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Braille & Talking Book Program | Newsletters | Spring 2011

Prairie Trails Newsletter Header

Volume 6, Issue 2 | Fall 2011
PDF download PDF Download, MP3 download MP3 Download

Inside this issue:

How to Download a Book from BARD

to a Cartridge or USB Drive for use in an NLS Digital Player.

Digital Player with cartridgeWe encourage all patrons and caregivers with high-speed Internet access to download books from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). You can still get books from the Braille and Talking Book Program, downloading just gives you access to more than 20,000 titles compared to the 5,000 titles that are available from the Braille and Talking Book Program.

Downloading books from BARD is an excellent way for you to get books immediately, rather than waiting for the mail carrier to deliver them.

  1. You will first need to register for a login ID and password at this web address: Within a day or so you will receive an email confirming your application.
  2. Once you have a login ID and password, open your browser, and go to This is the page where you will login to BARD. Fill in your login ID (email address) and your password in the boxes provided. Press the Login button.
  3. This will take you to a page where you can search for popular or recent books; browse by title, author or subject, or look for magazine issues. Your search terms will take you to a listing of books, giving their title, author, reading time, subject heading and annotation, along with a download link.
  4. Click on the download link of the book you want. You will be asked if you want to save or open the file. Choose save and select a location. You can save the book directly to your USB jump/flash drive or NLS cartridge, or create a folder in your My Documents file or save to your Desktop, and save your downloaded books and magazines there.
  5. The book download will be a zip file. If you are not saving directly to a USB drive or NLS cartridge, open your newly created folder, then your download folder. Click on the zip file to highlight it. Plug in the jump/flash drive or cartridge you are copying to — be sure they are completely blank before you start!
  6. When you open the zip file, you should have a menu on the left. Click on Extract All Files. It will open a dialogue box for unzipping files. When asked where to put unzipped files, press the Browse button, and select the plugged in USB jump/flash drive or cartridge you are copying to (usually the E drive). Press the Next button.
  7. The wizard will unzip the file and copy it to your USB jump/flash drive or cartridge. When it is done, unclick the display files box, and press the Finish button.
  8. The book is now on your USB jump/flash drive or cartridge, and ready to play on your digital player.

Blank cartridges and storage cases may be ordered from American Printing House for the Blind or 1.800.239.1833. Also from Adaptive Technologies (a division of Perkins Institute) at

Depository Libraries

In South Dakota there are over seventy libraries that serve as Braille and Talking Book Depositories. The libraries have a small collection of books from the Braille and Talking Book Program as well as one or two of the digital machines. The librarian can use the collection to tell people about the program or they can check out books and a machine to an individual who would like to try out the service. If you should run out of talking books, head to your public library. They would be happy to loan you some titles from their depository collection. If your library is one of the few that does not have a depository collection, please have them give us a call.

Love Is In the Air

Over the next several issues of Prairie Trails we will be reviewing various genres. We thought we would start with the Romance genre.

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and range from sweet to extremely hot. However every romance novel contains two basic elements; a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and happy ending.

The main plot of a romance novel centers around two people falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. The lovers who risk all for their relationship are rewarded with unconditional love.

The setting and plot elements of a romance novel determine the subgenre that it falls within. Some of the subgenres for romance novels are:

  • Contemporary Romance
    Romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are typically set after 1945. Authors include Kathleen Eagle, Barbara Delinsky, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, and LaVyrle Spencer.
  • Historical Romance
    Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945, and taking place in any location. Authors writing in this subgenre include Catherine Cookson, Dorothy Garlock, and Cecelia Holland.
  • Frontier and Western Romance
    Made popular in the 1990s, these stories combine romance with rugged individualism. Authors include Hatcher Robin Lee, Penelope Williamson, Jodi Thomas, and Linda Lael Miller.
  • Gothic Romance
    Begun in the late eighteenth century, these stories typically take place in castles or mansions. Some authors include Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, and Phyllis Whitney.
  • Inspirational Romance
    Religious or spiritual beliefs are a major part of the romantic relationship in these novels. Authors in this subgenre include Hannah Alexander, Terri Blackstock, and Lori Copeland.
  • Paranormal Romance
    Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are an integral part of the plot. Some authors include Jo Beverley, Susan Krinard, Nora Roberts, and Christine Feehan.
  • Regency Romance
    Romance novels in which the majority of the story is set against the Regency period of the British Empire. Some authors of this subgenre are Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland, Mary Balogh, and Julia Quinn.
  • Romantic Suspense
    In these stories suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. Authors include Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Karen Robards.
  • Young Adult Romance
    Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers. Authors in this subgenre include Ann Brashares, Jennifer Ziegler, and Robin Jones Gunn.

