Inside this Issue
Happy late fall/early winter, everyone! As the many holidays of November and December come upon us, I hope you are wrapped in warmth and light.
Here at the Braille and Talking Book Library, we are busy as ever! Josh has recruited dozens of new volunteers around the state to really get into recording our South Dakota interest titles. We should have lots of great South Dakota books and authors available in the new year. Long time reader advisor Marcia Kaup is retiring in January, so we are trying to figure out how to move forward without her knowledge and expertise. Reader Advisors Lynda and Lynette will pick up in her absence, so you may get to know some new voices when you call in for service! Mike and Barb in Duplication and Equipment continue to move around new machines and get cartridges in and out to anxious patrons ready to read. All in all, it's been a busy and satisfying time of year.
Our summer reading program has concluded successfully for another year, and we are looking ahead to our winter reading challenge. Adults are welcome to participate! We haven't quite decided what it will look like yet, so stay tuned for our next newsletter, or for a postcard in your mailbox after the new year. Our virtual programming is also undergoing a bit of a change—we will now meet quarterly in March, June, September, and December, instead of monthly. This is in response to low turnout during many of our events. If you have an idea for an event that you'd like to see us host, please reach out and let us know! In the meantime, our December 2022 event is a book club. Together we'll be reading John Grisham's Skipping Christmas. Call your reader advisor today to get a copy, or download it from BARD! It's only about four hours long on audio, so you still have plenty of time to read it.
2022 is my first full calendar year here at Braille and Talking Books, and it's hard to imagine it's drawing to a close. It's gone by in a flash. I'm proud of the staff and all we've accomplished as I look back over the year, including bringing in Newsline and Braille eReaders, providing great programming, expanding and rebuilding the volunteer program, opening a new recording studio in Aberdeen, and serving more than 2,000 patrons this year to ensure they have access to the information and entertainment they wanted.
As ever, you may contact me at
with comments, concerns, questions, or ideas for how we can expand or improve our services.
Happy reading and happy holidays!
Our winter reading programs will be back in February. This year, we would like you the patrons to choose the books for the adult reading challenge! Please let your reader advisor know some books that have meant a lot to you, and we'll choose 6 for this year's adult winter reading challenge.
Kids will still be using reading charts to keep track of their reading so no change there!
Remember to register early so you can enter our early bird drawings, and every adult who completes a brief questionnaire or child who submits a completed reading chart will be entered into a prize drawing. More details, including a reading list, will be in our next newsletter, on our website, or call or email us.
Website link is
In 2023, we will be transitioning to quarterly
meetings. Our Social Club has been meeting monthly but has struggled to get traction and good attendance. Consequently, we will now meet on the final Mondays in March, June, and September and just before Christmas in December. Stay tuned to your mailbox and future issues of Prairie Trails to find out what the topics and activities for 2023 will be.
If you have any questions, please contact
Also, make sure you update your contact information with your reader advisor. We want to ensure you are receiving our emails and physical mailings so you don't miss updates.
Fall and Winter Scheduling
First, the biggest and most important news:
Long time reader advisor Marcia Kaup is retiring! Marcia started working for the state of South Dakota in 2003 but with the library in March 2008 and will be retiring in January 2023—nearly 20 years with the state! During her time at Braille and Talking Books, Marcia has provided top notch service to her reader advisor patrons, as well as providing outreach and information to dozens of libraries and institutions around the state.
What does this mean for the patrons and partners who are used to talking with Marcia?
Effective November 15, Marcia's patrons are newly re-divided up between reader advisors Lynette and Lynda. If your last name starts with a W, you will now hear from Lynette. If your last name starts with X through Z, you will hear from Lynda. If you are an institutional partner, you may call the library and someone will help you. We will check Marcia's voice mail twice per day and return all calls promptly.
Need to email?
You can email email@example.com
any time and we will also receive that email and route it to the correct person.
Secondly, as we head into late November, December, and January, there are a number of days that state employees routinely receive off. This year, the library will be closed on Friday, November 25, which is the day after Thanksgiving, as well as Friday, December 23 and Monday December 26 for Christmas by order of the Governor. It will also be closed on Monday, January 1 in observance of New Year's and Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.
Because of the holiday season, reader advisors and other library staff will be taking additional time off to be with their families. Consequently, your reader advisor may not be available when you call. However, we are still checking everyone's voice mails at least once per day and trying to keep up with your requests. Please remember to be patient and understanding with the person answering the phones and returning calls and emails on those days. You may not get the person you're used to, but you will get a person who cares about your reading needs.
