CTBL News - Winter 2022

Winter 2022 - Volume 57, No. 1

Table of Contents

Highlighting — MacLeod Retires after 17.5 years

After 17.5 years Debbi MacLeod retired as CTBL’s Director. During her tenure audio books migrated from cassettes to digital cartridge then to books on demand. The studio also migrated from audio tape to digital recording. CTBL maintained an overall satisfaction rating of 99%, was recognized as NLS’s Network Library of the Year, and the Colorado Association of Libraries Library of the Year. While leadership is a key driver, several factors contribute to this success: great staff, wonderful volunteers, and a supportive Friends of CTBL, the quintessential three-legged stool. It takes a village to achieve great success.

Back to Contents

Highlighting — Steffen takes over the reigns at CTBL

Nicolle Steffen became the Director CTBL on January 3rd. For the last 6 years, she has been the Technical Service Librarian. She is well acquainted with CTBL and all that it takes to run the library. Prior to that she was the Library Research Services Director at the State Library. This may be familiar to you as LRS conducts the patron satisfaction survey every other year. She has been at the State Library for 20 years. She is also a patron of the library and part of this community.

Back to Contents

CTBL will be closed on the following days in 2021 - 2022:

  • December 31st
  • January 17th
  • February 21st

Back to Contents

From the Director

This is my final message to our community. I want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve you over these 17.5 years. Knowing that the library has such a positive impact in the lives of our patrons is the calling for all of us at CTBL. This has been the most meaningful work I have done in my career. As someone with dyslexia, I count myself part of this community and will remain a patron. It has been important to me to set CTBL up for success and I believe good things are in store.
Check out the Friends of CTBL Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

Check out the Friends of CTBL Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

@friendsofctbl twitter icon

Back to Contents

Reminder to Patrons - contacting CTBL Staff

In these days of spam calls many of us are not answering calls from numbers we do not know. If you have left a message, please include a time that staff can call you back. Please be alert for a call back in the next day or two and try to answer the call. Many times, the CTBL phone number will come up as something else. There has been a lot of telephone tag lately.

If you have email, this is an efficient way to send your message to the library: ctbl.info@cde.stae.co.us

Back to Contents

Wanted — Unused playback machines and finished audio books

If you have a player that you are not using, please send it back to the library so we can pass it on to another patron. Call the library if you need a post-paid mailing label. Please send back old audio books as you finish them.

Back to Contents

CTBL Community Reads

Fiction Selection
Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) - DB095987
Author: Lorna Landvik
Narrator: Mare Trevathan
Length: 9 hours, 21 minutes

Haze Evans wrote an insightful and humorous column for the local small-town Minnesota newspaper for fifty years before a stroke left her in a coma. Publisher Susan McGrath enlists the help of her rebellious teenage son to choose some of Haze’s old columns to run while she is gone, and they stumble upon secrets that have been locked in her files for decades. Some strong language. 2019.

Non-Fiction Selection
The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War — DB101979
Author: John Donohue and J. T. Molloy
Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 5 hours, 44 minutes

In 1967, John “Chick” Donohue was a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran working as a merchant seaman when he was challenged one night in a New York City bar to sneak into Vietnam, track down the neighborhood guys in combat, and give each of them messages of support from back home, maybe some laughs — and beer. Soon to be released as a movie starring Bill Murray, Russell Crowe, and Zac Efron. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

Back to Contents

Tech Talk — iOS Phone Feature Detects People Nearby

On iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, you can use the Magnifier app to detect people and help you maintain a physical or social distance from others. When iPhone detects people nearby, you’re notified with sounds, speech, or haptic feedback. The feedback is more frequent when a person is closer to you. For more information visit: https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/detect-people-around-you-iph41bdfe6c7/ios

Also available is the NLS Guide to GPS and Wayfinding Apps that offers other software suggestions for navigating your environment. The guide can be found at: https://www.loc.gov/nls/resources/general-resources-on-disabilities/gps-and-wayfinding-apps/

Back to Contents

Friends of CTBL Board Members

Photo of Alan Mackey Photo of Alice George Photo of David Dawson Photo of Frank Oldham Photo of Hank Braaksma
Alan Mackey Alice George David Dawson Frank Oldham Hank Braaksma
Photo of Jadwiga Brown Photo of Kristy Corcoran Photo of Norine Domenico Photo of Pam Newton Photo of Peggy Chong
Jadwiga Brown Kristy Corcoran Norine Domenico Pam Newton Peggy Chong

Friends of CTBL Turns 50Special Logo to commenorate the Friends 50th anniversary.

