Talking Book News Bulletin
Winter 2022

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Director's Report
Foreign Language Titles
Book Club
TBP Staff
Disability News
Poetry Contest

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Director's Report


Happy New Year and I hope this newsletter finds you well and ready to tackle the new year. Another year is in the books, and we are adjusting to the new normal. I am pleased to report the call center is now open to receive live calls from our patrons. We thank you again for your patience during the past year. Of course, you can still mail, email us, or leave us a voicemail.

The TBP customer satisfaction survey is available with this newsletter. We are also including some questions about internet access and BARD usage. This survey is very important for us to evaluate how we are doing and how we might improve our services. The survey, consisting of 9 basic questions, is being sent to all patrons. For those who would like to call in their answers or have the survey read to them, please call 1-800-252-9605 and ask a reader consultant to assist you with the customer satisfaction survey.

Survey answers need to reach us by March 4, 2022.

We have a lot to look forward to in this coming year and glad you are with us to join us on this ride.

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

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

Monday, January 17 ~ Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 21 ~ President’s Day

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

More Foreign-Language Titles Available

You may have noticed an increase in the number of new books in foreign languages in BARD. While NLS does record some books in languages other than English, most of these new books are not recorded by NLS. Through the Marrakesh Treaty, NLS now has access to thousands of books from other libraries around the world serving patrons with visual or other print disabilities. This resource-sharing treaty is allowing NLS to supplement the foreign-language materials in its collection, without reducing the number of English-language materials being made available.

Though this new wealth of books is most noticeable to BARD users, the books are also available to our patrons who receive their books by mail. Lists of new foreign-language materials may be found on the NLS website in the new publication Foreign Language Quarterly, located at, or you can ask a reader consultant about what titles we have for a particular author, subject, or genre.

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Book Club Books Announced

Join us on Thursday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. CT for THE TIME IT NEVER RAINED by Elmer Kelton (DB 49217 and LB 03803)
A cantankerous, independent-minded Texan, Charlie Flagg, fights to save his medium-sized ranch in Rio Seco during a drought. His problems are compounded by ineffectual federal aid programs and difficulties with Mexican ranch workers. Some strong language. 1973.

Tuesday, March 22: FINDING CHIKA: A LITTLE GIRL, AN EARTHQUAKE, AND THE MAKING OF A FAMILY by Mitch Albom (DB 97729 and LB 12661)
An inspirational biography of Chika Jeune, a Haitian orphan born just three days before the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. Describes her life at an orphanage, her mysterious medical struggles, and the author’s fight to find a cure for her after taking her into his household.  Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free phone-in. All you need to participate is a telephone. To RSVP, call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605 or email us at

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or a large print copy, or if you prefer to download it from BARD. Also, please let us know if you would like a reminder via email or phone-call (or both).

For a complete list of the Book Club selection, call 1-800-252-9605 or visit,

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Get to Know the TBP Staff

Since we are getting back to the new normal meet, Sheila, one of our new librarians and longtime TBP reader consultant, Penny.

Name: Sheila
Title: Reader's Advisory Librarian
What will you be doing? Helping you find your next great book, working on programming and outreach, and answering any questions you might have about the program or how to download from BARD.
What are you most excited about, working for TBP? Helping people access content and resources for FREE.
Favorite book?
It changes depending on my mood, but currently my favorite is THE ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED by John Green (DB 103903)
Favorite author? Jane Austen. Long story, but I own four copies of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, thanks to my mom. Also, I like Primo Levi and Clint Smith.
What is the last book that you read? THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson (DB 21679)
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Teleportation. I hate flying but love traveling to new places or to visit people.
What are your hobbies? Reading, obviously, going for long walks in nature, painting, poorly, and baking, mediocrely.


Name: Penny
Title: Reader Consultant
How long have you been with TBP? 13 years
What do you do? Provide customer service over the phone, by email, and mail for TBP patrons.
What is an average day like in your position? A lot of listening to and chatting with patrons about books, what they might enjoy, updating addresses, and problem solving.
Favorite book? ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (DB 87829)
Favorite author? Too many to name, but really enjoy Liane Moriarty.
What is the last book that your read? YESTERDAY’S WEATHER by Anne Enright (DB 68425). Thirty-one stories set in Ireland by the Man Booker Prize-winning author.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Unlimited Sarcasm!
What are your hobbies? Walking in nature, reading, swimming, painting, and art in general.

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Disability News

The Disability Information & Referral Center has two new factsheets: One for older people who are blind or visually impaired, and one for children and teens who are blind or visually impaired. Both fact sheets contain national and state resources such as contacts for state agencies, advocacy groups, book resources, adaptive devices, and more. Call, 1-800-252-9605 or e-mail the Talking Book Program at, if you would like a copy of one or both of these fact sheets in large print, braille, or audio, or by e-mail.

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TBP Poetry Contest Deadline February 14

The fifth annual TBP poetry contest is taking place until February 14, 2022. To participate, you must be a current and active TBP patron. Poems will be judged on originality, creativity, and artistic and stylistic quality.

Submit poems to: Talking Book Program
Attn: Public Awareness Coordinator
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927

Or e-mail to:

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End of Texas Talking Book News
Winter 2022


Page last modified: January 12, 2022