Talking Book News Bulletin
Summer 2021

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Director's Report

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Read Across Texas: Dan Rather
Inactive Patron Accounts
Staff Profiles
Disability News
Texas Produced Books

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Director's Report


At the start of 2021, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) expanded the list of professionals who can certify the eligibility of applicants with reading disabilities. The list now includes reading specialists, educators, librarians, and school psychologists who can certify all qualifying disabilities. This change was done in hopes of easing access to our services and expanding our services to reach more students and people of all ages who have difficulty reading regular print materials. If you have questions, contact for assistance.

We are more than halfway through the 87th Legislative Session and, as of this moment, there is nothing new to report on that would affect the services that TBP provides. As always, we appreciate our patrons who support our program by calling their representatives. We truly appreciate you all.

As always, please take care and be well.
Sarah Jacobson, Director, Talking Book Program


The Talking Book Program will be closed on the below listed holidays.

Monday, May 31 ~ Memorial Day
Monday, July 5 ~ Observation of Independence Day

Of course, you can leave a voicemail message or send email on a holiday.


Did you know that TBP has a blog?

The Talking Book Program (TBP) blog features information about books, reading, events, TBP activities, and other disability topics. Our staff post information that we think will be of interest to you, our patrons. We welcome comments to any blog post; comments are moderated by staff before posting. Please do not include personal information in the comments. You can visit the blog at You can subscribe to the blog or email

by Dan Rather

The Talking Book Program is participating in the Read Across Texas initiative sponsored by the Texas Center for the Book. In honor of this event, we will be hosting a bonus book club meeting so that our patrons can participate in this year’s event. For more information visit
Please join us on Thursday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. (Central) for our book club discussion of WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM by Dan Rather (DB 90479). To RSVP, call the Talking Book Program at: 1-800-252-9605 (RSVP preferred by May 27) or email us at:
NLS Annotation: Essays from the television journalist and his longtime collaborator that celebrate the values that tend to be shared throughout America, particularly those related to patriotism. Topics discussed include public institutions such as parks and libraries, the drive for innovation, and more. Narrated by Dan Rather. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2017.

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Inactive Patron Accounts

TBP inactivates the accounts of patrons who do not actively use this service. Because we want you to be a lifelong patron of the program, we ask that you read at least one book or magazine each year. If your service is inactive for more than six months, we will send you a notice reminding you of this requirement. If after twelve months you have not requested or downloaded materials, we will send you a notice reminding you of this requirement. If after twelve months you have not requested materials, we are required to recall your player and inactivate your service. But we do not want that to happen.

If you are having trouble with the services or need help with ordering books, contact us at 1-800-252-9605 or We can work with you to make sure you get the personalized service you need. You have a large selection of books and magazines for all ages, right at your fingertips. We want to be there for you throughout your lifetime providing you with the books you want to read.

Get to Know the TBP Staff

In this newsletter edition you meet, Linda, Reader Consultant in Reader Services. Word on the street, she is one of the two longest-employed staff members in the agency. You also meet, Guffie, Operations Supervisor at the Circulation facility on Shoal Creek.

Name: Linda

Title: Reader Consultant I

How long have you been with TBP? 46 ½ years. I started in September 1974.

What do you do? I handle their accounts and make requested or necessary updates to the patron file. I help patrons select books when they are not sure what they want to read, and I process incoming physical mail from patrons. I work on the many projects due to changes that take place in our processes and procedures.

What is an average day like in your position? I answer many, many phone calls, from anything from processing voice mails, adjusting patron accounts to helping patrons decide what changes need to be made to their service to best suit their reading needs and wants. Each day is different from the next, so we never know what to expect when we come to work.

Favorite book? RAINMAKER by John Grisham (DB 39879)

Favorite author? Edgar Allen Poe

What is the last book that you read? BOLD FRESH PIECE OF HUMANITY by Bill O’Reilly (DB 67658)

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? To have the ability to levitate and fly.

What are your hobbies? I like to paint, sketch, write poetry, martial arts, and dance.


Name: Guffie

Title: Circulation Operation Supervisor

How long have you been with TBP? 17 years

What do you do? Circulate materials to patrons, help staff do the same, transition inventories of our materials, meet organizational needs, monitor the circulation warehouse building, learn new tasks, and help other TBP departments fulfill our patron needs.

What is an average day like in your position? Not as loud an environment as in years past, but definitely busy and constantly changing.

Favorite book? LUCKY JIM by Kingsley Amis (DB 13771)

Favorite author? P.D. James and many others.

What is the last book that you read? CATTLE KINGDOM: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE COWBOY WEST by Christopher Knowlton (DB 89112)

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?  Slow down time. Mostly so I could read more and prevent my cats from having accidents in the house.

