Texas Talking Book Program Author Talk: The Texanist, David Courtney

Join the Talking Book Program for an author talk on Thursday, February 22, at 7:00 p.m. (Central) with esteemed Texas journalist and author, David Courtney.

Reader’s Advisory Librarian, Laura Jean will talk with the Temple, Texas native about his career working as a columnist and editor for Texas Monthly as well as his book, The Texanist: Fine Advice on Living in Texas (DBC 18771). A Q&A chat will follow.

No registration is needed! Simply join the meeting on February 22 via one of the following methods.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84839719639

One-Tap phone number (use with smartphones): http://+13462487799,,84839719639#

Dial In phone number (use with landlines and non-smartphones):

(346) 248-7799
Meeting ID: 848 3971 9639

Our Author Talks meet via Zoom, however all you need to participate is a telephone! If you have a land line, you will use the telephone number. If you have a smart phone, you will use the “one-tap” number to join the conversation.

If you’d like to read THE TEXANIST book, contact us to order it by replying to this email or calling us at 1-800-252-9605.

THE TEXANIST: FINE ADVICE ON LIVING IN TEXAS (DBC 18771) by David Courtney NLS Annotation: “The Texanist, Texas Monthly’s perennially popular back-page column, has become the magazine’s most-read feature. With an inimitable style and an unassailable wholesomeness, columnist David Courtney has counseled many a well-intentioned Texan, native or wannabe, on how to properly conduct him—or herself.” Publisher’s website. 2017.

We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, February 22!

TBP Book Club Title Announced for January 2024!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED: ESSAYS ON A HUMAN-CENTERED PLANET by John Green (DB 103903, LB 13412). In this collection of personal essays adapted and expanded from his podcast, the author reviews the contradictions found within humanity. He discusses how mankind is both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough and covers topics ranging from the QWERTY keyboard to Canada geese. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021

We host our Book Club meetings via Zoom, however all you need to participate is a telephone! If you have a land line, we will provide a telephone number for you to dial. If you have a smartphone, we will email you an easy “one click” number you can use to join the discussion. We will also email a Zoom invitation to those who prefer to use a computer. This information will be sent to all patrons who RSVP a week prior to the book club meeting.

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

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge or 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, phone-call, or both.

Introducing “Talking Book Voices” Podcast: Celebrating the Talking Book Program

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new podcast that opens doors to a world of literature and storytelling like never before. “Talking Book Voices” is here, and it’s on a mission to celebrate the incredible magic of the Texas Talking Book Program.

Imagine a world where literature knows no bounds, where books come to life through the power of voice, and where everyone, regardless of their physical abilities or reading difficulties, can access the treasures of accessible reading materials. But the program is much more than just a library. It’s a lifeline to stories, knowledge, and imagination for those who may have thought the world of books was beyond their reach. It’s a testament to the power of technology and community coming together to ensure that no one is left behind in the world of reading.

In each episode, we’ll explore the Talking Book Program’s rich history, share inspiring stories of its impact, and dive into its vast collection of accessible materials. From classic literature to the latest bestsellers, this program opens doors to a world of books, magazines, and newspapers.

“Talking Book Voices” will bring you the latest updates from TBP, offer insights from program experts, and feature heartfelt conversations with patrons who have benefited immensely from this essential service.

To join us on this exciting journey, visit the official “Talking Book Voices” website at www.tsl.texas.gov/podcasts. There, you’ll find more information about the podcast, including details about upcoming episodes, profiles of our inspiring guests, and additional resources related to the Texas Talking Book Program. Episodes will also by published on the TSLAC YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tslac.

New episodes will be released monthly! So, mark your calendars and prepare to immerse yourself in the world of “Talking Book Voices.” Listen and share with a friend! We look forward to your feedback.

Get Ready for the Solar Eclipses!

Not one but two solar eclipses are headed to Texas in 2023 and 2024!

The first, happening October 14, will be an annular eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the moon doesn’t cover the entire sun but will instead appear like a dot in front of the sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect. Some of the cities in Texas that will see the annular eclipse include Midland, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. Other cities will get to experience a partial eclipse on the 14th. The next eclipse, on April 8, 2024, will be a total eclipse. Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin (especially the Hill Country) will be in the path of totality, meaning that those cities will get to experience the moon completely covering the sun. Plenty of other cities across Texas will once again experience a partial eclipse.

There are a lot of ways to experience this rare opportunity, from reading books to participating in citizen science projects to making eclipse-related arts and crafts. One citizen science project we want to highlight is the Eclipse Soundscapes project. For both the annular and total eclipses, you can record audio, or record written observations using all your senses of what happens during the eclipse and submit your findings to the Eclipse Soundscapes team. For more information and how to participate, visit https://eclipsesoundscapes.org/.

