NLS Patron Corner Program

The next topic of the NLS Patron Corner will be “Your Patron Engagement Section: How We Can Provide the Service You Want.”

Join the National Library Service (NLS) for the Patron Corner program on Monday, March 11, at 6:00 p.m. (Central).

This will be your opportunity to let NLS know what you’d like to see in the future. This meeting will be recorded.

Registration is not required. The session is scheduled for ninety minutes. Click on the link to join: http://tinyurl.com/bdevajya.

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.

National Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 1 – 7 is recognized as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Visit these sites for information and support regarding mental illness:

Mental Health Texas: https://mentalhealthtx.org

Texas Health & Human Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse: www.hhs.texas.gov/services/mental-health-substance-use

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): https://nami.org/home

Very Well Mind: https://verywellmind.com

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call or text the number 988, or chat through the site https://988lifeline.org/. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals may access the service by calling 711 and then 988. The hotline also provides Spanish-speaking staff and interpreter services for more than 240 languages and dialects.

The Many Faces of BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

The National Library Service’s (NLS) Patron Engagement Section will be offering a monthly program called “The Many Faces of BARD”. The program will take place the second Thursday each month at 6 p.m. (CDT). Each hour long session will begin with a brief presentation and cover one aspect of BARD use. The program will end with a question-and-answer portion.

Sessions are open to all patrons. Join by visiting https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1611161911?pwd=bVh5ejFsWFBlL21KY0VqaHlRMUlSQT09 on a computer or by calling 1-669-245-5252. Full Zoom invitation information follows. To call into a session, participants must use the telephone numbers provided here for Zoom.gov.

Upon connecting, you will be placed in a virtual waiting room until the program begins. Upon enter the room, you will be on mute, and should remain on mute unless the host calls you to speak. At that time, you may unmute by using Alt-A from a computer or star 6 if dialing in by phone.

All Many Faces of BARD programs will be recorded. If you do not want to be on the recording, please refrain from speaking.

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile:

US: +16692545252,,1611161911# or +16468287666,,1611161911#

Meeting URL:

https://loc.zoomgov.com/j/1611161911?pwd=bVh5ejFsWFBlL21KY0VqaHlRMUlSQT09

Meeting ID: 161 116 1911

Passcode:489758

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: 161 116 1911

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: 161 116 1911

Passcode: 489758

SIP: 1611161911@sip.zoomgov.com

Passcode: 489758

Skype for Business (Lync)

https://loc.zoomgov.com/skype/1611161911

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

On Saturday, July 16, 2022, a new three-digit code can be used to connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number will be known as the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The current Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, will always remain available to people in crisis.

When individuals call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. 

Veterans and their loved ones may contact either 988, option 1, or the Veterans Crisis Line, available by phone at 1-800-273-8255, option 1, by texting 838255, or by chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

For more information, visit https://988lifeline.org.

Affordable Connectivity Program: Get Discounted Internet and Vouchers Toward Devices

Recently the federal government launched the Affordable Connectivity Program to help people get home internet services and devices such as tablets and computers at a lower cost. This program can be accessed by people who want help paying for their current internet service, or those who do not have home internet service yet. Below is some information on the program and tips for how to apply, and how to get help with the application process.

From www.fcc.gov/acp:

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program;
  • Participates in one of these assistance programs:
    • The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
    • SNAP
    • Medicaid
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • WIC
    • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
    • or Lifeline;
  • Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance 
    • Tribal TANF
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • Tribal Head Start (income based)

Get Help:

How to Apply Link: https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/

Helpline Phone Number: 877-384-2575

Link to Participating Providers in Texas: https://www.fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers#Texas

What you will need to apply:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • ID verification such as Social Security Number, Tribal ID, Drivers License, Passport, or other government ID
  • Home address where you want internet service (no PO boxes)
  • Knowledge on if you and/or your child qualify based on their eligibility guidelines
  • An email address if applying online (follow mailing instructions in that How to Apply link to do it by mail)
  • Documentation to prove eligibility

Tip 1: If you already have internet service, contact your provider and have them enroll you in this program!

Tip 2: If you live with other people that you are not related to, all of you can apply for this program separately.

Tip 3: Approval is not instant. Make sure you plan ahead, with the knowledge that you will need to wait for approval before getting the discounts.

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.

Transportation in Travis County

The United Way of Central Texas can provide transportation through the ride share service Lyft for individuals in Travis County who need rides to doctor appointments, job interviews, or for grocery shopping.

United Way sets up the rides, so the individual does not need a smart phone or mobile device. Interested persons can call Connect ATX for more information at 833-512-2289. Connect ATX operates from 9 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday.

Mental Health Resources in Response to the Pandemic

Older adults and people with disabilities and underlying medical conditions can experience more stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak than other people. Find ways to reduce your stress and anxiety:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
• Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
• Connect with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
• If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Here are a few more helpful phone numbers:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

For more information, visit this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?fbclid=IwAR3SWsrU16WUj2q2svJ3Yhnz33poz3lsQh2zCu4ys96dq4Um7jkDA_GYY_I

Mental Health Resource for Seniors

Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides counseling services on a variety of topics for elderly individuals in several states including Texas. During the COVID -19 pandemic, services are provided in a tele-health setting, using a computer or portable device. No doctor order is required, and the counseling services are covered by Medicare, private pay, and some insurance companies.

For more information, call 855-241-7160, or visit https://bluemoonseniorcounseling.com/specialties/telehealth