Wednesday, June 8, 2011 • • News Release

2003 News Releases

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09-30-03 - Texas State Library to share the joy of Texas literature at the National Book Festival, Oct. 4, 2003
09-04-03 - Talking Book Week, Sep. 13-20, 2003: The Many Faces of Texans with Disabilities
05-13-03 - Texas Talking Book Program recording studio receives national recognition
03-10-03 - Learn to deliver 21st Century library services, develop a better Spanish collection, write winning grant applications, plan for your summer reading club, and more--from the Texas State Library

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September 30, 2003
Texas State Library to share the joy of Texas literature at the National Book Festival, Oct. 4, 2003

Austin - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission will highlight Texas literature, authors, and libraries at the third annual National Book Festival, Sat., Oct. 4, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Texas State Librarian Peggy D. Rudd will represent Texas in the festival's Pavilion of the States.

Notes Rudd, "The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to participate in the National Book Festival and share information about Texas literature and authors. A lifelong love of reading is a gateway to many opportunities. If even one family who visits with us at the festival discovers their local library in response, we'll have succeeded."

Rudd expects to visit with more than 1,000 people during the one-day festival concerning the value of reading, as well as touting the talents of Texas children's authors. In addition to Texas maps, reproductions of Texas historic documents, and thousands of posters and bookmarks for children, Rudd and volunteers will distribute "Texas Tales for Children," a booklist of 25 titles for Toddlers to Young Adults.

One Texas children's author and book will be included in a national booklist for children compiled by the National Book Festival. Noted author and illustrator Carmen Lomas Garza and her book Family Pictures will represent Texas and its diversity. In the bilingual book, Ms. Garza beautifully illustrates her memories of growing up in South Texas.

The National Book Festival will feature more than eighty award-winning authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers. Click here for more information.

A grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services has made Texas' participation in the National Book Festival possible.

Texas gears up for its own highly acclaimed book festival, benefiting Texas' 500 public libraries. The Texas Book Festival will be held Nov. 7-9, 2003, at the Texas State Capitol. Visit

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September 4, 2003
Talking Book Week, Sep. 13-20, 2003: The Many Faces of Texans with Disabilities

Austin - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to announce Talking Book Week, Sep. 13-20, 2003. All over Texas, community members will be publicizing this life-enriching service for individuals with physical, visual and learning disabilities who are unable to read standard print and may qualify for the Talking Book Program.

This free service provides books and magazines on tape, in large print and Braille in both English and Spanish. Large print musical scores also are available. More than 70 magazines are available including: Texas Monthly, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Materials are shipped postage paid, directly to the patron's home. The program is funded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and by the Library of Congress through its division, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

During Talking Book Week, community advocates, librarians, and TBP staff will be emphasizing the diversity of Texans benefiting from the program. The many faces of Texans served by this program include:

  • 17 year-old student with dyslexia in San Angelo �
  • 57 year-old woman in San Antonio whose physical disabilities are a result multiple sclerosis �
  • 21 year-old college student at Texas A&M whose visual loss is due to albinism �
  • 65 year-old Dallas woman with retinitis pigmentosa �
  • Many Texans over the age of 100 who qualify with various visual and physical disabilities
  • A complete list of patrons available for media interviews

Each year more than 20,000 Texans use the program.

Peggy Rudd, state librarian, noted, "We are serving 20,000 eligible Texans, but we estimate that approximately 300,000 Texans with physical, visual and learning disabilities may qualify for this free service. We want them to know that their local public librarians can assist them with enrollment." During Talking Book Week, many events are planned around the state at local libraries, schools and senior centers to help raise awareness about this free service.

Texas public libraries have information about the Talking Book Program and are ready to assist members of their communities who have physical, visual, or learning disabilities. Librarians may certify the applications for visual and physical disabilities. More information and applications may be downloaded at: or by calling 1-800-252-9605.

For more information, contact Roxanne Elder
512-463-5452 or 800-252-9605

Talking Book Program Qualifications at a glance:

Individuals qualify if they:
1. Have prescription glasses, yet are unable to read standard print material without additional magnification devices
2. Have physical limitations that prevent them from holding books or turning pages or if they are unable to do this for an extended period of time.
3. Are legally blind
4. Have reading disabilities due to an organic dysfunction (an M.D. or D.O. must certify).
5. Severe chemical allergies that prevent someone from reading a book.