Remember that safety comes first when observing any eclipse. Never look directly at the sun without protective eclipse glasses; you can also use an indirect method of viewing the eclipse like a camera obscura (also known as a pinhole camera).

Books to read:



ECLIPSE CHASER: SCIENCE IN THE MOON’S SHADOW by Ilima Loomis (DB109047). For grades 5-8.

ASTRONOMY LAB FOR KIDS: 52 FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES by Michelle Nichols (DB108159). For grades 3-6.

Websites to visit:

Take Time Out for “Take Five”!

Jazz aficionados and music lovers of all persuasions will want to savor a National Library Service (NLS) Music Notes Zoom special event on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m. (Central).

Time Out for “Take Five” features a pre-recorded conversation between Music Section Head Juliette Appold and Brian McCurdy, Music Reader Services Librarian. Appold and McCurdy will discuss the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Take Five” and its relevance to the NLS Music collection. A live Q&A session will follow.

Whet your musical appetite by reading McCurdy’s excellent 2020 blog post about “Take Five.”

You can also learn more on the NLS Music Notes Blog.

The direct link to join the October 24 Zoom meeting is


We hope you’re able to “Take Five” with us on October 24!

TBP Book Club Title Announced for September 2023!

Please join us on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. (Central) for our Book Club discussion of BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOLS by Jillian Cantor (DB 106770).

We host our Book Club meetings via Zoom, however all you need to participate is a telephone. If you have a landline, we will provide a telephone number for you to dial. If you have a smartphone, we will email you an easy “one click” number you can use to join the discussion. We will also email a Zoom invitation to those who prefer to use a computer. This information will be sent to all patrons who RSVP a week prior to the book club meeting.

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

BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOLS is available by mail as a digital cartridge. It is also available to download on 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.

BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOLS by Jillian Cantor: Reexamines THE GREAT GATSBY (DB 16147) through its female characters. Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his swimming pool. It appears to be a murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby. Then a diamond hairpin is discovered, and three women fall under suspicion. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

We look forward to having you join us on September 21!

ANNOUNCING: 2023 Summer Reading Program

Our ALL AGES summer reading program is returning for its second year on June 5, 2023! This year’s theme is All Together Now and focuses on friendship, kindness, and unity.

Sign up will begin on April 1, 2023. The first 100 people who sign up will receive a summer reading goody bag!

Sign up by filling out the following online form:  https://forms.gle/jFirCc8ud3ZtJZ8p9

Or by calling us at 1-800-252-9605.

The webpage for summer reading is here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/summerreadingprogram

From June 5 to August 11, you’ll get themed book lists and matching activities by age group, and you can win a prize at the end of summer by reviewing books.

This year the National Library Service is also providing several virtual events, including live, virtual author talks!

We can’t wait for you to join us this summer!

National Library Service (NLS) Quarterly Patron Corner Call: September 12

Join the NLS Engagement Section for its quarterly “Patron Corner” as they discuss Narration: The Art of Telling the Story. Guest speakers include Celeste Lawson, narrator and Head of the NLS Media Lab and other NLS narrators. This event will be a 90-minute panel discussion, so bring your questions and thoughts about digital audio narration.

The full Zoom invitation, including call-in numbers, is included below.

When you join this 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.

This meeting will be recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, we ask that you avoid speaking during the call. Also, please note that since we are using Zoom.gov for these sessions, if you choose to dial in, you must use the Zoom.gov phone numbers provided. The regular Zoom phone numbers will not allow access to the Zoom.gov IDs.

Zoom Meeting
One tap mobile: US: +16692545252, 1600983343# or +16468287666, 1600983343#
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 160 098 3343
Passcode: 164674

Join by Telephone
For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location. Dial:
US: +1 669 254 5252, or +1 646 828 7666, or +1 669 216 1590, or +1 551 285 1373
Meeting ID: 160 098 3343
Passcode: 164674
SIP: 1600983343@sip.zoomgov.com
Passcode: 164674

Skype for Business (Lync)

Announcing: Youth Newsletter and Website

Texas Talking Book Program Youth Services Header with Logo

The Texas Talking Book Program is excited to offer a new monthly newsletter just for our youth patrons!

Any patron 18 and younger (or their caregiver) can sign up to receive a youth-specific newsletter each month that will include book lists, BARD tips and tricks, activities, and other fun things. We encourage you to choose the email format because of paper shortages, but the newsletter will also be available in large print and Braille as needed. A Spanish version is also available.

You can sign up here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/youthservices

Or you can call us at 1-800-252-9605

By signing up you’ll be the first to know about new youth service offerings and events!