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Touch and Listen Newsletter

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Spring 2017

Touch and Listen

Newsletter of the
Bureau of Braille and
Talking Book Library Services
Daytona Beach, Florida

News You Can Use

BARD Express

BARD Express, a Windows-based application for those who download from BARD through a computer, is now available. BARD Express simplifies the process of downloading and transferring audio materials to a cartridge or USB flash drive by unzipping and transferring the files for you with the simple click of a button.

BARD Express will manage BARD materials downloaded to a computer and categorize them by books, magazines, read items, and unread items for easy sorting. It also provides device management options from the main menu for customizing the process. BARD Express is designed for use on personal computers running Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. BARD Express is not for use on mobile devices, nor will it run on Macintosh computers.

NLS Checkout Times

Many patrons have expressed concern about not receiving magazine subscriptions from NLS. The following is the listed check out times:

  • Weekly publications: Three weeks; allows one week to arrive, one week for patron to read, and one week to return.
  • Monthly publications: Six weeks; allows one week to arrive, one month for patron to read, one week to return. (includes monthly, bimonthly, quarterly)

Patrons will have their magazine service deferred when two cartridges are overdue. Once overdue cartridges are returned, service will resume and NLS will send two issues of each magazine subscribed (the most recent back issue and the current issue) on the next generated cartridge. Be aware that magazine subscriptions are combined onto weekly or monthly cartridges.

How Do I Listen to More Than One Title on a Cartridge?

If you are signed up for more than one magazine subscription, you may receive a magazine cartridge with more than one title on the cartridge. Or, if you use BARD to download multiple books onto a cartridge or USB flash drive you may find these instructions helpful.

  • To access the bookshelf mode, press and hold the play/stop button until you hear "bookshelf."
  • Use the fast-forward arrow button to scroll to the next magazine in the list.
  • Use the rewind arrow button to scroll to the previous magazine in the list. Once you hear the title of the magazine you want to read, press the play/stop button again.
  • Navigate the markers within the book with the rewind and fast forward buttons. To switch titles, enter "Bookshelf" mode at any time.

NFB Newsline Offers Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has added Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review to their audio Newsline service. For those who find large print hard to read or have sent back the audio copy of these catalogues, this service provides another mode of access using a touch-tone phone.

Anyone who cannot read print material due to vision loss, dyslexia or a physical disability is eligible for NFB-Newsline. Talking Books patrons can register by calling us or contact NFB directly at http://www.nfbnewsline.org or at 1-866-504-7300 to request their application.

High-Volume Player and Headphones

NLS has developed a high-volume version of the digital talking book machine for use by patrons who are hearing impaired. The high-volume player is available in either standard or advanced models that have been programmed to have an amplified volume up to 120 decibels. It can be issued only by NLS and will bear a warning label. The high-volume feature only works with the set of stereo headphones that NLS provides with the player. The high-volume player/headphone replaces the old amplifier/headset accessory.

To receive a high-volume player and headphones, a patron must provide certification of hearing impairment from a physician or audiologist. An application for the high-volume player can be downloaded from the NLS web site at www.loc.gov/nls/pdf/hvp.pdf.

Accessibility Phone Support from Microsoft and Apple

Microsoft has a Disability Answer Desk (DAD) featuring staff who specialize in assisting customers with disabilities as well as providing support using accessibility settings in Microsoft products. Help is available for screen magnifiers, speech recognition software, Microsoft-compatible devices and accessibility features.

The DAD, which can be contacted at 1-800-936-5900, is available Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more information, including a 24/7 chat link, visit microsoft.com/enable.

Apple also offers a telephone support desk specifically for customers who have visual, hearing, motor or learning impairments. Apple Accessibility Support is available 24/7 and can be reached at 877-204-3930. For more information, visit apple.com/support/accessibility.

