Inside this Issue

Notes from the Assistant State Librarian

It has been some time since our last newsletter. While it has been quite the year, we are as committed as ever to ensure all our patrons are receiving their services and books without much interruption. The Braille & Talking Book Library staff have done an exceptional job during these unprecedented times.

Behind the scenes we have been working with the National Library Service implementing our books on demand platform. Nothing will change for our patrons except you will receive multiple books on one cartridge, compared to just one book per cartridge currently. This should allow for faster service and allow the capability to provide our patrons with more books at one time. If you have any questions as we roll out this new way of providing you with your reading materials, please contact your reader advisor.

Lastly, we continue to support the joy of reading with our children through our Winter and Summer reading programs. This past Winter and Summer we had almost 70 total register and complete the programs. Our goal is to ensure our children discover a passion for reading that expands their entire lives.

As the calendar turns from Summer to Fall, we will continue to be here for you.

Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Steven Buras

Books on Demand / Duplication on Demand

scribe system that produces duplication on demand for patrons

The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library is undergoing some exciting and significant changes.

Currently the Braille and Talking Book Library mostly sends out one book per digital cartridge. We will now be able to create a cartridge that meets the specifications of each individual.

The number of titles on a cartridge, and the number of cartridges sent can be customized. We call this books on demand or duplication on demand.

Watch for a letter in your mailbox. If you want to get started sooner call us at 1-800-423-6665 (in state only), or 605-773-3131, option 1 .

Happy Reading! — from the staff of the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library.

The 2020 census

Time is running Out Respond Now United States Census 2020

Did you complete the census for you and your family? The U.S. Census Bureau wants to get everyone counted in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. If you haven't responded yet, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail. To complete the questionnaire by phone, call 1-844-330-2020 . Or go online to

2020 Ballot Questions

South Dakota 2020 Ballot Questions including American flag and State Seal

The South Dakota 2020 Ballot Questions pamphlet is available in audio, large print, and a few copies in Braille. The SD 2020 Ballot Questions pamphlet contains the title, explanation, and effect of a vote for each ballot question provided by the Attorney General and statements from proponents and opponents of initiated measures, constitutional amendments, or referred laws. Contact us if you want a copy. You can also go to the SD Secretary of State website to listen to the audio or print off a copy.

Ten Squared Club

10 squared club round yellow logo

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 10-squared Club members.

This newsletter's 10-squared inductee is:

Barney Nordstrom

Barney Nordstrom turned 100 on April 2nd and was inducted into the 10-Squared Club of the South Dakota BTBL.

We asked Barney to share about his experiences with reading throughout life. Barney was first exposed to reading at home, "my mother read to me and my brother."

The Grapes of Wrath is Barney's favorite book and his favorite spot to read is his easy chair in front of the fire.

We also asked what other activities Barney enjoys. "Unfortunately, due to the loss of sight I have no hobbies other than reading. When I could see, I fabricated many wooden and/or metal items for practical use or whimsical play."

Barney says the Talking Book Library "is an amazing and wonderful program. Since I lost my sight to MD (macular degeneration), the program has been my lifeline to the world of imagination and escape. I was an avid reader and the loss of that ability was somewhat allayed by talking books."

When asked about what he'd like to say about his experience of living over a century Barney responded, "I know that I live in the best place in the greatest country on earth. I am extremely proud of my service in the US Navy in WWII. I know that hard work will get you almost anything. I have lived my life full of optimism and joy, and have tried my best to live by the Golden Rule — Do unto others…"

Thank you for sharing your wisdom Barney and congratulations on reaching the century milestone!

Celebrating Reading with our patrons

We love to celebrate reading with our patrons. Gertrude Judstra (Gertie) read her 1,000th audio talking book this year. Josh chatted with Gertie about some of her favorite authors and books.

10 squared club round yellow logo

Josh Easter: So what are your favorite types of books to read?

Gertrude (Gertie) Judstra: I've read those Debbie Macomber, I like those books. I'm reading one by Kim Vogel Sawyer, I like hers; this is one of those Mennonite, the Amish books. Oh, Richard Paul Evans I really like his. Jack London too, I like, I like his.

Josh: You've got to have a variety-variety is the spice of life.

Gertie: That's right!

Gertrude reads all types of books — from biographies and memoirs, to classics like Hemingway and Herman Melville, to Lauraine Snelling, Jan Karon, and Barbara Delinsky, and Jack Canfield's Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

But there are some types of books Gertie doesn't care for as much.

Gertie: I'm not too much into science fiction - I don't like that.

