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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 2017

Prairie Trails Newsletter: South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library

Volume 12, Issue 4 | Fall 2017
PDF download p d f file, MP3 download

Inside this issue:

Fall is in the air

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian, Steven Buras

Nine months into 2017 and things have been looking great. The Summer Reading Program set new records for participation and was a big success! Thank you to everyone who has helped us in reaching these new heights. We continue to strive to do more programming to involve as many patrons as possible.

We are very grateful to all of the organizations and individuals who have donated to our library. Without your financial support, most ofthe programming we do yearly would not be possible.

As I look to the New Year, I envision an even better 2018 for the Braille & Talking Book Library. Keep an eye out for new information as we are always collaborating as a team to create new programming and ways to provide better service!

All the best,
Steven Buras!

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Check us out!

find us on facebook button

We are now on Facebook!

Follow what's happening at the library and share your thoughts.

Like and follow our page at URL Link to facebook.

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New look - see the changes in Web Opac

SCREENSHOT: New Web Opac webpage

The Web Opac is our online catalog which contains the entire Braille and Talking book collection. From this site you may browse the catalog, view your individual record and put books on your request list. You can put a “rush” on a particular title to have your book pulled the next business day as long as there is a copy available.

To browse the site go to

The Web Opac should not be confused with the BARD program. Readers use BARD to download books. However, when in the Web Opac you have the ability to download a book from BARD. While in an individual title you will find a link that takes you directly to the download site. This will give you the capability to sign into BARD using your authorized email address and password.

If you would like more information on Web Opac or BARD call the library at 1-800-423-6665.

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Fall book discussion was a success!

Lynda Lowin - Adult Programs Coordinator

BOOK COVER of Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. Image of young woman sitting on pepper

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal was a different type of book than our summer discussion and led us to thoughts of food and memories of meals gone by. Twenty patrons ordered the book and 7 participated in the discussion. Dorothy Liegl from the SD Humanities Council was the discussion leader. Patrons dialed in and were able to listen as Dorothy led the group by selecting sections of the book and callers were able to share their thoughts. This program was made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Be watching for details on the next book discussion being planned for April or May of 2018. The book selected will be announced in the winter edition of this newsletter. Let your Reader advisor know if you are interested in joining the next discussion.

LOGO South Dakota Humanities Council

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Quick tips

GRAPHIC: speech bubble with light bulb and text 'quick tip'

No postage is required when mailing your "Talking Book Topics" request lists.
All readers registered with the Braille and Talking Book Library may write "Free Matter for the Blind and Handicapped" in place of a stamp when sending in your book request list. Do not seal the envelope. It should be mailed with the flap tucked in.

Has your machine started talking while plugged in?
If you have your machine plugged in during a power outage it will start talking once power is restored. You do not have a defective machine.

Books do not need to be rewound
The book automatically starts at the beginning for the next person who receives it.

DVD and DVR Movie Collection
Our descriptive video collection contains two formats. We have DVD movies and Blu-ray movies. Be sure to select a movie that works in your player. The DVD prefix will work in the older model DVD player but the Blu-ray will not. The prefix DVR is a Blu-ray and will play only in a Blu-ray player which plays both the DVD and DVR (Blu-ray) movies.

Have you changed your email address lately?
Be sure to call the library with the change. If you receive the Prairie Trails Newsletter electronically (by email) we will need this information for you to continue receiving this publication.

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When are my books due?

scanned image of mailer card with due date circled in red

All books and magazines distributed through the Braille and Talking Book Library have a six week loan period. The due date is located on the line above your name and address. We strongly encourage you to read the books in the order they arrive to prevent them from being overdue. We do not charge fines but when two or more items become overdue the computer will automatically prevent you from getting new books or magazines.

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Free to persons with disabilities

Below are services or assistive devices that are free to those who qualify. There are links as well as phone numbers if you would like more information.