Georgette Heyer's Friday's ChildI chose three books from different romance subgenres to read and review. The first book was a Regency romance by Georgette Heyer entitled Friday's Child. Georgette Heyer is considered the queen of the Regency romance. Friday's Child is Ms. Heyer at her best. It is a fun action packed story and well worth reading. Heyer's books tend to be light on the romance and heavier on the action and humor.

Burn by Linda Howard is a romantic suspense novel. Linda Howard's BurnJenner Redwine wins the lottery and escapes from her dead-end job and mooching boyfriend. Her heiress friend Syd convinces Jenner to join her on a charity cruise. During the cruise Syd is kidnapped and Jenner reluctantly agrees to the kidnapper's demands. I greatly enjoyed this book. There was a lot of excitement and action, which I like. The romance in this book tends to be spicier and there is some strong language and some descriptions of sex. We have a number of Linda Howard books and I strongly recommend them to anyone who likes romantic suspense.

Nora Roberts' Dance Upon the AirDance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts is a paranormal romance. The book is the first in the Three Sisters trilogy. Nell Channing fakes her death to escape the clutches of her abusive wealthy husband. Mysteriously drawn to Three Sisters Island she works for Mia Devlin, a witch, who introduces Nell to her own powers. The book contains explicit descriptions of sex and some violence. I wasn't sure I would enjoy the paranormal, but this was an excellent book. I cannot wait to read the next book in the trilogy.

Romance is not a genre that I usually read. I was surprised that I enjoyed all three of the books I tried. I will definitely be reading more romances in the future. You should remember when choosing an author that romance authors tend to write in several different subgenres. For example, Nora Roberts writes contemporary romances as well as suspense and paranormal romances. If there is a subgenre that you do not want to read, be sure to tell your reader advisor. Many romances have some descriptions of sex, although there are gentler romances that do not have descriptions of sex. If you have a preference, let your reader advisor know.

One Book South Dakota

Joseph Marshall III's The Journey of Crazy HorseSince 2003, the One Book South Dakota program has encouraged everyone across South Dakota to read and discuss the same novel or memoir throughout the course of a year. The book chosen for 2011 is The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III. You can request the book from the Braille and Talking Book Program in either cassette or digital format. Just ask for DB065055 or RC065055.

Kids/Teen News

2011 Summer Reading Program

Thirteen children participated in this year's Summer Reading Program. Prizes were given for the number of minutes read. We want to thank the Rapid City Evening Star Lions Club and the South Dakota Lions Foundation for funding the summer reading program. The Summer Reading Program would not have been possible without their generosity.

Eric — A Success Story

by Beth Hannasch

(editor's note: This article was written last school year. Eric is now attending Watertown Middle School.)

Eric Tulowetzke is a 6th grade student. He attends Roosevelt Elementary, located in Watertown, South Dakota. At the beginning of the school year, he set an Accelerated Reader goal for himself. The goal was to earn 200 Accelerated Reader (AR) points. At Roosevelt, students who reach 200 AR points, get to ride in a limousine to Pizza Ranch to eat with the mayor (Gary Williams).

To help work toward this AR goal, Eric has been listening to audio recordings of books. The audio versions enable him to accomplish lengthy texts without eyestrain. He started listening to recorded chapter books during February of 2010. He finished the first two books in the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling last spring. This year, Eric completed the Harry Potter books. He scored 100% on all of the AR tests for each of the books of that series. That was quite an accomplishment.

