Inside this Issue

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian

Happy New Year!

2017 was a huge success for our program. We introduced the Winter Reading Program, Adult Book Discussions, and enhanced our Summer Reading Program. This year will feature more of the same programming as we work toward building more awareness throughout the state. Our program has come a long way over the past year. I am truly excited to see the progress we make this year.


Steven Buras

Upcoming Spring book discussion

"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl is the title for our spring book discussion. South Dakota Humanities scholar Dorothy Liegl will lead the discussion on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 starting at 6:30 pm CT/5:30 pm MT. Participants will call in on a special toll free number or join her at the State Library in Pierre. If you are interested in joining the discussion, please call Lynda at 1-800-423-6665 , extensions 1 and 2 to reserve a copy of the book. The book will be sent to you after March 21. Requests need to be made by April 17 to ensure that you will have a copy and time to read it before the discussion.

book cover of Land of the Burnt Thigh
"Land of the Burnt Thigh"
by Edith Eudora Kohl

About the book: Among the hordes of homesteaders who settled the American West were thousands of single women who hoped to gain for themselves a piece of land, the money, and satisfaction that came with it. The memoirs for many of these self-described "girl homesteaders," long ignored by historians, show the significant impact these women had on their communities. "Land of the Burnt Thigh", first published in 1938, is one of the best of these accounts. Edith Eudora Ammons and her sister Ida Mary moved to central South Dakota in 1907 to try homesteading near the "Land of the Burnt Thigh" - the Lower Brule Indian Reservation.

Let your reader advisor know you are interested in the book discussion for "Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl. It is a six and a half hour listen.

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

Down memory lane

By Mary Sjerven

On Jan. 26, 1987, I began working at the South Dakota State Library. At that time the labels for books were done on a typewriter. Remember checking out a book by pulling a card out of a pocket and writing your name? One of my job duties was filing in those huge paper card catalogs. The catalog had a card for the author, the subject, and the title of each book. It was a requirement to file so many inches of cards per day.

All reference questions were found in the reference section of the library. I remember being asked, "Who invented the rain gutter?", and "What was Roy Roger's dog's name?" One of my favorite job duties was updating reference materials. Standard and Poor's sat on the Reference Index Tables and was updated daily.

On July 12, 1999 I joined the Braille and Talking Book Library. For those who had a family member in the program years ago they received a record player and floppy "records" to listen to their books. Then came the cassette machine that had four sided cassettes. Besides turning the cassette four times there was the side selector switch. Confused? So were many of the readers. We were so glad when the machines each of you use today was released.

It is now time for another change. In mid-December I retired. With some health issues (not related to cancer) and not having the time to spend with my grandchildren and travel with my husband, Ron, it was time.

I will miss all of my readers. You have a special place in my heart.

You will now experience change as well. Reader Advisors Marcia and Lynda will take good care of you and provide wonderful assistance in selecting your books. If you wish to stay in contact with me please leave a message on my home phone at 1-605-224-4183 . Besides leaving your name, be sure to leave me your phone number. Be patient with me, I will get back to you as soon as I can. For the computer expert you may contact me at .

Best Wishes to all of you,

Mary S., with bouquet of flowers

P.S. Answers to those reference questions:

Who invented gutters?
The history of rain gutters dates back to the Indus Valley civilization between 3000 BC and 1500 BC. Constructed from bricks made out of burnt clay, these ancient gutters would serve less than today's purposes. The Romans also engaged in early forms of guttering between 27 BC to 14 AD.

What was the name of Roy Rogers dog?

How to reach us when you can't reach us

Since we serve thousands of patrons, odds are good if you regularly call the Braille and Talking Book Library with questions and requests, you will reach our voicemail rather than a live person. Here are some tips to make the best use of our voicemail:

  • Don't hang up! Leave us a message.
  • In the message, be sure to leave us your name and provide your phone number so we can contact you! Also, remember to spell out your last name. If you are calling on behalf of someone else, please leave the name of the patron.
  • Let us know what you need. If you have requests, feel free to leave those in your message. If you have a question, ask it in the message, giving as much information as you can so we can have an answer for you when we call you back.
  • Please let us know what works for you, tell us if you want a return call or just simply to add books to your list without a call back. We want you to be happy!
  • For patrons with email access, you can send a message to your reader advisor or , but the same tips apply!
  • Include your full name along with the reason you're writing so we'll know who you are and what you need.

The main number to call is 1-800-423-6665 or 1-605-773-3131 and then input the extension numbers for your reader advisor. Please listen closely because our reader advisor options have changed:

  • Patrons with last names beginning A-L, youth and schools call Lynda at option 1, 2.
  • Patrons with last names beginning M-Z, libraries, facilities, or those residing in facilities call Marcia at option 1, 3.

