CTBL News - Fall 2014

Fall 2014 - Volume 49, No. 3

Table of Contents

Highlighting — The NLS Biennial Meeting in OKC

During the first week of May, the network assembled in Oklahoma City to hear about many projects from NLS and meet with colleagues. Here are some highlights.

NLS is working on the next generation player. It will have improved battery technology and a text to speech engine. The redesign process will run as a separate process from manufacturing and have lots of patron input.

The iOS app is getting an update which will include improvements to web Braille, a sleep timer, magic tap and incorporate integration with iOS7. It should be available in September.

The Android app development has been very rocky due to accessibility issues. The app is expected by the end of the year but will not have web braille access. NLS continues to convert cassette books to digital. There are 20,000 titles left and they expect to convert 350 per month. These books will have no navigation features and the side announcements will be in them.

NLS has contracted with commercial audio books publishers that will add an additional 1,000 per year to the collection. Most of these books will be unrated for violence, strong language and descriptions of sex.

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CTBL will be closed on the following days in 2014 and 2015:

  • November 27th & 28th
  • December 24th & 25th
  • January 1st & 19th

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From the Director

Do you follow folks on Twitter? If so, you can follow my intermittent tweets about books as they come available or other news about CTBL.

@DebbiMacLeod twitter icon

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Volunteer News

"Where everybody knows your name…”

One of the many pleasures of working with volunteers is watching new friendships develop as people work together. Many adults find that when they move on to the next phase of their life they no longer have the ready-made group of friends that formed in school, in the office, or in their neighborhood. It can be very challenging to connect with people who share the same interests and goals.

At CTBL we provide many opportunities for people to connect with each other, whether talking about favorite authors and books over a cup of coffee or teaming up in the studio to record books.

But one of the most enduring examples of camaraderie has to be the machine repair crews who meet at CTBL on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. These groups consist primarily of members of the Telephone Pioneers, but several other volunteers have been welcomed into the groups and are now “just one of the guys”.

When the talking book machines were switched from analog to digital, they worked together to learn the new protocols. When a member is dealing with health problems or has lost a spouse, they look out for that member, making sure he is safe and has meals.

The room where they meet serves as their “place”. As they move to smaller “senior living” homes and lose their workshops full of tools, they still have a place to come and be useful, giving back to many people they have never met.

Finding a group of friends who have worked together, laughed together, and shared their talents for as long as the Pioneers have is a rare treasure indeed. We hope they continue to share that friendship for a very long time.


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Tech Talk — New Online Catalog (OPAC)

For many years, patrons have been using CTBL’s OPAC to request books, browse our collection and review their account information. The new and improved online catalog offers all the services you have come to rely on and several new features as well.

There are several links on the main page — Search, Browse, Quick Request, and My Account.

Search: The screen where you can search for items by Title, Author, or Subject. A new feature, Author (sounds like), allows you to search for an author name using your best guess with regard to the spelling of the author’s last name.

Browse: This page provides browsing lists in several categories:

  • Recent Titles — Audio, Braille, and large print titles added to CTBL’s collection within the last three months.
  • Popular Titles: The most widely circulated titles during the last month.
  • Locally Produced SHELF Content: Titles produced in CTBL’s recording studio that are available for download through our website.
  • SHELF Content From Other Libraries: Content produced by other Braille and talking book libraries and available for download through our OPAC.

Quick Request: On this page you can input book numbers from the Talking Book Topics to order your books.

My Account: Review your contact information, reading preferences, and reading history on this screen. You will need to contact the library if any changes need to be made to this information.

One of the features our staff is most excited to announce is the ability to refine your search. Whether searching the collection or simply browsing, the new online catalog provides links (called facets) that will allow you to narrow your search and redisplay the data accordingly. If you search for mystery, you will get a list of over 18,000 titles; the facets will let you fine-tune your results by format, availability, language and other categories. You can limit the search to a specific item by clicking on that item or remove an item from the search results by selecting the minus sign in the blue circle to the right of the item.

Another convenient new feature is that a link is provided for any downloadable item right on the screen next to the title in the search results. These links work for both BARD and SHELF content.

You can visit our new OPAC by going to www.myctbl.org and selecting Order Books Online or going directly to: https://ctbl.cde.state.co.us/search/search.jsf

More detailed instructions on using the new OPAC will be available soon at: https://myctbl.cde.state.co.us/order-books-online

Please share your feedback of the new OPAC by emailing us at: ctbl.info@cde.state.co.us.

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Update Your Contact Information

Have you moved, changed your phone number or email address?

Please remember to update your patron information with the library. We have a lot of patrons that have either moved or changed their phone numbers and we don’t have updated contact info. This means we can’t contact them. So just remember, when there is a change to keep us in the loop. Thanks!

