YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, is holding it’s forth annual Young Adult Literature Symposium in Austin, TX on November 14-16, 2014.  This year’s theme is Keeping it Real: Finding the True Teen Experience in YA Literature. More than forty-five authors are planning to participate in the symposium, including Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater, and Jacqueline Woodson – just to name a few–and you don’t have to be a librarian to get in on the fun! If you’re a fan of young adult fiction, be sure to check out the website for the preliminary program and list of participating authors.  The symposium isn’t until November, but registration is already open and early bird pricing is available. More information can be found here: http://yalitsymposium12.ning.com/



Mobile Device Training Seminars

AT&T is partnering with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (RERC) to provide a series of seminars, designed to help people with various disabilities learn about the accessibility features available on their smartphones, tablets, phablets, and other mobile devices. The seminars will include information for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 users.

These seminars will occur in the Dallas and Austin areas in May. Here is information on the first two meetings:

General Disability Event
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
REACH of Plano
720 East Park Boulevard
Suite 104
Plano, TX 75074
To register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e98m4yh2c0ee41fd&oseq=&c=&ch=

Visual Limitation Events
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
AFB Center on Vision Loss
11030 Ables Lane
Dallas, TX 75229
To register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e98m1x574612af6b&oseq=&c=&ch=

Both of these events are free. The first meeting is designed for anyone with a disability. The second event is specifically designed for people with visual impairments.

Please call or email Ben Lippincott for more information and/or to register:

Information on upcoming seminars will be posted here.

Talking Book News Bulletin, Spring 2014

We hope you enjoy this podcast audio recording of the Talking Book News Bulletin, Spring 2014. (TXT), (PDF), (MP3)

You can find back issues of the English version of our newsletters here: Back to Newsletters

If you would prefer to read or listen to this newsletter (or past issues) in Spanish click here: Boletín de Noticias Primavera de 2014 (TXT)  (PDF) (MP3) / Españo Archivo

Internal Links:


Texas Talking Books will be closed for these holidays.

Monday, May 26, 2014 – Memorial Day

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


Upcoming Book Club Meeting

All you need to participate in Book Club is a telephone.  Please call 1-800-252-9605 or email tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov to RSVP.  Dates are subject to change.  You can find the 2014 Book Club titles listed in one of the inserts of this newsletter.

Thursday, May 22, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Central (RSVP by May 1, 2014) Let The Great World Spin DB 70450 by Colum McCann.  New York City, 1974.  Disparate residents–including Philippe Petit, who performs an illegal high-wire walk between the Twin Towers; the judge who hears Petit’s case; and a grieving mother–encounter death, love, and salvation.  Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex.  National Book Award.  2009.

Staff Pick – Laura – ORYX AND CRAKE by Margaret Atwood, DB 56234

Snowman, once known as Jimmy, struggles to survive as the last human in a world destroyed by a bio-engineered plague. Starving and sometimes drunk, he is tormented by flashes of memory of his best friend, Crake, his love, Oryx, and the events that led up to the destruction of humankind. Surrounded by a new race, the Crakers, and genetically engineered animals now running free in the wild, Snowman struggles to remember. He decides to journey back to where the end began. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader glimpses a society obsessed with scientific advancement for profit where dissenters are silenced by mega-corporations. As Snowman travels closer to the compound, he moves closer to the truth of what happened. This is an unsettling, darkly humorous, and engrossing read.

ORYX AND CRAKE is the first book in Margaret Atwood’s MADDADAM TRILOGY.  It is followed by THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD (DB 69893) and concludes with MADDADAM (DB 77487)

NLS ANNOTATION: In the near future, a lone human amidst genetically engineered creatures torments himself with memories of the devastation of the natural world. Calling himself “Snowman,” he recalls the role of his best friend Crake and mourns the loss of their mutually beloved Oryx.  Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 2003.  DB 56234

NFB BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Program

The National Federation of the Blind’s BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Program is a summer program designed to provide intensive Braille instruction to students ages 4 – 12. Nineteen states, including Texas, are participating this year.

The dates and locations for the Texas BELL program are as follows:
Houston: June 16 – 20
San Antonio: July 14 – 18
Rio Grande Valley: July 21 – 25

The cost of the program is $150 per child. Lunch and snacks are provided each day. For more information, contact Emily Gibb at 586-489-6017 or elgibbs@gmail.com, or visit www.nfb.org/BELL

Houston Area Insight Expo

If you have a vision impairment and live in the Houston area, the Houston Area Insight Expo is this Saturday, April 12th, from 9 am – 4 pm. The Expo will feature a keynote address, panel discussions, workshops, and vendors displaying products and services related to low vision and blindness. The Talking Book Program will be an exhibitor at the Expo.

Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is preferred. The Expo is a free event. For more information, view the press release here: http://www.opt.uh.edu/files/cse/VisionExpo2014.pdf
If you have difficulty viewing pdf files, there is some information about the Expo here: http://www.opt.uh.edu/uei/services/lowvision/
To register, please send an e-mail to havin.news@yahoo.com

The event will be held at the University of Houston Main Campus, Health and Biomedical Sciences Building, at 4811 Calhoun Road, next to the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Parking is free.

Phone scam now targeting JAWS users

If you receive a call from the phone number 347-871-5995 and someone offers to help you remove a virus from your computer, do not follow their instructions. This is a scam.

This particular scam has evidently been in existence for a few months at least. Apparently they are now targeting JAWS users specifically. They are advising individuals to go to a particular web site and input some numbers, which will likely give the scammers remote access to the person’s computer.

Here is some general information about tech support phone scams from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

The Disability Information & Referral Center provides fact sheets on sources for computer and assistive technology training, and software manufacturers and vendors, as well as a funding guide. Please call 800-252-9605, or email tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov for more information.

Paratransit Ride Locator

Individuals who use paratransit service in the Texas cities of Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Houston have the ability to track the estimated pick-up and drop-off times, and locations of their rides using the web site http://thebus.mobi

Passengers can log in with their paratransit identification numbers. They will then see a listing of their trips for that day, with estimated pick-up and drop-off times. They can also click on a map which will display the client location with a green dot, the destination with a red dot, and the driver/vehicle location with a blue dot. The map can be refreshed to update the information.

Please be advised that this service is not 100% accurate. Paratransit passengers should not rely solely on this information, and should be at their pick-up locations at the appointed times. However, this web site can help people who use paratransit to manage their daily trip schedule, and to at least have some idea when the vehicle will arrive, as well as when they will reach their next destination.