Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
December 2002

Advisory Committee Seeks Nominees

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 outreach efforts in behalf of the Talking Book and Braille Service, such as radio and television Public Service Announcements and the development of posters for use in libraries, senior centers and care facilities.

Currently there are two 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, 2003. Phone: 402-471-4005 or 800-742-7691, fax: 402-471-6244, e-mail: Dave Oertli.

Please Identify Yourself

We are always concerned when we receive unidentified book order forms or request lists in the mail. It means that someone isn't going to get the books they want.

Please make sure your name and address appear on any correspondence that you send to the library. This will help us not to have disappointed borrowers who wait for books that aren't coming.

Volunteer Profile-Charlie Rodgers

On a Monday morning, if you visited the Talking Book Repair Shop on Omaha's Izard Street, you would be likely to find Charlie Rodgers repairing and refurbishing playback equipment. A retired Western Electric Company Installation Supervisor, Charlie became a machine repair volunteer after retirement in order to use his skills to help others. He says there is a feeling of satisfaction in knowing you are contributing to a worthy cause. He has a special feeling for persons who are blind because he came within inches of being blind himself during World War II.

Charlie puts his technical skills to work in another of his interests-Ham Radio. Though a long-time Nebraskan, Charlie says his favorite food is Crab Cioppino at the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Volunteer Profile-Ed Rigali

Another Telephone Pioneer who repairs playback equipment in Omaha, Ed Rigali began his volunteer duties over 14 years ago with record players and saw the changeover to cassettes. He volunteers for a sense of accomplishment: helping people in need. He retired after 35 years of service with the New York Telephone Company. At the point of retirement, Ed was a supervisor responsible for five large offices in Brooklyn.

One of Ed's special interests, genealogy, almost got him killed. He and his wife were doing research in Salt Lake City's Family History Library when someone shot two receptionists and then entered their part of the library. Ed counted eighteen rounds before the individual went upstairs. He and his wife hid under a table until a security guard helped them escape through an emergency door. All told, six people died in this tragic episode. Ed's favorite food is shrimp. His favorite author is Francis van Wyck Mason, who wrote novels about the American Revolutionary War.

Recording for the Blind Now Offers Digital Books

Students who are visually impaired or who have severe learning disabilities will have unprecedented access to the contents of textbooks and other educational materials with the nationwide (September 3, 2002) release of digitally-recorded textbooks on CD from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D).

An inaugural collection of more than 6,000 digitally-recorded educational titles, ranging from Harry Potter to Systems of Psychotherapy: a Transtheoretical Analysis, will be added to RFB&D's unique collection of 91,000 accessible textbooks - the largest collection of its kind in the world.

To listen to RFB&D's AudioPlus digitally-recorded textbooks, students need a portable CD player equipped to play RFB&D's books or a standard multimedia computer equipped with a CD-ROM drive and specialized software.

Playback hardware and software will be available through RFB&D for nonprofit sale.

With RFB&D's AudioPlus digitally- recorded textbooks, students will enjoy:

RFB&D's AudioPlus digitally-recorded textbooks have already been used in eighty-nine schools nationwide that took part in a pre-release pilot program. The participating students and educators provided important feedback about the use of RFB&D's AudioPlus textbooks, and their input has been used to continue to refine and enhance this technology.

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 745 Bead on an Anthill
by Delphine Red Shirt
2 cassettes

A Lakota girl's experiences growing up in Nebraska and on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1960s and 1970s. The author felt a powerful connection to the openness of the plains. At the same time, she became increasingly aware of the distance between her world and that of her ancestors. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 839 Guide to Nebraska Authors
by Nebraska English Language Arts Council
3 cassettes

This guide presents brief biographical information about some Nebraska authors. These writers have written short works as well as books, poetry, screenplays, memoirs, and other writing as varied as the authors themselves. Narrated by Beth McNeil

RC 890 The Sunrise Serenade: A World War II Bomber Crew Story
by Jerry Penry
3 cassettes

The true story of a World War II bomber crew downed behind enemy lines. Worry, hunger, loneliness, and sickness prevailed as they struggled to survive in German prison camps or to hide in the Underground. Narrated by Dennis Lorance.

RC 891 This Old Tractor: A Treasury of Vintage Tractors and Family Farm Memories
edited by Michael Dregni
1 cassette

A collection of humorous and sentimental stories, essays and memories that pays honest tribute to the heart-felt bond between the farm tractor and the family farm. Includes reminiscences about faithful old tractors, the farmer's first tractor, and learning to drive it. Narrated by B. J. Dennis.

