Announcing Braille on Demand Service from NLS

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) just announced the launch of Braille on Demand. This new service allows braille readers to request one title per month in paper braille format that patrons are allowed to keep.

You may begin requesting titles on June 20, 2022.

To request the one monthly title, patrons of the Talking Book Program will fill out the request form that goes directly to NLS:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLSbrailleondemand

Once NLS processes your request, they will mail the braille book straight to you.

The link to theform is also available on our website at: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/bibliographies/bibindex.html and here https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/news/index.html

Guidelines for requesting titles:

  • Braille titles will be limited to books that are currently available on BARD. You can either search BARD for titles here https://nlsbard.loc.gov or call us to check if the title you would like is available.
  • Only complete titles will be distributed. Requests for partial titles (for example, volume one of a three-volume book) will result in receiving the entire book.
  • As of now, patrons may request one title per calendar month.

If you fill out the request form on your own, you will need to know the following:

  • The book title
  • The BR number of the title from BARD
  • Your patron ID number (it begins with TX1A. Call us to get that number if you don’t know it)
  • The name of your network library: Texas Talking Book Program

We hope that our braille patrons will take advantage of this new service.

Please call us if you have any questions or if you would like us to fill out the form for you.

June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month

Image of a book with a volume signifying an audiobook.

Not only is June the start of summer, but it is also National Audiobook Appreciation Month. With numerous literacy benefits and high entertainment value, audiobooks are heating up headphones and speakers across the state. Everyone is unique when it comes to how they read, and patrons of the Talking Book Program can enjoy the art of storytelling this June by joining the more than 19,000 other patrons meet their reading needs. Whether you need to read in a different way or you open up a book — new TBP patron listeners and audiophiles alike will want to join in the fun. For more information about Texans’ other library visit, www.TexasTalkingBooks.org.

Check out some of the most downloaded books from the collection.

RUN, ROSE, RUN by Dolly Parton (DB 107053)
AnnieLee Keyes is hitchhiking her way to Nashville, determined to make it in the music industry. But she’s fleeing her past, and her rise as a country music star is dogged by the dark secrets trying to destroy her. Violence and strong language. Suspense Fiction. Commercial audiobook. 2022

STEAL by James Patterson (DB 106928)

College sophomore Carter von Oehson posts on his Instagram that he plans to kill himself. When no one sees him for 24hours, a search begins. Fears seem to be confirmed when his abandoned sailboat is found. His professor of abnormal psychology, Dylan Reinhart, tries to help Carter’s father find the truth. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2022.

HIGH STAKES by Danielle Steel (DB 107263)

Jane Addison has big dreams of owning her own company someday. At 28, she arrives in New York to start a job at Fletcher and Benson, a prestigious talent agency. There she joins a group of women all facing the challenges of balancing their families, their personal lives, and the high stakes of ambition. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

BEYOND A DOUBT by Colleen Coble (DB 107278)

Bree Nicholls has made a name for herself finding missing persons in the untamed wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her search-and-rescue dog, Samson. When a basement remodeling project at her lighthouse home uncovers evidence from a cold case, Bree’s family comes under attack. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2004.

STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: AN INCOMPLETE COMPENDIUM OF MOSTLY INTERESTING THINGS by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant (DB 103455)

Hosts of the podcast of the same title present a collection of new items of interest. Topics include facial hair, Mr. Potato Head, Murphy beds, how to get lost, mezcal liquor, aging, income tax, pet rocks, cyanide pills, donuts, and the Jersey Devil. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

HAPPINESS BECOMES YOU: A GUIDE TO CHANGING YOUR LIFE FOR GOOD by Tina Turner (DB 107284)

The musical icon gives advice for generating hope from nothing, breaking through all limitations, and succeeding in life. She shows how the spiritual lessons of Buddhism help her transform from sorrow, adversity, and poverty into joy, stability, and prosperity. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.


