Vol. 50, No. 3 Winter 2020/2021
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FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
The 50th year of the Arizona Talking Book Library has been a memorable time. Thank you for participating in and reading about the recognition of our library’s years,1970-2020. Providing services to our registered patrons throughout Arizona and bringing the joy of reading of books and magazines in audio and braille throughout that time has been a privilege to those who have worked at the library. Many people joined us by phone or computer for our 50th Anniversary commemoration speeches on March 19, 2020. If you would like to listen to these speeches, please contact the library and we will make the recording available to you.
Over the years we brought in more library enhancements such as access to such things as newspapers through Newsline, audio-described movies for check-out, and recordings prepared in our studio of books by Arizona authors or about Arizona or the Southwest. The partnerships we have built through the years with DES/Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Arizona Friends of Talking Books and an amazing number of volunteers have enabled the addition of these items and much more.
2020 was also a year we will remember for other reasons – health issues, physical isolation, and other changes in our connections with family and others. Many people have found new routines in their daily lives and have also shown patience in delays that occurred in regular activities. The Arizona Talking Book Library has been able to move to the National Library Service’s new system of putting multiple books on each cartridge, enabling the library to send book series, favorite authors, recently published and recorded books, and other book requests on one cartridge – no more waiting. During these many months when we have had reduced staff within our library building, this move to multi-book cartridges has enabled our staff to respond to your requests and get them in the mail quickly.
One thing that was easily overlooked in the midst of our work is to realize we are just one part of the distribution process. We appreciate the work of the U.S. Postal Service in getting the materials from our location to your residence. The post office dealt with staff reductions, COVID-19 protocols, and this winter the post office also had the addition of holiday mail service. Thank you for your patience and understanding while waiting for the mail to arrive, and also letting us know of extreme delays. As we start 2021, we can move our attention to other anniversaries, most particularly the 90th anniversary of the law creating the National Library Service (Pratt-Smoot Act) on March 3, 1931. You will find an article on the musical performance by jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker which celebrated this anniversary.
A one-page article describing how to use the new multi-book cartridges appears again in this issue to help those who are getting used to the cartridges or want a refresher. This newsletter also includes additional issues to keep you in tune with things that may help you now and it also looks forward to things that are coming up.
Janet Fisher, Administrator
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CARTRIDGE CHANGES CREATE IMPROVEMENTS FOR USERS
Talking book libraries across the country are moving to sending multiple book cartridges for all who receive book and local magazine cartridges through the mail. The multi-book cartridge allows the libraries to send out books by the same author, a book series, newly available or classic titles, and magazines that were recorded locally on the same cartridge, as space allows.
Benefits of faster production of these multi-book cartridges and an easier process of retrieval and distribution have helped to get these items through the mail, lessening the number of items put on waiting lists in the library. The Arizona Talking Book Library is participating in this move and will soon transfer the complete cartridge creation process to multi-book cartridges.
As you receive these cartridges, if you encounter difficulties using the multi-book cartridges please contact the library for assistance and/or go through the step-by-step instructions in this newsletter.
[HINT: As I listen to the books on the cartridge, I choose the easy way and must remember to hit the large PLAY button after one book finishes and I want to move forward to the next book. This works well to go smoothly from one book to the next.]
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You may have noticed there are fewer magazines on our Arizona Magazine (AZM) cartridge for the last few months. The slowdown and closing of recording facilities during this COVID health situation has affected us, both locally and nationally. We anticipate the situation improving in the coming months. Please be patient and know that we are working as hard as we can to come up with ideas to get magazines to you.
Those of you receiving multiple books on a cartridge, who are also signed up for our Arizona Magazines, may have noticed you have not gotten any magazines from us since April. Please call us and let us know if you would like to update your magazine list to ensure that you will receive them again. A list of our local magazine titles can be sent to you and you can sign up for the ones you want. You will receive those magazines only, instead of all local magazines. As each issue is produced, it will be automatically sent to you on the multiple book cartridges.
If you are not yet receiving multiple book cartridges, please know that you will need to update your magazine list. So, call and make sure we have your magazine preferences noted.
If you have questions, please call us at 1-800-255-5578 or 602-255-5578.
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HOW TO ACCESS MULTIPLE BOOKS ON A CARTRIDGE
When you receive a cartridge with multiple books on it, you can access the books in one of two ways: The Easy Way and the Bookshelf Mode.
#1 - The Easy Way
||1. When you reach the very end of the book or initial instructions, press the green, rectangular Play button.
|2. The machine will then prompt the patron to, “Press the Play button again to go on to the next book.” Go ahead and press the play button again, and the machine will start playing the next book.
#2 - Bookshelf Mode (Skipping over books, etc.)
||1. Insert the cartridge in the player and turn the power on by pressing the red, circular Power Button.
|2. Press and hold the green, rectangular Play button for about 3 seconds until the player beeps and says “Bookshelf” and announces the number of books on the cartridge.
3. Tap the Rewind or Fast Forward button, located on each side of the green, rectangular Play button, to select the next book. The book title will be announced. To advance to the next title, just press the Fast Forward button again, or tap the rewind again to go to the previous book.