We are here to serve you. If the reader advisor you are used to talking with is not available other staff can help you. Don't worry if you get the voicemail of another reader advisor or they pick up the phone.

We all work together to serve you.

Blast from the past

The following excerpts are from the bimonthly SD State Library Newsletter Vol IV, No. 3 June 1977

…the State Library recently had the project of assisting with producing a sound-track for a filmstrip or slide program on rattlesnakes for the state Department of Agriculture. Since there was too much echo in the boxes where three rattlesnakes were housed, we had to let them loose in one of our recording rooms to get the proper sound. We also had to have our technician, Howard Tegland, in the room to do the recording. The state "rattlesnake catcher" was also in the room so we got good sound, no bites, but plenty of dancing since one of the snakes seemed to want to explore the space. It's always amazing what libraries will do to get attention.

The Dakota Farmer magazine is now available to the blind and physically handicapped on cassette. As an experiment, some six handicapped readers started receiving the magazine. Now some 160 are receiving it upon their request. State Library staff volunteer their own time to read the magazine on to tape as soon as each issue is received.

From document SD ED 825: N 477/v.4 SD State Library Newsletter

Who knew there could be so much excitement in the recording studio and also that we have been recording Dakota Farmer for over 40 years?

Ask your reader advisor about magazines available that you can subscribe to.

Kiplinger's Retirement Report

"Kiplinger's Retirement Report" is now available for download from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website and also for subscription through the Magazine on Cartridge program from NLS.

collage of kiplinger retirement report pages

Published monthly, "Kiplinger's Retirement Report" covers practical strategies to help grow retirement savings, how to make money last during retirement, maximization of Social Security and Medicare benefits, and other retirement-related topics.

The audio version of "Kiplinger's Retirement Report" is produced by volunteers at the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library in Daytona Beach. "Kiplinger's Retirement Report" is just one of over 100 braille and audio magazines that can be downloaded from BARD.

Have you ever wondered if NLS has Music?

The NLS (National Library Service) Music Section oversees, circulates, and administers the music collection. It has the largest collection of music braille in the world and is very much an international collection. The large-print component of the collection, though smaller than the braille, is also substantial and NLS knows of no comparable collection anywhere. The audio component contains thousands of titles, most of which are designed for the blind and require no written materials, from how-to instructional materials to music appreciation titles. In addition to many of the classics, the NLS collection features some NLS patrons: musicians, aspiring musicians, music students, and all those who embrace music in its diversity.

Not every title in the NLS collection is available on BARD, but NLS can certainly send you a hard copy if what you're looking for is not online. Call the NLS Music Section staff at 800-424-8567, or e-mail them at .

To subscribe to NLS Music Notes, open the following URL and provide your e-mail address.

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 Paula Boehmer who is at the studio in Sioux Falls.

Volunteer, Paula B from Sioux Falls

Paula Boehmer is one of our "baby boomers" who was born and has lived in Sioux Falls her whole life. As a professional career woman she is still working as an Investment Associate at Merrill Lynch.

Paula has narrated books for over 5 years. She joined the recording studio volunteers early on the first few months after we opened our recording studio site in the downtown Sioux Falls library branch in autumn 2012.

Asked her reasons for volunteering she responded, "Volunteers were needed and I read about opportunities in the newspaper. I always enjoyed reading out loud with my daughter. My mother could no longer see well enough to read books so she relied on recordings. She was my inspiration."

Paula has recorded many genres of books for the library. "Every assignment has been interesting. Mysteries are fun for me. And children's books are a quick turnaround. Many times the illustrations in children's stories are so magical that you feel really challenged to delight the reader with just the story."

Asked about her favorite recording project she responded, "I liked them all. But perhaps "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio, now a movie, about a fifth grade boy with facial deformities starting mainstream school for the first time was a story that will be with me the longest. Also "She Walked by Faith, Not by Sight," Jenny Peterson's own story of losing her sight and regaining it many years later was inspirational, and at times exhausting."

Paula keeps busy in her free time. "My daughter and her husband live in Sioux Falls and I'm blessed with a beautiful granddaughter, Charlotte, who I spend a lot of time with doing anything she likes, and now a second grandchild is on the way. In the summer you'll find me in my garden. Absolutely love planting, bushes, anything that blooms. I'm a "walker" for exercise."

"Although my travels have slowed down, that hopefully will turn around; warm beaches in the winter and international travel have been my destinations of choice. I hope to see more of this amazing country, too."

Volunteer Coordinator Josh Easter greatly appreciates Paula's professionalism, her heart for people and making a difference, and willingness to tackle hard projects. Her versatility as a narrator has led her to read children's books, YA (young adult) books, adult fiction, and nonfiction works; and she is an integral part of the program.