Josh: What does it mean to you to be able to read these books in an accessible format?

Gertie: Oh I really enjoy, I really enjoy it.

Gertie: I really enjoy listening to books. I decided to do this over 1,000 books because I really want to encourage people to keep reading. I just decided this because I wanted to do it. And I am hoping that I will keep on doing this. Maybe I will get to ten thousand eventually.

Josh: Thank you for sharing your love of reading with us Gertie!

If you want to share your love of reading-and even like Gertrude Judstra-a little bit about your journey using the talking books (or even just a few short comments); Contact us and maybe you will be featured in a future newsletter.

We also love to see pictures of you reading! Whether you read Braille, large print, or audio with our talking book player or the BARD Mobile app on your smart device capture the moment in a photo. Pictures can be mailed, emailed, or posted on our Facebook page .

Descriptive videos — new catalogs

dvds popcorn and movie ticket

The descriptive video collection catalog has been updated. You can access the latest catalog PDF document on our website or ask your reader advisor for a copy. At this time we have 636 DVDs and 257 Blu-rays.

What are videos with audio description? The videos use short verbal descriptions to describe the visual elements of a movie - action, characters, locations, costumes, and sets - without interfering with the video dialogue or sound effects. The descriptions are inserted into pauses within a program's dialogue. These descriptive audio tracks are created to help people with vision loss or blindness enjoy movies.

You will need a DVD or Blu-ray player to play these titles. 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.

South Dakota Collection

artwork of Mount Rushmore

The South Dakota collection titles are being added to the Scribe Download on Demand system. Titles are being added from our back catalog every day.

"Calamity Jane"

by Ellen Crago Mueller

book cover features sketch of woman with guns and horse.

A fixture in western folklore Calamity Jane, Martha Jane Cannary, became one of the legendary women of the Dakota territory. The author of this biography became interested in Calamity Jane when she heard her Grandfather talk about Calamity. This short book explores facts and myths about Calamity Jane.

Dystopian fiction — reading list

Recently, there has been increased interest in dystopian fiction. Classic dystopian novels have reappeared on bestseller lists and have been made into TV series and movies. More dystopian series have also become popular in young adult literature. A dystopia is defined by Oxford's English Dictionary as "An imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic." Novels tend to fall into two categories: one where society is in a state of chaos and collapse or one in which everything is under the control of a specific agency or government. Following is a short list of both enduring novels and 21st-century classics in the genre. Some are the first books in a series.

"Animal Farm"

by George Orwell

book cover features first edition green and gray cover

An allegorical political satire of communism in which the animals on a farm overthrow their master and live a utopian life until the intelligent pigs take over and one establishes himself as dictator. 1945.

"Brave New World"

by Aldous Huxley

book cover features abstract blue art of earth and plane

A satire set in a future technocratic society in which people are rigidly classified by the state and kept happy by a government-administered drug. When two bureaucrats, Lenina and Bernard, travel to a "savage" reservation, they "rescue" a woman and her adult son, abandoned long ago, and return them to civilization. For senior high and older readers. 1932.

"A Clockwork Orange"

by Anthony Burgess

book cover features distorted face with speech bubble including words yarbles, bolshy, great yarblockos to thee and thine.

A teenage hooligan named Alex, who uses a dialect known as "nadsat," roams the streets of London randomly terrorizing people. He is arrested and subjected to corrective brainwashing at the hands of government psychologist Dr. Brodsky—with unanticipated results. Basis for Stanley Kubrick's film. Violence and some strong language. 1962.


by Veronica Roth

book cover features ball of fire in cloudy sky above large city scape.

In a future Chicago, society is divided into five factions. During the Choosing Ceremony, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must pick her lifelong faction. But Beatrice discovers she is an anomaly—a divergent—who does not fit anywhere. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2011. Start of a series.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

by Philip K. Dick

book cover features photo collage of sheep and robots

In the year 2021 Rick Deckard is employed on a dying Earth as a bounty hunter. He seeks androids that look like humans and destroys them. Basis for the 1982 movie 'Blade Runner'. 1968.

"Fahrenheit 451"

by Ray Bradbury

First edition book cover shows a drawing of a man, who appears to be made of newspaper and is engulfed in flames, standing on top of some books.

Social satire set in the future, when owning or reading books is a crime. Guy Montag, the fireman-hero, becomes a fugitive when he succumbs to temptation. Some strong language. 1953.

"The Handmaid's Tale"

by Margaret Atwood

book cover features distorted picasso style artwork of oversized man holding figure of baby body with womans face.