Thank you for your patience and happy reading!
Christmas at the Capitol
Every year in Pierre, the State Capitol is decorated with dozens of beautiful live Christmas trees. Organizations from around the state sign up to decorate a tree, and from all the applications, a few are chosen. This year, the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library was chosen to have a tree!
Our tree's theme is "Do You Hear What I Hear?" as suggested by reader advisor Lynda Lowin. The tree is festooned with garlands made of Braille paper, old books on cartridge featuring holiday and winter themed titles, retired headphones spray painted gold, and atop the tree is an open book whose pages read "That All May Read," topped with more golden headphones. Underneath, we have a tactile map of North America and the North Pole.
We decorated our tree on November 23rd and it will be on display through December 26th. It is located on the third floor by the elevators.
Christmas at the Capitol kicked off on November 19th with the official tree lighting. There are trees on all levels of the Capitol. Trees are on display daily from 8AM to 10PM, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There are special events and live music sprinkled throughout the festival. For more information, visit
See more photos on our
South Dakota Collection
The following book has been added to the South Dakota Collection. Most are written by a South Dakota author or have some connections to South Dakota. Please contact your Reader Advisor to order the following title.
An ophthalmologist diagnoses Grandpa with glaucoma. He suggests that Grandpa learn to use a tall white cane. Therefore, Grandpa attends the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital for those who are visually impaired. There Grandpa regains his confidence for independent living. He received training in orientation and mobility with a white cane, relearned how to do activities of daily living and communication, had visual skills training, and manual skills training for hobbies and household repair. Back in Spearfish, SD, Grandpa shares these experiences with school children and the Spearfish Lion's Club. He emphasizes White Cane Safety Day as well as the dos and don'ts for helping visually impaired people to be self-sufficient.
We are working with NLS to get this book added to BARD so it can be downloaded across the country.
National Library Service Collection development statistic: NLS added 8,856 talking books and 478 braille books to its collection in FY22. That includes 1,355 books of regional interest produced by NLS network libraries that were added to the national collection.
More about Grandpa's White Cane
Grandpa's White Cane author's Jim Hoxie and Joanna Jones have been busy spreading Jim's story, doing interviews, and educating people across the country about white cane use and low vision.
Joanna and Jim were our featured presenters at our April 2022 social club Zoom meeting. Joanna conducted an interview with Jim. They shared Jim's journey learning how to use a long white cane, the journey of publishing Grandpa's White Cane, working with his seeing eye dog, and more.
You can check out the recording at
2022 Social Club Recap page
Jim and Joanna haven't just talked with the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library they have been making themselves available in person to schools and organizations around the region as well as doing Zoom and video calls and guesting on podcasts.
Ricky Enger interviewed Jim and Joanna on the podcast
Hadley Presents: A Conversation with the Experts
In the podcast from Oct. 14, 2022 entitled Grandpa's White Cane Ricky spoke with Jim and Joanna, authors of Grandpa's White Cane. The book was written by Jim Hoxie, a visually impaired person, and Joanna Jones, a retired school teacher. Alex Portal's illustrations are local community pictures with graphic caricatures on the photos. The initial publication of the book was supported by Spearfish Lions Club in Spearfish, SD.
In 2020, Newscenter 1 on a television station in Rapid City highlighted Grandpa's White Cane in a
two minute presentation for White Cane Day
All the links can be found on our website in the online edition of the Prairie Trails Newsletter.
If you would like to listen to the social club featuring the interview with Jim and Joanna and you don't have access to the internet let us know and we will send the audio to you on a cartridge to play in your talking book player.
Descriptive Video Collection
With today's streaming technology, DVD players are becoming a thing of the past, but if you still have one, we have nearly 1000 DVD & BluRay titles here at the Braille and Talking Book Library that you can borrow. These videos are designed for the enjoyment of people who are blind or visually impaired.
The videos, which are referred to as descriptive audio, carefully describe the visual elements of a movie, such as action, characters, locations, costumes, and sets, without interfering with the dialogue or sound effects.
Borrowers must be active patrons in good standing with the Braille and Talking Book Library. All borrowers must complete and return a Descriptive Video Registration Form before receiving the videos.
Patrons may borrow two videos at a time and keep them for two weeks. There are no renewals.
