[nfbwatlk] FW: [wtbbl] Spring 2011 WTBBL Reading Matters Newsletter
lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 8 20:39:52 UTC 2011
Washington Talking Book & Braille Library
Administered by the Washington State Library
and Office of the Secretary of State
David Junius, Editor
A Message from Danielle Miller, Program Manager
It has been a nail-biting several months as the Legislature has been in
session and then in a second session. As I write, the 2011-2013 budget has
just been approved. By the time you read this, there will be some concrete
information and implications for implementation at WTBBL. But today, I don't
have any real news. Briefly, there will be a cut to the Washington State
Library and a portion of that will go to WTBBL. Staff will also take a 3
percent reduction in pay. When I have firm information, I will share it
through the WTBBL listserv.
WTBBL was in far worse shape earlier in the legislative session and we were
once again helped when WTBBL patrons rallied around us and called on their
legislators to oppose a bill that would move us into a "mega-agency" and cut
our budget by 22 percent. More than 40 blind and visually impaired people,
along with their friends and families, got up early and traveled to Olympia
to voice their opposition to the bill. We filled the hearing room and three
WTBBL patrons testified on behalf of WTBBL: WTBBL Patron Advisory Council
(PAC) member and Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) President Denise
Colley, PAC Chair Mike Mello, and National Federation of the Blind of
Washington (NFBW) President Mike Freeman.
Never underestimate the power of your advocacy. By early that afternoon, an
amendment had been added that removed us from the bill! The WTBBL staff and
I are truly appreciative of your support year after year.
Despite the worry and stress of the legislative session, many good things
are happening at the library. We continue to try to get a digital player in
the hands of every patron and increase access to digital books. If you know
someone who could use our service, please tell them - in terms of technology
and access, there is no better time to be a patron of the library.
I know many of you are downloading your books from Braille and Audio Reading
Download (BARD) and from the WTBBL download site, and I encourage you to see
if others in your region could use help with that process. We have new
instructions and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the download page of
our website (www.wtbbl.org) for both PC and Mac users. I shifted one of our
librarian's roles to focus on instruction and electronic services so we can
do training in person, on the phone, and on the web.
In May, we held our seventh annual Ten-Squared High Tea honoring our patrons
who are 100 and older. It was a lovely event with five centenarians
attending and two of them being newly inducted into the club. (Currently we
have 51 centenarians in all. Wow!) I wanted to bring the theme back to what
connects so many of us with our books: the narrator. One of WTBBL's amazing
narrators, Sneha Mathan, spoke about her path to becoming a narrator and
voice actor, and shared what it means to her to be the voice of several
WTBBL talking books. You can look for Sneha's books in our online catalog.
We had several guests at the tea, including PAC members Mike Mello and Karen
Johnson. This is always an inspirational event and we look forward to it
Also in May, I attended the Western Conference of Libraries for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped conference in Denver. It is always exciting to
get together with the other regional librarians and exchange ideas and
support each other. Four representatives from the National Library Service
(NLS) attended and they informed us of many exciting changes for the coming
year. For example, braille will actually move to BARD and that "B" will
finally make sense. Foreign language titles, music materials, and best of
all, state-produced digital books will start to go up on BARD, so it can
truly be one place for all resources.
I am honored that I was elected Chair of the Western Council for the next
two years. A very important part of this role is participating in a monthly
call with NLS. I want to be sure to include concerns and ideas from
Washington as well as the entire Western Conference Region. I encourage you
to contact me with your thoughts and suggestions, or talk to one of our PAC
members or WTBBL staff.
Fingers crossed for some sunny news on the budget outcomes and some actual
Get in touch: danielle.miller at sos.wa.gov or (206) 615-1588.
All the best,
2011 Patron Advisory Council (PAC)
The following individuals are current members of the Patron Advisory
Council. To reach a PAC member in your area of the state with any questions
or ideas you may have, please call David at (206) 615-0417 or (800) 542-0866
for their contact information.
Sue Ammeter (Port Hadlock) - WCB Rep.
Ryan Bondroff (Seattle) - Deaf-Blind Rep.
Norma Jean Campbell (Richland)
Denise Colley (Lacey)
Frank Cuta (Benton City)
Michael Edwards (Fircrest) - Physically Disabled Rep.
Deborah Jenkins (Spokane)
Karen Johnson (Seattle)
Mike Mello (Seattle) - NFBW Rep.
