CTBL News - Winter 2015

Winter 2015 - Volume 50, No. 1

Table of Contents

Highlighting — Costs of our Digital World

Moving to the new world of the digital player and books on cartridge has been wonderful for our patrons. Gone are the side selector switch and multiple cassettes for one book. Now, readers have the ease and accessibility of the sleep button and just one book per cartridge — no switching required.

With digital audio books, we can download any available book and the library duplicates between 100 and 150 books per month for patrons who don’t have access to BARD. But we need to have the materials on hand to produce those books. The Friends of CTBL purchases mint green cartridges and gray or yellow mailing containers for the library to use. They do not come cheap.

2,100 cartridges cost around $15,000 per year and the mailing containers are $2,100. Generally this is not a problem until patrons do not return the books or newsletters to the library. We have been loosing about 1,500 cartridges and containers a year.

The great thing about the cartridges is that they can be reused by the library. These cartridges are password protected so no one else can use it for their own purposes.

So if you have finished reading locally produced books and newsletters, please send them back. It will help us reduce the cost of producing the locally duplicated material.

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CTBL will be closed on the following days in 2015:

  • January 19th
  • February 16th
  • May 25th

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From the Director

This year in an effort to support science literacy, CTBL has recorded ten new titles at all grade levels. Two have been highlighted in the collection news section. For information on the other titles, contact a reader advisor.

A patron asked about the different types of books on BARD.
Here are some statistics:

Total number of books in BARD as of 11-20-14 — 58,698

  • BR: 11,469 — NLS produced
  • BRC: 1,362 — network produced
  • DB: 40,808 — NLS produced
  • DBC: 202 — network produced
  • DBF: 165 — foreign titles
  • DBN: 13 — network produced but passed NLS QA

@DebbiMacLeod twitter icon

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Partnering — 3D Printing for Tactile Books

In early summer CTBL began partnering with Tom Yeh, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at CU Boulder. One of his research areas is using 3D printing to create tactile books. They explain their research this way:Picture of the tactile image of the elephant in the book Dear Zoo

“We create 3D printed tactile picture books for children with visual impairment and study the scientific and technical questions that arise.”

CTBL hosted two of Yeh’s research workshops in August and discovered that creating the tactile images is not so easy. So Yeh’s lab is “building the research and technology to create tactile pictures for children.”

Dear Zoo, the first book Yeh’s lab produced is available for circulation, OS001070. Since they are still conducting research, there will be a few questions that we hope our patrons will answer about the experience.

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Tech Talk — NEW! Visual Brailler App for iPad

Announcing another iOS app from APH! Works with your Apple iPad or iPad mini running iOS 7 or later! And it’s free of charge!

Visual Brailler is the simple Braille editor. It’s a Braillewriter for your iPad, and it has a place in every Braille transcriber’s toolbox. It displays a traditional six-dot keyboard and simulated Braille on your iPad screen. You can edit and save your work, which makes Visual Brailler perfect for use for on-the-go practice for NLS certification exercises. Visual Brailler supports any code you wish to use, because it makes no assumptions about what you are writing. Use it to learn new codes, such as Unified English Braille (UEB), and to record your progress.

For transcribers who are blind, Visual Brailler also works with Bluetooth refreshable Braille displays and with keyboards. Features include 6-dot Braille on-screen keyboard; support for any and all 6-dot Braille codes; an indefinite number of 40-cell Braille lines; cut, copy, and paste Braille manipulation; compatible with refreshable Braille display input and output devices; and BRL (unformatted) and BRF (formatted) Braille file export.

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Wanted — Finished reading your books & magazines?

Please send them back when you have finished reading. Other patrons may be waiting to read those titles. Newsletter and magazine cartridges need to be returned so that they may be reused.

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CTBL Reads — Starts January 13th

Our Winter Adult Reading Program, CTBL Reads, begins January 13th and runs through March 17th. You may read any books you want but participants are encouraged to read the community book selection, Smaldone.

“Smaldone: the Untold Story of an American Crime Family” by local author Dick Kreck. Clyde Smaldone was the head of Denver’s crime family for forty years. This biography portrays him not only as a criminal mastermind but also as a devoted family man who gave generously to his community.

We will host an author phone chat with Dick Kreck on February 17th at 2 p.m. to discuss Smaldone and ask questions. We will provide the phone number and passcode a short time before the event.