Videos may be requested in the same way you request books, by telephone, email or mail. There is no limit to the number of requests you can place on file for future loan. The first available video on your request list will be sent automatically each time a video is returned.
If you are interested in receiving the catalog, please contact your Reader Advisor. The catalog is also on the Braille and Talking Book Library website.
Recently added movies (Fall 2022)
- DVD1025 Ghostbusters: Afterlife
- DVD1026 Encanto
- DVD1027 Moonfall
- DVD1028 Death on the Nile
- DVD1029 Spider-man: No Way Home
- DVD1030 West Side Story
- DVD1031 Eyes of Tammy Faye
- DVD1032 Lost City
- DVD1033 Dog
- DVD1034 American Underdog
- DVD1035 Journal for Jordan
- DVD1036 King Richard
- DVD1037 Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore
- DVD1038 Respect
- DVD1039 Licorice Pizza
- DVD1040 House of Gucci
- DVD1041 Dear Evan Hansen
- DVD1042 No Time to Die
- DVD1043 Downton Abbey: A New Era
- DVD1044 Jungle Cruise
- DVD1045 Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
- DVR1046 Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (Blu-Ray)
Adult Winter Reading Challenge
Register now for the 2023 Adult Winter Reading Challenge.
Join the challenge by calling or emailing a reader advisor or register online.
This year we've asked you our library patrons to suggest books for the challenge. You can still suggest books you think others would enjoy reading for this or future challenges by giving us your book recommendations when you register.
You will receive a customized 2023 reading challenge cartridge with books from various genres. It's a chance to try something new and maybe discover an author or genre that you'd like to read more of.
In addition to a cartridge with multiple books on it you will receive a short questionnaire — answer one short question after reading each book, and when all questions are answered, you have successfully completed the challenge! You can also call and give us your answers or fill out the questionnaire form online.
A special drawing will be held and prizes awarded both among those who registered and those who complete the challenge.
Senior High School students looking for more of a reading challenge can also participate at this level this year! (Link to More information about the Youth Winter Reading Program for ages Birth through 19).
So register today and cozy up with a new book!
Adult Program Registration
If you have any questions or are unable to use our online registration form, please contact:
Local Lions Club volunteers at the library
Lions Club volunteer group with staff Kate Kosior and Josh Easter
The Pierre - Fort Pierre Lions Club again volunteered their time and efforts Saturday morning Dec. 10, 2022 at the South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Library in the Mercedes MacKay Building South Dakota State Library
Jan, Dawn, Jon, Geraldine, Kate, Greg, Josh, Larry, and Mary all worked hard to finish up the last of the RC's that were on our shelving.
We prepared almost 4,000 Recorded Cassettes (RCs) for mailing to recycling by contractors for the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. They were our master cassette copies that we no longer need with the transitions to digital talking books.
If there are any other organizations or groups who would like to do a service project please contact us. We also take individual volunteers especially for becoming volunteer talking book narrators and reviewers in several locations in the state.
SD Lions District Governor visits
The District Governor of the South Dakota Lions Club Ron Bunnel and his wife Donna, from Rapid City, came for a tour of the South Dakota Braille & Talking Book Library the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2022.
We were able to show them some of the work we do to provide library services in accessible formats to South Dakota citizens.
They learned more about the audio "talking books" and magazines available for anyone who has difficulty reading standard print materials.
Photos of volunteer narrator Linda Sack showing them her project in the recording studio, staff member Lynda Lowin showing a tactile textbook, and photo of BTBL staff with visitors can all be found on our
To set up a tour of the SD Braille and Talking Book Library in Pierre, SD contact us and make an appointment.
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 Ten-Squared Club members.
This newsletter's Ten-Squared inductees are: Elaine Weise and Harlan Meyer
Elaine said talking books are, "Just wonderful, it filled up empty hours. I've been introduced to many cultures. One of my saving graces during COVID."
Growing up Elaine "read more to myself; my mother read to me too."
These days Elaine, reads in her recliner or sometimes she takes it to bed.
Her all-time favorite book is "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham (
Elaine shared (I) "Used to enjoy gardening. Now I go to cards and craft class. I love to listen to cooking shows."
In a century of living Elaine has seen many changes.
"There have been numerous changes in the world. How the cars have changed from Model T's etc. to modern ones. Women can aspire to be anything they want today—for instance, become engineers or doctors. Medicine and surgery have changed tremendously over the years."