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Currency Readers

NLS is partnering with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in distributing its currency readers. The readers are free and will only read U.S. currency.

NLS is scheduled to begin distributing currency readers to patrons who are blind or visually impaired this fall. Only registered patrons may obtain currency readers before December 31, 2014.

Patrons requesting a currency reader will be put on a list and a reader will be sent when it becomes available.

In January 2015, the program will open to all residents and U.S. citizens living abroad who are blind or visually impaired.

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Resources of Interest — Tactile Tables at Denver Art Museum

Get hands on with art! Tactile Tables are a regularly scheduled, bimonthly opportunity to experience art in a hands-on way with facilitation by specially trained docents. These tables are free with admission and are open to all visitors who desire a multisensory, hands-on experience with art. They are especially fun for those visitors who are blind and low vision.

October: Modern and Contemporary Art Tactile Tables

Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hamilton Building, Level 4

Reservations appreciated but not required. Interested participants should contact Sally McCance at smccance@denverartmuseum.org.

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Event of Interest — Disabilities & Assistive Technologies Expo

Saturday, October 18, 2014 — Noon to 4 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center

The Expo is sponsored by Assistive Technology Partners and Denver Commission for People with Disabilities.

The Expo will feature vendors showcasing the latest innovations in hardware, software, educational materials, Assistive Technology (AT) devices and solutions for home, school, work and play. Colorado organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities or to those who are experiencing problems associated with aging will also be present.

The Expo is free and open to the public. For more information about the expo, driving directions, exhibitor registration and a list of attending exhibitors, please visit the Event Page at: www.assistivetechnologypartners.org.

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Reminder —

Please send back your books and magazines when you have finished reading them. Other patrons may be waiting to read those titles. For newsletters and magazines the cartridges need to be reused.

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Collection News — Suggestions from New Additions

From the hundreds of Large Print Books
(Please note, these titles are not in audio format):

China Dolls
Author: Lisa See
In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco’s exclusive “Oriental” nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who has deep roots in San Francisco’s Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Fiction) PR022119

The Last Kind Words Saloon
Author: Larry McMurtry
McMurtry tells the story of the closing of the American frontier through the travails of two of its most immortal figures — Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Opening in the settlement of Long Grass, Texas not quite in Kansas, and nearly New Mexico we encounter the taciturn Wyatt, whiling away his time in between bottles, and the dentist-turned-gunslinger Doc, more adept at poker than extracting teeth. Now hailed as heroes for their days of subduing drunks in Abilene and Dodge more often with a mean look than a pistol Wyatt and Doc are living out the last days of a way of life that is passing into history, two men never more aware of the growing distance between their lives and their legends. (Fiction) PR022127

The Lemonade Ripple: A Sweet Story of Kindness and Charity
Author: Paul Reichert
Caroline sets up a stand to sell her Grandmother’s sweet lemonade to raise money for the new wheelchair her friend Shannon needs, which inspires others to help. Includes tips for encouraging children to be philanthropic. For grades 2 to 4. (Fiction) PR021985

Divergent. Divergent Trilogy #1
Author: Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, society is divided into five factions. During the Choosing Ceremony, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must pick her lifelong faction. But Beatrice discovers she is an anomaly — a divergent — who does not fit anywhere. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. (Fiction) PR021720

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing
Author: Nina Sankovitch
Witty, moving, enlightening, and inspiring, Signed, Sealed, Delivered begins with Nina Sankovitch’s discovery of a trove of hundred year- old letters. The letters are in an old steamer trunk she finds in her backyard and include missives written by a Princeton freshman to his mother in the early 1900s. Nina’s own son is heading off to Harvard, and she hopes that he will write to her, as the Princeton student wrote to his mother and as Nina wrote to hers. (Non-Fiction) PR022138

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From the Colorado Collection — Audio Books:

The White House: An Historic Guide
Author: The White House Historical Association
Narrator: Jean Schneider
The first guidebook was presented to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in July 1962. She intended that it would remind readers that “many First Families loved this house — and that each and every one left something of themselves behind in it.” As she hoped, the book remains a reference to be read at home by both children and adults to “sort out the impressions received on an often crowded visit” and to learn more about the history of the house itself. 2003 (Adult Non-Fiction) DC008023

The Capitol Ghost Mystery
Author: Michelle M. Barone
Narrator: Stephanie Briggs
A portrait of Abraham Lincoln has been stolen from the Colorado State Capitol for the second time, and Silvie Blake is on the hunt for clues during her class field trip. Silvie is soon caught in a puzzling web woven around history, ghosts and her own family. As she solves one mystery after another she finds keys that unlock her past, an unexpected friendship, and a belief in herself that will change her life forever. 2013 (Adult Fiction) DC008364

