Inside this Issue

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian, Steven Buras

Happy Fall to All!

It seems like Summer just began and yet we are almost to Fall. That essentially speaks of my time here in South Dakota. It has been a journey, but seems like yesterday I was new to the state. I always like to take time to reflect when speaking to the patrons of South Dakota.

This marks two years of data collecting that shows how the Braille and Talking Book Library has progressed over the past years. We currently stand at exactly 1,900 active patrons with 22 patrons who are at least 100 years old. The BTBL has also averaged about 125,000 circulations in that time span. A few other numbers to highlight are more patrons are now utilizing BARD and also more facilities and other institutions are becoming depositories.

The last highlight of the Summer is that we are excited to welcome Lynette Thum as our new Reader Advisor.

Steven Buras

In the Spotlight: Reader Advisor: Lynette Thum

Lynette Thum, new reader advisor

Lynette Thum is our new Reader Advisor at the Braille and Talking Book Library. If your last name begins with the letters H-Z, she will help you find books and magazines that interest you.

Lynette was raised on a farm outside Scotland, SD, and attended Black Hills State College in Spearfish, majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Library Science. She lived in Sturgis for 17 years and had a variety of jobs, including the front desk at the Sturgis Public Library for seven years. She then moved to Spearfish and worked mainly in the healthcare field there, until the State of South Dakota finally saw fit to hire her. She has been a state employee ever since. This is her second trip through the Department of Education, with a six-year stint at the Department of Health.

Lynette loves dogs, reading, going to movies and laughing with good friends. She enjoys a good margarita and looking at cookbooks, although she has no intention of cooking.

Please call her at 1-800-423-6665 , option 1, then 2. She would love to hear from you! Please call Lynette at: 1-800-423-6665, option 1, 2 or email

Updated phone options

With retirements and a new reader advisor comes a shakeup of phone options.

Here is our new phone tree that you will hear when you call our main number. Call us at 1-800-423-6665 (or 1-605-773-3131 ), and press 1 for Braille and Talking Book and then:

  • For patrons with last names beginning with A though G, press 1 for Lynda
  • For patrons with last names beginning with H through Z, press 2 for Lynette
  • For libraries, facilities, or people residing in facilities, press 3 for Marcia
  • For children, young adults, schools, textbooks or educational materials, press 1 for Lynda
  • For anyone interested in becoming a patron, press 3 for Marcia
  • For Talking Book machines, volunteers and other questions, press 4 for Josh
Call us anytime at 1-800-423-6665 (or 1-605-773-3131 ), press 1 for Braille and Talking Book then 1 for Lynda, 2 for Lynette, 3 for Marcia, and 4 for Josh.

Ballot Questions 2018

Voting for midterm elections will be here soon. Once again, we will be working with the Secretary of State's office to provide the statewide 2018 Ballot Questions pamphlet in formats accessible to visually impaired voters.

The pamphlet provides the title, explanation, and effect of a vote for each ballot question as provided by the Attorney General. The pros and cons for each ballot question are provided by individuals and do not reflect the opinion of the State. This document will be available in audio, braille, and large print formats. The audio will be posted on the Secretary of State website as well as available on audio cartridge for our patrons to use in their digital talking book machines.

Contact us if you would like get on the list to receive the 2018 Ballot Questions in one of these formats.

Closer to the election you will be able to access the print and audio formats on the Secretary of State's website, .

Spring Book Discussion

Lynda Lowin - Adult Programs Coordinator

The Spring Book Discussion of "Land of the Burnt Thigh" got off to a shaky start when telephone connection to the conference call met with terrible reception for callers. Everyone hung up and dialed in again and the problem was solved.

Participants called in and were led by SD Humanities Council scholar, Dorothy Liegl, in an informative discussion about homesteading, historical events mentioned in the book and how these events formed or changed settlement of the West, and particularly the reservation lands.

If you enjoyed "Land of the Burnt Thigh", you may want to read one of these books:

  • "The Land They Possessed" DBS004692
  • "Bachelor Bess: The Homesteading Letters of Elizabeth Corey, 1909-1919" DBS004696
  • "Homesteading in the Badlands 1912" DBS004704
  • "The Dakotans" DBS004705
  • "Dakota Dreams: Fannie Sabra Howe's Own Story 1881-1884" DBS004749
  • "Dear Unforgettable Brother: The Stavig Letters from Norway and America, 1881-1937" DBS004765
  • "My Ever Dear Charlie: Letters Home from the Dakota Territory" DBS004725
  • "The Little House on the Prairie" (Series )

Call your reader advisor to have one sent!

