Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille S
January 2006                         Vol. 30 No. 1

Nominees Sought for Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service is seeking to fill three vacancies. The purpose of the committee is to represent the needs of talking book and braille borrowers and to make recommendations concerning library policies, services, and programs. Membership consists primarily of library users but may include librarians, educators, health care providers, and others who understand the needs of individuals with disabilities. Normally the committee meets twice a year.

Interested persons should contact Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023 by March 1, 2006. Phone: 402-471-4038 or 800-742-7691, fax: 402-471-6244, e-mail: Talking Book and Braille Service.

Adaptive Technology Center Offers Computer Access

Ever wanted to use a public-access computer for braille embossing, word processing, or to search the Internet? The Talking Book and Braille Service offers an adaptive technology workstation specially designed for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or physically disabled. Recent additions include IBM Home Page Reader, which reads Internet web pages and other applications such as Word documents. We are now acquiring an adaptive keyboard with oversized keys that are arranged alphabetically instead of QWERTY.

Use of the workstation is free, except braille embossing costs four cents per sheet. We are considering whether or not to purchase voice recognition software, so that a user could control the computer by voice or by combining voice with a keyboard and a mouse. If you think you might be willing to visit the library in order to use voice recognition software, please let us know. We would like to understand the need before we decide to make a purchase.

New Movies Old Time Radio

Here are the newest movies added to our collection. Each of these VHS movies features audio description, which is an additional audio track that describes the visual elements of the program - the action, characters, locations, costumes and sets - without interfering with the program's dialogue or sound effects.

If you like old-time radio, here are some additions to our collection that might interest you:

To request movies with audio description or old-time radio, please contact your Readers Advisors.

New Cassette Books


Aira in Red
RC 961

by John Wallace Creighton

read by Lois Wendell

2 cassettes

Even though Barc has his own troubles trying to keep his California construction projects alive, he refuses to walk away from the nightmare of a beautiful and musically talented stranger named Aira. Attracted in ways he could never have imagined, Barc saves her from murderous relatives and helps to uncover secrets surrounding her birth and inheritance. Contains some violence and strong language.

Heart of the Sandhills
RC 982

by Stephanie Grace Whitson

read by Norman Simon

2 cassettes

With the 1862 Sioux Uprising behind them, Daniel Two Stars and Genevieve LaCroix are finally husband and wife, living as renters on a small parcel of land in the Minnesota Sandhills. Racial tensions hinder reconciliation with their white neighbors. In spite of Genevieve's protests, Daniel accepts another stint as an army scout. Book three in The Dakota Moons series.


Once Upon a Farm
RC 986

by Bob Artley

read by Judy Hanefeldt

1 cassette

Iowa cartoonist recounts his own childhood memories growing up on the farm. Beginning with spring, a time of "mud, frost, hope," the author describes the joys and the responsibilities that came with the changing seasons.

Biting the Dust: The Wild Ride and Dark Romance of the Rodeo Cowboy and the American West
RC 986

by Dirk Johnson

read by Dennis Lorance

2 cassettes

The Denver bureau chief of The New York Times spent a year on the professional rodeo circuit with the cowboys. He recounts their hard lives, constant risks of serious injury, triumphs and disappointments, continuous travel, and low pay. This personalized account cuts through the romanticized image to reveal the stark reality of life for the typical American rodeo cowboy. Contains some strong language.

Great Reads for Cold Nights

During Nebraska's chilly months, you might take comfort in knowing there are places that are even colder. Here are some good books, fiction and nonfiction, written about cold climates.

RC 45784 Far North, by Will Hobbs

A plane goes down in the Canadian wilderness, stranding two fifteen-year-old boys and an Indian elder. Before he dies, the elder teaches the boys survival skills that may sustain them in their struggle against hunger, predators, and the severe northern winter. For junior and senior high readers.

RC 46207 The Reader's Companion to Alaska, edited by Alan Ryan

Twenty-eight mostly autobiographical essays by various authors describe Alaska. Beginning with John Muir's first sighting of Glacier Bay in 1879, the stories move chronologically to the 1990s. They provide a glimpse of the threat civilization poses to the forty-ninth state. For senior high and older readers.

RC 47405 Riddle of the Ice: a Scientific Adventure into the Arctic Myron Arms

Nautical adventure aboard a fifty-foot sailing cutter exploring the Arctic Ocean near Labrador. Perturbed by the large quantities of pack ice in the area in the summers of the early 1990s, the author investigates weather patterns and climate changes for explanations.

RC 47593 The Voyage of the Narwhal: a Novel, by Andrea Barrett

A nautical adventure of personal and scientific discovery blends elements of historical expeditions with fictional characters. In 1855 Erasmus Darwin Wells, a naturalist, accompanies his sister's fiancé, Zechariah Voorhees, on an Arctic voyage-ostensibly to trace the Franklin explorers who vanished years ago. But Zeke's ambitions go beyond that, and his crew has to fight for its own survival.

RC 48292 Sound: a Memoir of the Endurance Voyage, by Ernest Henry Shackleton

Shackleton's 1914-1917 account of how his plans to lead the first trans-Antarctic expedition became a survival saga after his ship, Endurance, was blocked and finally crushed by pack-ice. Describes the courage of men facing extremely harsh conditions. Covers Shackleton's valiant 800-mile trip in an open boat to bring back rescuers.