Harlan said reading using the talking books "is a really neat way to spend time. As a child his sister Elaine read to him and these days he reads in his recliner. Harlan's favorite book is "The goal: a process of ongoing improvement" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox (
Other activities Harlan enjoys are visiting with his daughter and son-in-law and church activities. Harlan said, "I feel fortunate to have lived long enough to have spent time with my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren."
Thanks for sharing your life experiences, Elaine!
Thanks to Harlan for sharing. He passed away shortly after his 100th birthday. We are glad our library got to be a part of Harlan's reading journey.
Gifts and Donations
The SD Braille and Talking Book Library thanks all our generous donors who have made contributions to the library in the past several months.
Kim and Rich Kersbergen, Julie and Paul Jordahl, Kathryn Zebert, Dennis and Susan Helder, Elizabeth and Thomas Gergen, John and Gladys Bahnson, Ronald and Kathleen Christensen, Mary and Craig Ekeland, Kerwin Meyer, Tamara Buche
Alisa Hogue, daughter
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 57501-2235
Please make checks payable to the "SD Braille and Talking Book Library".
Thank you for helping to enhance and improve library services.
Resetting BARD passwords without a secret question and answer
A secret question and answer is no longer necessary for patrons to reset their own BARD passwords. This is the first step NLS is taking in response to feedback from network libraries concerning the current difficulties in changing BARD passwords.
The new, simpler steps to reset a password from the BARD website are as follows:
- Open the BARD login page and click the Reset your BARD password here link.
- On the reset your lost password page, type the email address associated with the BARD account in the Email Address field, then click the Submit button.
- BARD will send the patron an email with a link that will redirect back to the BARD website, where the patron can create a new password. The link will expire in one hour.
Note that there is now a button called Show/Hide password, which appears as an eye shape, following the confirmation field on the create a new password page. By default, everything written in the password fields is hidden. If, however, a patron would like to be able to see what is being typed in the password fields, the Show/Hide button can be toggled in order to show what is being typed.
Many Faces of BARD program
The NLS Many Faces of BARD program for January will be How You Can Help Us Help You—Working Together with BARD Tech Support. The program will be on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, at 6 pm CT/5 pm MT and last for one hour. This program will be recorded.
The session will begin with a brief presentation provided by the Tech Support team. The remainder of the time will be spent answering questions about the presentation or other general questions related to BARD usage.
The session can be joined by going to loc.zoomgov.com
Youth Winter Reading Program: Ages Birth-19
Register today for the 2023 Winter Reading Program which runs Feb. 1-28, 2023!
SD Braille & Talking Book Library Youth patrons—birth through 19 years—who read all 28 days in February and return their reading chart will be entered into a drawing. We encourage reading at least 20 minutes every day. We will send a reading chart packet to those who register.
Register by Jan. 25th to be entered in the Early Bird Drawing!
Return the reading chart by Mar. 10th to be entered into the end drawing.
Youth Program Registration
You can register online, by phone, or email.
Senior High Schoolers looking for more of a challenge can also register for the Adult Winter Reading Challenge.
Watch for videos on our
Educational Materials Order reminder
Contact Lynda Lowin to order Braille or Large print textbooks and learning materials for patrons K-12. Applications to sign a qualifying student up for services and the Textbook order form are located on our website.
While materials can be ordered year-round, to ensure they will be available for the start of the fall 2023 semester, orders must be received by Jan. 16, 2023.
Questions, please contact
Lynda Lowin, Educational Materials Coordinator/ Reader Advisor:
1-605-773-3131 Option 1, 1;
1-800-423-6665 Option 1, 1; or
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:
- Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 & Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, Christmas Day (observed)
- Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, for New Year's Day (observed)
- Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 for Martin Luther King Jr Day
- Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 for President's 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..
The Prairie Trails Newsletter is our means of communication with all patrons of the South Dakota Accessible Library Services. The Prairie Trails Newsletter is made available in digital audio on cartridge, or via email, and is posted on our website in large print and audio.
If you have any questions or comments, or wish to request this newsletter in an alternative format, please contact the SD Accessible Library Services.
South Dakota Accessible Library Services
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2235
1-800-423-6665 (in SD Only)
The SD ALS does not endorse any service or product listed in this newsletter.
Masthead photo of prairie grasses and pasque flower with sunrise courtesy of South Dakota Department of Tourism © 2019 .