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South Dakota State Library
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Pierre, SD 57501

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Braille & Talking Book Program | Newsletters | Winter 2012

Prairie Trails Newsletter Header

Volume 6, Issue 3 | Winter 2012
PDF download PDF Download, MP3 download MP3 Download

Inside this issue:

From the Assistant State Librarian

Do you remember how you learned about the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program? Many of our SDBTB patrons learned about the service through a friend or family member. Word of mouth is a wonderful way to spread the message and to reintroduce others to the joy of reading. I would encourage you to “spread the word” about SDBTB to your friends and acquaintances. It may surprise you that they know someone who could use the service. I think SDBTB and the NLS network is one of the best kept secrets. As you know, it is a great service and your tax dollars at work. Let's not keep the secret to ourselves. Help spread the word!


Player Update

A software update has been made to the digital players. New book titles produced as of December 2011, will include software that automatically updates players. When a cartridge with the new software is inserted into the player, it will announce, “Updating your player's software; please do not power off your player or remove the cartridge from the player.” There will be a series of beeps while the machine is updating. When the update is complete, the machine announces, “Software upgrade completed; stand by while your player is restarted.”

Please do not remove the cartridge while it is updating the player's software.

BARD users can download the software from the BARD website. Instructions can be found at Link to LOC.GOV.

It is not necessary to update your player immediately. If you find you need any help, please call your Reader Advisor.

Overdue Reminders

The goal of the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program is to ensure that all patrons have access to all titles in the collection in a timely manner. We are always trying to improve services for all patrons.

Overdue reminders are mailed for items that are not returned on time on a regular basis. Please take note of due dates and loan periods:

  • All books on tape & cartridge are loaned for 6 weeks
  • VHS movies are loaned for 1 week
  • Call the library to renew material or to verify a due date.

If you believe you received a reminder by mistake or have a question, contact a Reader Advisor who will be happy to work with you to avoid an interruption in service.

Free, Lifetime Access Pass to National Parks Available

Persons with disabilities can get a FREE, LIFETIME “Access Pass” to National Parks and Federal Recreational Areas in the United States. Apply in person, with proper documentation, at a Federal recreation site or office. There are several offices in the Black Hills, at Fort Pierre and several surrounding states. You can find a complete listing at PassIssuanceList.pdf PDF Download from USGS.GOV. Persons may also apply by mail. For information on required documentation or other questions visit Link to USGS.GOV.

History and Fiction Collide

by Marcia Kaup

I read somewhere that historical fiction is “the least popular of fiction genres”. I tend to disagree, but, I am only one person and I wonder how many people would agree with me. History in itself can be boring but by putting history and fiction together a story can be very interesting and exciting! Not only will you learn something about that particular time and place, you will also get to experience that time and place without actually being there!

There are many different subgenres of historical fiction: Biblical, Ancient, Frontier Pioneer, Native American, United States, and Historical Romance. Historical fiction encompasses all of the categories listed.

Biblical historical fiction novels are written about biblical times and people of the bible. Some authors include: Bodie Thoene, Anne Rice and Orson Scott Card.

Ancient historical fiction novels are written about ancient times. The dictionary definition of ancient times is “of or in time long past, especially before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476.” Authors include: Jean M. Auel, Harry Turtledove and David Malouf.

Frontier pioneer historical fiction encompasses the 1700 and 1800's and usually takes place in the United States. The novel may have a “western” background or it might begin in a foreign country with a journey to the United States. Some authors include: William W. Johnstone, Zane Grey and Elmer Kelton.

Native American historical fiction novels are about Native Americans or contain Native Americans. Some novels contain events of early settlers having altercations with the Native Americans when migrating toward the unsettled part of the country. Some authors of this subgenre include: Elmer Kelton, Richard S. Wheeler and Cameron Judd.

United States historical fiction stories take place in the United States during the time the country was being settled. There is a large selection of books in this subgenre. U.S. Historical Fiction covers the time period from 1492-1945. The books will be of many flavors including western, pioneer, slavery, war, inventions, Christian and Amish interest and a very broad array of styles! Some authors in this subgenre include: Lauraine Snelling, Tracie Peterson, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour and Kathryn Stockett.

Historical romance novels are written in an early time period and can be based in the United States or have a foreign setting. The main ingredient is two people falling in love and the obstacles they face as they try to make the relationship work. Authors of this subgenre include: Lindsey Johanna, Linda Lael Miller, Jodi Thomas, Beverly Lewis and Victoria Alexander.

The books I read in the process of writing this article were of the historical romance, United States historical fiction, and frontier pioneer historical fiction subgenres.

Book Cover of Dawn's Prelude by Tracie PetersonDawn's Prelude: Song of Alaska, Book 1 by Tracie Peterson. After Lydia Gray's elderly, abusive husband Floyd dies and by a fluke she discovers she is the sole recipient of her husband's fortune, she joins her aunt in Alaska to put behind the memories of a painful marriage. When she gets to Sitka, she discovers two things she didn't expect. She meets an old acquaintance and discovers she is pregnant with her dead husband's child. With her adult stepchildren battling to regain the inheritance for themselves and not knowing to what lengths they will go, it puts her life, that of her child's and that of her budding relationship at risk. She rediscovers her faith, remarries, and gives birth. But Floyd's grown children track her down and plot her death to gain their father's fortune. There was a lot of excitement and suspense in this book and though it is Christian in style, it was not preachy.

Book Cover of The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett. College grad and fledgling writer Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan searches for a book-worthy project. At the urging of an editor, Skeeter interviews African American maids Aibileen and Minny about their relationships with their employers. Violating integration laws, the three women question their lives. I enjoyed the book, though it was not my favorite. The action was a little slow but some parts were so funny I found myself laughing out loud and I think that is what kept my interest. The story was enlightening.

Buffalo Wagons by Elmer Kelton. The year is 1873 and the plains are almost devoid of buffalo. Only one large herd remains, but it is in Comanche territory. Gage Jameson joins a group of skinners desperate enough to venture into the hostile land and risk their lives. Book Cover of Buffalo Wagons by Elmer KeltonAlthough Gage realizes he is contributing to the extinction of the buffalo, this is the only life he knows. The book almost made me feel like I was right there. Gage is a take charge type of man. He is a hard worker and he expects the same from his men. However, he has a soft side when it comes to Celia, his one true love. I was surprised when I learned who was loyal and who turned on Gage. This book definitely kept my attention! I love reading books centered around the frontier days and I learned a little more about what it would be like to have lived at that time.

Kids/Teen News

Summer Reading Program Moves to Local Libraries

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Program is changing its summer reading program. Karen Duenwald, Educational Materials Coordinator, is working with public librarians to help them offer summer reading programs that are accessible to all children. There are over 100 public libraries in South Dakota that offer a summer reading program. We encourage children to attend their local public library's summer reading program. If you have any questions about the summer reading program closest to you, please contact Karen Duenwald at 1-800-423-6665 or

American Printing House for the Blind Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Partnership

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the Dollywood Foundation are pleased to announce a partnership that expands Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL) program to provide young blind and visually impaired children with accessible books!

Audio Books
Thanks to the American Printing House for the Blind/Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Partnership and the support of Penguin Group USA APH will offer a growing collection of audio files of DPIL books as free downloads.

Print/Braille Books
Beginning in 2012, the American Printing House for the Blind/Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Partnership will make it possible for APH to produce selected Imagination Library books in a print/braille format. APH will select five titles from the current year's DPIL booklist, those most appropriate for a child with a visual impairment, to translate into braille. Two hundred copies of each title will be made.

Learn more about the APH/DPIL Partnership at Link to APH.ORG.

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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