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South Dakota State Library
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Pierre, SD 57501

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Braille & Talking Book Program | Newsletters | Spring/ Summer 2012

Prairie Trails Newsletter Header

Volume 7, Issue 1 | Spring/ Summer 2012
PDF download PDF Download, MP3 download MP3 Download

Inside this issue:

From the Assistant State Librarian

Digital Book Player Battery Alert

Remember to check your battery level occasionally to see if your player needs recharging.

To find out the level of charge, press the power button to turn on, then press power again. The player will make an announcement of the power charge level amount. If less than 5 hours of charge remains, plug the player into a household outlet to recharge. The player will automatically turn on, press the power button off to fully recharge. It takes about 2 hours to recharge your player.

Indications of battery malfunction:

  • Player says "battery charge remaining less than 1 hour" even after charging for several hours.
  • Player has been charged but automatically shuts down when not plugged in.
  • Player doesn’t hold charge long enough for you to listen comfortably.
  • If the battery drops below 1 hour, your player may not recharge.

If any of these situations happen to you, please call and we will help you. 1-800-423-6665.


Braille & Talking Book Volunteers

If you have ever checked out a book from the South Dakota Collection or read a South Dakota magazine you have a Braille and Talking Book volunteer to thank. It would be impossible for us to make South Dakota titles available to you if it weren't for our volunteers. We love our volunteers and we are grateful that they make time in their busy lives to narrate books and magazines for us. Over the next several issues of our newsletter we are going to introduce you to the people that make locally recorded books and magazines possible.

In this issue we bring you Carol Axtman. Carol reads the Bishop's Bulletin, East River edition, each month.

Why did you decide to volunteer with the South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Program?

I was asked to read the Bishop's Bulletin by fellow Lions Club Member Karen Duenwald.

What do you enjoy most about narrating books for the program?

Feeling that someone else is able to receive the content of the document.

What do you enjoy least about narrating books for the program?

Making time.

What would you say are some of the challenges or differences in reading out loud rather than silently to yourself?

It goes slower.

What kinds of books and magazines do you enjoy reading in your spare time?

All kinds.

What is your favorite book and why?

I loved "Flags of Our Fathers." It was so educational.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you aren't reading for the Braille & Talking Book Program?

Golf, garden, genealogy, a little piano, travel.

Increasing Your Selection of Audio Books

The Braille and Talking Book Program offers more than 60,000 books in its collection at the State Library. If an individual wants more books there are over 25,000 titles that can be downloaded from the National Library Service. But sometimes a person just can't find that one title he wants. If that is the case, don't forget to check out your local public library. Public libraries offer audio books and large print books. Many public libraries also have downloadable audio and ebooks.

In South Dakota over 40 public libraries offer downloadable audio and ebooks through South Dakota Titles to Go powered by OverDrive. Some public libraries also offer audio books through OneClick-Digital.

The audio books in these collections can be played on your digital player as long as they are available as an MP3 file. Not all titles are available in MP3 format, so that is something to be aware of.

If you have not used OverDrive before you must first download the (free) OverDrive Media Console software to your computer.

Once you have found a book in OverDrive which has the option of MP3 format and is available to checkout you download the audio book.

The OverDrive Media Console on your computer will display any books you currently have downloaded.

You can either select a book, and click on Transfer in the top bar, or right-click on the title and select transfer.

A pop-up window will appear called “OverDrive Media Console Transfer Wizard”

With a USB flash drive connected to your computer click Next

The computer will search for any devices that can have files transferred to them.

The "Player" field dropdown will show the available choices that you can transfer the audio files to.

Select the USB flash drive which is connected to your computer and click Next.

When the files are completely transferred click on Finish.

Remove the USB flash drive from your computer and connect to the USB port (which may be covered by a plastic tab) on the side of the NLS Digital Talking Book Player.

Turn your player on and the book will begin playing.

Note: The OverDrive and OneClickDigital audio books will not play if you have books from NLS downloaded on the flash drive or digital cartridge.

Murder suspense and mayhem

by Mary Sjerven

This issue is focusing on the mystery genre. While researching the definition of mystery fiction I found it to be a loosely-defined term. It is often used as a synonym for detective fiction or crime fiction. In mystery fiction there is a puzzle to solve. The stories usually include murder, but that is not always the case.

There are so many subgenres of mysteries I only listed a few along with some authors you may want to try.

Cozy Mysteries

They are a clean mystery with sex and violence downplayed or treated humorously.