Currency Reader: A hand held Reader now identifies U.S Paper currency

photo of iBill reader being used at restaurant

The currency reader identifies a bill's denomination (one, five, ten, etc.). It is distributed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). The readers are free and will only read U.S. currency. To order go to the BEP website URL Link to B E P website and print a copy of the application. If you have questions or request a print copy of the application please contact the BEP Center by phone at 1-844-815-9388.

South Dakota Total Disability Reduced Fee Hunting and Fishing License

photos of mule deer at river bed (above) and pheasant in field (left) with text: Photos courtesy of South Dakota Department of Tourism

The criteria with regard to each situation are shown on the form and a doctor's signature is required for processing.

The website for more information or to print the application is: URL Link to south dakota game fish and parks.

You may also contact Jeanette Gournneau at the Game, Fish, and Parks Licensing office. Her contact information is email Link and phone 605.223.7668.

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Perkins library products for sale

The Perkins Library, a division of the Perkins School for the Blind, is now selling several products for those registered with the NLS talking book program and BARD users.

Through the use of Amazon Marketplace, several products are being made available for sale. Listed below are the blank cartridges. Visit their site for additional products to use with your talking book machine. You may also go online directly from

Digital Cartridges

  • 4 GB blank digital cartridge - $9.99 each
    Holds 35-45 average sized books
  • 8 GB blank digital cartridge - $10.99 each
    Holds approximately 768 hours
  • 16 GB Blank digital cartridge - $13.99 each
    Holds over 1536 hours or approximately 180 books

For questions call the Perkins Library at 617-972-7240 or email email Link

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Helpful information about BARD Mobile from the Library of Congress

photo of man usng BARD mobile on tablet device - image courtesy of LOC

You may browse alphabetically in BARD Mobile by selecting an initial letter in the author, title, or subject dropdown lists, you can do this in the BARD Mobile app. It seems a bit clunky at first, but once you get the rhythm of it, it is quite simple to do.

Whether you want to select books alphabetically by author, title, or subject, it works the same, but we'll refer to Author for simplicity's sake in this explanation. We're assuming you're running the current version of either iOS or the Android OS, and that either Voiceover or TalkBack is running.

  1. Use Explore by Touch, or flick right until you hear "Browse by author's last name."
    • On an iPhone, you'll next hear "Select a letter, pop-up button."
    • On an Android device, flick right once more toreach this button.
  2. Double-tap.
    • On an iPhone, find the picker item near the bottom of the screen. Although intuition might tell you to flick down through the alphabet, you need to flick up to hear A, up again to hear B, etc. You can also flick up with three fingers tomove through the alphabet more quickly. If you go too far, reverse these commands to moveback toward the beginning. When you hear the letter you want. Flick left to double-tap the Done button.
    • On an Android device, a list of letters appears on the screen, with A at the top. Not all the letters fit onscreen at once, so if you need one that isn't there, flick up with two fingers to scroll through the list. TalkBack should tell you where you are on the screen, such as, "Showing items 11 to 21 of 37." Each letter has a check box; double-tap to check the one you want.
  3. Now, confirm that you are still in the Select author alphabetically by author field, and flick right to find the Go button
  4. Double-tap the Go button.

    You will now hear a list of books whose authors begin with the letter you have selected.

Again, this method works exactly the same when browsing alphabetically by Author, Title, or Subject. Try it. It's a fun way to discover books you might otherwise overlook.

You may send comments, questions, or concerns to email Link or Like NLS on Facebook or subscribe to the NLS Music Notes.

This article is from the NLS BARD Support Team

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Black Hills Ski for Light

This program offers two skiing venues, cross-country and down-hill skiing at the annual winter Ski for Light (BHSFL) event. This four day event is being held January 22 to the 25, 2018. The cross-country area is located on Wharf Resources, a mine reclamation area, while the down-hill area is located at Terry Peak Ski Area. Ski for Light welcomes all blind/visually impaired individuals and mobility impaired individuals to join us and participate in these activities.