The first sound recordings Eric used were checked out from the Watertown Regional Library. Later, when one of the books needed was unavailable, the Watertown library suggested the use of interlibrary loans and requesting materials from the South Dakota State Library.

Contacting the State Library led to Eric being provided a digital player for use at his school. The digital player is very user friendly. The player gives audio prompts (and has Braille labels) that guide the user through the needed steps for playing a recorded book. The recordings the player plays are in a digital format. These recordings are called digital talking book cartridges. Eric was then also able to request books in a digital format, not just CD's or cassette tapes. The cartridges arrive in a few days after they are requested. No postage is required for return. A return address label comes with the cartridges making the return process even easier.

To obtain a digital player a patron must be eligible for the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program. In order to be eligible for the Braille and Talking Book service an individual must be unable to read standard print due to a visual impairment that prevents seeing the print, a physical disability that prevents holding the materials and/or turning the pages, or a learning disability caused by an organic dysfunction.

Members of the Braille and Talking Book Program can check out books from the collection at the State Library or they can download books from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). BARD has over 20,000 digital books and more that 40 digital magazines available. Individuals can choose to download the materials onto their own purchased jump drives or digital cartridges. Teachers working with students, who are members, can request available equipment and books to check out on the students' behalf.

Eric is able to listen to current books that are at and above his grade level. He already has strong listening comprehension skills and is now able to build upon this skill. While he listens to books he is creating a habit that he can use throughout his life. Non-fiction books and magazines can help him learn new information for research and to pursue his interests in the future.

Eric recently completed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. This completion earned him the 200 points he desired. Accelerated Reader has three conditions for how the book was accomplished. A student can have the book read to them, read the book with someone. So, Eric is able to choose the “read to” category when taking the corresponding AR test.

Watching him take the test is a delight. He is so confident in his responses he does not even want to listen to other responses once he hears the correct one. He has scores of 100% on nearly all of the tests he has taken for the chapter books he has been listening to. His listening comprehension is so refined he can take the AR test in record speeds.

It is interesting to note that Eric comes in before and after school to accomplish his reading goals. While other kids head for the playground or their video games, Eric plugs in to books. It will be fun to see where his points end up when the school year comes to an end. He is now into a series of 7 books by Garth Nix.

Eric continues to use sources available from the South Dakota State Library, Watertown Regional Library and South Dakota Interlibrary Loan. He appreciates the efforts made by all in helping him to accomplish his reading goals.

Thank you

Memorials given to B&TB

Agnes Newcomb
given by the Van Family

Ramona Hjellming
given by Willis and Jane Hjellming

Ramona Hjellming
given by Dede Dylla

Rachel Johnson
given by the Boyd Family

Donations given to B&TB

South Dakota Lions Foundation

Rapid City Evening Star Lions Club

Donations are used to enhance the Braille and Talking Book Program and are fully tax deductible as allowable by law. Acknowledgements are sent to donors and honorees, so please include the name and address of all those to be notified. Please make checks payable to South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program and mail to:

South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

The Prairie Trails Newsletter is our means of communication with all patrons of the Braille and Talking Book Program. The Prairie Trails Newsletter is made available on audio and also in braille, in large print, or on a diskette upon request and is posted on our website.

If you have any questions or comments you would like to address, or wish to request this newsletter in an alternative format, please contact the SD Braille and Talking Book Program.

South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Program
800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501

Email: Email Link to BTB

Phone: 1-800-423-6665

The SD Braille & Talking Book Program does not endorse any service or product listed in this newsletter.

Fall 2018 Prairie Trails Newsletter
Volume 13, Issue 4 | Fall 2018

Articles include "Tips for better service", "NLS updates", "Descriptive videos for the holidays", "Winter reading program", "Holiday closing" and more!

Also available in MP3 download

BARD LOGIN web link to n l s bard dot l o c dot gov
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Downloadable Books and Magazines

Braille & Talking Book EMAIL
1-800-423-6665, Option 1

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