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South Dakota State Library
MacKay Building
800 Governors Dr.
Pierre, SD 57501

1-605-773-6962 (FAX)
(SD Only)

Hours: Mon-Fri
8 am - 5 pm CT
7 am - 4 pm MT

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Braille & Talking Book Library | Newsletters | Fall 2016

Prairie Trails Newsletter: South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library

Volume 11, Issue 4 | Fall 2016
PDF download PDF Download, MP3 download MP3 Download

Inside this issue:

A Hodge Podge Update

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian, Steven Buras

It has been three months since I started at the Braille and Talking Book Library. I have learned a lot about the program. The staff is great and contributes a great deal to you, our readers.

In looking forward to 2017 we are planning to introduce an Adult Reading Club and a Winter Reading Program for the younger reader. We will keep everyone apprised of the details as they are finalized.

I am also working on developing a "Friends of the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library." To form this organization I am seeking individuals who are parents, friends, or patrons of our library. This program would assist in funding different programs for our patrons.

We are grateful to everyone who has donated to our cause. Your donations are greatly appreciated and are used to provide additional library services to our patrons.

Some staff will be traveling to Washington, D.C. this fall for NLS trainings. The training will enhance our services to you.

The future of our program is bright. Keep reading!

Steven Buras

photo of two young boys with a digital reader
Jeren and Jaxon, two of our youngest readers!

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New Reader Advisor

The Braille and Talking Book Library now have three Reader Advisors for our patrons. Lynda Lowin joined the team at the end of July. Lynda previously worked part time as the Educational Materials Coordinator. She will keep these duties in addition to being a Reader Advisor.

Your Reader Advisor may have changed. Based on the first letter of your last name, your Reader Advisor will be:

  • Mary: for last names beginning with A through H
  • Lynda: for last names beginning with I through R
  • Marcia: for last names beginning with S through Z

Also, please pay close attention when calling the Braille and Talking Book Library as our phone menu options have changed. Our number is still 1-800-423-6665.

Photos of readers advisors

First, press 1 for the Braille and Talking Book Library. Second, please note that our options for Reader Advisors have changed and are reflected below:

  • Pressing 1 will reach Mary
  • Pressing 2 will reach Lynda
  • Pressing 3 will reach Marcia

Please note that the toll free number does not work with an area code other than 605. If your area code is other than 605 you will need to call the library at 605-773- 3131. Follow the same steps in accessing the Braille and Talking Book Library and your Reader Advisor.

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Behind the Scenes

In the Spotlight: Lynda Lowin

Lynda joined the Braille and Talking Book Library Program in December, 2013. She serves as the Educational Materials Coordinator and fills requests for alternative format textbooks. This includes Braille and Large Print formats for blind and visually impaired students. These requests come from schools in South Dakota as well as from out of state. She sends out any books that are available from the South Dakota State Library Braille and Large Print textbook collection. If a book is unavailable from this collection, it will be borrowed, purchased or Lynda will arrange for it to be produced in the braille unit at Pheasantland Industries at the state Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

photo of Lynda Lowin packing textbooks
Reader Advisor/ Educational Materials Coordinator, Lynda Lowin

Other duties include signing up a student or school and assisting them in getting the materials requested. All textbooks ordered must meet the January 15th deadline to have them ready for the next school year. Some orders can take months to obtain the correct book in an alternative format.

As of July 25th, she has added the responsibilities of Reader Advisor. She works with our adult readers whose last names begin with I through R.

Lynda is in the process of developing some special reading programs for adults. A book discussion is in the works and a reading challenge will start off in 2017. If you have any ideas for Adult Programing she would love to hear them!

Lynda believes that life is too short to worry about a clean desk.

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Mismatched Digital Books and Containers

We are noticing an increase in the number of books coming back from patrons who have mismatched the book and the container. Before sending the books back please ensure that the number on the book matches the number on the container before returning it.

It may be helpful to put the book you are currently reading back in the container and close it before opening another container. Multiple containers open at the same time may be confusing when putting the book back in the proper container.

We realize you cannot read the container or book and have to listen to know what new books have arrived. Please only open one container and listen to the title. Place it back in the container and close it before opening the next container.