All levels of experience from the individual who has never skied to the advanced skier are welcome. The highlight of the event is the last day's fun races where skiers have a chance to show off their skiing skills. Other activities include snow shoeing and just making new friends. The Ski for Light family offers four days full of activities as well as evening events.

Registration opens in October 2017. For information on room accommodations, transportation, and the cost go to: URL Link to black hills ski for light website.

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Volunteer Highlight

The Braille and Talking Book Library is fortunate to have volunteers at our recording studios. You may hear them read one of your South Dakota books or a magazine. In this issue we are featuring Mike Costanzo who is at the studio in Sioux Falls. He has narrated books for approximately five years. He states his reason for volunteering is that he has always enjoyed reading, and is a life-long library patron. He has worked at school libraries through-out school, even in college.

photo of volunteer

Mike is one of our "baby boomers." He was the Vice President and General Manager of Midcontinent Radio. He has lived in South Dakota the past 27 years and in Sioux Falls since 1990. In his spare time he is with family, volunteers for area civic projects and visits warm climates during the winter months.

Mike says he "looks forward every month to receiving my issue of "Smithsonian" magazine. They have such cool insights about ordinary and extraordinary subjects. He also stated, "I have re-read Bill Bryson's "A Walk in The Woods" several times." When asked about his favorite recording projects he also stated that "every book offers its own adventure and unique experiences. Murder-mystery, Biographic profiles, Historical analysis, Child, Teen, Adult material; it's all fun."

photo of volunteer

Volunteer Coordinator Josh Easter says Mike has been a dedicated volunteer from the early days when we started the recording studio site in Sioux Falls in Autumn 2012. His wisdom and advocacy for the recording studio and the program has been invaluable. His willingness to tackle nonfiction and fiction books from adult to children's books is greatly appreciated.

We are always in need of volunteer narrators and reviewers. If you know someone who with an interest in volunteering in our recording studios contact Josh by calling him at 605-773-5082 or email Josh at email Link.

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LOGO: Ten Squared Club - National Library Service for Blind and Physically Handicapped - Library of Congress

10 Squared Club

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library recognizes the accomplishments of our active readers who have reached age 100 or older. They are sent an invitation to join this elite club and receive a certificate of merit, a letter, and a small gift. We have heard amazing stories from our 102 Club members.

Hazelle Jones

  • Birthday: September 2, 1917
  • Lives in Huron, S.D.
  • Interesting tidbit: I have seen so many changes in my lifetime from no phones and now there is cell phones. From no electricity and now we have all those appliances.

    Hazell states she read all her life and her mother was a school teacher. She was able to read until her late 90's. She then joined the talking book library and the digital audio books have been her only entertainment. Her favorite genre is romances.

    She also stated she enjoys listening to her church services on the radio on Sundays.

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line artwork of mount rushmore with text: South Dakota

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: Rattlesnake Under His Hat by Sam Hurst. Photo of man with snake around neck
"Rattlesnake under His Hat: The Life and Times of Earl Brockelsby"
By Sam Hurst

Earl Brockelsby was a fearless showman, an intrepid entrepreneur, an icon of western tourism and a complex man who struggled with his own demons. This is the biography that includes the evolution of tourism in the American West in the years after World War II.
DBS004797 URL Link to book page in web opac

book cover of Last Grass Frontier by Sam Hurst. Artwork of lone man on horse on grassy plain
"Last Grass Frontier: The South Dakota Stock Grower Heritage"
By Sam Hurst

This book is about the cattle industry in South Dakota. It includes the story of men and women who developed the great industry of beef and those who produced it. The book also includes the story of a cattlemen's association that came up from the grass roots.
DBS004798 URL Link to book page in web opac

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What counts is not the number of hours you put in, but how much you put in the hours

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Kids News

Summer reading program - a huge success

A record breaking 63 youth ages birth to 20 participated in the Braille and Talking Book Library Summer Reading Program. The program ran from June 5 to July 14, 2017 with the theme, "Build A Better World." All readers are registered with the Talking Book Program and read their books in digital audio or braille format.

 photo of P.B-B. Published with permission

Using the 20/24/7 Program all readers documented a minimum of 20 minutes of reading time each day, 7 days a week. By returning their weekly reading charts it entered the reader into a drawing in their age division. First place winners received a $50 Amazon gift card and t-shirt and the second place winner received a $25 Walmart gift card and t-shirt.