Mary Anna Mohrman (Seattle)
Janice Squires (Kennewick)
Alice Stephenson (University Place) - Veteran Rep.
Emily Stevenson (University Place) - Youth Rep.
The Shipping News by Sally Jo Hagen
New digital books and players keep arriving and a lot of changes have been
happening in WTBBL's shipping department.
Making room for two new inventories means revamping the whole warehouse.
Shrinking the space for the cassette books and players to make room for the
digital books and players is one of our greatest challenges. We'll save on
space because the digital books are half the size of the cassette books and
the digital players are smaller than the old cassette players!
While the digital books take less space, it is taking us awhile to build our
inventory to the level of our cassette books. We have roughly 308,000
cassette books in our inventory compared to about 43,000 digital books. The
digital collection will continue to grow as the cassettes are phased out.
If you have access to a computer, you can go to our website and download
books to a flash drive, then play them on your digital player. For more
information, go to www.wtbbl.org, or call one of our reader advisors at
(206) 615-0400 or (800) 542-0866.
This summer we will again be participating in youth employment programs from
the City of Seattle and the Washington State School for the Blind. They are
great partnerships, as are the ones we participate in during the school year
with the City of Seattle and the Seattle and Kent school districts. Although
these groups are school-age volunteers, we also have a large core of adult
volunteers who come through the shipping department.
Volunteers help us with sorting our daily mail, inspecting and shelving
returned books, and repairing cassette players. While we absolutely have the
best staff in the shipping department with Bonnie, Rick and Marah, I'm sure
they would join me in tooting the volunteer horn. In the last five years,
our volunteer participation in the shipping department has grown by 56
There is always something interesting happening and something fun to do in
the shipping department at WTBBL!
WTBBL Author Profiles
Anjali Banerjee by Theresa Connolly
Anjali Banerjee recently said in an interview that writing for young people
is "writing for everyone." She explained that she considers the subject
matter but does not simplify language or vocabulary. Banerjee feels her
books for young people address universal themes and, in that way, are of
interest to anyone. I agree.
I recently listened to Maya Running and Looking for Bapu and found myself
walking down the street both crying and laughing out loud. In both books,
there are smart, quirky young people enjoying secure family lives. They also
struggle mightily with problems that arise.
Both Maya in Maya Running and Anu in Looking for Bapu suffer prejudice and
bullying because of their darker skin. Maya feels the anxiety of being in
love for the first time and jealousy when her exotic cousin arrives from
India and overshadows her. Anu's heart breaks when Bapu, his grandfather and
daily companion, dies.
Although Anu says, "I don't know what to do," many times, he tries
everything he can think of to get his Bapu's spirit back. He thinks of many
things and proceeds with a steely determination until, with the help of
others, he finds what works. Along the way, he creates some hilarious,
Anjali Banerjee was born in India and raised in North America. She currently
lives in Washington State. This background infuses her books with gods I did
not know about, and with beautiful words like sadhu (a holy man), pakora (a
battered and fried vegetable snack), and Ganesh (the god with an elephant's
head, "Remover of Obstacles, Granter of Wishes") that I seldom hear. It also
gives me settings that I recognize and places I pass by. Magic mingles with
the real world and creativity is rewarded. Contact WTBBL if you would like
to hear her books or read them in braille. Here is a list of what is
In digital audio (on cartridge and as a download) for younger readers: Maya
Running (DBW07767), Looking for Bapu (DBW08050), and Seaglass Summer
(DB71452); for adults (on cartridge and as a download): Invisible Lives
(DBW08150) and Haunting Jasmine (in process, DBW08309).
In braille for younger readers: Looking for Bapu (BRW01311), and for adults:
Invisible Lives (BRW01309).
For more information about Anjali Banerjee, have a look at her website at
Lauren Willig by Eura Ryan Szuwalski
Lauren Willig is a New York Times bestselling historical romance author
whose series, The Pink Carnation, is filled with comedy, espionage,
adventure and, of course, romance.
Each of Willig's novels is really two stories in one. One storyline is set
in modern-day London, while the majority of the chapters focus on a heroine
in 19th century England or France. The modern-day protagonist, Eloise Kelly,
is an American graduate student studying in London and working on her
dissertation with the assistance of an Englishman, Colin, who has spies in
his family tree. Eloise's story and romance with her Englishman are
background to the main tale of spies battling Napoleon's campaigns in France
The 19th century protagonist changes with each book, as does the fictional,
flower-inspired spy. Start with the first book in the series, The Secret
History of the Pink Carnation, which takes the reader on a path with Eloise
to discover the real person behind the Pink Carnation, as our 19th century
heroine, Amy Balcourt, is searching for love behind the mask of the Purple
Gentian, another spy.