We are taking a break from adult book discussions for this year but would appreciate your input and feedback on why you did or did not participate in past adult book discussions.

  1. Were you aware that a book discussion was being offered?
  2. Did the book featured influence your decision to participate or not?
  3. If you did participate, did you like the format used?

LOGO for South Dakota Humanities Council
The SDB&TB Spring Book Discussion is made possible by the SD Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for Humanities.

Author and patron visit the library

We had a wonderful visit from patron Cindy McFadden and her friend, South Dakota author Wayne Fanebust. They stopped by for a visit while in Pierre for a book discussion Wayne presented for the SD Cultural Heritage Center on his newest published book "Chasing Frank and Jesse James: The Bungled Northfield Bank Robbery and the Long Manhunt."

Author Wayme Fanebust poses in the South Dakota State Library Pierre with his book and with SDSBTBL patron Cindy McFadden

Lynda and Josh enjoyed getting to visit with them and give them a tour of the Braille and Talking Book Library.

Currently two of Wayne's books are being recorded by our local volunteers. The titles are "Outlaw Dakota: The Murderous Times and Criminal Trials of Frontier Judge Peter C. Shannon" and "Chasing Frank and Jesse James: The Bungled Northfield Bank Robbery and the Long Manhunt." It will be a few months before they are available. Our South Dakota Collection contains books by SD authors, about SD and regional history, and other books with topics relevant to South Dakota. Our goal is to make as many of these books available to our patrons as possible, but we are reliant on our volunteers to make it happen.

We love it when you visit us when you are in the area. Let us know you're coming ahead of time to make sure we are well staffed to receive you and give you a tour of the library.

Patron Cindy at the compact shelving in the Braille and Talking Book Library in Pierre

South Dakota Collection

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.

BOOK COVER: Calamity Jane of the Western Trails by J. Leonard Jennewein
Calamity Jane of the Western Trails
by J. Leonard Jennewein

Writers frequently claim to give the "real scoop" about Calamity Jane in their biographical sketches, but often so exceed the facts that their works are appropriately considered fiction. Despite the passage of more than thirty years, J. Leonard Jennewein's "Calamity Jane of the Western Trails" remains among the best biographies of that controversial frontier woman… one of the West's most interesting characters, Calamity Jane. DBS004823

Descriptive Videos available

In addition to audio books, the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library offers a selection of audio described movies on DVD and Blu-ray. Audio described movies include a second soundtrack to describe the sets, costumes, and visual cues that the director uses to establish place, create mood, and foreshadow events.

Patrons can call to request a title. You may check up to two video titles at a time for two weeks. There are no renewals. Audio described DVDs should play on any DVD player but Blu-rays will require a Blu-ray player. If you want to know what we have, you may request a DVD or Blu-ray video catalog in large print or find them on our website.

Here is just a sampling of titles. Be sure to request the catalogs for a complete list. These titles feature people who don't let their challenges keep them from living their best lives.

PG-13 | 1h 38min | Drama, Family, Sport
Mark Hapka, Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang

When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible total blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe handicapped life or bravely return to the life he once knew and the sport he still loves. DVD 316

PG-13 | 1h 58min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville

The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis. DVD 485

Not Rated | 1h 35min | Biography, Drama
Isabelle Carré, Ariana Rivoire, Brigitte Catillon

Marie Heurtin is born both blind and deaf. Sister Marguerette wins her trust and teaches her how to express herself. DVD 543

PG-13 | 1h 55min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Zachary Bennett

An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community. DVD 546

Not Rated | 1h 8min | Documentary

MONICA & DAVID is the love story of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs. Monica and David are blissfully in love and want what other adults have an independent life. DVD 193

PG | 1h 53min | Drama, Family
Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters 5th grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. DVD 600

What's New with the online catalog (aka OPAC)

screenshot of BTB online catalog webpage

If you want to order books or add books to your request list and have forgotten your Patron ID look on the mail card of a book or the machine that was sent to you. It begins with SD1A and can be found directly above your name!

If you forgot what your password is, try the last four digits of your phone number.

If you lost your Patron ID or the password doesn't work, use the link "Click here to recover access to your account" and enter your email address. Your Patron ID will be emailed to you along with the link to change the password! If you know your password you do NOT have to click the link in the email to reset your password. Click the Sign in to place requests or manage your account link at the upper right corner of the page and enter your Username and Password.

screenshot of sample Your Account Recovery Request email. Email includes Your username and a Password Reset Link

You can also send a request to have your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address updated using the online catalog/ OPAC. Sign in and go to My Account. Click Contact Info and Update Contact Info.

