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

Western Conference Considers Future of Talking Books

The Western Conference of Librarians Serving Individuals with Visual or Physical Disabilities met recently in Bismarck, North Dakota to consider the future of digital talking books, as well as outreach to care facilities and schools. The conference drew librarians from eleven western states, including Nebraska, as well as the Library of Congress. 

A care facility administrator, special education director, and other professionals offered advice on outreach efforts. High turnover rates in many care facilities make it important that the talking book program be easily understood by new facility staff. Many special educators need to understand the distinction between talking book service and sources for textbooks in special formats. 

The Library of Congress is about to enter into the design phase for its digital talking book player. Digital players and 20,000 digital talking book titles are anticipated to be ready for borrowers by 2008. While new technologies offer opportunities to improve access, they must be easy to use. Talking books is often one of the first services encountered by individuals who are new to visual or physical disability.

Football Yearbook Available Soon

Huskers Illustrated: 2003 Football Yearbook is now being recorded in our studios. If you would like to receive a copy of this cassette publication, please use the order form below or contact your Readers Advisor. Subscribers to Nebraska Sports magazine and Sports Illustrated will receive the yearbook automatically.

Talking Book Narrators Receive Awards

The American Foundation for the Blind has presented its 17th Alexander Scourby "Narrator of the Year" Awards to honor excellence in talking book narration. The awards were presented at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

 For fiction, David Hartley-Margolin received the award for his recording of Jeffrey Lent's Lost Nation (RC 54434). A narrator at Talking Book Publishers, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, for over 15 years, Hartley-Margolin has recorded almost 400 books. 

The nonfiction award was given to Barry Bernson for his recording of A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons (RC 53256), by Robert M. Sapolsky. For 25 years, Bernson has been a narrator at the American Printing House for the Blind and has recorded nearly 300 books. 

The award for fantasy was given to Erick Sandvold, a narrator at Talking Book Publishers, Inc., for City of Golden Shadow: Otherland, Vol. I (RC 52924). Mr. Sandvold has recorded over 300 books during the past 15 years.

Helpful Hint . . .

Question: Sometimes I receive books that contain the right number of cassettes, but parts of the story, such as the ending, seem to be missing. What could be wrong? 

Answer: Cassette books from our library are duplicated onto four tracks. That means that four separate sound tracks are laid down on each tape. That is the reason book cassettes are numbered 1, 5, 9, and so on-in units of four. In order to hear all of a story, always begin a new cassette by moving the cassette player's side selector switch to side 1. When you have read all of side 1, turn the cassette over to read side 2. When you have finished side 2, turn the cassette over to side 1, but change the side selector switch to side 3. When you have finished side 3, turn the cassette over once again to listen to side 4. 

To begin the next cassette, be sure the side selector switch is on side 1. If parts of your book still seem to be missing, please call your Readers Advisor.

Don't Refuse Mail

Please do not refuse mail you receive connected with Talking Book and Braille Service. Instead, call your Readers Advisor to let us know what is happening. When you refuse catalogs or magazines, a central mailing service in Florida places you on a "pre-suspend" status and sends the rejected material to our library for action. Your Readers Advisor needs to verify whether or not there is a problem with your address before the central mailing service can restore you to active status. 

This means you will be without these publications until we can contact you to find out why they were refused. In the meantime, you will probably miss catalogs and issues of magazines that interest you. 

As for books, if you do not want to receive any for a while, just contact your Readers Advisor. There are a number of ways we can adjust your service to meet your needs. However, when we receive a book back marked "Refused," we must stop service until we can contact you.

North Platte Canteen Book on Cassette

Once upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, by bestselling author Bob Greene, tells the true story of North Platte, Nebr., where a miracle happened every day from Christmas 1941 till the end of World War II. American soldiers, at times up to 8,000 per day, traveled through North Platte on troop trains, on their way to war in Europe and the Pacific. Tireless community volunteers, day and night, greeted these young soldiers with homemade food, conversation, coffee, music, and magazines during stops that lasted only a few minutes. By the end of the war, North Platte, then a community of 12,000, had provided comfort and warmth to more than six million soldiers. 

This incredible story about "the best America there ever was" is now available on cassette (RC 54433), thanks to the Library of Congress. To request a copy, please contact your Readers Advisor or use the order form below.

Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 935 Still Water Fifties
by Ken Wildergren
2 cassettes

An all-state high school player goes through some restless times as he reaches manhood in a central Nebraska prairie town during the late 1950s. He finds love with his girlfriend and stability in an older friend, a physician, who comes to his rescue with acts of kindness. Contains some strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Narrated by Roy Bailey.

RC 940 A Time to Sink Her Pretty Little Ship
by William Kloefkorn
1 cassette

A distinguished Nebraska author presents four short stories about unforgettable characters in a small town. Narrated by Bonnie Quinn.


RC 829 Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier
by Linda Peavey and Ursula Smith
2 cassettes

Excerpts from journals, letters, and oral histories provide a rare look at frontier life through the eyes of pioneer women who settled the American West. The authors describe the hardships women endured journeying west and making homes and communities on the frontier. Narrated by B. J. Dennis.

RC 867 Snapshots: Polio Survivors Remember
by Nancy Baldwin Carter
1 cassette

Polio survivors, caregivers, and health professionals contributed their personal stories concerning polio and postpolio syndrome. Narrated by Bonnie Quinn.

RC 932 Tales from the Nebraska Sidelines: A Collection of the Greatest Nebraska Stories Ever Told
by Don Bryant
2 cassettes

A veteran sportswriter, editor, and athletic administrator for the University of Nebraska shares his favorite stories about the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The stories are about people and behind-the-scenes activities. Using anecdotes about his friends and adventures, he shows there is more to athletics than final scores. Narrated by John Nellessen.