Authors include: Jill Churchill, Donald Bain, Katherine Hall Page, Tamar Myers

Medical Mystery

Does the appearance of the wounds or a medical condition become the cause of death? The medical examiner always solves these cases which seem to be closely related to forensics as in CSI.

Authors include: Patricia Cornwell, Iris Johansen, Robin Cook

English Mysteries

Mysteries that take place in England fall under this category. They might be historical or present day.

Authors include: Martha Grimes, Anne Perry, Nancy Atherton, M.C. Beaton

Humorous Mystery

The story may be eccentric, funny, and very entertaining.

Authors include: Rita Mae Brown, Joann Fluke, Janet Evanovich, Diane Mott Davidson, Joan Hess

Animal Mystery

From pet detectives to furry perpetrators, animal mysteries will have your tail!

Authors include: Lilian Jackson Braun, Carole Nelson Douglas, Laurien Berenson, Spencer Quinn

Mystery Suspense

Suspense creates a sense of uncertainty and excitement due to the unknown. What will the outcome be?

Authors include: James Patterson, Robert Tanenbaum, Sidney Sheldon, Steve Martini, Robert Parker, John Sandford, Dick Francis

Tough Detective Mystery

Characteristically has a tough attitude, is hardboiled, and typically includes a professional detective.

Authors include: Stuart Woods, Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Carla Neggers, Judith A. Jance, Craig Johnson

Generally I am not a mystery reader. In preparation for this article I chose these subgenres to review that were recommended to me by our readers. Lee Child is a law and order suspense mystery. I was impressed by the author when interviewed on "Sunday Morning". As he read an excerpt, Jack Reacher came to life on the page. I have always been drawn to a suspense filled story.

Book Cover of 61 Hours by Lee Child61 Hours: a Reacher Novel by Lee Child

A bus accident leaves former military cop Jack Reacher stranded in a small South Dakota town. Police recruit him to protect an elderly witness from a Mexican drug lord who is connected to a local biker gang and an abandoned federal bunker. Violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 2010

A humorous writer, Janet Evanovich, makes you laugh out loud with her crazy characters. One reader described her to me as "a little far-fetched".

Book Cover of Smokin' Seventeen by Janet EvanovichSmokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

After corpses are found at the construction site of her cousin's bail bonds office, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum fears she's the next target. Meanwhile, Stephanie's family is pressuring her to marry—either cop Joe Morelli, security expert Ranger, or ex-classmate Dave Brewer. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Best-seller. 2011

A culinary mystery author Joanne Fluke was born and raised in Minnesota and now lives in California. Her character reminds me of the "Murder She Wrote" television series where a town character solves the mystery. Along with the story Joanne has recipes in her novels which I am told are very good.

Book Cover of Devil's Food Cake Mystery by Joanne FlukeDevil's Food Cake Mystery by Joanne Fluke

Hannah's pal Claire finally takes a honeymoon when Lutheran minister Matthew Walters, a visiting friend, offers to substitute for Claire's husband Reverend Bob Knudson. But some things about Matthew make Bob's grandmother suspicious—and then Hannah finds Matthew dead next to a slice of grandma Knudson's cake. Includes recipes. 2011

Kids/Teen News

Are You Ready for Summer Reading?

Poster of Summer Reading Program with words Dream Big Read and featuring family of rabbits readingWe hope you are planning to attend the summer reading program offered by your local public library. This year's theme for youth is Dream Big, Read. The theme for teens is Own the Night. Karen Duenwald will be happy to help you find books to read. Please contact Karen at 1-800-4236665 or

South Dakota Book Awards

South Dakota Children's Book Awards LogoPrairie Bud and Prairie Pasque Winners

Students from grades K-5 recentlyvoted for their favorite books duringthe 2011-2012 South Dakota Children's Book Awards competition. Of the 32 books that were chosen by the committee, half represented the Prairie Bud Award, and the other half represented the Prairie Pasque Award.

Prairie Bud 2011-2012 Winner

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas - Not yet recorded

Prairie Pasque 2011-2012 Winner

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson DB071397

YARP (Young Adult Reading Program) Winners

Sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association, the YARP contest features two lists of fifteen nominated titles for middle school and high school grades To qualify to vote, students read books from the list and give it a star rating of 1 to 4, 4 being best.

High School 2011-2012

Winner: Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford DB070493

Runner-up: Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith DB072183

Middle School 2011-2012

Winner: The Maze Runner by James Dashner DB072392

Runner-up: Jump the Cracks by Stacy DeKeyser DBS004602

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

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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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