We are always in need of volunteer narrators and reviewers. If you know someone with an interest in volunteering in our recording studios contact Josh by calling him at 1-605-773-5082 or email Josh at .

Ten 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.

Vera Voog
This newsletter's 10-Squared inductee is Vera Voog.

Vera Voog was born on Sept. 22, 1914. She signed up for talking books at the age of 103 and immediately became inducted into the 10-Squared Club for the South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Library. She received a 10-Squared Certificate and a small gift to show our appreciation for being an active reader.

Vera said that she gives her Glory to the Lord for her longevity. She said she never read much as a child and since she has horrible eyesight being able to listen to the talking bible is the most important thing to her.

Becoming a talking book patron has allowed her to be able to listen to every chapter in the bible and has made a huge difference in her life.

Vera said she started reading in her adult years: bibles and nonfiction books were her favorites. Her favorite book of all time was about a Mission Trip to Alaska - the couple traveled there on an antique tractor.

Vera commented she was a "Jack of all trades and a master of nothing." In her past she enjoyed using the kiln she had to do ceramics in her home, decorating wedding cakes, operating a hatchery in Centerville SD for 15 years, running their own farm, and working for 23 years as a housekeeper at the Woodfield Center.

Congratulations Vera!

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 gitchie girl by phil and sandy hamman
"Gitchie Girl: The survivor's inside story of the mass murders that shocked the heartland"
by Phil Hamman and Sandy Hamman

The sound of snapping twigs closed in on the five teenagers enjoying an evening around a glowing campfire at Gitchie Manitou State Park. The night of music and laughter had taken a dark turn. Evil loomed just beyond the tree line, and before the night was over, one of the Midwest's most horrific mass murders had left its bloodstains spewed across the campsite.

book cover of The Wind Blows Free by Frederick Manfred
"The Wind Blows Free"
by Frederick Manfred

The Wind Blows Free, A personal reminiscence of a 1934 hitchhiking trek from Doon, Iowa to the shining Western mountains, is a trip which the author said 'released his soul.' It is an odyssey of the outsetting novelist, an adventure into some of the beginnings of Frederick Manfred's art. It is also a rich and wonderfully humorous account, a moving picture of the young artist, in which Manfred sits (that's too quiescent a term somehow) for his own portrait. In Vivian, South Dakota dust-bowl town of boardwalks and moaning winds, youthful Frederick Feikema Manfred meets Minerva Baxter enroute West with her 1926 Essex and her spinster's phobias. As a condition for his becoming her passenger-driver he must stand for a portrait - this time a chalk outline of his six-foot, nine-inch frame to be drawn by an attendant on a gas-station wall as Miss Minerva's precaution against any criminal ardor latent in the young man. Examining the great human map which results, she pronounces it satisfactory and say it's time to be on their way… "

BARD passwords and BARD mobile

If you are having problems logging into BARDBARD Mobile on your mobile device with a temporary password and you have gotten an error message of "Password has expired" STOP trying.

Open an internet browser such as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox. Type in the address bar. Once BARD has loaded enter the email address that is associated with BARD and the temporary password. You will be prompted to change the password. When you are creating a password that you plan to use with BARD Mobile, please be sure to follow the password rules listed on the BARD website and make sure that your password does not contain any of the following special characters:

  • Apostrophe
  • Quote
  • & Ampersand
  • % Percent
  • Less Than
  • Greater Than

Passwords containing these characters work when you log into the BARD website, but not when you log into BARD Mobile.

Deleting books from BARD Mobile

You never have to keep a book on your Apple mobile device that you don't want but it may seem that way if you are using VoiceOver.

All you have to do is go into your device Settings then Accessibility. When you see VoiceOver tap on Off, and tap the button to turn it off.

Delete the books you no longer want by going to Bookshelf. Tap Edit on the upper right hand side. Tap the red circle on the left hand of the title then tap Delete box on the right hand side.

You can only delete one book at a time. When finished deleting books go back to Settings, and turn VoiceOver on again.

Browsing alphabetically in BARD Mobile

If you want to browse 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, 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.

From the Get Books tab, select "Browse the BARD site," which will then open BARD in your browser.

  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 to reach this button.
  2. Double-tap. 1.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 to move through the alphabet more quickly. If you go too far, reverse these commands to move back toward the beginning. When you hear the letter you want. Flick left to double-tap the Done button.
  3. 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.
  4. Now, confirm that you are still in the Select author alphabetically by author field, and flick right to find the Go button.
  5. 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.

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 .

artwork of 'Thank You' in red with a heart

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:

General Donations

  • $100 Donna Stanton
  • $100 Phyllis Walters

Holiday Closing

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:

Feb. 19 — President's Day

artwork of George Washington, American top hat, and Abraham Lincoln