This will help us get books processed in a timely manner.

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Tips for Better Service

Lately readers are calling to let us know they are out of books. They state they put multiple books in the mail at one time. Once your books are checked in, the same number of books will be assigned to you for your next shipment.

If you return all of your books at one time you will have nothing to read until the new shipment arrives. As an example, if the maximum number of books you receive is six, to make the "turn around" process work smoothly returning one or two books at a time will give you four books on hand to read. The replacement books will reach you before you have the remaining titles read.

If you find you continuously run out of books call your Reader Advisor to increase the number you receive.

Keep in mind that books need to be ordered no later than Wednesday for them to be pulled the same week. Books do not go into the mail the day you call. Depending on how many days the books are in the mail, they may not reach you by Saturday.

photo of Mike Smith inspecting incoming books
Mike Smith, Library clerk, inspects incoming books

If you wish to select your books you will need to supply your Reader Advisor with titles to add to your request list. If the request list runs out no books will go out. Keep in mind we may not have all the titles you request on the shelf. Selecting a larger number of books will ensure you will not run out.

If you receive your books by subject interest there may be instances that you have exhausted a subject. If you are, as an example, a western only reader and have been in our program for several years, you may run out of titles. In this case you may want to re-read books you have read several years ago or try a different subject interest.

If you are a reader who has an author list you may be getting several books by only one author. If you wish to stop getting so many books by the same author you will need to call your Reader Advisor to stop that author.

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Using Bookshelf to Find Magazines and Book Titles

For those of you who subscribe to several magazines you may find more than one title on a cartridge if they come in the red container.

Follow these steps to locate the magazine you want:

  1. Insert the cartridge into the digital player.
  2. Hold down the green Play/Stop button until you hear the word, "Bookshelf."
  3. Release the Play/Stop button and tap down on the white arrow-shaped Fast Forward button to the right of the Play/Stop button to move through the titles on the cartridge until you hear the title of the magazine or book you want to read. <,/
  4. To move back through the titles on the cartridge, hold down the Play/Stop button until you hear "BOOKSHELF" and then tap down on the white arrow-shaped Rewind button until you hear the title you are seeking.

Bookshelf is helpful when locating the version of the "Holy Bible" you want to select. The King James, English Standard, and New Living versions, all on one cartridge, are free of charge from the Braille Bible International. This cartridge is yours to keep for a lifetime. If you are interested in ordering this free Bible call your Reader Advisor at 1-800-423-6665.

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Cover of Reader's Digest MagazineUpdate on Reader's Digest - Now in Digital Format

Reader's Digest is now available to play on your digital machine beginning September 1st. If you are already receiving this magazine on cassette you will automatically begin getting it in digital. You must return the current issue in order to receive the next issue. If you have not returned 2 issues your subscription will be cancelled.

If you are not currently subscribed and would like to receive this magazine please call your Reader Advisor at 1-800-423-6665. If you are using the cassette machine only for this magazine you may now return it to the library.

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cover of Some Luck by Jane Smiley2016 One Book South Dakota

The South Dakota Humanities Council (SDHC) yearly selects a title for the "One Book South Dakota" Program.

This year they chose "Some Luck" by Jane Smiley, DB079659. The book is the first volume of an epic trilogy where the writer starts us on a literary adventure through cycles of birth and death, passion and betrayal that will span a century in America.

To order call your Reader Advisor at 1-800-423-6665.

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10 Squared Club

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library recognize the accomplishments of our active readers who have reached age 100 or older. Readers who reach age 100 are sent an invitation to join this elite club. They receive a certificate of merit, a letter, and a small gift.

Whenever possible, a staff member from the Braille and Talking Book Library will visit the new 10² Club member to present the certificate and gift in person. We have heard amazing stories. Below are the latest 10² Club members in 2016.

photo of ten squared club member, Mary SmithMary Smith

  • Birthday: September 14, 1915
  • Lives in Hot Springs, South Dakota
  • Interesting tidbit: Her mother lived to be 107

photo of ten squared club member, Mae NiedemeyerMae Niedemeyer

  • Birthday: April 14, 1916
  • Lives in Hot Springs, South Dakota
  • Interesting tidbit: Enjoys Tai Chi and trivia games

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Gifts and Donations

Gifts and bequests that are donated to the Braille & Talking Book Library are used to enhance the services that we provide. We appreciate the generosity of those that give and we miss those patrons who have been honored with memorials. When making a donation, please include the address of those to be notified for memorials or donations in honor of a special occasion or person.