In 1972, a group of like-minded individuals joined together to form The Friends of the Library for the Blind to provide funding to the Colorado Library for the Blind to maintain and enhance library services for the blind in Colorado.

Over the years, The Friends supported the Library with funds to purchase computer systems, support new children’s’ programs, summer reading groups, purchase of necessary furniture, large print books, Braille books and described video tapes. Friends funding helped build the modern, recording studio in the library at 180 Sheridan. Continued funding provides for maintenance and upgrading the equipment for volunteers to record at the library and in their homes. The Friends assisted the library in a speedy transition from cassettes to the new digital formats with purchases of cartridges and other supplies. Of course, we cannot forget the funding that supports the staff and volunteers of the library who work tirelessly on behalf of the patrons.

Several times over the past 50 years, state funding to support the library has decreased as Colorado faced fiscal challenges. The Friends each time, stepped up to fill in the gaps to ensure staff maintained the level of library service patrons had grown accustomed to.

Each year, The Friends host an annual giving campaign through the mail, that brings in the bulk of each year’s income from individuals like you. The Friends cherish each donation, no matter how small or how large, as each dollar is greatly appreciated.

Everyone is welcome to participate in The Friends of the Colorado Talking Book Library. Apply to become a member of the board or donate through our web page at: http://www.friendsofctbl.org/ Remember The Friends of CTBL in your will or as a beneficiary of an insurance policy.

Written by Peggy Chong, Friends Board Member

Back to Contents

Celebrating our Volunteers

CTBL loves to celebrate our volunteers! All year we look forward to the annual Volunteer Holiday Brunch when we give awards to our long-serving and hard-working team of Volunteers. Once again, COVID has derailed our plans.

While we could not gather for brunch together, we found a way to thank each Volunteer with a gift card to a favorite brunch place, and a small box of See’s chocolate. Volunteers who celebrated a special anniversary received the traditional certificates and gift cards to Barnes & Noble.

The highlight was when we awarded a special gift to Louise Lederhos, who has recorded talking books for 45 years.

Volunteers celebrating five years of service to CTBL: Pam Estrada, Stephanie Oram, Matthew Ballantine, Karl Jonietz, Patricia Jonietz, Lajeune Austin, Agnes Ferris, and Lori Kinney.

Volunteers celebrating ten years of service: Bob Serkowski, Andrea Waner, and Joe Coronado.

Volunteers celebrating 15 years of service: Tom Moran, Visvaldis Jaunarajs, Carol McGarr, Donna McCombs, and Frank Oldham.

Volunteers celebrating 20 years: Don and Dorothy Wiens.

Volunteers celebrating 30 years: Robert Orton and Joanne Rudoff.

Celebrating 45 years of service to CTBL: Louise Lederhos

We have been considering a unique way to honor our long-term volunteers. We decided that granting them the honor of being named a Volunteer Emeritus would set them apart from their colleagues.

These Volunteers were honored with a certificate, a specially designed pin, and a framed photograph and bio hung in a prominent place at CTBL. In addition, they will be invited to special events and be given a place of honor at all CTBL events.

Inaugural Class of CTBL Emeritus Volunteers:

  • Steve Austin
  • Melvin Belt
  • Betty Brown
  • Evelyn Dosch
  • Doris Ervin
  • Robert Orton
  • Marilyn Peterson
  • Joanne Rudoff

A group of volunteers receiving the Emeritus status in the CTBL Lobby with a Christmas tree.

Left to right: Betty Brown, Evelyn Dosch, Melvin Belt, Marilyn Peterson, Steve Austin
Not pictured: Doris Ervin, Robert Orton, Joanne Rudoff

Emeritus volunteers and CTBL staff in the CTBL Lobby with a Christmas tree.

Left to right: Tod Ziegler, Betty Brown, Evelyn Dosch, Melvin Belt, Tyler Kottmann,
Marilyn Peterson, Debbi MacLeod, Steve Austin, Nicolle Steffen, Terri Marcotte

Debbi MacLeod presenting Louise Lederhos with a special gift for 45 years of service.

