CTBL News - Spring 2014

Spring 2014 - Volume 49, No. 2

Table of Contents

Highlighting — Descriptive Narration at the Movies

Ever want to go to the movie theatre with your friends and family and know what is going on? Well you can enjoy descriptive narration in some theatres for some movies. AMC, Cinemark, Landmark Theatres, and Regal Cinemas all provide this service in their theatres with digital projection equipment. Movies that are in digital format generally carry a descriptive narration track.

Call ahead or search the website for the movies that have audio description. When you buy your tickets at the box office, ask for the headset to use for the descriptive narration. It’s that easy. No waiting for the DVD to come out.

If your local movie theatre is not part of these chains, check with them directly.


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CTBL will be closed on the following days in 2014:

  • May 26th
  • July 4th
  • September 1st

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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.

By the time you read this, I will be in Oklahoma City at the NLS biennial conference. I hope to have interesting news that I will be tweeting as we learn it.

The newly updated CTBL Handbook is available. If you would like an updated version, call a reader advisor and ask for one to be sent to you.

@DebbiMacLeod twitter icon

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Reader Advisory — Summer Reading Games

CTBL’s summer reading program will run from June 9th to August 10th. This year’s themes are “FIZZ! BOOM! READ!” for younger readers and “Spark a Reaction” for teens. Look for an informational letter and registration form arriving in May.

This year the Summer Games will work a bit differently. As you read and post comments on our blog, you’ll earn points. During the program participants will vote on an organization to support. At the end of the program we will add all of the points together and will turn those points into a donation to the organization chosen. The Friends of CTBL will be making the donation on behalf of the summer games participants.

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7th Annual Patron Open House

SAVE THE DATE! — Tuesday, July 22nd 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Come visit your library, meet the staff, have a tour, talk with other patrons, visit the studio, and meet our local narrators. We will again provide BARD coaching. Watch for the invitation for further details. And of course enjoy refreshments.

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Event of Interest — Vision Resource Expo

Thursday, June 19, 2014 — 9:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Gottlieb School Building
Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind — CSDB
33 N. Institute Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

For more specifics, please call DVR at 719-635-3585 and ask for Patty Wagner, Michelle McGowan, or Tim Richard. Co-sponsored by CSDB and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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Please remember to always double check and make sure the book cartridge is in its container before mailing the container back. We have had an 8-fold increase in the number of empty containers coming back to us over the last six months. If you find a book cartridge all on its own, double it up inside the container with another book and mail it back. Thanks!

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Resources of Interest — Five Downloadable Book Alternatives to BARD

If you have been using BARD, you may be interested in exploring these other sources of downloadable books. Some of them will provide audio books read by narrators while others will be “text-to-speech” audio read by a synthetic voice from text files. NLS equipment will play some of the audio narration files but does not support text-to-speech.

Your local Public Library (Free) — Many public libraries subscribe to Overdrive, which offers MP3/WMA audio books and eBooks in various formats for loan. NLS digital players will play unprotected MP3 files, but not WMA.

Project Gutenberg (Free) — Books with expired copyrights in various eBook formats including some narrated audio, but most in text. www.gutenberg.org

Internet Archive (Free) — Partnership of multiple online resources resulting in an impressive collection of audio books in various formats and full-text/html books. www.archive.org

Bookshare ($50 per year plus one time $25 membership fee) — Electronic braille in refreshable braille format and Daisy audio books in either text-to-speech or MP3 formats. NLS equipment will support only the MP3 format. www.bookshare.org

Learning Ally ($129 per year) — Mostly textbooks and reference materials in Daisy narrated audio. NLS players can play these books after a Learning Ally decryption key is installed. www.learningally.org

Story from CABTBL

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Tech Talk — ODIN VI MobilePhone

Odin Mobile is a company that specializes in providing mobile phone service to persons who are blind or visually impaired. They make the Odin VI talking phone for people who want a phone that just makes calls and sends text messages. It is a slider that reveals a standard phone keypad when you slide up the screen. The phone speaks everything that is on the screen, speaks the keys that you press and even prompts you to perform certain functions. The phone comes with a charging stand and speaks “charger connected” and “charger removed” when placing or removing the phone from the charger.

There are only 3 buttons on the front of the phone when it is closed. The buttons on the keypad are quite large and nicely separated. The phone is simple and fairly easy to learn. The Call button is only used to make phone calls. In most cases, the OK button selects an item and the End button takes you back to the previous menu option. The exceptions to this are few enough that they will not pose a serious barrier to users without recall problems.

The Odin VI can be purchased for $150 from Odin Mobile. Monthly plans include unlimited texting and start at $10. For more information visit their website at www.odinmobile.com or call 855-217-9459.

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Volunteer News —

How do you thank 160 volunteers who help provide books to our patrons? With a party that lasted five days!

Colorado Talking Book Library celebrated National Volunteer Appreciation Week April 6 – 11 with sweets and treats for the volunteers, which were donated by our staff and local businesses. Albertson’s, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Kings Soopers, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, and Target each generously donated enough treats to satisfy the entire volunteer corps, with plenty leftover.

Volunteers at Colorado Talking Book Library assist the staff in nearly every area of the library. They energetically provide the manpower to get 2,000 books mailed out to the library patrons every day. There is a team of volunteers who help record, edit, and copy the books we produce in our studio. Two groups of volunteers repair the talking book machines necessary for listening to talking books; many of these volunteers are members of the Pioneers — a volunteer network.

