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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 | Spring 2017

Prairie Trails Newsletter: South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library

Volume 12, Issue 2 | Spring 2017
Large Print PDF p d f file, Audio Newsletter

Inside this issue:

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian, Steven Buras

Spring Time!

Spring time is such a wonderful joy for me and my family. It has always given me a chance to reflect on where I have been and where I am headed. The same applies to our outstanding Braille & Talking Book Library.

It has been almost one year since I embarked on the journey of being the director of this program. Over the past year we have enjoyed many successes. We increased our Summer Reading Program numbers and launched a Winter Reading Program. The latter had a 93% completion rate, which is a great accomplishment.

We are also launching an Adult Book Discussion group in the Spring. We, as well as our patrons, have many things to be excited about here in South Dakota.

Recently, I had the pleasure to learn about the Marvel Superhero Daredevil. What I learned from reading about the character is that though he is blind, he has made the very best of his life and accomplished many great things. The same can be said for all of our readers and advocates.

All of you are an inspiration to me to never stop pushing forward, no matter the circumstances. It is and will continue to be an honor to serve all of you in any way.

All the best,
Steven Buras

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Be a Part of History

By Lynda Lowin, Adult Programs Coordinator

Join us in the first adult book discussion for our readers. It will be on Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30pm central time and 5:30pm mountain time. The discussion will be led by Dorothy Liegl and the book we will discuss is "One-Room Country School: South Dakota Stories."

If you are already on the list of interested patrons, a copy of the book was sent to you around March 22. The book is in a white container and on a peach colored cartridge.

If you didn't get on the list but would like to or have questions, call Lynda at 1-800-423-6665, press 1 2. The end of April, you will be mailed a letter containing a special toll-free phone number to call only for the book discussion. Lynda will call or email you to remind you to read the book. Mark your calendar for May 2nd!

This program is made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

book cover of One Room Country School
"One-Room Country School: South Dakota Stories"
By Charlie L. Woodard

The book is a collection of short narratives by former teachers and students who taught and studied in one-room, multi-grade schools in South Dakota, generally in the 1930s and 1940s. This book is 3 hours long.

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Why Am I Getting This Book?

Many of our talking book readers question why they get a particular book -- or no books at all. Understanding how books are assigned can clarify this issue.

Who selects your books?

For most readers, books are selected by our computer program.

How are your books selected?

Each time a book is returned, a new title is chosen. The method of selection depends on the service type you wish to receive.

The three options are:

  • auto select (let the computer pick for you from your subject interest)
  • on request list (for the readers who select their books from Talking Book Topics or request specific titles)
  • on demand (books only go out when you call and request a book)

The first option is auto select. For those who have the computer select for you, it checks the readers request list of titles and preferred genres, authors, and subjects. It assigns a book that has not yet been sent. This is the best type of service to ensure that books are sent regularly. Our system is set up to first check if you have something on your request list. If not, it checks if you have an author list, and lastly it will go by your subject interest. The key to utilizing this type of service is to return your books one or two at a time. If a large number of books are returned the system will send out the same number. In this case you may be out of books before new titles arrive.

The second option is on request. For this option the computer selects books requested by the reader. This type of service is best for readers who want to pick their books. It does require you to submit a list from which the computer can choose titles. The system will only assign a book that is available. It is the patron's responsibility to maintain a list of titles for the computer to access. Keep in mind that we may not have all of the books you requested on the shelf. The more books on your request list, the better chance you have of keeping your books coming in a timely manner. A frequent comment I hear is, "If I send in a long request list will the books all be sent at the same time?" The only way we will send all of the books at one time is if you request us to do so. Otherwise the titles will stay on your list until you return a book. The computer will than select a title from your list.

The third option is on demand. This service works well for readers who want to read specific titles at a specific time. This option is the most restrictive and the one that requires the most input from the reader. It is the patron's responsibility to contact the Talking Book Service and request a specific title. Again, the on demand option is the one that requires the most work on the reader's part. To keep your record active by getting one book a year, your Readers Advisors may use this method to call you when it's time to get a book.

This article was adapted from the Idaho Talking Book Library newsletter, Connections

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Why am I not getting books?

There can be several reasons a reader is not receiving books, but the most common is that the service option selected is too restrictive and the computer doesn't have anything to send. Another reason may be that you have two or more overdue books or magazines. The system will block you from receiving anything new until one or both are returned. Also keep in mind that returning your books one or two at a time will keep new books coming in a timely manner.

If you are not getting the type of books that you want, or the quantity that you need, please call your Reader Advisor to help you. They can identify specific titles, authors, genres, or subjects that you might be interested in, and they will find titles to send that you will enjoy. For example, a Reader Advisor can recommend authors who write in a style or genre similar to ones you already like. They can increase or decrease the number of books being circulated to you. The Reader Advisor can also update your mailing address, telephone number, and they can transfer your service to another state if you move -- or establish a temporary address, if you are just escaping the South Dakota winter for a few months. We appreciate you remembering to contact us if you do have a change of address or when you come back from your winter home. A Reader Advisor can also help you learn to use the online catalog or download books from the Braille and Audio Reading Download site, affectionately known as BARD.