In the fields presented you can change your name if it is misspelled or changed due to marriage or divorce, add your new phone number, change your email address by wiping the old email address out and enter a new mailing address by wiping out the old mailing address that is showing or send us a note! It will send an email to the library and your request will be processed as promptly as possible.


There are a variety of downloadable audiobook services for people with print impairments. Some are free, some have a cost, some have limits, and some don't. Let's see how our library's download service BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) stacks up next to some of the other popular options.

  ICON: BARD app logo. Blue background, white sound waves to 6 dot braille and LOC book flag logo
ICON: Overdrive App Logo that is Blue with white circle. second ICON: Libby app logo that is purple with girl and open book
SD Titles to Go
ICON: Audible app logo Orange background with white open book V shape and sound waves
Cost Free Free Monthly Subscription
Limits No limits

No due dates
Check-out limit;

Lending limits;

Titles automatically expire and delete
Monthly Credits - to own titles;

Users can opt to purchase additional titles
Wait Lists No waiting Yes, due to limited copies No - only exception: Pre-ordered books from publisher that will arrive on release
Mobile App Yes -

Braille files (will need display)
Overdrive or Libby Mobile Apps both available. Borrow directly within App;

Yes - Dyslexic font option and adjust Contrast for eBooks
Yes - Audiobooks only;

Note, new purchases (incl. credit usage) only through website.
Book Types Audiobook, Braille, Magazines eBook, Audiobook, Video, Magazines Audiobooks only
Author-read Some available (by NLS/publisher) Available (by publisher) Available (by publisher)

As you can see, in many ways BARD is way ahead of the competition, with no limits, no waiting, and no cost. And as BARD adds more and more commercial audiobooks, some titles like The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman (DB079060 ) are read by the author!

Check out our website for more information about BARD and to create your BARD account today!

More About BARD

BARD is a free service that allows patrons to download NLS braille and audio talking books or magazines anytime they want 24/7 at .

ICON: BARD app logo. Blue background, white sound waves to 6 dot braille and LOC book / flag logo

There are 3 ways to download from BARD:

BARD MobileBARD WebsiteBARD Express
Download from BARD by using the applications for:
  • iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads
  • Android smartphones or tablets
  • Amazon Fire tablets
Use a web browser and manually download onto a flash drive or a blank digital cartridge. PC-only application that simplifies much of the BARD download process onto a flash drive or a blank digital cartridge.

Bill Gates summer reading list

PHOTO: Bill Gates in library

Every year Microsoft Corporation Co-Founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates shares his summer reading list.

We have three out of the five books on Bill Gates 2018 summer reading list:

  • "Leonardo da Vinci", by Walter Isaacson - DB089588
  • "Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved", by Kate Bowler - DB090181
  • "Lincoln in the Bardo", by George Saunders - DB086941
  • "Origin Story: A Big History of Everything", by David Christian - Not in system
  • "Factfulness", by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund - Not in system

App Review: Be My Eyes

ICON: Be My Eyes logo. Blue background with abstract eye in white

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app designed as an aid for people who are blind or visually impaired.

When you download the app onto your Apple or Android device, you're asked if you are blind or sighted. Users who select that they are blind will be able to press a button to connect with the first available sighted volunteer. The volunteer assists with tasks such as letting the user know the expiration date on their jug of milk or which of their socks are blue.

More sighted volunteers are signed up than users who are blind, making the wait time very short for users who are blind.

By My Eyes connects users based on the language on their phone, so you will be connected with someone who speaks your language. At the moment, over 90 different languages are supported by the app.

We highly recommend Be My Eyes for users who are blind or visually impaired. More information at their website: .

Reprinted from Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS)


THANK YOU on white banner with red background and heart.

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.

Please contact your Reader Advisor at: 1-605-773-3131 option 1; or 1-800-423-6665 (SD Only)

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

  • In memory of Irene L. Groon who at 103 years of age was part of our 10-squared club:
    • $200 from Laurence Groon,
    • $20 from Jessie Keuchenmeister, and
    • $20 from Annette Streich

Holiday Closings

The Library will be closed for the following holiday(s). 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:

  • Monday, Oct. 8: Native American Day (Columbus Day)
  • Monday, Nov. 12: Veterans Day
  • Thursday/Friday, Nov. 22-23: Thanksgiving Weekend