Turtle Island
Author: Patricia McFadden
Narrator: Norma Sierota
Turtle Island is an enchanting tale of friendship, bravery, and adventure, set on a continent inhabited by peaceful tribes of animals. Peaceful, that is, until Ojo Rojo, a Rat with a thirst for power, is washed ashore and begins a campaign of terror and conquest. To save her beloved homeland, Chuptik, a young Otter healer, is faced with the hardest decision any healer has to make. What will she do? 2001 For grades 5 to 8 (Fiction) DC008043

Mountain Mafia: Organized Crime in the Rockies
Authors: Betty L. Alt and Sandra K. Wells
Narrator: Don Bennallack
Mountain Mafia is a brief history of the Black Hand and Mafia in the Rocky Mountain region. It brings to life some of the more colorful leaders in the West’s organized crime operations throughout the 20th century, including Roma, Colletti, and the Smaldones. Especially examined is the famous court case of “Scotty” Spinuzzi, who was acquitted of murder “because no one saw the bullet leave the gun.” Some violence. 2008 (Adult Non-Fiction) DC008345

Tomboy Bride: A Woman’s Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West
Author: Harriet Fish Backus
Narrator: Joy Jeanelle
Autobiography of a young bride joining her husband in Colorado in the early 1900s. About life in Leadville and Telluride, it is told with humor and warmth. 1969 (Adult Non-Fiction) DC000437

The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill
Author: Phil Goodstein
Narrator: Nelson Grabenstetter
Denver native Phil Goodstein explores the city’s spooky side in this detailed volume that focuses on haunted houses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Unveils a thorough history of the area’s architecture, culture, and personalities, including those of ages past who have never left the “Queen City of the Plains.” 1996. (Adult Non-Fiction) DC007264

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
Author: R.L. Stine
Narrator: Dan Mundell
Lost in an Egyptian pyramid, twelve-year-old Gave and his cousin, Sari, find that they are not alone. 1993. For grades 4 to 7. (Fiction) DC007300

Grumpy Bird
Author: Jeremy Tankard
Narrator: Amanda Carroll
Feeling too grumpy to fly, Bird begins to walk and finds that his mood changes as other animals join him. 2007, 2014 selection for “One Book 4 Colorado.” For preschool to grade 2. (Fiction) DC008397
Spanish Version available — El Pájaro Gruñón
Narrator: Oscar Pareja ** DC008398

The Asphalt Warrior
Author: Gary Reilly
Narrator: Donald Beckwith
Murph has two main goals in life. First, to earn no more from driving his cab than it takes to keep his bohemian lifestyle afloat. Second, never and under any circumstance get involved in the lives of his fares. He’s not very good at the first and spectacularly bad at the second. 2012 (Adult Fiction) DBC00656

The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America
Author: Hannah Nordhaus
Narrator: Sharon Huckins
Award-winning journalist Hannah Nordhaus tells the remarkable story of John Miller, one of America’s foremost migratory beekeepers, and the myriad and mysterious epidemics threatening American honeybee populations. In luminous, razor-sharp prose, Nordhaus explores the vital role that honeybees play in American agribusiness, the maintenance of our food chain, and the very future of the nation. 2011 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC00660

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World
Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Narrator: Bob Serkowski
We are undergoing a historical transformation in the way we create and disseminate energy. Together, Internet technology and the reality of renewable energy are creating a new type of electrical grid, one in which energy is stored and distributed on an individual basis. Soon, hundreds of millions of human beings will be generating their own green energy in their homes, offices and factories, and sharing it, just as they now create their own information and share it on the Internet. In just a few years, millions of buildings and even cities will become energy self-sufficient, signaling the end of our reliance on fossil fuels. 2011 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC00658

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Contributors to The Friends of the Colorado Talking Book Library and The Colorado Talking Book Library

The list of contributors to Colorado Talking Book Library and the Friends of CTBL from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, has been omitted from this format. Interested parties may access this information through the PDF version of our newsletter. Further assistance may be requested through the Reader Advisors.

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How to Reach Us:

Colorado Talking Book Library
180 Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, CO 80226
303-727-9277—metro Denver
1-800-685-2136—outside Denver

  • Robert Hammond, Commissioner of Education
  • Eugene Hainer, State Librarian
  • Debbi MacLeod, Director, CTBL

Social Media:

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The Colorado Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or age, in access to, employment in, or provision of any of CDE’s programs, benefits, or activities.

This newsletter was published with funding from the Friends of CTBL.

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