[nfbwatlk] Fw: [wtbbl] Reading Matters Winter 2009

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 27 02:49:50 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: WTBBL 
To: Jacob Struiksma 
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:10 AM
Subject: [wtbbl] Reading Matters Winter 2009

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Administered by the Washington State Library

& the Office of the Secretary of State


              Reading Matters

                                            Winter 2009


A Message from Danielle King, WTBBL Program Manager 


Welcome to the Winter 2009 edition of Reading Matters.  WTBBL kicked off the New Year with a bicentennial birthday celebration for Louis Braille on January 5.  We celebrated Monsieur Braille and his incredible contribution to the world with an open house, braille information and examples, three cakes, and a rousing round of "Happy Birthday."  The event was well-attended and was a nice opportunity to come together at the beginning of the year.


There are several important things I would like to touch on this quarter.  First, this will be our last print issue of our Reading Matters newsletter.  We will send out the newsletter to our listserv in the text of an e-mail. If you have e-mail, you can sign up by calling (800) 542-0866, or sending an e-mail to wtbbl at secstate.wa.gov.  We will also post it to our website (www.wtbbl.org) in three formats: a Word

document, a web braille file, and an audio file.  By switching to an electronic newsletter, we will save a considerable amount of money.  Quarterly issues of the newsletter cost WTBBL approximately $2,500 each.  As a result, we will save around $10,000 annually that we can put into our programs and services.  If you are unable to access an electronic format of the newsletter, please contact us and we will provide you with a copy in your requested format.


Next, I am pleased to introduce our newest Patron Advisory Council (PAC) members.  We have three new general patron 

representatives: George Basioli (425-771-6299), Laine Henline 

(206-724-3501), and Jenny McDaniel-Devens (425-328-9820).  Our new learning disabled representative is Norma Jean Campbell (425-802-8662).  Please join me in welcoming these outstanding individuals to the PAC.  The PAC also held officer elections and the new officers are Sue Ammeter as Chair, Signe Rose as Vice-Chair, and Lynette Romero as Secretary.  I'm looking forward to a very productive year with the PAC.


We are expecting our first batch of digital talking book players this spring.  Please be sure to read Amy Ravenholt's article in this issue on the allocation of the new digital talking book players.  As stated previously, the first right of refusal will go to veterans, and the

second round of player allocations and right of refusal will go to our centenarians (patrons 100 years old or older).  Everyone else will need to get their names in our lottery.  Amy's article will explain the procedure for placing your name in the lottery. It is very important that you contact us when the time comes. 


Finally, I'd like to share some year-end statistics that I find quite impressive!  WTBBL had 15,184 library visits, 4,186 reference transactions, and circulated 454,182 items to patrons.  Our circulation per capita (circulation divided by number of patrons) is an astounding 50.76!  That means all of you are reading, and reading a lot!  The national average circulation per capita is 8.39 and the Washington State average is 9.88.  Way to go, WTBBL patrons!  Enjoy our last print edition of Reading Matters and as always, feel free to contact me with questions or comments.


All the best, 




dking at secstate.wa.gov or (206) 615-1588


WTBBL is a Welcome Addition to OSOS Family, by Secretary of State Sam Reed


I'm proud and thankful that we have an institution like the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, whose credo - "that all may read" - is inspiring.  Thanks to its existence and the many dedicated individuals who make it go, thousands of Washingtonians can experience the joy that books and periodicals bring to people. 


I'm excited about WTBBL's plan to begin the transition to digital talking books. Although the Library will receive new equipment and books this spring, this transition will take a while to be fully implemented.  It will necessitate a change in how WTBBL produces its locally produced audio books, and it will require more work by the library's circulation department as it employs two formats (digital and cassette) over the next two years. WTBBL anticipates it will take up to three years to get digital talking book players to all of its patrons.  The Office of Secretary of State will help with this timely transition in any way possible.   


Since joining our family last summer, WTBBL has distinguished itself with a can-do spirit and genuine commitment to its many patrons. In recent months, the Library has seen an increase in volunteers for its Evergreen Radio Reading Service (ERRS), as well as book narrators and book reviewers. Having more volunteers is crucial as WTBBL continues to connect its patrons to the written word through various means. There are an estimated 190,000 people in Washington eligible for WTBBL services, yet the Library serves only about 10,000 patrons. It's encouraging that the Library continues to make outreach a high priority.  


As its patrons can attest, WTBBL plays a vital, irreplaceable role in the lives of so many Washington residents who can't read or have trouble reading conventional books due to blindness or a learning or physical disability. Thanks to this great library, its patrons can stay connected to the world around them by having access to books and magazines in audio, braille, and large-print formats, as well as the ERRS.     