In March, patrons are invited to call in at our regular number, 800-685-2136, and answer Colorado Trivia questions for a chance at a small prize.

During CTBL Reads, patrons have three opportunities to have their names entered into the prize drawing, by reading Smaldone, or participating in the two CTBL Reads events. The grand prize is a cartridge with your favorite books on it. Or you can also use the cartridge to store books downloaded from BARD. (We can provide a cable if you need one.)

Call the library to sign up and we will send more detailed information!

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Resource of Interest — Are you a Veteran with a Visual Impairment?

Did you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides health and rehabilitative services to help you overcome the everyday challenges of vision loss?

All U.S. military veterans, whether they served during war or peace, whether service connected or non-service connected may be eligible.

VIST Coordinators are case managers who coordinate services for veterans with vision problems that impact their safety and independence. They can assist with:

  • VA Eligibility and enrollment
  • Review of veteran’s benefits
  • Referrals to VA inpatient, outpatient, and in home programs for assessments and training
  • All adaptive aids recommended during training are provided to veterans as part of their rehabilitation program

For more information contact the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator nearest you:

  • Pamela Newton
    Denver VIST
    303-399-8020 X3040
    toll free 888-336-8262
  • Evalyn Christensen
    Pueblo VIST
  • Thomas Ziemann
    Grand Junction VIST
  • Rhonda Riley
    Cheyenne, WY VIST (Northern Colorado)

Or visit the VA website: https://www.rehab.va.gov/PROSTHETICS/blindrehab/index.aspab

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Volunteer News — Volunteer Recognition

On December 6th CTBL celebrated the many accomplishments of our volunteers during 2014. Tyler Kottmann was Master of Ceremony for the annual brunch held at the Lakewood Country Club. John Brown, Head of the Engineering section of NLS, gave the keynote speech to celebrate the 50-year partnership between NLS and the Pioneers for machine repair.

During the awards ceremony, CTBL honored the volunteers who have reached notable milestones in their service. The five-year awardees this year include: Melvin Belt, Stephanie Briggs, Andrea Loughry, Sue Trent, and Steve Williamson.

Vince J. Beeson was honored for ten years of service to CTBL and Al Busnardo was honored for his fifteen years of service.

Ed George, Laverne Rios, and Melissa Roberts were honored for twenty years of service.

Telephone Pioneers Steve Austin, George Fisher, and Jack London were each recognized for their twenty-five years of volunteering with the machine repair crew.

Very Special honors were given to Norma Sierota for her thirty-five years of narrating books at CTBL. She received a certificate and CD containing selections of some of the material she has recorded over the years. She was also given a framed certificate from the National Library Service signed by the Director, Karen Kenninger. A special plaque honoring her accomplishment will be hung on the volunteer hall of honor at CTBL.

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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):

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
Author: Alan Weisman
In researching this book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth — and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth? 2013 (Adult Fiction) PR022696

“When Did You See Her Last?”
Author: Lemony Snicket

In the fading town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are All the Wrong Questions. For grades 3 to 6. 2013 (Fiction) PR022698

The Shack Revisited
Author: C. Baxter Kruger
William Paul Young’s novel, “The Shack,” has been embraced by Christians worldwide. Kruger explores this story of a man lifted from the depths of despair through his life-altering encounter with God, and guides readers into a deeper understanding of the core message of the novel — God is love. 2012 (Adult Non-Fiction) PR022718

Suddenly, the Cider Didn’t Taste So Good: Adventures of a Game Warden in Maine
Author: John Ford Sr.
Retired Maine Game Warden John Ford has seen it all. He’s been shot at by desperate prison escapees, been outwitted by wily trappers, and rescued scores of animals. As a tenacious and successful warden, he was always willing to spend the time needed to nab violators of the state’s fish and game laws. At the same time, though, he wasn’t a cold, heartless, go-by-the-book enforcer; he usually had a good quip ready when he slipped the handcuffs on a violator, and he wasn’t above accepting a lesson learned as sufficient penalty for breaking the law. 2014 (Adult Non-Fiction) PR023028