In the future the United States of America is the Republic of Gilead, a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. To reverse the declining birthrate, women are forcibly recruited to the ranks of Handmaids and are assigned to the Commanders of the Faithful, whose wives are barren. Explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller. 1986.

"The Hunger Games"

by Suzanne Collins

book cover features title in white text on a black and grey background, above a depiction of a gold pin featuring a bird in flight, its wings spread and an arrow clasped in its beak

In a future North America, Panem's rulers maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting teens from twelve districts in a fight to the death. Sixteen-year-olds Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are this year's girl and boy contestants from District Twelve. Some violence. For junior and senior high readers. 2008. Start of a series.


by Marie Lu

book cover features grey concrete like background with emblem stenciled on with gold spray paint.

In the distant future, North America has split into two warring nations. Two fifteen-year-olds—Day, a famous criminal, and June, a soldier prodigy sent to capture Day—discover they have a common enemy. Some violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2011. Start of a series.

"The Man in the High Castle"

by Philip K. Dick

book cover features japanese red and white flag and black nazi symbol on white circle with red square.

The Axis powers have won World War II and jointly occupy the United States. A German faction attempts to warn the Japanese about an impending nuclear attack. A subversive novel and a fortune-telling device guide characters' decisions in this alternate history. Some strong language. Hugo Award. Commercial audiobook. 1962.

"The Maze Runner"

by James Dashner

book cover features daunting point of view from ground to sky in midst of moss and vine covered buildings.

A teenage boy wakes up in an elevator remembering nothing but his name, Thomas. He soon meets a group of boys who welcome him to the Glade—and the unsolved puzzle of the Maze. The next day a girl arrives with an unexpected message. Some violence. For grades 6-9. 2009. Start of a series.

"Never Let Me Go"

by Kazuo Ishiguro

book cover features woman in green dress, dark hair turned away with yellow background.

England, 1990s. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy attend Hailsham, one of the better academies where human clones bred to be organ donors are sheltered from reality. Now thirty-one, Kathy has been a donor-caregiver for eleven years. As her first donation nears, Kathy appreciates her privileged upbringing. Some descriptions of sex. 2005.


by George Orwell

book cover features green cover with script style text.

A satirical, frightening novel about a future time under a totalitarian regime, where the people believe ignorance is strength and war is peace. For high school and older readers. 1949.

"The Parable of the Sower"

by Octavia E. Butler

book cover features soft closeup of womans face overlaid with book title text.

In the near future, well-to-do families live in walled enclaves to protect themselves from the roaming drug addicts prone to stealing, rape, and murder. Lauren Olamina suffers from hyperempathy, acutely feeling the pain of others. When the addicts overrun Lauren's community, she is forced to seek refuge outside the walls. Violence and strong language. 1993.


by Neal Shusterman and Erik Synnestvedt

book cover features white blurry handprint on dark screen overexposed with fingerprint maze.

In a future world, parents may "unwind," or disassemble, their offspring between the ages of thirteen and eighteen to harvest their body parts for others' use. Teens Connor, Risa, and Lev fight to uphold their beliefs and save their own lives. For senior high and older readers. 2007. Start of a series.

"Among the hidden: Shadow Children"

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

book cover features artwork of teen looking over shoulder at window with two looming figures.

In the future the Population Police ensure that families have only two children. Twelve-year-old Luke is a third son who hides in fear on his family's farm. When he discovers another "shadow" kid next door, the two join forces to try to change the government. For grades 5-8. 1998. Start of a series.

"Uglies: Uglies series"

by Scott Westerfeld

book cover features closeup view of girls face hidden behind long leaves.

Tally, at age sixteen, is required to undergo a surgical procedure that would turn her into a beauty. But Tally's new friend, Shay, refuses the operation and runs away. The authorities insist that unless Tally finds Shay, she can't become beautiful. For senior high readers. 2005. Start of a series.

Braille and Audio Reading Download

image of

BARD Mobile for Kindle

The release of the most recent version of BARD Mobile for Kindle has caused the BARD Mobile app to disappear from the App store. This affects devices running versions of Fire OS 5 and earlier, or specifically Seventh Generation or earlier.

If you currently have BARD Mobile on a Generation Seven or earlier do NOT delete the app. It will continue to work. If you have deleted it contact the library for a remedy.

News regarding BARD Mobile for IOS ONLY

An update failed on Thursday, May 7 and the old version was restored. Going back to the previous version caused a problem for some user's having to sign in to the BARD website from the Get Books tab.

