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

New Members Appointed to Advisory Committee

Kay Paulsen, a school media specialist, and Susan Roe, an orientation counselor, have recently been appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Talking Book and Braille Service. Their appointments are for two-year terms.

Kay lives in Lincoln; and Susan in Brady.

Reappointed for their second two-year terms are Candace Laursen and Cheryl Roblyer, both of North Platte.


Other members of the Advisory Committee are Alisa Gunther, of Gering; Roy Hobley, of Lincoln; Bruce Howe, of Wood River; Deb McWilliams, of Syracuse; and Kathy Tooker, of Omaha.


At the committee's spring meeting, the members approved revisions in the library's Loan and Interlibrary Loan policies. They helped plan library sessions at the Visually Impaired Peer Support (V.I.P.S.) spring state convention and offered advice concerning a poster campaign to begin this fall.

Five Best Places to Live

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) presented the 2003 AFB Livable Community Awards to honor the five best places to live in the United States for people who are blind or visually impaired. The awards recognize cities and towns that have developed solutions for facilitating the participation of blind or visually impaired people in community activities.

Charlotte, North Carolina, was named the best place to live. Second is Berkeley, California, followed by Kalamazoo, Michigan, and New York City. LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Louisville, Kentucky, tied for fifth.

AFB launched its Livable Communities Project to document environmental features such as the walkability of a city, availability of public transportation, cost of living, and availability of jobs at various skill levels that create or limit access for blind or visually impaired people.

Web Braille, Anyone?

This Internet service provides Braille in digital files. The site is password-protected and requires the use of special equipment for access. Web Braille contains the full text of over 4,400 Library of Congress braille books produced since 1992 and braille magazines produced since May 2001. Braille music scores and books have also been added.

Individual braille readers, schools, and other organizations that provide braille may be granted access to the site. To register for Web Braille, contact the library and be prepared to provide an e-mail address and a 6-to-8 character password.

Web Braille books can be located in two ways: 1. Use the National Library Service catalog at www.loc.gov/nls/web-blnd/advancedsearch.html.

2. Use the online version of Braille Book Review. Issues since 1997 are available at www.loc.gov/nls/bbr.

Web Braille files are in grade 2 (contracted) braille ASCII format. Files can be read online or downloaded for viewing offline or embossing with a braille display, braille-aware notetaker, or braille embosser.

(Paraphrased from "See Note" newsletter of the Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled.)

Studios Volunteers Receive Service Award

Nebraska's First Lady, Stephanie Johanns honored the Nebraska Library Commission's studio volunteers by presenting them with the 2003 First Lady's Outstanding Community Service Award in the Volunteer in the Arts category. 

Currently there are twenty-three volunteers active with the studios. Each year they record sixteen magazines and newsletters (146 issues) and twenty to twenty-five books. Last fiscal year these volunteers provide nearly 1,900 hours of volunteer service. Two of our studio magazines, Capper's and Report on Disability Programs, have the distinction of being accepted into the Library of Congress Quality Assurance Program and are distributed nationally by Library of Congress to other talking book libraries. 

In addition to magazines about Nebraska and the Midwest, studio volunteers provide the primary source of access to books written by distinguished Nebraska authors. 

Mrs. Johanns made the presentation at an awards luncheon held in conjunction with the 2003 Governor's Conference on Community Service. The luncheon took place at The Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.

Movie Theatre Installs Access System

Omaha's AMC Oak View Plaza 24 Theatre has installed Rear Window Captioning and DVS Theatrical systems in its theatre 20 for movie fans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. These systems enable audiences with hearing or vision loss to enjoy feature films with their families and friends the day and date of a film's general release, and during regular show times. 

The installation of these systems is the result of a unique partnership between the Omaha community and AMC Theatres, Inc. Bob Burns, president of the Omaha chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, approached AMC to request they make a local theatre accessible to patrons with sensory disabilities. He offered to raise matching funds to make his wish a reality. 

For visually-impaired moviegoers, descriptive narration is delivered through headsets without disturbing other audience members.

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 820 Frontier Children
by Linda Peavey & Ursula Smith
2 cassettes

This book presents a montage of childhood in the nineteenth-century West. From a wide range of primary and secondary sources, the authors bring together stories and images that erase the stereotypes and bring to life the infinite variety of the experiences of growing up in the American West. Narrated by Mike Wight.

RC 930 Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
by Ted Kooser
2 cassettes

Organized around the four seasons, this book uses humor and exquisite detail to describe the place the author calls home-the Bohemian Alps of southeastern Nebraska. At times recalling his Iowa childhood, Nebraska poet and author Ted Kooser celebrates quiet walks in the country, subtle beauty in the landscape, and the ways in which his neighbors care for each other. Narrated by Tami Works.

RC 931 Reflections on the Little Big Horn: 125 Years Later
by University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications
2 cassettes

This Little Bighorn retrospective was researched, written, edited, and designed by students and staff at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Covers the battle from Native American and United States Cavalry points of view. Discusses research that has shed new light on the events of June 25, 1876. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 937 We Rode the Orphan Trains
by Andrea Warren
1 cassette

This history of the Orphan Trains is told by individuals who traveled west by rail as part of the Children's Aid Society's "placing out" program. By interviewing riders first hand, the author attempts to capture the immediacy of their experiences. Narrated by Bonnie Quinn.


RC 833 Sun Dancer
by David London
3 cassettes

Clem Blue Chest, broken by the loss of his daughter, is uplifted by a vision he receives on a highway one summer night in 1990. Further guided by what is revealed to him in an unusual sun dance, Clem leads his reservation neighbors to regain their most sacred ground, the Black Hills of South Dakota. Strong language. Narrated by John Nellessen.