Debbi and Louise Lederhos, honored for 45 years of service

Debbi presenting Robert Orton with his 30 year certificate Photo of Joanne Rudoff.
Debbi and Robert Orton, honored for 30 years of service. Joanne Rudoff, honored for 30 years of service.
Robert and Joanne are also honored as Inaugural Emeritus Volunteers.
Photo of Don and Dorothy Wiens. Photo of Doris Ervin.
Dorothy and Don Wiens, honored for 20 years of service. Doris Ervin, honored as an Inaugural Emeritus Volunteer.

Back to Contents

Collection News — Suggestions from New Additions

New DVDs with Descriptive Video

These videos have audio descriptions embedded in each disc. You can turn on this feature by following the directions starting at the disc’s main menu. Additional titles are available, please contact the library for more information.


  • MD00516 — Half Brothers (PG-13)
  • MD00517 — Wild Mountain Thyme (PG-13)
  • MD00518 — Love, Weddings & Other Disasters (PG-13)
  • MD00520 — Made in Italy (R)
  • MD00521 — Tesla (PG-13)
  • MD00522 — Let Him Go (R)
  • MD00523 — News of the World (PG-13)
  • MD00524 — The Croods: A New Age (PG-13)

Back to Contents

New Large Print Titles

Bestseller Fiction

  • PR030945 — Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  • PR030953 — In the Country of Others: A Novel by Leïla Slimani
  • PR030981 — Sooley by John Grisham
  • PR030831 — The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia
  • PR031012 — The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  • PR031004 — The Music of Bees: A Novel by Eileen Garvin
  • PR030812 — The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
  • PR030939 — The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  • PR030805 — The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
  • PR030973 — The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict

Bestseller Non-Fiction

  • PR031020 — After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes
  • PR030956 — Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner
  • PR030954 — Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown
  • PR031019 — Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story: Remaking a Life from Scratch by Erin French
  • PR031018 — Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America: The Killing Series by Bill O’Reilly
  • PR030876 — Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone by James Martin
  • PR030848 — The Best of Me by David Sedaris
  • PR031016 — When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner
  • PR030940 — Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Jill Biden

General Fiction

  • PR030936 — Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green
  • PR031005 — Foregone by Russell Banks
  • PR030919 — Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
  • PR030898 — The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson
  • PR031014 — The Removed: A Novel by Brandon Hobson
  • PR030817 — Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton


  • PR031021 — Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old by Andrew J. Steele
  • PR030980 — Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott
  • PR031017 — Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton
  • PR030873 — First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country by Thomas E. Ricks
  • PR030872 — Kamala’s Way: An American Life by Dan Morain
  • PR030955 — Permission to Dream by Chris Gardner
  • PR030960 — Sonic Boom: The Impossible Rise of Warner Bros. Records, from Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac to Madonna to Prince by Peter Ames Carlin
  • PR031031 — Speak, Okinawa: A Memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina
  • PR030976 — The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization by Roland Ennos
  • PR030875 — The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer by Liza Rodman
  • PR030849 — The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne
  • PR031030 — The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams by David S. Brown
  • PR030957 — The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende
  • PR030877 — Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South by Rick Bragg

Romance & Love Stories

  • PR031006 — It’s Better This Way by Debbie Macomber
  • PR030888 — Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
  • PR030920 — The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews
  • PR030892 — The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Science Fiction

  • PR030914 — Humans, Bow Down by James Patterson
  • PR030830 — The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
  • PR030793 — The Resisters by Gish Jen

Suspense & Thrillers

  • PR030819 — Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana De Rosnay
  • PR031025 — Gathering Dark by Candice Fox
  • PR031013 — Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
  • PR031007 — The Golden Cage by Camilla Lackberg

Young Adult

  • PR027443 — Scythe: Arc of a Scythe Series #1 by Neal Shusterman
  • PR030947 — Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
  • PR030791 — Rule of Wolves: King of Scars Duology: Grishaverse Series; #7 by Leigh Bardugo

Need more ideas for which large print book to read next? You can find more large print book lists on the CTBL website or you can request the latest lists by calling the library at 800-685-2136.

