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Braille & Talking Book Program | Newsletters | Fall 2010

Prairie Trails Newsletter Header

Volume 5, Issue 2 PDF Download | Fall 2010 | Edited by Colleen Kirby

Inside this issue:



News from Director

Staffing and Scheduling Changes

Over the past three months some of you may have noticed that when you call the Braille and Talking Book Program you are transferred to one of the Reader Advisors, not to the Reader Advisor you were assigned when you registered with the Program.

Readers will no longer be assigned a specific Reader Advisor. There are two Reader Advisors for adults and institutions, and one Reader Advisor for youth and schools.

All of our Reader Advisors can provide you with quality service. This change has been made so that the Braille and Talking Book Program can provide quality service to all of our patrons. Several months ago we discovered that although the program serves over 2,000 individuals and institutions, we were contacting fewer than 25% of them on a regular basis.

To remedy the problem Reader Advisors are assigned time every day to make outgoing calls. In order to help us to continue to maintain high quality service, we encourage you, when possible, to prepare your book orders in advance of telephoning or to submit orders via mail, fax, voice-mail or email.

We recommend that those who have access to the Internet consider the use of our Web OPAC, which allows registered patrons to search titles and order audio books online. Also, for those with digital players, the use of BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is recommended as a way to download and receive digital books efficiently. More information on the use of the Web OPAC and/or BARD can be provided upon request.

Production of Cassette Books Comes to an End

National Library Service has stopped production of cassette books. All new recorded books are now only available on digital cartridge or for download from BARD.

At the South Dakota State Library, we are also planning to change our recording studios from analog to digital by the end of the year. Once the change takes place books, magazines, and other items recorded in the studios will only be available in digital format.

If you are still using a cassette player to read your books, you will not be able to read any of the newest recorded books or South Dakota books and magazines that become available. Also, we’ve learned from NLS staff that the lifespan of the cassette player is not expected to last much beyond the next three years. As many of you know, the actual production of new cassette players stopped in 2007, so the only cassette players now available are refurbished machines. NLS has stockpiled spare parts to last for three years; we will continue to repair cassette players for as long as we are able to get the parts. Right now, we have a good supply of refurbished machines and are able to send a cassette player to any patron who wants one.

We would urge everyone, however, to sign up for a new digital talking book machine (DTBM), if you have not already done so. We have these new players in stock, and patrons who are using the new DTBM have nothing but praise for their ease of use and the excellent sound quality. If you are interested in signing up for a DTBM, please contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665 and ask for the Braille and Talking Book Program or send an email to talkbkreq@state.sd.us Email Link to BTB.

The States Take Over BARD!

BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download and it is one of the NLS programs that started in late 2007. Currently it offers digital downloadable books and magazines, but NLS plans to consolidate it with Web Braille in the future. The administration of the BARD site has moved from NLS to the states. South Dakota took over the reins for BARD on May 18.

For those of you using BARD, the only change you saw with the transfer was the South Dakota State Library name and logo on the website. Everything else such as passwords and procedures remained the same.

For those who haven’t considered signing up for BARD, give it some thought. It gives you instant access to thousands of books without having to wait on mail times or availability of library copies.

In order to use BARD, you will need a digital player, a computer with high-speed internet access and an e-mail account. While you can download books to jump drives, we strongly recommend you also have a blank digital cartridge and a USB cable with male and female connector ends.

For more information on setting up a BARD account, call Marcia Kaup at 1-800-423-6665. She will be happy to get you started.

Help the Braille and Talking Book Program Recover Missing Digital Books

The Braille and Talking Book Program is receiving a lot of empty digital book cases from patrons who forget to put the digital book in the case before sending it back. We also receivecases with the wrong digital books inside. When you send digital books back to us, please be sure to put the right book inside of the right case.

We keep track of digital books and loan them out as soon as we get them back. Keeping track of digital books is especially important because digital books cost nearly $9 each to produce. After you have read your digital books, please send them back in their correct cases so that your neighbors can enjoy them too.

Thanks for your help.

About Those Overdues

The Braille and Talking Book Program is continuing to send overdue notices on a monthly basis.

Getting an overdue notice doesn’t mean that you are not a reader in good standing. It simply means that we are trying to keep an accurate record of our collection and making sure that our books continue to circulate on a regular basis. Now that we are making the transition to digital material, we have been ordering fewer copies of cassette titles, and our collection of digital cartridges is still quite small. Titles by popular authors are always in high demand and waiting lists can be long. Prompt returns keep waiting lists short for everyone.

Our current loan policy states that books must be returned within six weeks after receiving them. If you need to keep books for an extended period, please contact the library and request that the books be renewed for another six weeks. If you have difficulty reading books within the six week period, you might also consider ordering fewer books at a time. If you should receive an overdue notice for books you have already returned or never received, just let us know and we will remove them for your patron record.