"End of Book" Errors

Patrons have reported hearing an "end of book" error message while listening to a digital book. After a few hours, the book stops playing and says "end of book." This problem may be resolved by clearing your book player of errors. You will need both hands to hold down four buttons on your player at the same time. The instructions are as follows:


Press and hold down each of the following four player buttons simultaneously for three to five seconds

  • POWER (Press last)

Machine will beep and announce "OK" or "an error" for each of the following five items:


If each one is OK, press the power button and the machine will turn off.

If any of them has an error, then press and hold the sleep button until machine turns off. Alternatively, Press the sleep button as soon as you hear an error.

Fresh from the Recording Studio

Motherless (FDB03808) by Gabriel Horn.

Seven hours, 15 minutes. Narrator: Nancy Shea. A young Native American girl, orphaned at 5, lives with her grandfather on the white sandy shores of the Florida coast. As she approaches adolescence, Rainy struggles with her love for the Earth and the horrors inflicted on our natural world, facing questions of loss and identity, and the very essence of the human spirit.

Alligator Gold (FDB03799) by Janet Post.

10 hours, 10 minutes. Narrator: Jess Baker. The Civil War is over and Caleb Hawkins is finally on his way home from a Northern prisoner-of-war camp. Focused on getting back to the D-Wing, his Florida cattle ranch, and Travis, his only son, his code of honor intervenes when he encounters a very pregnant Madelaine Wilkes along the trail.

Tempest in a Teapot (FDB03795) by Amanda Cooper.

13 hours, five minutes. Narrator: Margaret Tedrick. Returning to her grandmother's tea house in Gracious Grove after her Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor finds herself in hot water after her old friend's future mother-in-law dies while sampling scones at a competing tea house. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list.

NLS Minibibliography

Gardening for People with Disabilities

Gardening is a deceptively active hobby. Lawns, trees and flowers stay in one place, but the gardener has to do a lot of bending, stretching and moving around to tend to them. This can be difficult for people with mobility issues. Blind and visually impaired gardeners need to be able to recognize what is growing. The titles in this mini-bibliography can be downloaded from the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website or by contacting your reader advisor.

Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities (DB 52241) by Janeen R. Adil.

An avid gardener provides tips and techniques for adapting garden format and methods for people with limited mobility. Explains advantages of containers, raised beds, and vertical gardens. Chapters discuss appropriate tools; choosing vegetables, herbs, flowers, vines and ornamentals; and starting children in gardening. 1994.

The Nature-Friendly Garden (BR16677 two volumes) by Marlene A. Condon.

Birds and Blooms magazine field editor's guide to cultivating an ecological, low-maintenance garden to serve as a habitat for native species. Environmentally conscious techniques stress reducing lawn area and eliminating chemicals. Discusses using natural fertilizers and pesticides, creating ponds and observing wildlife. Offers tips for elderly and disabled gardeners. 2006.

Gardening through Your Golden Years (DB57787, BR 15099 two volumes.) by James W. Wilson.

Former cohost of PBS television show The Victory Garden shares wisdom gathered from "seasoned" gardeners on the benefits of continuing this hobby into old age. Includes tips to minimize fatigue and other ailments, describes laborsaving methods and offers all kinds of advice. 2003.

Accessible Gardening (DB 49080) by Joann Woy.

Advises gardeners with special needs on ideas, tools, and methods. Topics include garden design and layout, raised beds, container and tabletop gardening, easy composting, watering, lawn care and accessories to facilitate physical tasks. An appendix lists sources of tools, supplies and information. 1997.

The Able Gardener (DB 40311) by Kathleen Yeomans.

Nurse and gardener Yeomans covers general aspects of gardening while emphasizing adaptive techniques such as using raised beds, back-saving tools, and easy-care plants. If the gardener is visually impaired, she suggests designing with plants that are fragrant, textured, edible or even audible. Included are exercises for gardeners and mail-order sources for plants, seeds and supplies (including adaptive tools). 1992.

