Vol. 47, No. 2
FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
It is great fun getting together with you in person and through extended connections. Thanks to everyone who participated in the joint Open House on Friday, October 6. I hope you enjoyed touring the Talking Book Library and the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as spending some time talking with the representative from Maricopa County Elections and meeting the dogs in training with Guide Dogs of the Desert. It was a good day!
If you were not able to come to the Open House, we will repeat this event in a couple of years, and try to record the tour and bring it to you wherever you are in Arizona. If you have a preferred format for the recording, please let us know (for example, audio on a cartridge or audio web page on the Internet).
Did you join the Book Discussion Group by Phone last year? If not and you would like to read and discuss books with other people, you should consider joining the group this year. We are starting soon, so please call your Reader Advisor and let them know you are interested. The first group discussion is set for November 16, so call soon. If you will miss the first class, you may want to start participating in the discussions in December or January. Call and let us know. We will be meeting on the telephone on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
Also, if you want to talk with your Reader Advisor, Machine Services person or others of us in person, come and meet us at the 2017 VRATE Conference at the Glendale Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 17. VRATE stands for the Vision Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Expo and is an annual event. The Glendale Civic Center is located at 5750 West Glenn Drive – one block north of Glendale Avenue, around 57th Avenue, in Glendale, Arizona. This is a great chance to get together with us and to also talk with representatives from different organizations and companies who have services for the visually impaired. We look forward to meeting or connecting with more of you in the next few months!
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VISION REHABILITATION AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY EXPO (VRATE)
Friday, November 17 from 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., Arizona Talking Books will be represented at VRATE! This event is free to attend and open to the public.
Most staff attends sometime during the day at our booth. Stop by, say hello, introduce yourself, and possibly meet the reader advisor assigned to your account. Put names to faces and experience the excitement of meeting with people you usually talk with over the phone, email, and mail.
Anyone with vision loss or combined vision and hearing loss, and their friends, family, and professionals who support them are encouraged to attend.
Vision loss and rehabilitation; life-changing assistive technology; career development resources; resources for combined vision and hearing loss; and government and community services.
Check www.vrate.org for the latest information.
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INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHORS
What do Haiti, India, and Pakistan have in common? All three countries have an author who has achieved international acclaim including being nominated for “Neustadt International Prize for Literature.” (This award, besides coming with a $50,000 prize, is considered one of the most prestigious international literary prizes.)
Haiti’s internationally recognized author Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her father immigrated to New York when she was two and Danticat and her younger brother were raised by her aunt and uncle until she joined her father in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 12. Her formal education in Haiti was in French but she also spoke Haitian Creole. The author notes that she first started writing at the age of nine while still in Haiti. She studied to be a nurse but left this field and graduated from Barnard College in New York City with a degree in French Literature. She also received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University.
India’s internationally acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta to a Bengali Hindu family and was educated at the all-boys Doon School where he edited “The Doon School Weekly” publication. He received degrees from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and Delhi School of Economics. He currently lives in New York and is a senior editor at Little, Brown, and Company.
Pakistan’s internationally recognized author Mohsin Hamid spent his childhood both in the United States and Pakistan. He also lived in London but graduated from Princeton University and attended Harvard Law School graduating in 1997. Hamid started in corporate law, which he notes “was boring,” and for several years worked as a management consultant. As a management consultant, his employer McKinsey & Company New York City, allowed him three months off each year to write which ignited his career as a novelist.
Here are selections from our Arizona Talking Book Library which will introduce you to these three internationally acclaimed authors:
Brother, I’m Dying
By Edwidge Danticat
DB066074 (Available on BARD)
Narrated by Robin Miles
(female narrator, 7 hours and 54 minutes)
Author recalls her childhood in Haiti where she was raised by her uncle Joseph, a minister. Describes their volatile Port-au-Prince neighborhood and her uncle’s treatment at the hands of a pro-Aristide mob and U.S. Customs officials. Some violence and some strong language. Nat’l Book Award Finalist. 2007.
Sea of Poppies
By Amitav Ghosh
DB068395 (Available on BARD)
Narrated by Phil Gigante (male narrator, 18 hours and 18 minutes.)
1838. With the opium trade as a backdrop, the ship Ibis leaves British India bound for Mauritius and carrying a diverse crew and passengers, including a Bengali widow, a French orphan, a deposed raja, and an American freedman. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Man Booker Finalist. Commercial audiobook. 2008
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
By Mohsin Hamid
DB064621 (Available on BARD)
Narrated by Alec Volz (male narrator, 4 hours and 44 minutes.)
Lahore, Pakistan. Changez reminisces to an American about his time in the United States. Although a Princeton graduate with an impressive job and a wealthy girlfriend, Changez sympathized with the Islamic extremists behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks and returned home. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller. 2007.
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HISTORIC TALES OF THE
ARIZONA TALKING BOOK LIBRARY
Did you know that the Arizona State Talking Book Library was one of the last regional libraries to join the national network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped/Library of Congress? Prior to March 19th of 1970, the Braille Institute Library in Los Angeles provided Arizona visually and physically handicapped readers with both braille and recorded books. Machines were distributed in Arizona by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Arizona State Librarian Marguerite Cooley began planning for your library when she hired Peggy Smith, from the New Mexico State Library. Peggy had worked with blind services in New Mexico and in 1968 purchased, with the aid of a federal library grant, a good size collection of large print books for Arizona readers. Peggy Smith and Marguerite Cooley also began a national search for the first director of the Arizona State Talking Book Library. Stay tuned in for your next historic tale “From the Mid-west to India and finally to Arizona.”
