Talking Book News Bulletin
Summer 2017

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TBP Poetry Contest
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Loan Policy
Spotlight on Texas Books
Disability Information & Referral Center
Disability Information & Referral Center
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

Director's Report

Greetings! Here is the latest news:

Satisfaction survey coming: Every two years, the Talking Book Program (TBP) surveys selected patrons about the program. This year, we will be sending the survey out in the fall, and the survey will be much shorter in length. Also, instead of a small sampling of random patrons, we will be sending the survey to all active patrons. We will either email a link to the survey to those patrons who have given us their email addresses, or we will send a paper survey through the postal mail. You will be able to respond by marking your answers and sending the paper survey back to us, calling the Reader Services department at 1-800-252-9605 and asking a reader consultant to assist you in answering the survey, or completing the electronic survey by following the link in the email message, or on the web site. We report the results to the Legislative Budget Board, so your participation is very important to us!

More on the upcoming Sunset Commission review: We would like to thank everyone who participated in the two conference calls on the sunset review process that were held in May. To recap, the purpose of the review is to determine if the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is carrying out its functions and whether or not those functions are still needed. The Sunset Commission will begin taking public comments on TSLAC during the fall and winter of 2017. For those who would like to comment directly to the Sunset Commission about TSLAC and your talking book library, we will put contact information for the Sunset Commission in the fall newsletter, on our web page, and on the toll-free information line.

Cassette machines being phased out: The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) recently declared the yellow C-1 cassette players to be obsolete. This means that talking book libraries are no longer required to issue cassette players to patrons or even keep them in stock. TBP will continue to stock some players because we still have local recordings that are only available on cassette. As we digitize these recordings and make them available for play on the digital talking book machine (DTBM), then we will be removing cassette players from our inventory and sending them to the receiver designated by NLS. Eventually, we will send recall notices to any patron who still has one of these machines on account. If you have a cassette machine and are not using it to play our cassette books, then please return the machine so that we may remove it from our inventory records. Please remember that these machines are federal government property that have been loaned to you; these machines must be returned to us. If you have any questions about a cassette machine on loan to you, please call 1-800-252-9605 and ask a reader consultant for assistance.

Until next time,
Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program

Helpful contact information for the Talking Book Program

Texas Talking Books will be closed for these holidays

Monday-Tuesday, July 3-4 ~ Independence Day

Of course, you can leave a voicemail message or send e-mail on a holiday.

TBP Poetry Contest

The Talking Book Program is proud to announce a poetry writing contest.  The contest will run from now until October 31, 2017. There are three category levels: TBPL #1: Ages 0-10; TBPL #2: Ages 11-18; and TBPL #3: 19 and above. Winners will be announced in the TBP Winter Newsletter in early 2018. All poem submissions must be received by October 31, 2017.

The winners will be featured in the TBP Newsletter, have their poem recorded in the TBP Volunteer Recording Studio, uploaded TBP website, and put on the TSLAC Facebook page. One winner will be selected from each category level. Poems will be judged on originality, creativity, and artistic and style quality. Good luck and happy writing.

TBP Poetry Contest Rules

  • Must be a current/active TBP patron
  • Must sign and submit a release form (Click Here or if you want a release form mailed to you call, 512-463-5452)
  • Limit one submission per patron
  • Poem must be the original work of the participant
  • Can be on any subject or topic
  • Poem does not have to rhyme
  • Poem must not contain any of the following: violence, strong language, sexual content

Submit typed, hand written or Brailled poem and release form to:

Talking Book Program
c/o Public Awareness Coordinator
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927

Or email
Subject Line: 2017 TBP Poetry Contest

Deadline is October 31, 2017

Need some inspiration? Check out some of the poems available on BARD:

Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year
DB 75786
Collection of poems and songs that celebrate different holidays and special moments throughout the year. Features works by Julie Andrews, Sandra Cisneros, Emily Dickinson, Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, John Updike, and others. For grades 2-4 and older readers. 2012.

Maya Angelou, Poems
DB 28181
Comprises four volumes of poetry: Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'for I Diiie (BR 3408), Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well, And Still I Rise (DB 12970), and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing.

The Poetry of Robert Frost: the Collected Poems
Clear, simple poetry sings of rural, democratic joys and the love of nature. Writing in traditional verse forms, however, the poet creates a tension of thought and feeling. For Frost, the poem is "a momentary stay against confusion."

Disability News

Free money readers are still available. These are small, battery-operated, electronic devices that announce bill dominations by voice, tone, or vibration. Talking Book Program patrons may call or e-mail to request a money reader and reference center staff will fill out the application and send to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Money readers are only available to individuals with a documented visual impairment. Non-patrons may request that an application be mailed to them.

Call the Disability Information and Referral Center toll-free at 1-800-252-9605
for information about disabilities and health conditions.

End of Texas Talking Book News
Summer 2017

Talking Book Program
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)
512-936-0685 (fax)


Page last modified: August 15, 2017