Josh Easter, Editor
Inside this issue:
Notes from the Assistant State Librarian, Steven Buras
How quickly a year in life passes us by. As a child, life seemed to stand still, but as an adult, years go by in the blink of an eye. As I reflect back on 2018, I continue to think about how far we have come, yet how much more we can still do to provide the best for all of our patrons in South Dakota.
However, I am very pleased with all of the progress and additions made this year and looking ahead to many new additions in 2019. We had successful Winter and Summer reading programs for the youth. Looking ahead to 2019, we will be adding two new recording studios, one in Rapid City and one in Vermillion. This will allow us to recruit more volunteers to read our local materials; getting them faster to the patrons we serve. We will also be adding to our Audio Description DVD collection - making over 500 titles available to our patrons. Also, we will be publishing a Biennial report that will encompass the past two fiscal years. It will include many statistics which I feel everyone will find beneficial.
Winter is coming. Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.
Please keep the box and Styrofoam inserts that we mail to you. They are made specifically for mailing digital talking book machines and have a mail card that can be flipped over to mail the machine back to us. We cannot send empty boxes through the mail as the post office does not allow that. Please keep that box.
If your postman questions the contents, open the box and show him/her what is inside. There is embossment above the speaker that says "LIBRARY OF CONGRESS" and "NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED"
The Blind and Physically Handicapped should be enough to make your postman believe it can be mailed back using FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND when in a box other than the one it was sent out in.
If not, take the box home and call us to ask for an OFFICIAL label to be sent that can be taped to the top of the box.
If in doubt of what can and cannot be mailed FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND please call the library. We will do our best to answer your questions.
Marcia Kaup, B&TBL Reader Advisor
The National Library Service (NLS) has recently added Reader's Digest to its selection of audio magazines, beginning with the November 2018 issue. It was previously produced by American Printing House for the Blind (APH). For those who have already been reading this magazine, you may notice that the color of the mailing container will change from yellow to red.
If you would like to subscribe to Reader's Digest or another publication, please call the library at 1-800-423-6665 (or local 605-773-3131), option 1. Many regional interest magazines are also available from our library; other magazines are available through BARD, so let us know if you'd like to download books and magazines using a computer or a mobile smart device.
In order to rapidly increase the number of book titles available to patrons, the NLS (National Library Service) began a program to modify commercially produced audiobooks to be compatible with NLS standards and equipment. Through this process, the NLS has increased its book production to 3,000 or so new titles per year, up from 2,000 titles. But what NLS cannot do is to search through each book looking for strong language, violence, or descriptions of sex. Thus these books are considered to be 'unrated' and the annotation in the title record will so indicate. Unfortunately, you, the patron, won't know if an unrated book actually contains strong language, violence or descriptions of sex. To many of you, that's ok. But to many others, that is not ok. For those who are uncomfortable with an unrated book, there is a special exclusion available which will prevent an unrated book from automatically being sent to you. Please contact your reader advisor and ask that the unrated exclusion be checked. You can always override this exclusion by requesting a specific book that may be unrated, and only for that request.
However, a group of volunteers across the country are reviewing each new unrated audiobook and assigning specific ratings. Eventually all of the unrated books will be rated.
The audio book player is designed to verbalize the functions associated to the various buttons, such as "volume up" or "fast forward" etc. To some this may become annoying and wish there could be less wordiness. You can thus reduce the wordiness of the player's announcements by using this method:
Bookshelf is a feature of the audio book player which allows you to play digital cartridges that have more than one book on the cartridge. In general, a cartridge can hold up to ten books. Bookshelf is available on both player models, the standard DS1 and the advanced DA1. Knowing how bookshelf works is essential to take advantage of the future duplication-on-demand method of distributing audio books. Follow the following directions to use bookshelf:
Check out these Christmas titles from our collection of DVDs and Blu-rays with descriptive audio. These videos are especially for the enjoyment of people who are blind or visually impaired. Short verbal descriptions of action or key visual scenes in a program, such as the setting, costumes, and facial expressions, are provided to add context. The descriptions are inserted into pauses within a program's dialogue. Ask your reader advisor how to sign up to receive these or other titles. We have a catalog available of all current titles in our collection. You will need a DVD or Blu-ray player to play these titles.
The following book(s) 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 the following title.
"Hugh Glass: Grizzly Survivor" by James D. McLaird
The most famous grizzly-bear attack in the history of the American West took place in 1823 and left Glass struggling for life. Setting out on a journey of revenge and forgiveness, he eventually crawled 200 miles across the plains back to civilization. The story of Hugh Glass has provided fertile ground for articles, books and film, but the real man remains much of a mystery.