Back to Contents

Colorado Author Honored

In September 2021, Denver author Sandra Dallas was inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame. She is a New York Times bestselling author with both notable fiction and nonfiction books to her credit. CTBL has several of her titles, and many are available in multiple formats. Here’s one title to consider…

Set in depression-era Kansas, in The Persian Pickle Club the highlight of Queenie Beanie’s week in small-town Harleyville is the meeting of the Persian Pickle Club, a quilting group where gossip is served up hot. When a new member joins, she stirs up a dark secret forcing the other women to band together to support and protect one another. Available in Braille (BR011261), Audio Book (DBC13285), and Large Print (PR006209).

Back to Contents

Shopping for Nostalgia?

Do you remember Denver way back when there was a dizzying variety of large department stores that lined 16th Street? There was The Denver Dry Goods Company, Neusteter’s, Joslins, the May Company, and Daniels & Fisher, just to name a few. The CTBL studio recently recorded a book about the stores and people that shaped Denver’s era of the big department store. Through decades of research and interviews with former staff, Denver’s unofficial “department store historian” Mark Barnhouse assembles the ultimate mosaic of the Mile High City’s retail past. Lost Department Stores of Denver — DBC13068

Back to Contents

From the Colorado Collection — Audio Books:

Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness
Authors: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Tom Lagana
Narrators: Mark Victor Hansen, Tom Lagana, and Louise Lederhos

A collection of stories compiled by the editors to help prisoners, former prisoners, and their families feel part of a wider community of people striving to improve and reach their personal best. Hope, healing, and forgiveness are delivered in the form of these personal, sometimes humorous, stories. 2000. Adult Non-Fiction. DBC13001

Told You So
Author: Kristen Heitzmann
Narrator: Lori Kinney
PGrace Evangeline will stop at nothing to see her romance novel produced for Broadway. Devin Bressard knows all about the commercial success of Ms. Evangeline’s novels—as far from his literary, nerve-striking plays as anything could be. He mounts a fierce resistance, but when he’s forced to work with Grace, his profession and sanity aren’t the only things at risk. Collapsing walls on both sides bring a detente that could shatter their bond—or resound through more lives than their own. 2015. Adult Fiction. DBC13017

Your Guide to Colorado’s 41 State Parks
Author: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Narrator: James Ryder
Colorado’s 41 state parks are as diverse as the state itself—mountains and prairies, rivers and forests, out in the country and next to the city. This brochure from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife division contains general guidance for using state parks, as well as information specific to each park including facilities, recreation, and directions. 2019. Adult Non-Fiction. DBC13184

Refusal to Submit: Roots of the Vietnam War and a Young Man’s Draft Resistance Author: Richard Gould
Narrator: Visvaldis Jaunarajs
The author documents the draft resistance movement and his coming of age during the Vietnam War. He details his decision to refuse to be drafted into the U.S. army and the events that followed—his arrest, trial, and imprisonment. As his story unfolds, the origins of the war and his reasons for opposing it emerge, placing his prison experience within the larger framework of the historical events occurring on a national and global scale. Some strong language. 2017. Adult Non-Fiction. DBC13044

Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847
Author: Susan Shelby Magoffin
Narrator: Peggy Dare
In June 1846 Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband on a trek from Independence, Missouri to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West. Originally published by Yale University Press in 1962. Adult Non-Fiction. DBC13255

Back to Contents

From the Archives -

A group of four men from the machine repair crew from 1996

Four of the 1996 machine repair crew from left to right: Bob Orton, George Fisher, Jack London, and Gary Robinson.

A volunteer sits at a desk with an old reel-to-reel tape recorder at the CTBL studio in the early 1990s.The recording studio, early 1990's

Back to Contents

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.

Back to Contents

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.

Back to Contents

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!

Back to Contents

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

  • Katy Anthes, Commissioner of Education
  • Debbi MacLeod, Interim State Librarian
  • Nicolle Steffen, Director, CTBL

Social Media: Facebook Logo    •     Twitter logo

Logo for the Colorado State Library Logo for the Friends of CTBLLogo for the Institute for Museum and Library Services


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 and was made possible in part by the institute of Museum and Library Services.

Design services provided by State of Colorado/Integrated Document Solutions

Back to Contents