Shape Your Service

Are you finding that more and more of the books you receive don’t match your reading interests? In the mood to try something new? Don’t give up! Here are a couple of ways we can help tailor your service to match your preferences.

If you are an Autoselect patron, your books are chosen for you based upon your author and subject preferences. You are always welcome to tell us which authors and types of books you like, as well as those authors and books you don’t like.

Oftentimes, however, whole subjects may offer a selection of books that is too broad for your liking. That is why we have subheadings for each subject. For example, if you like Romances, we can narrow your preference down even further to only include Romance/Gentle, Christian/Inspirational, or Mystery/Historical (just to name a few).

Also, your account may be filled with too many subject preferences. It may be worth removing some of your subject preferences that are older and don’t match your current interests.

You are welcome to make changes to your account at any time, and any changes you request will take effect immediately. But don’t worry; authors and subjects can always be added back onto your list later on. None of your preferences are written in stone!

So call us at 800-423-6665 or send us an email at talkbkreq@state.sd.us Email Link to BTB if you’re interested in shaking things up a bit. Many great authors and books don’t fit neatly into a specific subject, but when we have some clues to work with we hope you’re delighted by what we find for you.

New Magazines

Please let us know if you would be interested in receiving the following publications available on audio:

Vantage Point – A Christian Talking Magazine for the Blind featuring interviews and inspirational articles on health and fitness, the environment, travel, music, the arts, and stories of personal accomplishment, Vantage Point offers variety and inspiration. Published by the Christian Record Services. This magazine is sent out quarterly.

Vital Speeches of the Day – Each monthly issue features eight to ten speeches by individuals who have attained leadership in the fields of economics, politics, finance, education, sociology, health, government, criminology, law, business, taxation, and labor. It is the policy of the magazine to cover both sides of public questions and to print speeches in full.

Fisheries – The American Fisheries Society (AFS), founded in 1870, is the oldest and largest professional society representing fisheries scientists. The AFT promotes scientific research and enlightened management of aquatic resources for optimum use and enjoyment by the public. It also encourages comprehensive education of fisheries scientists and continuing on-the-job training.

National Resource Directory Website for Military and Veteran Communities

The US Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs are pleased to introduce the re-designed and enhanced National Resource Directory Web site, www.NationalResourceDirectory.gov Web Link to National Resource Directory.

The site was created for Wounded Warriors, Veterans and their families and caregivers. The new National Resource Directory has proved to be a useful tool for service providers who support the military and Veterans communities.

Staff Book Picks for Adults

Marcia has recently read The Man from Stone Creek Book cover of The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller. DB & RC 62721 (DB is available only on BARD). Ranger Sam O'Ballivan has come to Haven, Arizona, to catch a band of rustlers. Posing as the new schoolteacher, he will have a bunch of unruly kids to put in order, including the brother of the charming postmistress, Maddie Chancelor. 2006.

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. DB069591(Also available on BARD). Defiant, troubled seventeen-year-old Ronnie is not happy to leave New York for a summer in North Carolina with the musician father she hasn't spoken to in three years. But an unexpected romance and a bittersweet reconnection with her father changes her attitude. 2009.

Mary recommends Black Hills by Nora Roberts. DB & RC 69690 (Also available on BARD). Childhood friends and briefly young lovers, former New York cop Cooper and cougar expert Lil are uneasily reunited years later when Coop returns to South Dakota to help his injured grandfather. Now they must work together to outsmart a killer. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2009.

Going Rogue: An American Life Book cover of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue by Sarah Palin. DB & RC 69901 (Also available on BARD). Autobiography of former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vicepresidential candidate. Palin chronicles her childhood, her college years, and the beginning of her political career in her hometown of Wasilla. Discusses her family, political beliefs, and hopes for the future. Bestseller. 2009.

Rogue by Danielle Steel. DB & RC 66998 (Also available on BARD). Maxine Williams, Manhattan child psychiatrist and mother of three, is divorced from billionaire Blake when she meets Dr. Charles West. Blake continues his hedonistic lifestyle—until he funds an orphanage in Morocco. But when Maxine decides to remarry, Blake realizes he wants his family back. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2008.

Colleen recently read Maggie Without a Clue: a Maggie Kelly Mystery by Kasey Michaels. DB & RC 61779 (DB available only on BARD). Manhattan mystery writer Maggie Kelly's editor, Bernice, awakens beside the corpse of her estranged and long-missing husband. Maggie tracks the man's killer with characters from her Regency-era novels who have come to life—attractive viscount Alexandre Blake (aka Alex Blakely) and Sterling Balder. Sterling is later kidnapped. Some strong language. 2004.

You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall. DB & RC 63933 (DB available only on BARD). Puzzle Lady Cora Felton, the public face of her niece Sherry's crossword creations, finds herself arrested for murder. the victim—Benny Southstreet, a small-time gambler and crossword-puzzle writer--had accused Cora of plagiarism. Cora works to clear her name without revealing her and Sherry's secret partnership. Some strong language. 2006.