The Girls from Corona del Mar
Author: Rufi Thorpe
Best friends Mia and Lorrie Ann are growing up in the lower-middle-class suburb of Corona del Mar, California. Mia thinks Lorrie Ann’s life is golden, especially compared to Mia’s life with an alcoholic mother. Then tragedy strikes Lorrie Ann and the trajectories of their lives diverge. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 2014 (Adult Fiction) PR023025

The Bees
Author: Lalline Paull
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive. But she is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are assets. Flora is allowed to feed the newborns and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. In the Queen’s inner sanctum, she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. But when Flora dares to challenge the Queen’s fertility, enemies abound. 2014 (Adult Fiction) PR022742

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From the Colorado Collection — Audio Books:

Shakespeare’s Tremor and Orwell’s Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers
Author: John J Ross, M.D.
Narrator: Louise Lederhos
Were Shakespeare’s shaky handwriting, his obsession with venereal disease, and his premature retirement connected? Did John Milton go blind from his propaganda work for the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell, as he believed, or did he have a rare and devastating complication of a very common eye problem? What Victorian plague wiped out the entire Brontë family? Dr. John Ross cheerfully debunks old biographical myths and suggests fresh diagnoses for these writers’ real-life medical mysteries. 2012 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC02913

I See By Your Outfit: Becoming a Cowboy a Century Too Late
Author: Clay Bonnyman Evans
Narrator: Nelson Grabenstetter
A full-bodied memoir of Western life that doesn’t shy away from difficult truths, but rather places them in the context of what it means to be a cowboy, today. 1999 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC00681

Outlaw Trail: A History of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch
Author: Charles Kelly
Narrator: Ellis Ann Sinclair
The Wild Bunch, the confederation of western outlaws headed by Butch Cassidy, found sanctuary on the rugged Outlaw Trail. Stretching across Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, this trail offered desert and mountain hideouts to bandits and cowboys. The almost inaccessible Hole-in-the-Wall in Wyoming was a station on the Outlaw Trail well known to Butch Cassidy. To the south, in Utah, was the inhospitable Robbers' Roost, where Butch and his friends camped in 1897 after a robbery at Castle Gate. Charles Kelly recreates the mean and magnificent places frequented by the Wild Bunch and a slew of lesser outlaws. At the same time, he brings Butch Cassidy to life, traces his criminal apprenticeship and meeting with the Sundance Kid, and masterfully describes the exploits of the Wild Bunch. 1996 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC00699

Murder at the Brown Palace: A True Story of Seduction & Betrayal
Author: Dick Kreck
Narrator: Sharon Huckins
On May 24, 1911, one of the most notorious murders in Denver’s history occurred. The riveting tale involves high society, adultery, drugs, multiple murder, and more, all set in Denver’s grand old hotel, the Brown Palace. As foreword writer and historian Tom Noel proclaims, “Hollywood murder mystery writers could not have contrived a thriller as chilling as this factual account.” 2003 (Adult Non-Fiction) DBC002909

Come on, Rain!
Author: Karen Hesse
Narrator: Norine Domenico
Tess pleads to the sky as listless vines and parched plants droop in the endless heat. Up and down the block, cats pant while heat wavers off tar patches in the broiling alleyway. More than anything, Tess hops for rain. And when it comes, she and her friends are ready for a surprising and joyous celebration. For preschool to grade 2 and older readers. 1999 (Fiction) DBC02902

Exploring the Planets in our Solar System
Author: Rebecca Olien
Narrator: Sharyl Baasch
Young readers learn all about the planets dwarf planets in our solar system. For grades 2 to 4 and older readers. 2007 (Non-Fiction) DBC02905

Just Ducks!
Author: Nicola Davies
Narrator: Beverley Zier
Even in the middle of the city, you’ll find ducks down on the river, quacking and eating all day long! Follow the ducks as they preen and splash, showing off their fine feathers and bobbing upside down for food — and find out just how fascinating our feathered neighbors can be! For preschool to grade 2 and older readers. 2014 (Fiction) DBC00694

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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

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

Patrons who would like a currency reader should call the library so we can put you on a list. A reader will be sent when it becomes available in January 2015.

Broken readers will be exchanged. No replacements for lost readers will be available.

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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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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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AmazonSmileFriends of CTBL Logo

The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to charitable organizations. If you make purchases through Amazon, try AmazonSmile and designate The Friends of CTBL as a recipient of charitable donations. Several patrons have already done this. Thanks!

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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

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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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