RC 934 Pioneer Girl: Growing Up on the Prairie
by Andrea Warren
1 cassette

True story of Grace McCance Snyder, whose family settled in a one-room sod house on the Nebraska prairie when she was three years old. It is based on interviews with her family and on her own memories as recorded in No Time on My Hands (RC 114), written by her daughter, Nellie Snyder Yost. For grades 4 to 7 and older readers. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 953 Kate M. Cleary: A Literary Biography with Selected Works
by Susanne K. George
2 cassettes

Born into a cultured family in New Brunswick, Canada, Kate Cleary moved with her new husband to the Nebraska prairie town of Hubbell. Her short stories, poems, and letters depict the harsh experiences of the frontier prairie through the eyes of a gifted writer. Narrated by Alice Timm.

Magazine News

Two of the magazines recorded in our studios, Nebraska History and Nebraska Sports, have experienced disruptions in their printing schedules. We will continue to record issues of these magazines as they become available. 

Great Plains Game & Fish Magazine describes fishing and hunting hotspots in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. We are looking at the possibility of recording this monthly publication. If you would be interested in receiving it on cassette, please call your Readers Advisor or use the order form below. 

Each issue of Talking Book Topics features a complete list of all the free cassette magazines offered by the Library of Congress. You may be surprised and pleased by the variety of choices. To sign up for any of these, please call your Readers Advisor.

Books for Travelers and Armchair Travelers

Summer is a popular time for family trips. Here are some books, fiction and nonfiction, about travel and vacations. Included are books about Nebraska, other states, and other countries. Perhaps they will help you plan your next trip, or bring back memories of vacations from the past. 

RC 506 The Complete Roadside Guide to Nebraska
by Alan Boye 

Covers over 10,000 miles in all 93 counties of Nebraska. Includes the location of Indian battle sites, burials, unusual geological formations, pioneer roads, parks, museums, folklore tales, and thousands of other sites. 

RC 513 Eating Nebraska: A Humorous Guide to Dining in the Cornhusker State
by Richard and Katherine Endacott 

A collection of irreverent reviews and essays describe 130 unique eateries in Nebraska. All of them are one-of-a-kind in terms of atmosphere, food, history, or service (or lack of any of the above). 

RC 675 Nebraskaland Magazine Wildlife Viewing Guide
by Joseph Knue 

Key to opportunities in Nebraska for observing wildlife, including descriptions of best sites, access information and viewing tips. For high school and adult readers. 

RC 685 Second Helpings: More Eating Nebraska
by Richard and Katherine Endacott 

A sequel to Eating Nebraska (RC 513), this work offers over 250 reviews of restaurants in six regions of the state, plus Lincoln and Omaha. Also includes café poems written by a score of Nebraska poets. For high school and adult readers. 

RC 713 Day Trips in the Heartland
by Elizabeth Wells 

A get-away guide to twenty-three unique places in the Heartland. Each destination is close enough for a day trip from most of eastern Nebraska. For high school and adult readers. 

RC 39415 Going Up Country: Travel Essays by Peace Corps Writers
edited by John Coyne 

Essays by thirteen former Peace Corps volunteers who were asked to return to their countries of service or countries in which they had lived and to write about them from the perspective of prior experience and current insights. Countries include Ecuador, Kenya, Peru, Somalia, Japan, Cameroon, Grenada, Hungary, and Tanzania. Each account is preceded by a brief survey of the author's service and published books. 

RC 44697 Fodor's Great American Vacations for Travelers with Disabilities
by Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc. 

Includes accessibility information in three categories-mobility, hearing, and vision-as well as names and addresses of specialized services and facilities. Destinations include major U.S. cities, numerous national parks, Pennsylvania Dutch country, and Walt Disney World. 

RC 45701 See Rock City: A Story Journey Through Appalachia
by Donald Davis 

A storyteller reminisces about his boyhood in rural North Carolina during the 1950s. He recounts various youthful exploits, including a memorable visit to Rock City on a family vacation that was beset by a series of humorous misfortunes. 

RC 49089 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
by Robert M. Pirsig 

Recounts a man's cross-country motorcycle trip with his eleven-year-old son and his philosophic digressions on sanity and on living an authentic life. This 1999 twenty-fifth anniversary edition contains a new introduction by the author and his afterword to the tenth edition. 

RC 50635 Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California
by Bruce Berger 

A writer depicts the beautiful and unique world of the Mexican peninsula known as Baja California, characterizing its terrain as an "eight-hundred-mile dead end." Describes its natural and cultural history, its contemporary society, and the environmental threats posed by land development and technological advancement; chronicles his thirty-year love affair with Baja.

Magazines for Country Living

If summertime makes you appreciate life in the country and living close to nature, then we have the cassette magazines for you. Capper's, a biweekly publication with a focus on small-town and rural living, includes reader contributions, recipes, poetry, nationally-known columnists, and a continuing story. Country, published bimonthly, offers feature stories and columns for those who live in or long for the country. It includes country diaries, travel, features, and recipes. A magazine published quarterly by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Trail Tales is for younger readers who love Nebraska's outdoors and nature. Wild Outdoor World (W.O.W.) is published five times a year and is intended for the young adventurer, conservationist, or anyone who loves nature or the outdoors. It is geared for readers age 8 to 12. 

For information about destinations a little further from home, National Geographic Traveler, a bimonthly, offers six to ten travel articles, mostly about the United States. An additional section gives full data, such as cost, phone numbers, and addresses for the destinations discussed. This magazine is produced by the Florida Regional Library; and Wild Outdoor World (W.O.W) is produced by the Montana Talking Book Library. The others are produced by the Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service. To request these magazines, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor. This arrangement might be easier for you than having to mail your player back to us.

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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