Winners in their age division are:

 photo of J.S. Published with permission

Division birth to 6

  • 1st place Phoenyx Benson-Bartscher
  • 2nd place Jeren Scheff

 photo of R.S. Published with permission

Division 7 to 11

  • 1st place Carimia Estes
  • 2nd place Rylee Stahl

 photo of S.S. Published with permission

Division 12 to 16

  • 1st place Cheyenne Krieger
  • 2nd place Savannah Stahl

 photo of J.S. Published with permission

Division 17 to 20

  • 1st place Emily Bush
  • 2nd place Ben Parry

 photo of J.S. Published with permission

All reading charts were combined for the grand prize of a 12 inch APH tactile globe. The name drawn was Brayden Schlader.

Another record set was 81 percent of the participants completing the program. Part of the success is attributed to the collaboration with the School for the Blind and Life Scape. The Braille and Talking Book Library is part of the South Dakota State Library.

A special thank you goes to those contributors who provided funding for the program: Evening Star Lion's Club of Rapid City, South Dakota Association of the Blind, SD School for the Blind Foundation and the Downtown Lion's Club of Rapid City.

Be watching for details on the Winter Reading Program coming up in February.

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A unique opportunity for preschool to kindergarten readers

Flyer: Join us 10.19.17 Read Quackers and celebrate Jumpstart Read for the Record (with book cover of Quackers and corresponding artwork)

On October 19th, your library has a unique opportunity to join with thousands of other libraries and schools around the country to read the same book to as many kids as possible. This year the book is: "Quackers" By Liz Wong.

A cat who thinks he's a duck? He must be Quackers!!

This quirky funny book is about standing out, fitting in, and building a life with room for all. Quackers is a duck. Sure, he may have paws and whiskers. And his quacks might sound more like… well, meows, but he lives among ducks, everyone he knows is a duck, and he's happy. Then Quackers meets another duck who looks like him (and talks like him, too!) — but he calls himself a cat. So silly! Quackers loves being among his new friends the cats, but he also misses his duck friends, and so he finds a way to combine the best of both worlds. Part cat, part duck, all Quackers!
DBS004803 URL Link to book page in web opac

Call the library at 1-800-423-6665 to obtain your digital audio book and participate on October 19th.

For more information visit:

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Prairie Bud, Prairie Bloom, and Prairie Pasque Program

South Dakota Children's Book Awards logo This program includes students ages kindergarten to grade three. If your school is participating we have several of the books recorded in digital audio. Call the Braille and Talking Book Library at 1-800-423-6665 and we can order the book(s) so you can participate in this program.

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Younger Reader Catalog now available

The National Library Service recently released the catalog, "For Younger Reader's: Braille and Talking Books." To get a copy call the Library at 1-800-423-6665.

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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. All donations are considered a charitable donation and therefore are tax-deductible. 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.

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 donations

  • Memorial Donations
    • $100: In memory of Wanda DesLauriers
  • General Donations
    • $50: Marty Forgey
    • $100: Eunice Meyer

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Holiday Closings

The Library will be closed for the following holidays. Please plan to order your books accordingly. Keep in mind that the books you return will take longer to reach us. You may want to order extra books at least one week in advance of the following holidays:

  • October 9: Native American Day (Columbus Day)
  • November 10: Veteran's Day
  • November 23 and 24:Thanksgiving
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • January 1: New Year's 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 in digital audio, and also in large print, or via email and is posted on our website at

Visit us on Facebook at URL Link to facebook

If you have any questions or comments, 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, press 1

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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