You can open up Safari on your mobile device and add books to your wish list or use a web browser on your computer.

Marcia tested the BARD Mobile app for IOS the following week and was required to log in when going to the BARD website from the Get Books tab but could still add a book to her wish list using all of the options but it IS an inconvenience to have to log in.

*But… there are better ways to locate books using the Get Books Tab and an example is: Open Previous Downloads and locate a book you especially liked. Tap the circle with the "i" then on the next screen tap the circle with 3 "dots" in it to give you other options of Download, Add to wish list, All books by the author; All books in the same subject, etc. If the book is part of a series it will give you options to see ALL the books in the series and an option to "subscribe" to the series (which means new books in the series will be added to hour wish list automatically when they become available. Each book has different options. Give it a try, I'm sure you will find it very helpful!

*this may NOT be available for Android or Kindle Fire devices.

Currency Identification Mobile Apps

Here are some apps for mobile devices that help identify cash currency.

screenshot of eye note app identifying a five dollar bill

EyeNote® App

Originally released in 2011, EyeNote® is a free mobile device application developed by the BEP as an aid for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify denominations of Federal Reserve notes from Series 1996 to the present. EyeNote® is built on the Apple iOS platform and is available to download for free in the Apple App Store™ .

The app uses image recognition technology and the device's integrated camera to recognize a Federal Reserve note and communicate the note's denomination back to the user. Since it utilizes a continuous scan function, there is no need to hold the device still or capture a photo first; once the app scans the note, it denominates the currency.

As of January 22, 2018, the updated EyeNote® 3.0 app is now 64-bit and works on Apple mobile devices that support iOS version 9.1 or greater. These include Apple iPhone® 5 and newer models, 5th generation iPod® Touch and later generations, and iPad®2 and newer models.

Other EyeNote® Features:

  • Utilizes VoiceOver for vocal and gesture feedback if it is turned on for the target iOS device.
  • Privacy mode communicates results with an audible beep or pulse pattern.
  • Runs without any special filters or background material
  • Does not require a data connection — all processing on device
  • One touch, hand-held operation
  • Identifies face and back of note in any orientation
  • Camera flash is not required
  • 2 to 4 second response time
  • Supports English and Spanish languages

EyeNote® does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit. Please refer to the license agreement on the Apple App Store℠ for additional information. Directions regarding installing and using the EyeNote® app can be viewed here .

IDEAL® Currency Identifier

The BEP, in collaboration with the Department of Education, assisted in the development of the IDEAL® Currency Identifier , a free downloadable app that operates on the Android platform. It uses text-to-speech voice and advanced image recognition technology to read a note and, in a matter of seconds, provides users with an audible response indicating the note's denomination. IDEAL works locally on the device and needs no Internet connectivity. This application was not designed to, and does not, identify counterfeit currency.

The launch of these apps is not in lieu of the other accommodations the government is developing to assist blind and visually impaired individuals in denominating U.S. currency. These apps simply provide another option for the public, who are increasingly using mobile devices, to independently denominate U.S. currency.


thank you banner artwork

Memorial Donations:

In memory of Leawatha Ferrin-Rierson — memorials from family and friends:

  • $475, The Leawatha Ferrin-Rierson Family, Bryan Ferrin
  • $70, David Ferrin

A note from the family.

"We wish to thank you for this free service. Our mom Leawatha Ferrin-Rierson loved to listen to the books, especially "Murder She Wrote" ones. Mom's passing has left a big piece missing in all our hearts. We were hoping that she would still be active to celebrate her 100th birthday on March 12th, but she missed it by just 3 months. The family would like to donate the money we received in cards to help continue this free service."

General Donations:

  • $ 15, Gayle Ortega
  • $ 150, Gertrude Judstra

Reading Program Donations:

  • $200 in gift cards (4 $50 gift cards) for Summer Reading from Evening Star Lions Club of Rapid City

Gifts and bequests that are donated to the Braille and 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 donating, 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.

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.

Holiday Closings

Happy Holidays Banner

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, October 12, 2020, Native American Day (Columbus Day)
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Veteran's Day
  • Thursday/Friday, November 26-27, 2020 Thanksgiving
  • Friday, December 25, 2020 Christmas Day
  • Friday, January 1, 2021 New Years Day

Be prepared for interruptions in service due to weather events. You can ask your reader advisor about possibly increasing the number of books you receive so you don't run out. Or ask about how you can download books at home from the BARD website or on the BARD mobile app for smartphones and tablets.