Patron Book Picks for Adults

Jim Nantz's Always by My Side

Always by My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other by Jim Nantz. DB & RC 67078 (Also available on BARD). CBS sportscaster Nantz recounts his career, which has included calling the play-byplays at the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the Masters. Offers anecdotes about the athletes and coworkers he's befriended over the years and memories of his beloved father—his mentor until Alzheimer's took its toll. Comment by patron: A wonderful and heartwarming book, Great read!

If you have books that you would like to recommend to other readers, please let us know. We need the title and author and why you liked the book.

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Kids/Teens News

Staff Book Picks for Our Younger Readers

Josh recommends Savvy Book cover of Ingrid Law's Savvy by Ingrid Law. DB069819 (also available on BARD). Thirteenth birthdays in the Beaumont family reveal a magical power unique to the honoree. After Fish learns to cause hurricanes and Rocket to make electricity, Mibs eagerly awaits her turn. But Poppa has a terrible accident and all Mibs wants is to save him. For grades 4-7. Newbery Honor Book. 2008.

The Hunger Games, Book 1 by Suzanne Collins. DB & RC 68384 (also available on BARD). In a future North America, Panem's rulers maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting teens from twelve districts in a fight to the death. Sixteen-yearoldsKatniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are this year's girl and boy contestants from District Twelve. Some violence. For junior and senior high readers. 2008.

Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2 by Suzanne Collins. DB & RC 69689 (also available on BARD). Victorious district twelve tributes Katniss and Peeta, from the Hunger Games, have secured lives of safety and plenty for themselves and their families. But because they won by defying the rules, they have unwittingly incited a rebellion. Some violence. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2009.

Colleen recommends The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. DB & RC 65403 (DB available only on BARD). Spokane Indian Reservation. Fourteen-year-old Junior—beset with physical problems caused by brain damage—transfers to an all-white town school. Called a traitor by his best friend and Tonto by his new classmates, Junior uses humor and wit to bridge the cultural divide. Some strong language. For junior and senior high readers. 2007.

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Rain or Shine by Erica Silverman. DB & RC 67919 (also available on BARD). Cowgirl Kate and her horse Cocoa have adventures working and playing in all kinds of weather and realize that enjoying being together is what really matters. For grades K-3. 2008.

Summer Reading Program

The 2010 Summer Reading Program concluded on July 16. This was the twentieth year of the program which is open to children 7 to 15 years of age who read audio books or Braille format. Participants are registered with the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program. This year the program was supported by the South Dakota Lion’s Foundation and the Rapid City Lions.

Twenty-six children participated in Summer Reading with six children completing all three reading levels. Those completing the Summer Reading Program were Rachael Jorgensen, Ward; Jennifer Busch, Alcester; Jordan Harkless, Hayti; Sarah Dolney, Webster; Emily Busch, Alcester; and Rachel Johnson, Sioux Falls. Those completing the program participated in a drawing, with prizes ranging from computer games to the Book Port Plus.

Website for Students with Disabilities

A website to serve college students with disabilities has been developed by a Louisiana State University student who has a learning disability. The website was developed in an effort to connect and integrate students with learning disabilities as a virtual community with a voice on important issues. The website can be accessed at weconnectnow.wordpress.com Web Link to We Connect Now web site.

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Bookbag News for Teachers and Parents

2011/12 School Year Textbook Deadline is Fast Approaching

January 15, will be here before we know it. That is the deadline for schools to order textbooks in alternative formats for the 2011/12 school year. Why so early? Producing textbooks in large print and braille can take anywhere from six weeks to nine months. Although we will accept textbook orders whenever we receive them, we can only guarantee that orders placed by January 15, will be delivered by the beginning of the school year. Please place your textbook orders on time and help us make sure that every child has his/her textbooks on the first day of school.

If you have any questions about ordering textbooks in alternative formats, please call Karen, Educational Materials Coordinator, at 1-800-423-6665.

Conquer College with LD/ADD

Joan Azarva has created a new blog to assist students with learning disabilities in making the transition from high school to college. Ms. Azarva is a Learning Specialist. She created the blog for her son who has learning disabilities. You can find the blog at www.conquercollegewithld.com Web Link to Conquer College with LD and ADD.

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The Prairie Trails Newsletter is our means of communication with all patrons of the Braille and Talking Book Program. The Prairie Trails Newsletter is made available on audio and also in braille, in large print, or on a diskette upon request and is posted on our website.

If you have any questions or comments you would like to address, or wish to request this newsletter in an alternative format, please contact the SD Braille and Talking Book Program.

Write:
South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Program
800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501

Email: talkbkreq@state.sd.us Email Link to BTB

Phone: 1-800-423-6665

The SD Braille & Talking Book Program does not endorse any service or product listed in this newsletter.



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