NLS Launches Quarterly Patron Corner Programming

On June 13, at 6:00 p.m. (CDT), the Patron Engagement Section at the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress will hold the first program as part of their Patron Corner programming. Each quarterly program will provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about various services directly from NLS staff. The program will be interactive, last for one hour, and have a designated topic of discussion. The topic for the June 13 session is: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Collection Selection but Did Not Have the Vehicle to Ask. Patrons will meet members of the Collections Division at NLS who are responsible for selecting the books in the NLS collection. Bring your questions and your thoughts about the NLS collection and join us at https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1600983343?pwd=VW9tRWtwY3BsdHRac0s2MmJkN0RCZz09. The full Zoom invitation, including call-in numbers, is included below.

When join the Zoom event, you will be in the waiting room until the program starts. When you enter the room, your phone or computer will be muted. Please stay on mute unless you are called on. If you want to ask a question, you may raise your hand by pressing Alt Y on your computer or Star 9 on your phone. Once you are called on, press Alt A on your computer or Star 6 on your phone to unmute yourself. Please note, this meeting will be recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, we ask that you avoid speaking during the session.

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile:        US: +16692545252,,1600983343# or +16468287666,,1600983343#

Meeting URL:            https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1600983343?pwd=VW9tRWtwY3BsdHRac0s2MmJkN0RCZz09

Meeting ID:    160 098 3343

Passcode:     164674

Join by Telephone

For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.

Dial:   

US: ++16692545252,,1600983343# or +16468287666,,1600983343#

Meeting ID:    160 098 3343

International numbers

Join from an H.323/SIP room system

H.323:            161.199.138.10 (US West)

161.199.136.10 (US East)

Meeting ID:    160 098 3343

Passcode:     164674

SIP:    1600983343@sip.zoomgov.com

Passcode:     164674

Printed Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review Update

The National Library Service (NLS) will no longer print large print issues of the TALKING BOOK TOPICS (TBT) and the last large print issue of BRAILLE BOOK REVIEW (BBR) will be September–October 2022. You can find various formats and information on the NLS website and the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).

TALKING BOOK TOPICS on NLS website:
•    HTML format, including links to BARD for downloading or adding books to wish lists www.loc.gov/nls/tbt
•    PDF format, containing a printable order form www.loc.gov/nls/tbt
 
TALKING BOOK TOPICS by mail:
•    Audio cartridge, which comes with a print order form (contact us to subscribe)
 
TALKING BOOK TOPICS from BARD:
•    Audio magazine, downloadable to cartridge or to BARD Mobile

Abridged version of TALKING BOOK TOPICS available inside BRAILLE BOOK REVIEW:
•    BRAILLE BOOK REVIEW’S TBT Abridged section in hardcopy braille by mail (contact us to subscribe)
•    BRAILLE BOOK REVIEW’S TBT Abridged section as a BRF downloadable through BARD or from www.loc.gov/nls/bbr
 
Recently Added lists available through BARD:
•    BARD patrons can also learn about the latest titles added to BARD through the “Recently added books and magazines” link on the BARD website or the “Recently added to BARD” feature on the “Get Books” tab on the BARD Mobile app.

TALKING BOOK TOPICS by NFB-NEWSLINE®
 •    Contact TBP to sign-up for the service.

Please let us know if we can assist you in accessing any of these formats, or if you would like to subscribe to either the audio version of TALKING BOOK TOPICS or the hardcopy braille version of BRAILLE BOOK REVIEW, which includes an abridged version of TALKING BOOK TOPICS.

You may contact us by email at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, or by phone at 1-800-252-9605 or at 512-463-5458.

MAY 2022 BOOK CLUB TITLE ANNOUNCED!

Please join us on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. (CST) for our Book Club discussion of RULES FOR VISITING by Jessica Francis Kane (DB 95255 and BR 22927)

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free conference call. All you need to participate is a telephone!

To register, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us at tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.

RULES FOR VISITING is available by mail as a digital cartridge. It is also available to download on BARD.

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, or if you will download it from BARD.

We ask that everyone remember the following:

  • Be courteous and respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.