RC 48298 Chinook, by Miriam Chaikin

Joe Harney is a greenhorn, heading for the Alaskan goldfields. On the way he joins up with Andrew Steen and his great husky dog, Chinook. Together they come to the aid of a young woman, Kate Winslow. Joe falls for Kate and helps her out of many jams.

RC 51488 Voyage to the North Star: a Novel, by Peter Nichols

Schenck, a wealthy industrialist and aspiring big-game hunter, and Boden, a seaman who has lost his boat, wife, job, and reputation, launch an Arctic hunting expedition that no experienced seaman would undertake. Their depression-era adventures include a perilous voyage and a clash of cultures. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language.

RC 52714 My Season with Penguins: an Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb

A biologist records her two-month trip to McMurdo, Antarctica, with other researchers to study an Adelie penguin colony during the breeding season. She describes her travel preparations and the campsite, as well as the penguin's behavior while hatching the chicks. For grades 4-7.

RC 54386 The Northern Lights, by Lucy Jago

Account of the Norwegian physicist Kristian Olaf Birkeland (1867-1917), who unlocked the mystery of the aurora borealis. In an 1899 expedition to the Arctic Circle, Birkeland studied the phenomenon and presented theoretical and empirical proofs of his magnetic-field hypothesis. War, politics, and his own eccentricity affected his professional standing.

Students and Teachers: We Need to Hear from You!

We are planning a special outreach to schools and would like students and teachers to tell us their stories concerning how talking books have helped them. As we retell your story, we will respect confidentiality. Let us know how the Talking Book and Braille Service has contributed to success in the classroom. E-mail: Talking Book and Braille Service. Regular mail: Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023.

Free Magazines for History Buffs

If you ever wonder how past events impact our lives today, you might be interested in the following free cassette magazines from the Talking Book and Braille Service:

American History covers personalities, as well as social, political, military, and artistic themes that played a role in the development of our country. This bimonthly publication is produced by Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind.

Smithsonian, a monthly publication, offers a wide variety of articles about science, history, art, archaeology, and ecology. It also covers events at America's foremost museum, the Smithsonian Institution. It is produced by the Florida Regional Library.

If you would like to learn about your own state, you would enjoy Nebraska History, a quarterly publication of the Nebraska State Historical Society. This publication is recorded in the studios of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.

If you enjoy a fond flashback to the good ol' days, you would enjoy Reminisce and its companion magazine, Reminisce Extra. Published in alternating months, these two magazines are both recorded in our own studios.

To keep in touch with current events, you should try Time Magazine Monthly. Produced by Associated Services for the Blind, this monthly publication consists of selected articles from each weekly issue of Time.

To sign up for either of these new cassette magazines, please use the order form below or contact your Readers Advisor.

"Golden Oldies' from Our Studios

Here are more books, recorded in our studios in past years, that are still great to read. To order, please check the box next to the RC number and mail this page to the Talking Book and Braille Service, or contact your Readers Advisor.

  • RC 506 Complete Roadside Guide to Nebraska, by Alan Boye
    3 cassettes     Travel guide

  • RC 513 Eating Nebraska: Humorous Guide to Dining in the Cornhusker State, by Richard and Katherine Endacott
    2 cassettes     Restaurant reviews

  • RC 514 The Killing of Crazy Horse, edited by Robert A. Clark
    1 cassette     Nebraska history

  • RC 515 A Cowboy Detective: a True Story of Twenty-two Years with a World-Famous Detective Agency, by Charles A. Siringo
    3 cassettes     Autobiography

  • RC 517 Our Books, Our Wings: Books Nebraskans Read and Treasure, by edited by Chlorene Hardy and Roberta Fagan
    1 cassette     Favorite books

  • RC 523 Sister Sweet Ella, by Rosecrans Hoffman
    1 cassette     For Preschool-Grade 2

  • RC 524 Anna Banana, by Rosekrans Hoffman
    1 cassette     For K-Grade 4

  • RC 525 Constitution of the State of Nebraska of 1875, and Subsequent Amendments,
    1 cassette     Constitution and amendments to 1991

  • RC 526 Abandoned Prayers, by Greg Olsen
    3 cassettes     Crime story: contains strong language, violence, and sex

  • RC 527 Prairie Mother, by Oma Lou Myers
    3 cassettes     Biographical novel

  • RC 528 Indian Creek Memories: a Sense of Place, by R. Clark Mallam
    2 cassettes     Nebraska history

  • RC 529 Cowboys, Cooks, and Catastrophes, by Reba Pierce Cunningham
    1 cassette     Ranch life

  • RC 530 "Tis Music on the Wing, by Oma Lou Myers
    1 cassette     Devotional

  • RC 531 Jean Rides a Tiger to Washington: A Family Story, by Jean Simmons Wear
    2 cassettes      Autobiography

  • RC 532 Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, by Charles A. Eastman
    1 cassette     Native American biographies

  • RC 533 The Custer Wolf: Biography of an American Renegade, by Roger A. Caras
    1 cassette     Animal story

  • RC 534 Evil Obsession: The Annie Cook Story, by Nellie Snyder Yost
    2 cassette     Nebraska history

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 at 402-471-4038 or 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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