Remember: you may qualify with a temporary disability. We have patrons recovering strokes, challenged with severe fatigue due to illness, in hospice, recovering from severe accidents, etc. As long as they currently meet one of the qualifying disabilities they can be enrolled with a temporary disability.

Download applications (in English and Spanish) at A public librarian may certify visual and physical disabilities. You will need a medical doctor to certify learning disabilities.

Talking Book Program Patrons available for interviews

We believe one of the best ways to tell the story of how the Talking Book Program can enrich lives is to hear firsthand from our diverse patron base of Texans with disabilities. These Talking Book patrons have volunteered to be interviewed. To respect the privacy of our patrons, we have listed only their first names. If you are interested in contacting one of our patrons for an interview, please contact Roxanne Elder at 512-463-5452 or 800-252-9605.

Sample of Patrons available for Media Work / Talking Book Program 2003

Name and City Age Type of Disability Occupation
Panhandle and West Texas
Ken 40 Blind Graduate Student
Catherine 54 Visual Disability Retired/Teacher Assistant
San Angelo
Lawson 17 Dyslexic Student
El Paso
Christina 10 Cerebral Palsy Student
Cheryl (mother of Christina who can share what this program has meant to her daughter)
North Texas
Donna 71 Visual Disability Retired
Nancy, PhD 52 Visual Disability University Professor
Michelle 53 Blind / Diabetes Has worked at a telecommunications firm for 27 years
Edith 92 Macular Degeneration Retired secretary with the Veterans Administration
Jewell 88 Macular Degeneration Retired secretary
Mary 86 Macular Degeneration Retired Registered Nurse
Gary 67 Blind Retired Naval Petty Officer
Fort Worth
Betty 70 Stroke Retired Child Care Worker
Barbara 67 Blind / rare genetic disease  
Kelly 34 Visual Disability / Blepharospasm CPA/Mother of 2
Gulf Coast
Sandra 64 Blind / Uveitis Retired Math Teacher
Julie 12 Visual / Physical (Dwarfism) Disability Student
Earl 74 Macular Degeneration Retired from NASA
Corpus Christi
D.J. 67 Physical Disability / Post Polio Syndrome Retired
Central Texas
Joe 86 Macular Degeneration Retired owner of auto parts store and former mayor
Ralph 85 Macular Degeneration Retired Army Sergeant
Norma 56 Blind Attorney
Dana 64 Visual and Physical Disability  
Catherine 18 Brain Injury Student / Home Schooled
Virginia 68 Visual Disability due to Motorcycle Accident Retired Treasury Agent
Jason 14 Dyslexia Student
  (His mother, Cynthia available to be interviewed on how the program has helped with his schoolwork)
Richie 34 Visual Disability Tech. Help Desk / Local School District
San Antonio
Patricia 32 Visual Disability Rehab Counselor / Army Nursing Facility
Alfred 80 Visual Disability / Diabetes Retired Superintendent of Steel Mill, Illinois
Mary 57 Multiple Sclerosis Retired Insurance Agent
Dorothy 85 Macular Degeneration Retired


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May 13, 2003
Texas Talking Book Program recording studio receives national recognition

Local recording of Justis Colt to be added to the Library of Congress

Austin – The Texas Talking Book Program recently received national recognition when its recording of Justis Colt by Don Bendell fully met the rigorous quality standards of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The local recording was added to the national collection of talking books and will be duplicated and made available to talking book patrons throughout the nation. Justis Colt is the third title recorded in Texas to be accepted into the national collection. Only ten books in the nation have met the stringent national standards.

Quality Assurance Specialist Christopher Mundy reviews the regional recordings submitted for potential inclusion in the national collection. He states, “[The Texas Talking Book Program recording studio] has earned a well-deserved reputation throughout the network for outstanding results and leadership in the field of volunteer-produced talking books.”

Talking Book Program Director Ava M. Smith notes, “This recognition for our recording studio is really a testament to the hard-working volunteers and staff who record books for the enjoyment of our patrons.” According to Smith, approximately 20,000 Texans currently benefit from the Talking Book Program, which provides books in alternative format for people who cannot read standard print due to a disability. “Through our acceptance in the Quality Assurance Program of NLS, our Texas-recorded materials will have a national audience,” says Smith.