RULES FOR VISITING byJessica Francis Kane

When May Attaway is granted leave from her job as a university gardener, she decides to try to reconnect with friends she has neglected. One by one, she seeks out four of them, and her outward quest for connection also becomes an inward journey of self-discovery. Some strong language. (DB 95255 and BR 22927)

We look forward to having you join us on May 19!

Dive Into an Ocean of Possibilities This Summer with the TBP Summer Reading Program

Summer is the perfect time to dive in and start reading. It is even better when you get to compete for a prize. This year, the Talking Book Program (TBP) has partnered with libraries across the country to inspire readers of all ages. Readers of all ages will dive into the ocean depths this summer as TBP presents “Oceans of Possibilities” during the summer reading program.

“People should join to add some fun and some learning into their summer. We have a variety of books and activities to choose from so there is a little something for everyone. We even have some ‘challenges’ to motivate you to read more this summer! Bonus, there are prizes for signing up, and a bigger prize to be chosen by drawing at the end of the summer,” said Kayleigh Matheson, TBP Librarian and organizer of the summer reading program.

Join us on June 1 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) to kick-start a little fun and to learn more about the summer reading program via Zoom. The summer reading program runs from June 1 through August 8. You must be a member of the Talking Book Program to participate, but we encourage those who are not to visit their local library’s summer reading program. The first 100 people who register get a free swag bag. Throughout the summer, participants will be able to submit up to five book reviews for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

When asked why reading is important, Matheson said, “Reading allows your mind to wander, teaches you new ideas, lets you travel without leaving your house, and broadens your worldview. We are here to help you choose books to make reading enjoyable.”

We hope you will join us this summer. We look forward to seeing you.

To sign-up for the program and for more visit: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/summerreadingprogram

To talk to a librarian or to register for the Talking Book Program visit www.TexasTalkingBooks.org, call 1-800-252-9605 or email: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

Online Technology Classes from the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library

The Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library in New York is offering free online technology classes for people who are blind or have low vision.

Some of the classes occur just once and some are multi-week courses.

A few examples of the classes are: Intro to NVDA, Exploring JAWS, Intro to Facebook with Accessibility in Mind, and iOS Shortcuts.

For more information on these online courses, you can view the library newsletter at https://www.nypl.org/node/601185 or contact the Talking Book Program’s Disability Information & Referral Center at 1-800-252-9605 (toll free in Texas), 512-463-5458, or by e-mail at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. “Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”- From https://poets.org/national-poetry-month  

Poets.org offers “Poem-a-Day”: 

Sign up here and they will email you a poem each day in April. 

Or you can subscribe to their “Poem-a-Day” Podcast:  

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/poem-a-day?selected=POETS4875982945#:~:text=

We have curated a small taste of the poetry we have in our collection below. These titles are available to download from BARD, or you can call us to have them mailed to you. You can also request other poetry! 

Poetry for kids and teens: 

APPLE: SKIN TO THE CORE: A MEMOIR IN WORDS AND PICTURES by Eric Gansworth (DB 101947) 

Memoir-in-verse by award-winning author and artist, Eric Gansworth. Gansworth, a member of the Onondaga Nation, tells his story of growing up at the Tuscarora Nation. He covers his family’s history and struggles, the impact of boarding schools, racism, and poverty. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020. 

BARK IN THE PARK!: POEMS FOR DOG LOVERS by Avery Corman (DB 95455) 

Poems about different kinds of dogs and their unique traits as they romp about in a park. For grades K-3. 2019. 

BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: THE POETRY OF MISTER ROGERS by Fred Rogers (DB 96626) 

Lyrics to seventy-five songs from the children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, collected and presented as a treasury of poems. Lyrics explore topics such as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, and imagination. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2 and older readers. 2019. 

EEK, YOU REEK!: POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS THAT STINK, STANK, STUNK by Jane Yolen (DB 98262) 

Collection of poems about the different critters in nature that make a funky impact in their environment. For grades 2-4. 2019. 