Our staff members are some of the best cheerleaders you could ever meet! Many of our volunteers come back every week, not because of the work, but because of the relationships they have with our staff!

“Our volunteers are such a warm and wonderfully talented group of people. Individually they have received numerous honors and awards for their work; together they are a winning team! They bring a burst of energy to CTBL that takes our service to a higher level than we could ever achieve without them. The work our volunteers do is important and vital to the patrons of our library.”

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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):

The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
The relationship between a wealthy Charleston girl, Sarah Grimké, who will grow up to become a prominent abolitionist, and the slave she is given for her 11th birthday. An Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. (Fiction) PR021709

Big Girl Small
Author: Rachel DeWoshin
With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, Judy should be the star of Darcy Academy, the local performing arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room on the edge of town? A scathingly funny and moving book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and profound. 2011 (Young Adult Fiction) PR019482

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Memoir of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who was the target of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in October 2012. Details her family’s crusade for girls’ education, the campaign of intimidation that culminated in her shooting, and her recovery. Bestseller 2013 (Non-Fiction, Biography) PR021787

The Kill List
Author: Frederick Forsyth
Internet sermons by a masked man called the Preacher drive his radical Muslim disciples to kill public officials. An ex-marine known as Tracker is tasked by his U.S. agency to eliminate the Preacher. When Tracker’s father becomes a victim, the hunt becomes personal. Violence and strong language. 2013 (Fiction) PR021813

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From the Colorado Collection — Audio Books:

On Colfax Avenue: A Victorian Childhood
Author: Elizabeth Young
Narrator: Jeanne Amen
Elizabeth Young recalls her childhood on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado. She grew up in the 1890s, in the midst of Denver’s rapid metamorphosis from frontier town to modern city. Young’s memoir provides vivid glimpses of the people and events of this heady era, along with the adventuresome spirit that animated them. 2004 (Adult Non-Fiction) DC007972

Sterling Heroes of World War II
Authors: Dr. John Elliff and Denny Dressman
Narrator: Norm Jones
Thirty-six veterans from rural northeast Colorado share their personal World War II stories — each one unique yet, altogether, representative of America’s wartime service experience, in the Army, Air Forces, Navy, and Marines — from Europe to Pacific. Contains some violence. 2012 (Adult Nonfiction) DC008349

Aliens Don’t Wear Braces — Bailey School Kids; #7
Authors: Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones
Narrator: Nelson Embleton
The grown-ups living in Bailey City are sometimes pretty weird, but could the art teacher with the braces on her teeth be an alien from outer space? 1993. Grades 2 to 4. (Fiction) DC007338

Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life: How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness
Author: Karen Rauch Carter
Narrator: Ann Pohs
Promising health, wealth, and happiness, feng shui offers endless appeal — at least in concept. Unfortunately, feng shui’s seemingly complicated methods are often difficult to learn and apply in a meaningful way. This book, written in plain and simple English for the modern Western reader, communicates how to meet “The One,” find a dream job, earn better grades in school and enjoy a better sex life. 2000 (Adult Non-Fiction) DC008007

SHELF Animal Sampler
Author: Various
Narrator: Various
A sampler compiled by the Colorado Talking Book Library featuring ten animal-themed titles. Contains the following: Bandy: The True Tale of a Courageous Cape Cod Canada Goose (SMA00861); Best Friends: The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary (SMA00761); Dog Days (SID00767); Don Coyote: The Good Times and the Bad Times of a Much Maligned American Original (SID00613); A Hawk in the Sun: Adventures Studying Hawks (SID01138); A Hummingbird in My House: The Story of Squeak (SMA00558); If Only They Could Speak: Stories About Pets and Their People (SMA0118); The Beast in the Garden (DC008170); Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (DC008070); and Behind the Mist (SUT01184). 2014 (Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction) DC000131

Zombies Don’t Play Soccer. Bailey School Kids series; #15
Authors: Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones
Narrator: Mimi Newman
The Bailey School soccer team hasn’t had a lot of success, but their new coach seems like the woman to help whip them into shape. Coach Graves is a little rough around the edges, but she’s good at what she does. That is until a strange old lady turns up at one of their practices. After that, Coach Graves has a vacant look in her eyes, mumbles and groans in response to the kids, and moves like she’s back from the dead. Can the kids break the spell and bring their coach back to normal in time for their big game? 1995. For grades 2 to 4. (Fiction) DC007443

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

An additional way to contribute to either the Friends or to CTBL is through a charitable bequest as part of a will or through life insurance. You do not have to rewrite your current document but can add a written amendment called a codicil. Such a bequest only becomes irrevocable at your death. Giving to the library helps support the programs and service we provide to our patrons and helps to secure the future.

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Legacy Gifts

Legacy gifts to the Friends of CTBL are a vital way to ensure ongoing support for all the services the library provides to patrons. The Friends have established Eyes to the Future that honors and recognizes the generosity and vision of patrons, families and friends who have chosen to leave a legacy through their estates or other deferred gifts.

We invite you to become a member of Eyes to the Future. Enrollment in this honorary group is simply a matter of advising us about your plans to make a legacy gift, such as a bequest in a will or living trust, or designating The Friends of CTBL as beneficiary of an individual retirement plan, 401k or life insurance policy. The Friends of CTBL is a public 501(c)(3) charity and the tax ID is 23-7243950.

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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

  • Robbert 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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