4. Once you get to the title you want to read, press the green, rectangular Play button. The player will exit Bookshelf Mode and start playing the selected title.
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AMAZON SMILE AND MORE…
Do you ever buy materials from Amazon?
If you sign up for Amazon Smile, you can have a percentage of the amount of your purchase be designated for the Arizona Friends of Talking Books. No extra money is charged to you. The Friends group uses the funds designated to them through Amazon Smile to support the library.
The Arizona Friends of Talking Books also participate in other fundraising, including an annual fundraiser (Whine-a-Thon or Whine & Cheese) and similar programs to the Amazon Smile program with local stores and organizations.
If you do not find the Friends listed among charitable organizations where you shop, please contact the Friends or the Talking Book Library to let us know. [Arizona Friends of Talking Books, Fed Tax ID – 86-1008453]
In addition, you can make out donations to the Arizona Friends of Talking Books or use your credit card through the Friends website (https://azfotb.org/donate).
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ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION ON COVID-19
In order to increase access to information about COVID-19, Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation has created adapted and accessible versions of CDC guidance. Individuals nationwide can visit their website at https://cidi.gatech.edu/covid to:
- Download or request braille documents
- Access Word documents and PDFs that are compatible with screen readers and other assistive technology
- Learn about COVID-19 through simplified text
- View COVID-19 information in American Sign Language (ASL)
The Arizona Talking Book Library has a limited number of embossed braille available. If interested in obtaining one of these copies, please contact the library at 602-255-5578 and leave a message.
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NLS 90th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress, will kick off its 90th anniversary celebration with a free virtual concert by jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker on Wednesday, March 3, at 8:00 p.m. (EST) -- and you’re invited! Whitaker, who has been blind since birth, is an NLS patron who has garnered accolades across the jazz world. He won ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards for 2019 and 2020 and has been featured on stages around the world and on TV shows including Ellen and NBC’s Today. In a story on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes (https://cbsn.ws/3oDMQIM), neuroscientists discussed how Whitaker’s brain is stimulated by music -- so much so that his visual cortex lights up when he plays.
Like previous NLS concerts that featured José André in 2019 and Justin Kauflin in 2014, this event showcases the NLS Music Section’s work in providing patrons with direct access to the world’s largest collection of braille, audio, and large print music materials.
Whitaker’s concert will be broadcast on the Library of Congress YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/libraryofcongress). An interview with Whitaker will be posted there at 8:00 a.m. (EST) on March 3.
For more information,
follow NLS on Facebook
or check out the Library of Congress Events
page (www.loc.gov/events) or the NLS
Music Notes blog
Some of these internet links will continue to work after March 3 so you can enjoy the interview or concert in the future. Check them out!
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DO YOU HAVE AN UNUSED DIGITAL PLAYER?
Do you have an unused digital talking book player taking up space in your home? Maybe you received a replacement player and have not gotten around to returning the old one. Maybe you have begun to use BARD Mobile and no longer use a digital player. The longer it sits unused, the more likely it will not work. Please help us get that extra machine to someone who needs it now! NLS is designing a new generation player, but it is still several years away. In the meantime, we need your help to keep machines available for those who need them.
Please return any unused digital talking book players to us, even if it does not work. Our Machines Section can fix it. If you do not have the box it came in, contact the Arizona Talking Book Library and we will send you a box for returning it to the library without charge. If you prefer to use your own box, pack the player in the box and write “FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND” in place of postage and address it to Arizona Talking Book Library, 1030 N 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
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NEWS ABOUT THE POST OFFICE
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) along with its network libraries has been in a collaborative partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for over 89 years – providing mail home delivery and return by “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped.” NLS has not received any indications to date about any funding changes and anticipate continued ability to mail items as “Free Matter.”
Nevertheless, patrons are at times denied delivery and return of library materials by postal carriers or agents. The Arizona Talking Book Library also experiences its own difficulties at times when mailing items, as do other network libraries across the country. NLS has a postal liaison who communicates network wide issues directly to USPS officials in Washington, DC to help resolve problems.
In addition to this relationship between these two services, customers can contact the Post Office directly. If problems occur with mail services, individuals can call the general Customer Service line to register a problem and describe it to the Post Office (800-ASK-USPS or 800-275-8777). They also have relay call services available, if needed.
Patrons can remind USPS carriers that “Free Matter” is not free. The USPS is reimbursed for the cost of this service. In fact, each year Congress appropriates funds to the USPS to cover the mailing cost of “Free Matter” postage which should be treated as first-class mail.
Perhaps an effective way to acknowledge how vital mail delivery is to this service and our readers is to simply say thanks to your local carrier. Many USPS employees are working hard to deliver library materials to patrons throughout the U.S. Giving USPS a word of thanks at every opportunity can help show the positive investment and value in this key collaborative partnership.
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ARIZONA FRIENDS OF TALKING BOOKS
http://azfotb.org The best Friends a library could have!
The Arizona Friends of Talking Books is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the Arizona Talking Book Library, its volunteer programs and local recording studios through fundraising, advocacy, and outreach Thanks for all of your support!
(Tax ID: 86-1008453)
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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.