Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille S

July 2006 Vol. 30 No. 4ISSN 0884-9684

Nebraska Sites Host Receptions

Talking book borrowers and their family members met with talking book staff this spring at two receptions. Fremont's Keene Memorial Library hosted a reception on May 24; and Ogallala's Senior Citizens Center hosted one on June 21.

Staff from the Talking Book and Braille Service presented information on ways to make better use of the service. They described new books, new magazines, and new movies with audio description; and they responded to questions from attendees.

Staff from Fremont's Keene Memorial Library and Ogallala's Goodall City Public Library described audio and large print books and other local public library services.

National Conference Looks to Digital Future

"75 Years and Counting: Moving into a Digital Reality" was the theme of the 2006 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals, held in Portland, Maine. Librarians glanced backward 75 years to 1931, the year in which the Pratt-Smoot Act authorized the Library of Congress to create the talking book and Braille program and its network of cooperative libraries. But for the rest of the conference, librarians looked ahead a few years to when digital talking books and digital players will usher in a new era of service. Digital books and players will probably begin to appear in late 2008.

The digital player, now under development, will be smaller and weigh less than the current Library of Congress cassette player but will offer improved sound quality and ease of use. It is being specifically designed to play talking books on flash memory, the new digital format chosen by Library of Congress. Digital talking books will continue to use human voice and will still be sent to and from borrowers through the mail as free matter.

A day-long preconference on local digital recording provided information and advice to network libraries that record regional books and magazines. Studios within the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service already use digital technology to record, even though Nebraska books and magazines still circulate on audio cassette.

Children's Program Now with Audio Description

Taken from the popular public television series, thirty nine VHS home movies chronicle the adventures of eight-year-old Arthur Read, the world's most famous aardvark, along with his four-year-old sister D.W., and their family and friends. Based on the best-selling children's books by Marc Brown, these programs, which have been formatted for visually impaired viewers, are now available through the Talking Book and Braille Service.

Each movie is a descriptive video, which means it includes an additional sound track used to describe the action, character, locations, costumes and sets. This is done without interfering with the program's dialogue or sound effects. To request Arthur or to request a catalog of our descriptive video collection, please contact your Readers Advisor.

West Entrance Now Closed

Borrowers who visit the Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service might appreciate knowing that they need to use the building's main entrance, located on the north side of N Street, midway between 12th and 13th Street. Formerly, another option was to enter the building on 12th Street. The 12th Street entrance is now closed.

New Format Coming for Movies and Old-Time Radio Programs

Movies that feature a second sound track used to describe the characters, action, and settings have long been available to home viewers on VHS tape. Now that the retail market has shifted toward DVD, the Talking Book and Braille Service will begin to purchase new releases of home entertainment movies in the DVD format. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to buy movies on VHS as well.

A similar change in format is happening with old-time radio programs. These programs have been available on audio cassette tape, though now they are being offered on compact disc (CD). We anticipate making this change as well.

New Cassette Books



The Sound of Sight
RC 993

by Neil Halford
read by Judy Hanefeldt
2 cassettes

At age two, Neil Halford was kicked in the face by a horse and blinded for life. Today Neil, a motivational speaker, is married to his high school sweetheart, and they have two beautiful children. In order to overcome his disability, Neil drew from the unconditional love of his family, and also developed an extraordinary sense of hearing. During high school he was a medalist at the Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament, and was later selected as the "Fastest Skier on the Mountain" at the John Elway Ski Race.

Cassette Magazines for Summer Reading

If summertime makes you appreciate living on the prairie, then we have the cassette magazines for you. From our own recording studios come three selections. Capper's, a monthly 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. Great Plains Game and Fish, published monthly, describes fishing and hunting hot spots in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Gardening How-To, published bimonthly by the National Home Gardening Club, is filled with gardening tips, techniques, and equipment reviews. It is is produced by Associated Services for the Blind.

For information about destinations a little further from home, National Geographic Traveler, a bimonthly produced by the Florida Regional Library, 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. National Geographic en Español, also from Florida, is a Spanish language monthly publication that features reports on cultures, wildlife habitats, and notable scientific research worldwide.

Sunset: The Magazine of Western Living, a monthly publication, discusses what, when, and how to enhance your life in the West. It is produced by the Arizona Regional Library.