Just as I can enjoy reading an interesting article in the Seattle Times or Newsweek, a WTBBL patron can experience that same article because of the Library. This must be such a liberating feeling for someone who can't read standard print.


>From everything I've gathered, WTBBL's patrons are very satisfied with the services provided by this unique and important library. And they should be. The people who work and volunteer there are first rate. When I attended WTBBL's open house last July to celebrate its transition to our office, it was clear how dedicated the employees and volunteers are to the Library and its patrons. A tour of the library facility revealed an impressive behind-the-scenes look at 

how these amazing people provide such a wide range of services for 

its patrons. I'm still amazed by the seemingly infinite collection of green cassette cases that WTBBL uses! 


The Office of Secretary of State includes several important and vital divisions that serve the public with dedication and enthusiasm. I'm very proud and excited that one of these public gems is the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library.


Sam Reed is beginning his third term as Secretary of State for Washington.



Lottery for New Digital Talking Book Players, by Amy Ravenholt

We are eagerly looking forward to our first shipment of digital talking book players in May.  From then on, we are scheduled to receive more than 400 players a month until we have enough for all of our borrowers.


Patrons who want a digital player will need to request one.  Call, e-mail, or write us to let us know you want a new digital player and we will put your name on the request list.  Any WTBBL staff member can take your request.  


The first players will be assigned to people on the list who are veterans, or are centenarians.  Because we won't have enough 

players at first for everyone, we will put the other names on the  

request list into a lottery.   We will draw names each time we get a new batch of players.  When your name is drawn, we will check your circulation record and send you a player if your record is in good standing.  However, if your account is on hold, or has a number of books more than 12 weeks overdue, we will put your name back in the pot and draw another name.  


(Note:  Books are normally due back in six weeks, and we will send overdue reminders once a quarter.  Please call or write us if you notice any mistakes on your overdue reminder, and we can adjust your record.)  


We will keep drawing names for each new batch of players until everyone in good standing on the request list has a new player.  Then we will contact patrons who were not on the list to see if they are interested.  


You will be able to keep your cassette player after you get a digital player so that you can use books in both formats.  Depending on federal funding for digital players and books, it will take four to six years to completely change over to the digital format.  Active borrowers have a good chance of getting a digital player much sooner than that-as long as you contact us now to get your name on the list by calling (800) 542-0866, or sending an e-mail to wtbbl at secstate.wa.gov.




Evergreen Braille Service, by Joyce Van Tuyl and Ed Godfrey


To celebrate Louis Braille's 200th birthday on January 4, the WTBBL Braille Department prepared a number of exhibits for an open house at the Library on January 5. Various methods of producing braille were displayed, as well as the codes needed to transcribe a variety of print material, such as music, mathematics, and foreign 

language.  Numerous books, magazines, children's titles, and a collection designed for adults who are just learning braille completed the exhibits.  


In other news, we are pleased that 18 students are enrolled in the braille transcription class, which began in October and meets on Saturday mornings.  The classes will conclude in late spring, at 

which time the students will receive their first "real" assignments: chapters of a new book selected for the circulating collection.


In 2008, the department completed 40 new titles, thanks to our talented volunteer transcribers.  Many other volunteers assist us with proofreading and clerical tasks. Thirteen titles are now in progress in the department, including Justice Denied  by J. A. Jance.



Recommended Reads, by Kathryn Pierce and Lara Weigand




For Mike's Sake by Janet Dailey.

Seattle, Washington. When circumstances bring Maggie and her ex-husband together six years after their divorce, Maggie is surprised by the loving feelings she still has for Wade.  Available as Braille BRW 1262.                                                               


Thunderbird Falls by C. E. Murphy.

Seattle beat cop Joanne Walker is a reluctant shaman who saved mankind three months ago. Accidentally unleashing Lower World demons while trying to save humanity, she must learn to control her powers if she is to prevent Armageddon. Sequel to Urban Shaman (BRW 1246). Some strong language.  Available as Braille BRW 1259.


            Page 5
Polar  by T.R. Pearson.

Small town Virginia.  Clayton is a ne'er-do-well notorious among the 

townies for his devotion to pornographic movies. Suddenly without 


warning, he asks to be called "Titus" and appears to possess prophetic gifts, which win him fame and popularity. Deputy Ray Tatum unravels the mystery of Clayton's condition and follows the story to its surprising end in Antarctica.  Narrated by Robert Phillips. Available as Talking Book CBA 7640.


Mermaids [Mermaid Magic, Rani's Sea Spell, and The Shell Princess in one volume] by Gwyneth Rees. 

