Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
December 1998

Survey Responses Describe Communication Styles

The August issue of Interchange asked you to describe the ways you use to communicate with the Talking Book and Braille Service: The most popular way to make book requests is by mail. Most respondents reserved phone calls to ask service questions or resolve problems. When respondents phone calls are picked up by the answering machine, more than two-thirds report that they do leave a message.

When it comes to computers, 15% of respondents have one available for personal use and another 8% expect to have one within the next five years. Nearly all of the current computer users use the Internet, and all of those expecting to become computers users within five years intend to use the Internet.

This issue's survey topic is "Cassette Books."

Quality Assurance Title Gains In National Popularity

The national circulation of Report on Disability Programs (RDP) increased an "impressive 43.5%" for 1998, according to a survey by the National Library Service (NLS). RDP is one of seven magazines produced by network libraries and accepted into this national quality assurance (QA) program sponsored by NLS.

Nebraska's other QA contribution is Cappers, one of the earliest titles remaining in the QA program. The circulation of Cappers continues steady growth each year, now reaching more than 2800 cassette magazine readers in 21 states.

Report on Disability Programs is a biweekly report on disability-related legislative and judicial activity across the nation. Cappers has a traditional small town newspaper style, including a serialized novel, recipes, and reader comment.

Staff Profile -
Bill Ainsley

Bill Ainsley is the Audio Production Studio Manager for the Talking Book and Braille Service. Bill originally came to the Library Commission in 1983 as a volunteer narrator. When the studio coordinator position became available, Bill was hired-a logical choice given both his in-house experience and his background in broadcasting.

Bill moved to Lincoln in the fall of 1965 and has been in the state ever since. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, majoring in history with a minor in political science. He then turned to a career in television, spending the next 12 years working for stations in central Nebraska. His favorite television moment came in Norfolk-an impromptu interview with Johnny Carson.

Bill is a railroad enthsiast. He enjoys an annual Amtrak vacation and logs many hours on the Internet reading about other travelers' experiences.

Staff Profile -
Clarice Schmidt

As Circulation Coordinator, Clarice Schmidt oversees an average daily circulation of more than 700 incoming and outgoing recorded books at the Talking Book and Braille Service

A former teacher, Clarice is no stranger to libraries. She worked at Nebraska Wesleyan University Library for two years in the circulation department and for 14 years as a cataloger. Clarice also received her Associate Degree in Library Science from Nebraska Wesleyan

Coming to the Talking Book and Braille Service in 1994, Clarice "began her work...in the midst of changing systems" and, according to the nomination that led to her selection as 1995 Library Commission Manager of the Year, "she experienced success."

For Your Information

PLEASE ADD public libraries in Ralston and Sidney to the previously published list of machine exchange libraries. Ralston has participated as an exchange site for several years and was accidently left off the list published in August. Sidney Public Library is a new exchange location. Machine exchange libraries keep a small number of talking book cassette players on hand, so talking book patrons can "trade in" malfunctioning players for working players. (Machine exchange libraries are not authorized to issue players without receiving one in return.)

JOB BULLETIN is no longer available. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the U.S. Department of Labor ended its publication with the August issue. NFB reports having "received a grant to begin an exciting new [employment related] program." No additional information is available at time.

BLUE HAWAII is the newest addition to the Nebraska Descriptive Video Collection. Donated by Narrative Television Network, this music-filled movie stars Elvis Presley. To borrow this video or for more information about the Nebraska Descriptive Video Collection, call your Readers Advisor.

PLEASE RETURN the original mailing label with each magazine. That 3- by 5-inch card you find inserted on the outside of each book and magazine is more than it seems. The information on the card is essential to the check in/check out process. If the original mailing label is not returned with each magazine, you will receive overdue notices for the item because it could not be checked in properly.

IF YOU HEAR ANYTHING about our service by way of the media-radio, TV, or newspaper-, please give us a call or drop us a note. Tell us about the coverage and where you live.

BRAILLE READERS can now enjoy a monthly collection of short stories. British Short Stories contains two or more stories in each issue. We are offering this title in two ways: Traditional subscription will bring each issue to your mailbox. Or you can borrow an issue from our braille browsing collection.

WRESTLING CASSETTES back into their boxes can be quite a task. A quick way to avoid frustration is to put the cassettes into the front of the box with tape edges toward you and into the back of the box with tape edges facing away. (This helps us, too, because if you have to jam them in, we have to pry them out.)

MADONNA REHABILITATION HOSPITAL in Lincoln begins hosting a new program in 1999-TechTots. The TechTot program is a lending library of toys with adaptive switches and other modifications making them easy for disabled children to activate and enjoy. A TechTots Open House is planned at Madonna on Tuesday, January 19, 4:00-7:00 P.M. In case of bad weather, the open house will be held the following Tuesday, January 26. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 5401 South Street in Lincoln. For more information about the TechTots program in Lincoln or in Omaha, call Chris Gilbert at 402-354-3629.