McLaird, a historian, traces the few existing threads of Glass's life and delves into the role of popular history in making a legend. He also looks at the grizzly bear itself, examining popular sentiments towards the creature that led to its near-extinction.
Had it not been for a chance encounter with a grizzly bear along the Grand River in what is now northwestern South Dakota, says McLaird, Hugh Glass would barely warrant a passing note in fur-trade history.
There's a whole world of stories out there to discover so get ready for the SD Braille and Talking Book Library's 2019 Winter Reading Program! The program is open to all patrons Birth to 19 years. Participants asked to read at least 20 minutes every day during the month of February. A reading chart and stickers are sent to each participant. To be eligible for the grand prize, just put a sticker on the chart each day you read at least 20 minutes and return the completed chart no later than March 7, 2019.
Invitation letters with a paper registration form and an email with the link to the online registration will be sent out in January. If you have any questions, contactJosh Easter at or or by email at .
It's not too soon to start thinking about Large Print and Braille Textbooks for the 2019/20 school year. Order forms can be downloaded from our website. If you have questions or would like an order form emailed to you, contactLynda Lowin at or or by email at
January 15 is the deadline to guarantee delivery before the Fall 2019 first day of classes. Orders must be complete to qualify for the guarantee.
Lynda Lowin, Reader Advisor/Educational Materials Coordinator
Just as it has provided audio playback equipment since the 1930s, NLS has long been interested in providing an affordable, easy-to-use braille eReader to its patrons. In the summer of 2017, NLS took the first step toward achieving that goal when it partnered with Perkins Library to test the effectiveness of distributing digital braille files for use on eReaders. Now we are ready for the next step.
NLS has a contract in place to purchase eReaders designed specifically to read NLS braille materials. Initially, NLS will purchase enough devices to conduct a pilot project with a few network libraries. The pilot will cover all aspects of acquisition, quality assurance, distribution, cleaning and maintenance, technical support, training, media distribution, and other relevant topics. We expect the pilot to last two years.NLS is able to move ahead with this exciting project thanks to a 2016 amendment to the 1931 Pratt-Smoot Act-the NLS authorizing legislation-that now allows it to provide playback equipment in all formats, not just audio. A report by the Government Accountability Office recommended that Congress make that change.
Do you enjoy doing crossword puzzles? Now individuals who are blind or visually impaired can enjoy solving crossword puzzles on their computer. This free download is compatible with most browsers and screen readers. Just log in, select a puzzle and start solving.
To download Crossword, please visit:
Note: This program is currently supported on desktop computers only.
BARD stands for Braille and Audio Reading Download. It is an internet-based service from the NLS that enables users to download books to their personal devices (smartphone or tablet) or for their digital talking book machine. BARD has thousands of books and magazines available for download with no waiting! Call or email us to get signed up!
In order to use BARD, a patron must have an email address and be in good standing with the library. Having some basic knowledge of computers file processes and web browsing is helpful but you don't need to have or use a computer yourself. Having a family member or friend who can help you by downloading for you also works. You don't need a computer yourself since the downloads are put on a cartridge like you already receive for your talking book machine or on a USB drive you can pick up most stores and insert into the side USB port on your talking book machine.
However, the future promises to be far more user friendly in which audio books will be automatically downloaded directly to your book player thus requiring no computer skills. The NLS is now running tests of audio book players outfitted with a Wi-Fi connection to the internet. In another five years or so these new players should become ready for general use.
There are many commercial audiobooks that have been converted to the NLS format but are only available for download on BARD. No digital cartridges will be made for these books. A list of these download-only books is available at .
Each month new download-only books will be added to this list sorted with the newest additions on top. However, these download-only books will not be included in Talking Book Topics catalog.
For users of BARD Mobile with their mobile smart devices, you may receive an error message from time to time stating that you are not authorized to read this protected book or you have exceeded the number of allowed devices. You cannot fix these errors, rather report them to your reader advisor. Please do not try to fix these by deleting the BARD mobile app and re-installing it. This will only make matters worse as all books on your device will also be deleted. Let's take a look at these one at a time:
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:
Please make checks payable to the SD Braille and Talking Book Library. Thank you for helping to enhance and improve library services.
Here is our phone tree that you will hear when you call our main number.
Call us at or and press 1 for Braille and Talking Book and then:
Call us anytime at 1-800-423-6665 (or 605-773-3131), press 1 for Braille and Talking Book then 1 for Lynda, 2 for Lynette, 3 for Marcia, and 4 for Josh. You can also ask us for our emails if you would like to communicate via email.
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: