: A Nebraska Reader, by Virginia Faulkner

In ninety-odd pieces pulled from books and articles, Nebraska and Nebraskans are viewed sometimes dispassionately, and sometimes with affectionate prejudice. Selections include those written by native Nebraskans and by some "outsiders" as Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Post, and John Gunther. Some strong language.

RC 547 A Storyteller's Hometown, by Duane Hutchinson

Stories about people in Elgin, Nebraska, not at their Sunday best, but rather humorous, tragic and sometimes noble. Stories are being told to save part of the rich heritage we have in our hometowns.

RC 556 A Prairie Populist: The Memories of Luna Kellie, edited by Jane Taylor Nelsen

Populist songster, Mid-Roader, editor, publisher, wife, mother of eleven, Luna Kellie was a well-informed fervent member of the Farmer's Alliance movement in the latter part of the nineteenth century. She actively sought to organize Nebraska farmers into cooperatives and educate rural people about land, transportation, and money reform.

RC 559 Cars I Have Owned and Other Financial Disasters, by Glenn E. Thompson

Humorous account of the author's experiences with the nineteen cars he has owned since 1949. Book also provides some money-saving tips on cars.

RC 570 Fighting Liberal: The Autobiography of George W. Norris

Famous Nebraska politician, who served from 1903 until 1943, describes his own forty-year career in the U.S. Congress. His political philosophy, a mixture of Populism, Christianity, and the New Deal, placed the distinguished Senator from a conservative state in the best liberal tradition.

RC 571 Blizzard 1949, by Roy V. Alleman

Caught in the blizzards of 1948-49, the author began collecting notes on the impact of the extraordinary winter before it ended. Hundreds of thousands of livestock perished in the killer storms, and seventy-six people died. Story of that winter is told in terms of daily heroism, endurance, and generosity of people on the High Plains.

RC 572 No Gun for this Lady! by Lilya Wagner

Account of a thirty-year career in law enforcement. Accomplishments include helping to organize the Lincoln Indian Club, Cedars Home for Children, and the Lincoln Council on Alcoholism.

RC 587 "Tower, This is Andy" and Other Flying Stories from Northwest Nebraska, by Robert L. Carlisle

This informal history is packed with flying stories from aviators in northeast Nebraska. Sixty-seven stories describe events between 1912 and 1990.

RC 590 Cottonwood Roots, by Kem Luther

This account of the author's journey proceeds from his birthplace in Broken Bow, Nebraska, eastward across the Midwest to New York State and back in time as he carries out genealogical research on his family.

RC 593 The Cellars of Time: Paleontology and Archaeology in Nebraska, by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society

A special edition of Nebraska History (Spring 1994) as well as February 1994 edition of Nebraskaland Magazine, this work presents the natural and archaeological history of Nebraska. Scope of coverage is vast, from the era of sea monsters and dinosaurs to the coming of Europeans and Americans.

RC 599 Being Home: A Collection of Essays About the Simple Joys of Family, Nature, Life Beyond the Big City, and the Sacredness of the Ordinary, by Ruth Raymond Thone

A collection of the author's newspaper essays about the simple joys of life.

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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