Nebraska Cassette Books Collection Features These New Titles

Books of Nebraska

NE 689 Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them
by Roger Welsch
2 cassettes

The well known Nebraska folklorist and CBS Sunday Morning contributor offers tips, techniques, and laughs as he explores his sometimes rocky love affair with his growing family of Allis WC tractors. Interspersed in the text are many of the author's previous writings on old tractors reprinted from Successful Farming and other farm publications. Appendices include lists of parts suppliers and tractor restoration clubs. Narrated by Mariann Schafer.

NE 725 Critical Care
by Richard Dooling
2 cassettes

Dooling, an Omaha native and current resident, spins the tale of Werner Ernst, a medical resident simply doing his job in a hospital intensive care unit-keeping death at bay for as long as science is able. When the daughter of the man in 'Bed 5' pleads that her father be allowed to die, Ernst is torn between his sexual attraction for her and sound medical practice. Some strong language and descriptions of sex. Narrated by Doda Vincent.

NE 741 The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Writing
edited by Hilda Raz
2 cassettes

Bringing together a wide selection of contemporary poets, essayists, and fiction writers from across the nation, this collection demonstrates the continuing vitality of Jewish American writing. Some works contain strong language and descriptions of sex. Narrated by Helena Whitaker.

NE 742 Black Elk and Flaming Rainbow: Personal Memories of the Lakota Holy Man and John Neihardt
by Hilda Neihardt
1 cassette

For the first time, Hilda Neihardt presents her memories of Black Elk. In 1931, she and her sister traveled with their father, John G. Neihardt, to interview Lakota elders who had witnessed the Ghost Dance and the Wounded Knee Massacre. On that trip they met Black Elk and conducted two weeks of interviews. The resulting Black Elk Speaks is one of the most important biographies of an American Indian ever published. Narrated by Jane Knox.

Detective & Mystery

NE 752 Silver Blaze
by Arthur Conan Doyle
1 cassette

Sherlock Holmes appears to be baffled by the disappearance of a famous race horse and the murder of his trainer. Radio drama by the Blue Ridge Players.


NE 763 Entertainers
by National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
1 cassette

A bibliography of celebrity biographies and memoirs from the NLS cassette books collection. The bibliography is divided into four sections-funny people; singers, dancers, and musicians; actors; and television personalities. Narrated by Kristin Allison and Jake Williams. Recorded by NLS.

Western & Pioneer

NE 751 The Blue Hotel
by Stephan Crane
drama by Roxane Brooks 1 cassette

Three train passengers stop for the night at a hotel in a frontier town. One seems obsessed with the fear that he will die there. The others assure him that his fears are groundless... or are they? Radio drama by the Blue Ridge Players.

Musicians and Students Call 800-424-8567

A special music collection for blind and physically handicapped individuals was authorized by Congress in 1962 as part of the free national library program of braille and recorded books and magazines administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress. With the cooperation of composers and publishers who grant permission to use copyrighted works, NLS selects and produces 1). music scores in braille and large-print formats, and 2). music magazines and books about music and musicians in large-print, braille, and recorded formats.

The Collection
The music collection, made up of some 30,000 books, scores, and instructional recordings, is a major resource for blind, partially sighted, and physically handicapped musicians, music students, and others who enjoy music.

Materials in braille make up the largest portion of the collection and include the standard repertoire for most instruments, vocal and choral music, some popular music, librettos, textbooks, instructional method books, and music periodicals. Braille is purchased comprehensively from international sources. The NLS Music Section also serves as an international clearinghouse for information about music that has been transcribed into braille and is available for individual purchase or for international interlibrary loan or purchase.

Large Print
Enlarged scores with a minimum of 14-point type size and a staff size of one inch are available for voice, piano, and other instruments. Patrons can also borrow books about music, including opera librettos, biographies of popular and classical musicians, general music histories, and some music reference books.

The material on discs and cassettes includes music theory, appreciation, and history; biographical sketches of musicians and examples of their art; interviews and master classes; and instruction for various instruments. Courses for beginning guitar, piano, organ, accordion, recorder, and voice, and in modern harmony have been purchased or specifically developed for the NLS program.

Musical recordings intended solely for entertainment, however, are not part of the free library program since these materials are readily available from stores and local libraries.

Talking Book Survey -
Cassette Books Working For You

1. How many cassette books do you receive each month? 2. How many of these books are missing cassettes? 3. How many of these books include cassettes from other books? 4. How many of these books do not play properly? 5. Do you notify us when a book has any of the problems listed above? 7. Which of the following describes your age? 8. Which of the following describe your reason for using talking books. (Please mark all that apply.) Thank you for your responses. If you would like to make additional comments on this topic or suggest a topic for a future survey, please contact us: 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023; local 471-4038, toll-free long distance 800-742-7691; or email.

Order Form Listing

New Books in the NE Collection
To respond to the survey and order the items described in this issue: email; 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.

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