Cassette Magazines About Nebraska's "Good Life"

Here are some magazines, all recorded in our own studios, which focus on the good life we enjoy here in our state: 

Nebraska History, a quarterly publication of the Nebraska State Historical Society, features articles on the history and people of Nebraska. 

Published ten times a year by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraskaland showcases Nebraska's beautiful state parks and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Another magazine, Nebraska Life, published bimonthly, features events, travel and community profiles from different regions of Nebraska. 

Nebraska Sports, published twelve times a year, covers summer sports events such as golf, softball, and baseball, and follows other top Nebraska sports stories year-round. 

Networks is a monthly program guide for NETV, NETV2, and Nebraska Public Radio, taken from the Nebraska Public Television and Public Radio Web sites. 

Listserv for Knitters

VIP-SHEEP-TALK is a listserv for blind and visually impaired persons who enjoy yarn-related crafts-typically knitting or crocheting. However, individuals who enjoy other yarn-related crafts are invited to participate. You might enjoy joining this group if you want to share and learn patterns, learn about yarns and related supplies, or receive help on difficult patterns or stitches. Shop talk is about more than sheep! It can be about cotton, silk, goat, rabbit, man-made fibers, or anything else pertaining to a yarn craft. Advertising, however, is not allowed. E-mail attachments are not permitted, in order to reduce the spread of computer viruses. 

To subscribe, send a blank e-mail message to VIP-SHEEP-TALK-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. This listserv is not sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission. It is open to everyone, and all members may post messages and respond to messages.

Books Which Honor America's Veterans

Memorial Day, whose history extends back to the Civil War, is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in service to our country. Here are some books about the veterans of our armed forces. The first three books were recorded in our own studios. 

RC 823 Operation Recognition: Honoring Nebraska War Veterans
by Ivan Schoone 

A tribute to Nebraska war veterans, this book tells the courageous stories of Nebraskans who served their country in order to protect America's freedom. Both men and women veterans give their accounts of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. 

RC 826 A Few Survived: A Story of a Japanese Prisoner of War
by Robert L. Dowding, with Julie Liska 

In this true story of courage and perseverance, the author tells his very personal memories of leaving a small Nebraska town and being thrust into the unimaginable horrors of war. His work ethic, self-sufficiency, and faith in God helped him survive as a POW in Japan. Violence. For high school and adult readers. 

RC 909 War Memories
compiled by Agency Services, Lincoln Area Agency on Aging

A collection of stories, letters, poems, and observations on wars submitted by Life Line Magazine readers for its "Reveille for Writers!" Contest 2001 in observation of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Contains works ranging in scope from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm.

RC 36463 Navajo Code Talkers
by Nathan Aaseng 

During World War II, nearly 4,000 Navajo Indians answered the call to serve in the U.S. military, despite the legacy of Native American genocide. Perhaps their most important contribution to the war effort was the development and use of a special code by a select corps of marines known as the Code Talkers. The unbreakable communications code was based on the Navajo language, and proved invaluable in the Pacific theater. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 

RC 43263 She Went to War: The Rhonda Cornum Story
by Rhonda Cornum as told to Peter Copeland 

Army flight surgeon Rhonda Cornum's memoir of her ordeal in 1991, as a severely injured prisoner-of-war in the Persian Gulf. Recounts the downing of her helicopter over enemy territory, her harrowing captivity by Iraqi forces, and her jubilant return home. Strong language and violence. 

RC 44004 The Bridges of Toko-ri
by James A. Michener 

A bitter novel of the Korean War. Pilot Harry Brubarker of Task Force 77 is sent to bomb and destroy the communist-held bridges at Toko-ri to prevent supplies from being moved to the front lines. Married and the father of two small children, Harry questions why he has to risk his life in a senseless war. 

RC 44351 Courage Under Fire
by Patrick Sheane Duncan 

His army career stalled by a friendly-fire incident in the Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling is handed the job of finding out whether a female chopper pilot deserves the Medal of Honor. Serling sorts through conflicting evidence to uncover a truth that could destroy the woman's reputation but save his own career. Strong language and violence. 

RC 47490 The Greatest Generation
by Tom Brokaw 

Recalling his coverage of the fortieth anniversary of D-Day in 1984, reporter Brokaw describes World War II veterans as "the greatest generation any society has produced." Profiles individuals who sacrificed for their country, including Thomas Broderick-who founded the Blinded Veterans Association-and businessman Bob Bush, who lost an eye in a heroic rescue mission. 

RC 53437 War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars
edited by Andrew Carroll, forward by Douglas Brinkley 

Anthology of correspondence written by Americans involved in hostilities, from the Civil War to 1990s Bosnia. Includes letters from William Sherman, George Custer, Francis Gary Powers, and George Bush, as well as from common soldiers, nurses, journalists, and other participants. Editor's notes indicate the fate of each writer. Some strong language.

Helpful Hint...

Question: I am experiencing difficulty playing a cassette. Is it the player or the book? 

Answer: Try other books to see if it is the cassette or the player that is the problem. If several cassettes behave the same way, then your player probably needs servicing. Call us at 800-742-7691 or 402-471-4038, because we might be able to offer you some advice concerning the operation of your cassette player. Also, there might be a public library near you where you can exchange your malfunctioning player for one that works. 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.

  • Nebraska History
  • Nebraska Life
  • Nebraska Sports
  • Nebraskaland
  • Networks
  • RC 820
  • RC 823
  • RC 826
  • RC 833
  • RC 909
  • RC 930
  • RC 937
  • RC 36463
  • RC 43263
  • RC 44004
  • RC 44351
  • RC 47490
  • RC 53437
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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