EXQUISITE: THE POETRY AND LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Suzanne Slade

(DB 102344) 

A free verse biography of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize. From a young age, Brooks found inspiration from her family, in nature and her Chicago neighborhood, and began writing poetry at the age of seven. Includes her poem “Clouds.” For grades K-3. 2020. 

HILL WE CLIMB: AN INAUGURAL POEM FOR THE COUNTRY by Amanda Gorman

(DB 102763) 

National Youth Poet Laureate delivers an empowering and hopeful poem for the nation. Originally read on January, 20, 2021, at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden. Foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021. 

NO MORE POEMS!: A BOOK IN VERSE THAT JUST GETS WORSE by Rhett Miller

(DB 94332) 

Humorous poems about such subjects as disco bath parties, sneaky sisters, nose hairs, and wanting a dog. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2019. 

NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY by Various Authors (DB 103950) 

Joseph Bruchac, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, and others present poems about young activists who have stepped up to make changes in their community and in the United States. For grades 2-4. 2020. 

PLACE INSIDE OF ME: A POEM TO HEAL THE HEART by Zetta Elliot (DB 103759) 

A young Black boy skateboards and ponders his deep emotions, from joy to sorrow and anger to compassion, but above all, love. For grades K-3. 2020. 

SHOUT: A POETRY MEMOIR by Laurie Halse Anderson (DB 94454) 

A memoir in verse shares the author’s life, covering her difficult early childhood, her rape at thirteen, and her experiences surrounding the publication of her 1999 novel Speak (DB 49958). Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019 

SUPERLATIVE BIRDS by Leslie Bulion (DB 94751) 

Poems in a variety of verse forms with accompanying science notes introduce readers to eighteen unusual birds. For grades 2-4. 2019. 

THEY CALL ME BUERO: A BORDER KID’S POEMS by David Bowles (DB 106023) 

A novel in verse. Güero and his misfit crew—los Bobbys—discover girls and occasionally get into trouble by the Mexican border. Güero copes with life’s challenges by writing poetry, after encouragement from his teacher. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2018. 

WOKE: A YOUNG POET’S CALL TO JUSTICE by Various Authors (DB 99980) 

A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice. Topics include ableism, body positivity, empathy, equality, justice, privilege, resistance, and more. For grades 3-6. 2020. 

Poetry for adults: 

BEST AMERICAN POETRY, 2019 by Various Authors (DB 96983) 

Seventy-five previously published poems. Includes works by Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Naomi Shihab Nye, and former United States poet laureates Natasha Trethewey, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Tracy K. Smith. Violence and strong language. 2019 

BLACK FROM THE FUTURE: A COLLECTION OF BLACK SPECULATIVE WRITING by Various Authors (DB 97405) 

A collection of stories by Black women writers from across the spectrum of Black speculative writing, including science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and Afrofuturism. Includes stories from, among others, Jewelle Gomez, Eden Royce, Nicole Sconiers, Morgan Christie, Vernita Hall, Stefani Cox, and Leila Green. 2019. 

CALL US WHAT WE CARRY: POEMS by Amanda Gorman (DB 106426) 

A collection of more than seventy poems written by National Youth Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman. Reflects on the past, present, and future, exploring history, language, identity, grief, and hope. Includes The Hill We Climb, which was read during the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, in 2021. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021. 

CRYING BOOK by Heather Christle (DB 98483) 

A poet wrestles with the concepts and impacts of death, mental illness, grief, joy, impending motherhood, and the role of crying in female agency. Some strong language. 2019. 

FELON: POEMS by Reginald Dwayne Betts (DB 97471) 

Collection of poems examining the ways prison viscerally effects a person’s sense of identity. Each poem follows a single man through his experiences, which include homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, and fatherhood, and his emotional reactions to them. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

HERMOSA by Yesika Salgado (DB 97983) 

Collection of 55 poems exploring relationships, romance, sex, grief, survival, life in Los Angeles, fighting for a better future, and everyday moments. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2019. 