Rani the Mermaid adores her adopted family, but she really wants to know where she came from and why she suddenly seems to have powers that none of the other mermaids have. A friend suggests the Sea Witch might have answers. Grades 3-6. Trilogy produced separately in braille as BRW 1239, BRW 1240, and BRW 1241. Also available as Talking Book CBA 7980, which contains all three.




Game On! How Women's Basketball Took Seattle by Storm by Jayda Evans.

A history of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), focusing on the rise of the Seattle Storm and their 2004 championship season. Profiles Storm players Lauren Jackson and Betty Lennox as well as coach Lin Dunn. Also explores issues of sexism, homophobia, and economics within the sport. Foreword by Slick Watts.  Available as Braille BRW 1248.


Not by Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life by Samantha Dunn.

While leading her horse across a narrow creek in the canyons of California, Samantha Dunn suffered a life-threatening accident when her horse inadvertently jumped on her leg, splitting it open and severing vital muscles and veins. In this reflective yet humorous memoir, Dunn takes the reader through the stages of her long and painful recovery, the most important of which involved serious self-examination.  Narrated by Mary Schlosser.  Available as Talking Book CBA 7946.


In the Company of Wild Bears: A Celebration of Backcountry Grizzlies and Black Bears by Howard Smith. 

True tales of backcountry encounters between humans and bears in Alaska, Wyoming, and on the Appalachian Trail. Also includes information on bear protection, behavior, and ecology. Narrated by Ian Bull.  Available as Talking Book CBA 7942.




Evergreen Radio Reading Service, by John Pai and Gregg Porter 


Since the last issue of Reading Matters, Evergreen Radio Reading Service (ERRS) Wednesday talk show listeners have had the opportunity to hear experts speak on topics ranging from outdoor recreation, city and neighborhood issues, and disaster preparedness to elections and self-defense.  One particularly popular guest was Professor Ione Fine from the University of Washington, whose current research involves how the brains of visually impaired individuals process perception.  Our hosts, Mary Mohrman and Bennett Prows, also steered us through a few "open mic" discussions with our callers.  In 2009, we plan to have the entire staff of WTBBL on the program over the course of several months.


To increase our listenership and more easily share our quality programming, an online log-in and password are no longer needed. Just click on the "Listen to the Live Webstream" link on our website and enjoy! Later this year we plan to survey our listeners to learn more about the shows you like and what else you'd like us to present.  Please keep tuning in, and be thinking about what you'd like to hear from us. 

Lastly, the ERRS volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the radio. This was most apparent during the snowstorms of December. Many of our volunteers could not make it in to read and record their programs, which left cavernous holes in our daily programming schedule. We air more than 64 different programs in an average week with 95 percent of those produced locally by our 108 volunteers. We were scrambling to fill many holes with substitute programming downloaded from our national affiliates. A handful of champion volunteers were able to make it in despite the weather conditions and deserve a very heartfelt thank you. With all of the collective dedication, the ERRS did not have a moment of dead air.


Meet Our Staff: Theresa Connolly


Pedaling her bike up the Mount St. Helens Highway last summer, Theresa Connolly decided to accept the job as Audio Production Services Supervisor at WTBBL.  She had a clear idea of what she was getting into because she had worked in that same position from 1990 until 2005.  Her memories of shepherding volunteers and staff 

through the many facets of producing audio books are what enticed     her to leave her job as volunteer coordinator at Hopelink and return to the Library.    


Theresa had another reason for returning. The National Library Service will soon be releasing books in digital format and providing players to hear them. Theresa was instrumental in setting up the digital recording studios at WTBBL 10 years ago. Since that time, WTBBL has stored thousands of books digitally.  Theresa wants to oversee the project of converting those books, and the books volunteers are reading now, into a digital format compatible with the new NLS player.  She is currently busy establishing a system and teaching a new corps of volunteers to do this. 


In her spare time, Theresa bikes to places near and far with her husband Ron, a research meteorologist.  On their explorations, Theresa looks for things to draw. She is active at a printmaking studio in Seattle and uses many of her sketches as a basis for her prints.  A love of art is something she shares with her daughter Jonah, who is a graphic designer.        



What costs you nothing now, but will make a big difference to the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library?


You know the value that the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library gives its patrons.access to books of all kinds and for all ages, connection to the world every day through the Evergreen Radio Reading Service, excellent reference services.all at no charge!


To make sure this service will continue for years to come, please consider including the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in your will or trust. It is easy to do and can be revocable if your situation changes. It takes just a simple designation in your will or trust, requires no transfer of funds during your lifetime, and will be your legacy for the Library and its future patrons.


Need more information?  Contact Carleen Jackson, Development Director for the Washington State Heritage Center, Office of Secretary of State, at (360) 902-4126 or cjackson at secstate.wa.gov.

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