Volunteer recording team Ev Lunning, Jr. and Brent Holcomb, both from Austin, Texas, completed the recording of all three of the nationally-recognized titles recorded in Texas. In addition to Justis Colt, the other titles that have been added to the national collection are Footnotes: A Memoir by Tommy Tune and Trespasses: Portrait of a Serial Rapist by Howard Swindle.

Narrator Ev Lunning, Jr. has volunteered with the Talking Book Program since 1992 and has logged more than 900 volunteer hours with the recording studio, narrating 39 projects. Lunning is assistant professor at St. Edward’s University, teaching theatre and communication. Lunning has appeared in and directed a number of theatre productions in Austin. He has also worked as voice coach and dialect consultant for Austin productions. Lunning is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Monitor Brent Holcomb has volunteered with the Talking Book Program since 1994 and has contributed more than 425 hours to the recording studio, monitoring 25 projects. Holcomb is currently narrating his first book with the studio, Aztec Love God by Tony Diaz. He is a teacher at Coupland ISD.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission will formally recognize Lunning’s and Holcomb’s achievements, in addition to the efforts of the other volunteers and staff of the recording studio, at their May 19, 2003, meeting. The public meeting will be held at 12:45 p.m., room 314 of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, 1201 Brazos, Austin.

The Texas Talking Book Program, a service of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, provides books and magazines in alternative formats (audiocassette, Braille and large print) free of charge to Texans with visual, physical and learning disabilities that prevent them from reading standard print. To learn more, visit or call 512-463-5458 or 800-252-9605.

For information on volunteering in the Talking Book Program recording studio in downtown Austin, call 512-463-5546 or visit its Web site.

Contact the Public Information Office

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March 10, 2003
Learn to deliver 21st Century library services, develop a better Spanish collection, write winning grant applications, plan for your summer reading club, and more--from the Texas State Library

Librarians invited to attend a number of TSL-sponsored programs during the Texas Library Association annual conference, Apr. 1-4, in Houston

Austin - Are you one of 7,000 Texas Library Association conference attendees planning to be in Houston Apr. 1-4? Do you want to take your library's services to the next level? Or find out what's around the corner for statewide library services? Then plan to visit with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the TLA conference.

The Texas State Library will be participating in seventeen programs for librarians, covering a wide range of timely topics. Of particular note is "Take the Wheel: Shaping Public Library Development" on Fri., Apr. 4, which is an open forum to discuss the future of public library development in Texas. Hear a status report from library consultant Bill Wilson about the statewide public library development study now underway in Texas.

On Wed., Apr. 2, the State Library invites conferees to hear the latest information about TexShare services during "TexShare: Growing with Texas Libraries." Learn of the next generation of library resource sharing services in Texas, the Library of Texas, during "The Library of Texas: 21st Century Services." Also on Wednesday, brainstorm some creative ideas for bringing the 2003 Texas Reading Club "Mission Possible: Spy a Book!" into your library this summer. Hear how libraries have successfully increased public access to their collections in "TexTreasures Success Stories."

On Thu., Apr. 3, take a closer look at some successful museum/library partnerships in "Creative Collaboration: Museums and Libraries." Get the most out of the TexShare databases for your genealogy research-find out how in "From Princes to Beggars: Uncovering the Past." Get some creative ideas in "Winning LSTA Grant Programs" and meet G. Brian Karas, illustrator of this year's Texas Reading Club artwork, in "Texas Reading Club Illustrated."

On Fri., Apr. 4, examine available resources and programs for seniors and their caregivers with "Seniority has its Privileges." Close out your conference agenda with "Multi-type Regional Cooperation," and give your library partnerships a jumpstart.

These are just a few of TLA's conference offerings during which State Library staff will be presenting. Peruse the TLA conference program for a full list of informative programs available.

In addition to participating in some stellar programs and pre-conferences, the Texas State Library invites you to visit with our knowledgeable staff in our exhibit booth, #1633. Get your questions answered regarding TexShare, the Texas Reading Club, Talking Book Program and the Resource Discovery Service, to name a few. Find out how to promote your library's services more effectively, and obtain the free School Library Resources packet. Come early to receive free Texas Reading Club posters, bookmarks and notepads.

For more information about the Texas Library Association annual conference, visit TLA's Web site.

Contact the Public Information Office


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