RC 925 America Looks West: Lewis and Clark on the Missouri
by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2 cassettes

This special edition of Nebraskaland magazine commemorates the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This issue represents the account of the entire Expedition, emphasizing the first year, 1804, and the Missouri River. Narrated by Dennis Lorance, Bonnie Quinn, David King, Bill Ainsley, Alice Timm, and John Nellessen.

Cassette Books to Warm the Season

Winter's shorter days and longer nights are ready-made for good books. Here are some books with holiday and winter themes to enjoy in your favorite chair beside the fire.

RC 42533 The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest
by Dorothy Winbush Riley

An anthology of essays, folktales, poems, personal profiles, and recipes on the African-American festival of Kwanzaa. The selections serve to illustrate the seven principles of the event and to guide in its celebration. For senior high and older readers.

RC 42903 The Day
by Douglas Hobbie

The day is Thanksgiving 1991, and Jack and Gwen Fletcher are spending the holiday with her smug, wealthy New England family. Jack seems to be the only one to recollect the suicide of Gwen's sister-Jack's soul mate-just one year earlier. The day's events unfold to reveal a tragic family portrait. Strong language.

RC 43421 Politically Correct Holiday Stories for an Enlightened Yuletide Season
by James Finn Garner 

Garner rewrote holiday favorites for the 1990s. Includes "Twas the Night Before Solstice," "Frosty the Persun of Snow," and "Rudolph the Nasally Empowered Reindeer." In "A Christmas Carol," Marley is visited by spiritual facilitators.

RC 44446 Journey Into Christmas and Other Stories
by Bess Streeter Aldrich

A dozen short stories that embody the traditional warmth and sentimentality of the Christmas season. In addition to the title story, includes "The Drum Goes Dead," "The Man Who Caught the Weather," and recollections of an Iowa childhood in "I Remember."

RC 47384 A Magical Christmas
by Heather Graham

Even though she is contemplating divorce, Julie Radcliffe reluctantly agrees to spend Christmas with her husband, Jon, and their three kids at a country inn in Virginia. Once there, the family finds the hosts dressed in Civil War costumes. Regaling in the peaceful environment, the couple soon regains their mutual love. Meanwhile, strange old-fashioned characters appear.

RC 48390 Jeremy's Dreidel
by Ellie Gellman

Jeremy's art class at the Jewish center is making dreidels for Hanukkah. Each child can design one. Jeremy plans to use a special design for his father, who is blind. For grades 3-6 and older readers.

RC 48633 An Irish Country Christmas
by Alice Taylor

Taylor recalls the work and the celebration of a Christmas that "glowed like a warm fire in the middle of a long, cold winter," when she was nine years old. She describes preparing the Christmas goose, cleaning the chimney, gathering the holly and ivy, and having a parcel arrive on Christmas Eve.

RC 50844 Winter Solstice
by Rosamunde Pilcher

Elfrida, a retired actress; Oscar, a recent widower; Carrie, recovering from a love affair; Lucy, Carrie's niece; and Sam, deserted by his wife, spend the winter solstice in a Scottish cottage where they form a lasting bond that allows them to recover from their various challenges and losses. Bestseller 2000.

News About Catalogs

Nebraska Cassette Books Catalog: Westerns and Pioneer 2002 is now available. This catalog consists of books in our Nebraska collection about cowboys and pioneers, frontiersmen and settlers, emigrants and Native Americans. Many of the books are about Nebraska, the Great Plains, or the Midwest.

Books for Young People 2002 is also available. These books are intended for readers preschool through eighth grade.

These two catalogs can be requested in large print by using the order form below or by calling your Readers Advisor. Also, they can be viewed online at nlc.nebraska.gov/tbbs/tbbscatalogs.html.

Cassette Magazines for Seniors and Armchair Travelers

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.

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.

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

Just for Fun...

Here is a fun question posed to Talking Book and Braille Service staff: How do you like winter?

Winter is dark and cold. It's a time to hibernate. I wish it were much shorter (and warmer) - or maybe we could just skip it altogether!-Cherie

I like winter except for the ice on the walks and roads.-Annette

I love to bake all kinds of things, and cold weather inspires me.-Jacque

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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