Newsletter of the

Nebraska Library Commission

Talking Book & Braille Service

December 1997

Advisory Committee Queries "Frequently Asked Questions"

The Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) Advisory Committee met on Friday, November 7, 1997. Present were committee chairperson Russell Bloemker, committee members Anita Regler, William Carter, Jane Crouch, and ex officio member David Oertli, director of the Talking Book and Braille Service. Committee members Ana Kalin, Mary Ann Jobanek, Joyce Cohen, Tracy Grothe, and Robert Schnuelle were unable to attend. Robert Kalin attended in Ana's place to present the minutes of the last meeting. Absence of a quorum did not prohibit lively discussion.

Items on the agenda included further development of the Internet home page, strategies for timely recording of unusually long or special magazine issues, wrap-up of the 1997 spring meeting tour, plans for a borrower survey, and the Library Commission's long range plan. Various TBBS staff members introduced individual agenda items and joined the committee discussions.

Staff member Diane Wells described the TBBS pages on the World Wide Web and asked the committee to consider the merits of adding a frequently asked questions page (FAQ). Members responded enthusiastically and quickly began to share the questions they are most often asked. The committee also made suggestions for a page highlighting the Advisory Committee - its functions, members, meeting minutes, and agenda.

Staff members Bill Ainsley and Brad Hauptman explained the difficulties encountered recording extra long or special issues of magazines. Discussion focused on the reasonableness of omitting material in the interest of getting the rest of the issue into the readers' hands more quickly. The committee voiced opposition to incomplete content. However, the committee did show some acceptance of the current practice of omitting items, articles, or sections whose sole purpose is to describe or announce events which will be over before the cassette edition is completed. The committee also began considering the local impact of upcoming changes in the National Library Service magazine program (Interchange, October 1997).

Staff members Kay Goehring and Clarice Schmidt led a brief review of the Spring meetings in Omaha, Alliance, and McCook (Interchange, October 1997). Considerations for 1998 included potential meeting sites, boosting attendance, and enabling more staff to attend.

Library director Dave Oertli asked committee members to participate in planning for an upcoming borrower survey. Discussion covered questions like: To what extent do our borrowers use computers? How familiar are our borrowers with the services of their local public library? and How often do our borrowers receive books from the library that they don't wish to read? Several members of the committee agreed to participate further in this project.

Mr. Oertli also presented the committee with an overview of the Nebraska Library Commission's long range plan as it applies to TBBS. Members responded with ideas for including more borrowers in the planning process.

The meeting concluded with expression of appreciation for outgoing committee members Russell Bloemker, Anita Regler, and Mary Ann Jobanek who have each completed two two-year terms on the Advisory Committee.

The Mystery of the Illusive Green Box

You find them in your mailbox - sometimes one by one, sometimes in a bunch. They are the green plastic boxes that provide cassettes safe transport between your mailbox and ours.

In the past couple of years, we've experienced a shortage of green boxes that exceeds the increase in our magazine circulation and the breakage rate combined. We have added boxes (several thousand, in fact) but can't seem to stay ahead.

Each of you can help us manage the mysterious green box shortage by reading and returning cassette magazines promptly. The magazines that arrive the least often (bimonthlies and quarterlies) pose the most problems. For example, if you receive this newsletter (a bimonthly) on cassette, returning it as soon as you've finished reading it helps us more than waiting to send it back until the next issue arrives.

Your Name is Essential

"...Providing you've remembered to include your name." These words concluded the October Interchange article about leaving us after-hours phone messages for book requests and other service needs. However, they are equally important whenever you communicate with us.

Readers Advisors are always disheartened when unidentified order forms or request lists arrive in the mail. They know that somewhere one of you is not going to receive the books or magazines you are expecting to read. So, please double check that your name is on any correspondence, including order forms.

Some order forms require you to fill in your name and address. We purposely print the Interchange order form on the reverse of the mailing label page. As long as you send in the entire Interchange order form, it automatically includes your name and address.

Announcing New Additions to the NE Collection

Books of Nebraska...

Behind Every Champion
NE 651 2 cassettes
by Keith A. Zimmer
In 1995, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers won their way to a national football championship. In this volume, twenty-one of the team's seniors tell their personal stories. Narrated by Brad Field.

The Cattlemen
NE 679 4 cassettes
by Mari Sandoz
The story of the vast cattle industry of the American West. On all the Great Plains, from Canada deep into the country of the Rio Grande, the cattle rancher is the encompassing, continuous and enduring symbol of modern man on the Great Plains. Narrated by Jane Knox.

Dreams of Glory; Women of the Old West
NE 714 2 cassettes
by Larry D. Underwood
Historic collection of stories about women in the Old West. Dreams of a better life and of glory beckoned women to begin new lives across the Mississippi. Narrated by Jane Knox.

Of Myths and Chicken Feet: A Polio Survivor Looks At Survival
NE 687 1 cassette
by Nancy Baldwin Carter
Short essays by the founder of the Nebraska Polio Survivors Association illustrate the author's unyielding resolve in coping with the challenges of being disabled. Narrated by Frances Buell.

One Final Pass; The Brook Berringer Story
NE 684 1 cassette
by Arthur L. Lindsay with Jan Berringer
The life of Nebraska Cornhusker quarterback Brook Berringer was cut short in a plane crash on April 18, 1996. The story of his life is one of perseverance and success, both on and off the field. Narrated by Mark Janda.

Second Helpings; More Eating Nebraska
NE 685 2 cassettes
by Richard and Katherine Endacott
This sequel to Eating Nebraska offers over 250 reviews of restaurants in six regions of the state, plus Lincoln and Omaha. Also includes cafe poems written by a score of Nebraska poets. Narrated by Alice Timm.

Order Listing

To order the items described in this issue:
call, 800-742-7691; or write, 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 in all correspondence.

New Books in the NE Collection

Back to Interchange Archives