Titles may be selected by a Reader Advisor or you may select titles from the online catalog known as Web Opac, or the Talking Book Topics catalog, which is available in braille, large print, and audio formats. And regardless of how your service is set up, you may always add a specific title to your request list.

Everyone at the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library works hard to ensure that you have the type and quantity of books that you want. So, always reach out to us if there is any way we can make the service better for you. Call us at 1-800-423-6665 and press 1 for the Braille and Talking Book Library.

This article was adapted from the Idaho Talking Book Newsletter, Connections

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Introducing BARD Express

The National Library Service now has another avenue for downloading books! Introducing… BARD Express.

by Marcia Kaup, Reader Advisor

This is a software program that you install on your computer.

This software provides an easier way to search for books and magazines. It reduces the need to use a set of complex keyboard commands.

To locate the BARD Express download log into your BARD account at Email Link to n l s bard dot l o c dot g o v . Look for the BARD Express link on the main page under the Additional Links heading. Once you click on the link you will find documentation, screenshots, frequently asked questions and the download link.

After installing you will log in with your email address and BARD password like you did with the BARD website. This program will save your password for you unless you choose to log out! The books saved to "bookshelf" can easily be moved to the removable drive without having to go through the steps of extracting the compressed files.

Please call the library at 1-800-423-6665 to talk to Marcia if you have questions or problems.

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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. The first volunteer we will feature is Sarah Fravel. She is a volunteer at the main branch Library in Sioux Falls.

photo of Sarah Fravel, young woman

She was born in 1968 and has been a narrator for the past 4 years. Sarah's reason for volunteering is that she was new to Sioux Falls and looking for a way to get plugged in to her new community. She enjoys reading non-fiction books because "I love learning new things."

In her spare time Sarah likes to knit and do other crafty things including refinishing furniture.

Sarah also mentioned that her favorite book so far to narrate has been "Land of the Burnt Thigh." "While it took me the most time to record and finalize, it was the most rewarding one to do because I learned so much about my new state of South Dakota and the people who started it all so long ago. My second favorite is a book I just finished "One Room Country School: South Dakota Stories," a collection of essay submissions from all over South Dakota re-telling memories of having attended school in one of South Dakota's country schools."

Volunteer Coordinator Josh Easter appreciates Sarah's flexibility and willingness to tackle projects that are needed in a short time frame. She worked hard to quickly and accurately record the South Dakota Driver License Manual when it was needed by a patron. She also recorded the book "One-Room Country School: South Dakota Stories" for the first adult book discussion of the talking book library this May. Sarah also uses her talents as a storyteller to bring juvenile and young adult books to life.

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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. 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. We have heard amazing stories from our 10² Club members.

photo of Martha M. Gimbel, Woman in blue with pearls

Martha M. Gimbel

  • Birthday: December 27, 1916
  • Lives in Scotland, S.D.
  • Interesting tidbit:
    Martha said her century of living has taught her to trust in the Lord for all things and work hard. Her favorite book is the Bible. Since Martha became a patron of this library on April, 1999 she has read 2, 163 books.

photo of Garrit Den Otter, man in red shirt

Gerrit DenOtter

  • Birthdate: December 21, 1914
  • Lives in Clear Lake, S.D.
  • Interesting tidbit:
    I've always loved to read. My four brothers and I would sit around the dining room table and read. The Bible is my favorite book. When I was younger I enjoyed woodworking and gardening with my wife.

photo of Alice Dempster, Woman in white blouse

Alice Dempsterr

  • Birthdate: July 22,1916
  • Lives in Brookings, S.D.
  • Interesting Tidbit:
    I have learned over the years it's hard to fly like an eagle if you are a prairie chicken. I would be so bored if I didn't have the talking books. I worked at the college library in Brookings for 23 years. I started out as a clerk typist and ended up as head of Serials department which handles magazines and newspapers.

Honorable mention: Helen Louison

  • Birthdate: March 14,1917
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Passed away February 24, 2017

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Music is for Everyone

cover of music is for everyone brochure
In 1962 a special music collection for blind persons was authorized by Congress as part of its free national library program. The National Library Service (NLS) administers the music program

This service provides:

  • braille and large print music scores for instruments and voice
  • braille and large print books about music
  • Beginning self-instruction courses for piano, organ, and guitar - on cartridge and downloadable from BARD
  • Books, lectures, interviews demonstrations, and other educational material on cartridge and downloadable from BARD
  • Subscriptions to:
    • "Popular Music Lead Sheets" in braille
    • "Braille Music Magazine"
    • "Sound and Vision (formerly "Stereo Review)
    • "Contemporary Sound Track: a review of Pop, Jazz, Rock, and Country", on cartridge or downloadable from BARD
    • "Quarterly Music Magazine" in large print, braille, and on cartridge and downloadable from BARD
  • Reference services and assistance in locating information about music and musicians

This collection does not include musical recordings intended solely for listening such as on cassettes or CD's.