HOMIE: POEMS by Danez Smith (DB 99206) 

Collection of thirty-six poems exploring the meaning and importance of friendship. Examines the impact of violence, xenophobia, and disparity on those defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis. Reflects on the loss of one the author’s closest friends. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020. 

MAGICAL NEGRO: POEMS by Morgan Parker (DB 95008) 

Collection of forty poems exploring the everyday black experience in America. Themes include loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification. Also examines tropes and stereotypes of black Americans. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

MAKE ME RAIN: POEMS & PROSE by Nikki Giovanni (DB 102243) 

Collection of seventy-four poetry and prose works by the author of Chasing Utopia (DB 77840) and Racism 101 (DB 38687) explore themes of living in America while Black. In “Lemonade Grows from Soil, Too” she reflects on poetry in black culture. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020. 

NOUNS & VERBS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Campbell McGrath (DB 9644) 

Collection of more than one hundred poems—some previously published–that explore American spiritual and material hungers. “Reading Emily Dickinson at Jiffy Lube” is a musing on the work and impact of Emily Dickinson and the author himself, geography, Smirnoff Ice, and Bruce Springsteen. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

OCTOPUS MUSEUM: POEMS by Brenda Shaughnessy (DB 97204) 

Collection of twenty-nine poems by the author of Our Andromeda (DB 75566) structured around the concept of visiting exhibits in a museum. Themes explored include environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. 2019. 

TRADITION by Jericho Brown (DB 96974) 

Collection of fifty-two poems exploring the nature and lasting impact of injuries, both personal and on a national level. In the title poem, the author reflects on generational promises given, but which are undercut by state violence. Violence. Pulitzer Prize for poetry, 2020. 2019. 

TRUTH ABOUT MAGIC by Atticus (Poet) (DB 97002) 

Collection of poems, by the author of The Dark between Stars (DB 92580), that explore heartbreaks, falling in love, looking back, and looking inwards. Examines the emotions that romantic relationships engender and the journey of investigating ourselves that they allow. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program Accepting Applications for Summer 2022

The National Library Service (NLS) is now accepting applications through March 1, 2022, for the Summer 2022 NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program.

Established through the National Library for the Blind Endowment, this paid internship offers legally blind individuals the opportunity to work at NLS in areas that support services for the blind, including collections building, program delivery, and business oversight and management. Interns will gain valuable experience and explore potential career options while being guided through mentorships and developmental activities. The program has spring, summer, and fall sessions, between ten to twelve weeks each session. All interns work remotely.

Application Process

Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and those who have graduated within the past five years from an accredited two-year or four-year college or university are eligible to apply. In addition, applicants must be:

  • US citizens
  • legally blind
  • able to work remotely

A complete application package includes a cover letter expressing interest, a federal-style resume, a recent official or unofficial transcript, and an application form that is completed online.

Applicants interested in the Summer 2022 session should submit a completed application by March 1.

To learn more about the program and the application process, visit www.loc.gov/nls/about/internship-program

For more information, please contact: Erica Vaughns, Head, NLS Administrative Services, NLSInternships@loc.gov

3G Network Phase Out

Have you heard that 3G networks are being phased out? This could affect your mobile phones from 2012 or earlier as well as older home security systems, smartwatches, medical devices, medical alert bracelets and some assistive technology such as communication devices and braille notetakers.

Senior Planet San Antonio is offering a free webinar about the 3G phase out on Thursday, February 3, at 10 a.m. (CST). Registration is not required. Visit this web site: https://seniorplanet.org/event/3g-event and click the “Join This Event” button at the appointed time. You can also dial in to the webinar using this information: 1-720-707-2699, Meeting ID: 820 0860 2060

Here are two resources for more information about the 3G shut down:

FCC document: www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/plan_ahead_for_3g_shutoff_consumer_guide.pdf

3G Shutdown 2022 web site from the Texas Center for Disability Studies: https://ttap.disabilitystudies.utexas.edu/3g-shutdown-2022

Note: Cellular service providers are shutting down their 3G networks at different times during this year. Contact your provider for more information. Many carriers are offering free or low-cost replacement phones or devices.