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While it doesn’t happen very often, occasionally you may receive a digital cartridge with an error that prevents you from listening to the book. Some error messages will play as soon as you plug the cartridge into the machine. These include “Cartridge Error,” “No Book Available on Cartridge,” and others. The sneakier error is “End of Book,” which can strike at any time during playback. While this is the standard message you hear at the conclusion of the book, if it happens early, it is an error and should be reported.
If you experience an error, please do the following to help us catch the book when it is returned:
- On the side of the mailing card with the library address, write an X in the “Check If Damaged” box in the upper left-hand corner. If it is difficult to see the box, just write a big X in that general location.
- If you experience an “End of Book” error, call your Reader Advisor and let them know approximately which chapter of the book contained the error. This will give our Technical Services staff a better chance of finding the problem spot. You may contact the library if your cartridge has a different error, but it is not necessary as long as the mailing card is clearly marked.
- If you would like the book to be resent, you can also mark the “Check If Want Again” box on the mailing card, which is directly beneath the “Check If Damaged” box. Another option would be to call your Reader Advisor to request another copy.
Similarly, if you receive a container that has the incorrect book inside, please mark the mailing card as damaged and notify us if you would like it to be resent.
Our books are under warranty for a year, which means we can send the cartridges back for a replacement when they are still new. The faster you can return the book and alert us to the issue, the more likely that we can get a new copy. Thanks for your help!
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THANKS TO THE
ARIZONA FRIENDS OF TALKING BOOKS
FOR THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT
We thank the Arizona Friends of Talking Books for all of their support in 2017. Their fundraising efforts keep our recording studio up-to-date, underwrite the costs of our volunteer program and so much more.
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The iceberg effect is how we look at volunteers and how they can engage and complement the staff and their work. The top of the iceberg – the part that is visible to people – is the staff. The staff is at the top of the iceberg and is usually what most people see. Just under the water are the volunteers. The volunteers are the support that keeps the iceberg afloat, working behind the scenes. The volunteers allow staff to accomplish more, increasing productivity for the agency.
Volunteers really go unseen, but their work is so important to the organization. At Talking Book Library, we have the volunteers that work in the recording studio where they record audio books.It is an important task, but there are so many other tasks that need to be done that go unnoticed. I am constantly amazed by what the volunteers do and how they really support the staff. We often look at the big picture and forget to notice the little pieces that are keeping it going smoothly and efficiently.
We just had an open house, and without the help of our volunteers we would not have been able to reach so many. Volunteers helped guide people around the building so patrons could learn about the Library and the services we provide. Volunteers led the tours so that patrons could interact with their librarians and make the open house a huge success.
We have volunteers who come in and do nothing but assemble outreach brochures to be distributed by the outreach volunteers. The brochures allow the outreach volunteers to explain the services of the Library in great detail to the public when they represent the Library at community functions across the state. The outreach volunteers would not be able to do all they do without the volunteers who support them by making sure they always have accessible materials. I have a special outreach volunteer who prints business cards in braille for us, so when I am interacting with a visually impaired person I am able to give them a business card they can read so they can contact me in the future. Without my volunteer Vicki, I would not be able to communicate as effectively with people.
We have volunteers who support the mailroom and help with the inspection of books. We have a volunteer named Barbara who searches through the books that are returned in the wrong case. She searches the library high and low trying to find the book that goes with its matching case. The process can be tedious but she loves her volunteer job. I even have special needs groups, such as Civitan and Gompers, that come in to volunteer. The groups work in the mailroom, checking books to ensure they are matched before they are shelved. I have a volunteer who just cleans the extra cases so they can be reused, saving the Library money that can be spent elsewhere. There are volunteers who put address labels on cases so we can make sure if the mailing cards are lost those books still come back to us.
I have an awesome volunteer who faithfully comes in twice a week. She helps out in the studio, but she also helps us with manuals. Mary Alyce has the ability to take large chunks of information and transform it into materials that the other volunteers can understand. She helped us tremendously with our transition to the Hindenburg recording software and her faithful computer skills are always handy. If I have a question or need help with a process, my volunteer can help me find that quickly. She loves to volunteer in the studio and her skills have helped many volunteers in their training.
Now let’s talk about the machine department and my awesome volunteers who help out there. Patrons who receive their machines never realize the work that went into providing them with a clean, like-new machine. The volunteers work diligently cleaning machines, getting them ready for the next library patron. Without these volunteers, patrons would not have the ability to listen to their digital books. My machine department volunteers come in faithfully twice a week for four hours each day. Without them, patrons would not receive their machines in a timely manner and in such good condition. I even have a lady, Pauline, who volunteers in Machines and she can hold her own.
Volunteers do so much on the back end of things that sometimes they go unnoticed. But without volunteers the Library would not be able to do all it does. We are a large jigsaw puzzle that fits together intricately with all its pieces into a beautiful creation, the picture of a well-managed organization. We couldn’t do it without the volunteers because they are the bottom of the iceberg providing great support for the small top you can see floating. The volunteers help to keep the staff afloat!
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Any mention of products and services in Talking Book News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.
Talking Book News is also available in other formats including our website at http://www.azlibrary.gov/talkingbooks If you would like to receive this newsletter on cartridge or in email, please call 602-255-5578 or 1-800-255-5578.
Talking Book News is published quarterly by the Arizona Talking Book Library, Archives and Public Records, a Division of the Secretary of State. Administrator: Janet Fisher and Editor: Ron Bryant.