What are your hobbies? Acrylic painting, cooking venison, study histories and read English Literature.

Disability News

The National Library Service features guides and fact sheets related to assistive technology, vision impairment, employment, education, and other topics of interest to persons with disabilities. Some examples include Magnifying Devices, Accessible Mobile Reading Apps, Transition from School to Independent Living, Employment of People with Disabilities, Resources for Senior Citizens and their Families, Travel and Recreation for the Visually Impaired, and Video Gaming Accessibility. To learn more about these and other resource guides, visit or contact the Disability Information & Referral Center through the Talking Book Program.

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Texas Talking Book Program Produced Books Now Available

Looking for more Texas-based books to read? Check out some of the books that the TBP recording studio just converted to digital format, now available on BARD and by Duplication on Demand.

DBC 18198
Biography. Emil Frederick Wurzbach immigrated to Texas from his native Germany in 1846 at the age of eight. When his mother died soon after the family arrived in Galveston, he went to work for Indian agent Robert S. Neighbors who gave him the nickname "Dutch." At sixteen Dutch joined the Texas Rangers, eventually leaving the Rangers to search for gold before joining the Mexican army to fight Apaches. Much of this adventure-filled biography is based on recollections Wurzbach dictated to his daughter in 1915, seventeen years before his death in 1932.

DALLAS DOC by David Carlton
DBC 18193
Biography. A native Texan, and veterinarian, chronicles an ongoing practice in Dallas. These stories, originally written as personal memoirs for his family, have become a collection of Doc's day-to-day experiences with "critter clients." In this first of the series, Doc shares his beginnings and introduces readers to his "daredevil" partner, Rich Vest, irreplaceable assistants, Rachel and Tracy, and his infamous, cattle-gored clinic truck, Ol' Blue.

KEEPERS OF THE EARTH by LaVerne Harrell Clark
DBC 18200
This is a haunting story about an East Texas family torn apart by love for their land and oil greed. In the struggle between the two factions, the family encounters a nest of coachwhip snakes. Neighboring black people know these snakes rule the underworld and disturbing them can cause havoc and death. Contains some profanity.

DBC 18186
Biography. Told in their own words by the builders of our state, "Last of the Old-Time Texans" is an enlightening account of life at the beginning of the twentieth century when it was lived and enjoyed with only the essentials. Their stories of hardships and triumphs and everyday living are gathered and told with great warmth and respect.

TEXAS SAMPLER by Lisa Waller Rogers
DBC 18178
U.S. History. Thirty-two primary source documents, including excerpts from diaries, memoirs, letters, and tales preserve the pre-Civil War history of Texas. The voices include a German housewife, a slave, a Comanche chief, a pioneer mother of ten, a blacksmith, a mustanger, as well as historical figures.

DBC 18185
This is the story of a woman who is going through a divorce after her husband of 25 years betrays her in the most cruel way imaginable. If that's not enough, her son is in jail, accused of capital murder. Leaving the jail she meets a man who rescues her from car trouble. It's only after a relationship develops between them that she discovers that he is the police detective testifying against her son. Must she choose between the love of a man and a mother's love for her child? Descriptions of sex and strong language.

THE KISSING STARS by Geralyn Dawson
DBC 18221
Tess had run away from a broken heart and followed the stars right to Aurora Springs, Texas. There, halfway to nowhere and far from anywhere, she joined a dusty frontier settlement filled with eccentric dreamers and desperate searchers attracted by mysterious lights in the sky they believed were magic-- "The Kissing Stars." And she might have finally put her ill-fated marriage behind her, if only she hadn't taken a greased pig to the state fair. The pig knocked railroad investigator Gabe Montana down; seeing his ex-wife for the first time in years laid him out flat. Then her revelation that the divorce had never happened stole his breath away. Explicit descriptions of sex, strong language and violence.

DBC 18203
The women profiled in this book broke new ground in medicine, nursing, dentistry, psychiatry, and other healing arts. Through dedication to their chosen fields, often against great odds, these women contributed to an elevated status for all women in Texas.

DBC 18210
When burned-out Houston tax attorney Clay Parker chucks it all for a job, sight-unseen, working for a tiny firm in dusty, small-town East Texas, he's searching for his lost integrity and a simpler life. Instead, he lands in the middle of a bungled fraud case, defending the disreputable and downright nasty Bevo Rasnussen, who's accused of torching the stables housing his over-insured thoroughbred. Immediately confronted with corrupt officials, crazed survivalists, an incompetent hit man, an emu, and a naked county clerk, along with an assortment of vengeful wives and great barbecue, Clay discovers that nothing and no one is quite what they seem to be. Contains explicit descriptions of sex.

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End of Texas Talking Book News
Summer 2021


Page last modified: May 20, 2021