Featured Magazines

Audio Magazine Anthologies

Each month, the library offers an anthology of magazines to subscribers. Anthologies have a collection of different magazines with multiple months' issues on each cartridge. Navigation using the Bookshelf feature of your Talking Book player is necessary to enjoy all of the material. We produce seven anthologies, each geared to different interests.

This issue's featured anthology is the Literary-Historical-Cultural Anthology (ANT4F), a collection of magazines featuring poetry, mystery stories, world cultures and different points of view. It includes Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Reflections from Central Florida, Magnets & Ladders, Native Peoples, National Geographic Traveler, Poetry, and Smithsonian.

Contact your Reader Advisor about subscribing! Our other anthologies include: Senior Living, Men's Interest, Women's Interest, Youth and Young Adult, Spanish Language and General Interest. Like the NLS magazines, timely returns ensure uninterrupted services.

Braille Magazines

Kiplinger's Retirement Report: KRR1 - Covers financial planning for retirement, tax and investment tips. Also travel, health, and legal advice for retirees. This is also available as a stand-alone recording (KRR4).

Elder Update: ELD1 - The Elder Update is the Florida Department of Elder Affairs' bimonthly newspaper directed to Florida seniors. This is also available in audio as part of the Senior Interest Anthology (ANT4A).

White Cane Bulletin: WCB1 - A bimonthly newsletter published by the Florida Council of the Blind with interesting articles and helpful resource information. This is also available in audio as a stand-alone recording (WCB4).

We also are happy to offer the NLS subscription for Your Dog (YDG1) - A monthly newsletter from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Covers canine behavior, health, medicine, dentistry and new products for dogs.

Historical Note

The Pratt-Smoot Act, which provides blind adults with books, was signed into law on March 3, 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.

What's New at the Library?

June Kazmar-Koster joined the Reader Services team recently as a staff assistant. Some patrons may recall speaking with her when they called into the library. Originally from New Jersey, June moved to Florida in 2002 from Pennsylvania. She holds a B.S. in computers and has had a career in the medical software industry. Now, June says she is happy to transition to the public service sector, and enjoys "working with people instead of only with computers."

Volunteer History

The Library has a volunteer staff of more than 100 people who come to the library to help provide services to our readers, in complement to our full-time and part-time employees. Some are newcomers, but some have been volunteering for years. Here are the profiles of some volunteers with a long history of service:

Liz and Tom Marsh have done almost every job in the Circulation Department in the 20 years they have been volunteering. Nowadays, they come in twice a week to shelve returned digital books and "pull" the day's outgoing orders. Tom is retired from the Marine Corps and AT&T; Liz from an accounting career; both are avid golfers. The Marshes also deliver Meals on Wheels locally. They spend part of each year in Texas where they volunteer at the Talking Books Library in Austin, and at the local Meals on Wheels program. "We love what we do!" says Liz.

Leonor Ackerson and Marialuz Sandoval usually work as a pair in the recording studio, producing books and magazines for the Spanish-language program, such as National Geographic en Español. Leonor, now the longest-serving volunteer in the Library (with 32 years of service), began volunteering with her husband in 1985; she was active in initiating recording in Spanish. Marialuz will celebrate her 21st anniversary as a library volunteer; she also volunteers at Halifax Hospital.

We are grateful to all of our spectacular volunteers! We invite you to join them…

But, what if you live too far away to come to the Library? In our next issue: How off-site volunteers help promote the Braille and Talking Book Library.

Call us at 386-239-6000 or toll-free 1-800-226-6075.

Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services
421 Platt St.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Important Newsletter Update: Touch and Listen is now published bi-annually in large print, in the spring and fall. It is published quarterly in audio in Spanish and English, in braille, Word documents, and in a text-only version for adaptive technology screen reading programs. Go to http://dbs.myflorida.com/Library/index.html and click "Touch and Listen Newsletter."

The Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library Services is part of the Division of Blind Services, Florida Department of Education. Visit our websites at http://dbs.myflorida.com/ or http://www.fldoe.org.