To request these magazines, please use the order form on page 7 or contact your Readers Advisor.

Books for Summer Reading

Long summer days are perfect for reading. Here are some great books to help you enjoy summer in Nebraska.

RC 45218 The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories, by Sarah Orne Jewett; edited with an introduction by Sarah Way Sherman

Poignant stories about late nineteenth- century life in a Maine fishing village. In the title story first published in 1886, a writer retreats to spend a quiet summer in a remote seaport, where she discovers a strong and cohesive community even as the town faces economic decline.

RC 45413 Children of Summer: Henri Fabre's Insects, by Margaret J. Anderson

A fictionalized account of the research of nineteenth- century entomologist Jean Henri Fabre. Fabre's ten-year-old son tells of his father's extensive studies on insect behavior. He describes the novel experiments and fascinating discoveries about beetles, wasps, moths, and other tiny creatures. For grades 5-8.

RC 47206 Kaaterskill Falls: a Novel, by Allegra Goodman

1970s. An ultra-Orthodox Jewish congregation led by Rabbi Kirshner summer each year in the Catskills. Area residents resent the summer people developing the wilds. There is also discord in the Kirshner household as the elderly rabbi decides which of his sons will be his successor. Other members of the synagogue struggle with maintaining their traditions in a secular world.

RC 477174 Summer of Deliverance by Christopher Dickey

Foreign correspondent Chris Dickey recalls his difficult relationship with his father, James Dickey, the famous poet and writer. Argues that the success of his father's first novel, Deliverance (RC 25291)-the 1971 movie-changed him for the worse. Chris describes avoiding his father for several years until shortly before James's death in 1997. Some strong language.

RC 47816 The Book of Famous Iowans: a Novel, by Douglas Bauer

A man remembers his twelfth summer, when it became public knowledge that his mother had taken up with a local baseball pitcher. Her departure ruptures his boyhood security, leaving him angry and bereft. Years later he still wonders why she never returned for him. Some strong language.

RC 48024 Her Blue Straw Hat, by C. S. Adler

Rachel is looking forward to spending the summer on Cape Cod at her stepfather's cottage. She gets alone fine with Ben-even better than she does with her mother, "M.J." But M.J. and Ben have some surprises in store for Rachel, and her summer may not be so great after all. For grades 5-8.

RC 48135 Dinosaur Summer, by Greg Bear

1947. Fifteen-year-old Peter is accompanying his father to Venezuela to return the last of the captive dinosaurs to their natural habitat. Members of a dinosaur circus join them on their arduous journey through jungles and across rivers. When they arrive, they are stranded with the beasts. For senior high and older readers.

RC 49844 Summer of '98: When Homers Few, Records Fell, and Baseball Reclaimed America, by Mike Lupica

Sportswriter and his three sons eagerly follow the amazing 1998 baseball season, which included the McGwire-Sosa home run duel, David Wells's perfect game, the end of Cal Ripken's streak, and the New York Yankees' world series victory.

RC 54561 Good Harbor: a Novel, by Anita Diamant

Two women, one fighting breast cancer and the other feeling isolated from her workaholic husband and teenage daughter, seek consolation and support in their friendship. As they spend the summer walking Good Harbor beach in Massachusetts, they share their personal histories and most guarded fears.

RC 56653 Summer of Pearls, by Mike Blakely

In 1944 Ben Crowell at eighty-four recalls events of 1874, his fourteenth summer. Then, during the pearl rush in Port Caddo, Texas, Judd Kelso, a local riverboat captain, was murdered, and Ben witnessed greed, was rescued from a steamboat explosion, and fell in love. Some strong language. Spur Award.

RC 58022 The Hills at Home, by Nancy Clark

Massachusetts, 1989. Aging Spinster Lily Hill's serene life is shattered when various family members arrive for the summer-and forget to leave. Also appearing is Andy, a graduate student who wants to use the clan for his thesis on intergenerational dynamics.

Golden Oldies

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

Interchange is published bimonthly by the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N St., Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023. Phone 402-471-4038 or 800-742-7691 (in Nebraska only). E-mail Talking Book and Braille Service. Preparation of this newsletter was supported in part by funds allocated through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services.
 Editor: David Oertli

Layout: Diane Wells

Design: Valerie Dayton
 ISSN: 0884-9644 Home page:  /tbbs

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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