The donations that you make are used to help us better serve our patrons. Donations have been used to purchase descriptive dvds, celebrate the work of our volunteers, honor our readers who are 100 years old or older, and support reading programs such as the summer reading program. You can designate a specific purpose for your gift. If you have any questions, call your reader advisor at 1-800-423-6665.

photo of five dollar bill tucked in book

Donations can be sent to:

SD Braille and Talking Book Library
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2294

Please make checks payable to the SD Braille and Talking Book Library. Thank you for helping to enhance and improve library services.

Recent Memorial Donations:

  • $20 for Thelma Johnson
    From Arnold and Helen Johnson
  • $100 for Marianna Englet
    From daughters Judith Kjar and Patty Tlustos
  • $250 for Bonnie Drews
    From Cheryl Glanzer

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Coming soon: 2017 Programs

Be watching for more details on two new programs coming this winter. There will be an Adult Reading Program led by Lynda Lowin. A one month winter reading program for the younger reader is being developed by Mary Sjerven.

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South Dakota Collection

The following books have been added to the South Dakota Collection. They are written by a South Dakota author or have some connections to South Dakota. Please call your Reader Advisor if you would like to order any of the following titles.

book cover image
"Death Along the Spirit Road"
By C.M. Wendelboe

First in a new series featuring FBI agent Manny Tanno- a Native American returning to the reservation home he thought he left behind. FBI Special Agent Manny Tanno arrives in Pine Ridge to find that not everything has changed since he left.

His former rival, now in charge of the Tribal Police, is just as bitter as ever, and has no intention of making Manny's life easy.

book cover
"It Happened in South Dakota: Remarkable Events That Shaped History"
By Patrick Straub

A fascinating collection of thirty compelling stories about events that shaped the Mount Rushmore State, this book describes everything from Lewis and Clark raising an American flag on the Missouri to the continuing creation of a monument to Crazy Horse and more.

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Kids News: Summer Reading Winners

"On Your Mark, Get Set… Read!" was the theme of the 2016 Braille and Talking Book Library Summer Reading Program. It ran from June 6 to July 15, 2016 and had 46 youth from ages 3 to 20 participate. This group included 12 braille and 34 audio readers.

The program has had a 10% increase in participation since last year. Collaboration with the SD School for the Blind & Visually Impaired and Life Scape has assisted with these increases. Other notable increases include 70% of those registered completed the program in 2016 compared to 67% in 2015.

Winners in each age division received a $50 Amazon gift card. The winners are:

  • Division 0 to 6, Jeren Scheff of Montrose, S.D.,
  • Division 7 to 11, Heidy Yamileth Lopez-Garcia of Aberdeen, S.D.,
  • Division 12 to 16 Jordan Houseman of Lake Andes, S.D.
  • Division 17 to 21 Will Hollenbach of Kennebec, S.D.

Supporters of the program include Rapid City Evening Star Lions Club, Downtown Rapid City Lions Club, South Dakota Association of the Blind, and South Dakota Foundation of the Blind.

photo of Mary Sjerven and Dorothy Liegl drawing 2017 Summer Reading Winners
Mary Sjerven and Dorothy Liegl selecting Summer Reading Winners

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Holiday Closings

Please note the library will be closed on the following days. If you need assistance please leave a phone message and we will contact you the next business day. It is helpful to plan your book requests accordingly.

  • October 10: Native American Day/Columbus Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • November 25-26: Thanksgiving Day
  • December 26: Christmas Holiday
  • January 2: New Year's Holiday
  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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The Prairie Trails Newsletter is our means of communication with all patrons of the Braille and Talking Book Library. 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 Library.

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

Email: Email Link to BTB

Phone: 1-800-423-6665

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

The South Dakota State Library provides leadership for innovation and excellence in libraries and services to state government.

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