For music service you must contact Washington, D.C. directly. They can be contacted by calling 1-800-424-8567 or email to order material or get information.

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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 of She Walked by Faith Not by Sight
"She Walked by Faith Not by Sight"
By Jenny Peterson

This is a true story about a young woman who lost her sight at age 23 from reaction to prescribed drugs of bicillin and Keflex. She was the only one on record who lived through losing 100 percent of her skin. She spent 96 days in Mc Kennan Hospital and the next 33 years seeking doctors who could help her get her sight back. In 2010 Mayo Clinic doctors did just that. She now has 20/25 vision in her good eye.

book cover of The Craving
"The Craving"
By Jack R. Simpson

In a strange twist of fate, Karl Weismann, a nice grandfatherly type man, is afflicted by a strange and terrible malady that has, unknown to him at first, passed down through generations of the males in his family. It is a strange craving that turns this normally upstanding citizen into a crazed killer, and he can't stop himself. The results turn Ellisville upside down as police search for a growing number of missing people and, ultimately, the killer.

"Siding No. 4: A History of Ree Heights"
By Stella Hammill-Conerton

This book is the history of Ree Heights and contains the writings of Stella Hammill-Conerton. Born in Ree Heights on October 25, 1916 in the home of her grandparents where she grew up. Stella attended 12 grades of school in Ree Heights where she spent most of her adult years. For 25 years she gathered and wrote a vast amount of history and wrote the weekly column "Looking Back" for the Miller Press. br /> DBS004794

book cover of Hallowed Ground
"Hallowed Ground"
By Lori G. Armstrong

Grisly murders are rocking the small county of Bear Butte where Julie Collins has spent the last few months learning the PI biz. She takes a case involving a missing Native American girl who could be the innocent pawn in her parents' child custody dispute, or a hostage in a fight to keep a casino from opening.

book cover of Rattlesnake Under His Hat: The Life and Times of Earl Brockelsby
"Rattlesnake Under His Hat: The Life & 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. Brockelsby's biography offers insight into the evolution of tourism in the American West. Born in Kadoka, South Dakota in the last days of the Western frontier, Brockelsby grew up in the badlands and the Black Hills.

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Kids News:

Launch of Winter Reading Program Breaks Records

Photo of completed calendar sheets from the Winter Reading Program participants

The Braille and Talking Book Library held its first Winter Reading Program, "Celebrate February . . . Read!" with 44 youth ages Birth-20 participating. There were 18 braille and 26 audio readers. Based on the 20/24/7 Program each reader documented a minimum of 20 minutes of reading time each day, seven days per week for the month of February.

The program broke two records. One is for the most braille readers participating in a reading program sponsored by the Library. The other was having a successful completion rate of 93%. This past Summer Reading Program comprised of 12 braille and 34 audio readers with 70% completion rate. Part of the increase is due to collaboration with the SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

At the conclusion of the program the reading charts were returned to be eligible for the drawing for a Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet. The winner was Caden Chavez, age 10, son of Jessie Berg and Johnny Chavez of Hitchcock, SD.

Photo of Caden Chavez, young boy

The program was supported thanks to the generosity of Wal-Mart of Pierre.

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Coming soon... Summer Reading Program

Mark your calendar for June 5 to July 14.

"Build A Better World" is the theme of the 2017 program which runs for six weeks. It is open to all youth registered with the Braille and Talking Book Library Program ages birth to 20. It will have four age divisions: birth to 6, 7 to 11, 12 to 16, and 17 to 20. It will be more exciting with not only the $50 Amazon gift card in each of the four age divisions but the opportunity to win other prizes.

Following the 20/24/7 Program each participant will need to read a minimum of 20 minutes each day, seven days a week. They will read in an alternative format selecting braille or audio books.

The reader will document a minimum of 20 minutes of reading time each day. At the conclusion of the program the six weekly reading charts need to be returned to the library for the reader to be eligible for a $50 Amazon gift card in their age division. If the reader returns all of his weekly reading charts he will have six chances to win.

In addition to the gift cards all reading charts will be combined for a drawing to win a 12-inch tactile and visual table globe! It is covered with a tactile clear plastic overlay. Among the overlay's features are continent outlines, higher and lower elevations, and raised latitude and longitude lines.

photo of tactile globe

Registration forms will be mailed prior to April 10th. If you need additional information please contact Mary Sjerven at 1-800-423-6665, press 1, 1 or email Email Link to Mary Sjerven.

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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. 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 Fred Huber From Deloris Huber
  • General Donations: $50 Winter Reading Program from Ethel Young

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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.

  • April 14: Good Friday
  • May 29: Memorial Day
  • July 4: Independence 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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