Mixing fictional and historical characters, Willig creates a highly amusing
story. Like Eloise, Willig spent time in London during her graduate years.
Educated at Yale, Willig has also spent time at her alma mater teaching the
study of historical romances. Willig brings a detailed eye to the genre and
tells a story that keeps you wanting more. Whether you're following Eloise
or the 19th century heroine, you'll stay entertained and fall in love with
Here are the titles available at WTBBL:
#1, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is available in large print (LP
21525), on cassette (RC 60668) and on BARD as a downloadable book (DB
#2, The Masque of the Black Tulip is available on cassette (RC 61532) and on
BARD as a downloadable book (DB
#3, The Deception of the Emerald Ring is available on cassette (RC 64654)
and on BARD as a downloadable book (DB
#4, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is available on cassette (RC 67186),
on a digital cartridge and on BARD (DB
#5, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine is available on cassette (RC 68860),
on digital cartridge and on BARD (DB
#6, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is available as a digital cartridge and
for download on BARD (DB
Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Glass
Rachel has been volunteering at the Washington Talking Book & Braille
Library since 2006 and has worn many hats for WTBBL's Evergreen Radio
Reading Service (ERRS). Her first job was reading the Eastern Washington
news and soon she became the host of "Parent Time."
Rachel currently records audio books at WTBBL. You can also hear Rachel as
one of the hosts of the "Literary News" program, where she has interviewed
dozens of authors, including Ron Reagan, Louis Sachar, Andre Dubus, Jane
Smiley, Kate DiCamillo and Lisa See.
When not volunteering, Rachel works as a professional actress on
stage, in film and television, and doing voice work. You can hear her every
week on the KOMO News radio Sunday morning team, as well as on KIXI-AM as a
regular on Jim French's "Imagination Theatre." Her favorite movie role
featured her opposite Sharon Stone in the film Last Dance where she was
bludgeoned to death with a crowbar by Ms. Stone.
Rachel grew up in Hawaii and has lived in the San Francisco Bay
Area, Los Angeles and Nashville. She and her husband have shared many
adventures together, including being professional artists, traveling across
the country in a U-Haul, standing on a shelf of rock while looking down into
a molten lava flow of an active volcano, surviving three major earthquakes
(including Seattle's in 2001), facing down a tornado, and witnessing out of
their apartment window the mayhem of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Currently Rachel resides in Seattle with her husband and daughter.
Meet Our Staff: Bonnie Brown and Steve Goettsch
It all started in high school. I couldn't get into Drama because the class
was full, so I ended up in a radio class. We did radio drama and a local
station aired our shows on Sunday nights. That's when I knew I wanted to be
in radio! So I became a dental assistant. I thought I would do that until I
got married.maybe three or four years. Thirteen years later, I finally met
my Tom and we were married. I thought I would just enjoy being a housewife
for a while since I had waited so long.
After several months, I realized there had to be more than making meals and
cleaning house. About that time I received a brochure in the mail about
volunteering at the Talking Book & Braille Library. I became a book narrator
and loved it. I then began working part-time in the Taping Department.
One night after work I was in the break room waiting until it was time to go
to a "How to Get Started in Radio" class when my supervisor saw me and found
out I was interested in radio. She asked if I would like to be trained to be
a broadcaster for the ERRS. Would I?!?! Eventually, I went to Bellevue
Community College and enrolled in its radio program.
I taught radio labs and worked at KBCS-FM, the station on campus, and hosted
a jazz show. Later, I became a traffic reporter at Metro Networks. My shift
was working the morning drive on KUOW-FM, KIXI-AM, and KTTH-AM. It was my
high school dream come true! I was a traffic reporter for 10 years.
Now I'm back at WTBBL, but this time in the Shipping Department. I'm part of
the team that gets the books and equipment out to you. From time to time,
you'll also hear me on the ERRS interviewing authors on "Literary News."
It's wonderful to be here after all this time!
patrons. I am the Audio Production Technician here at WTBBL. I produce the
locally narrated audio books and download requested NLS books for digital
cartridge. I also edit local books in post-production and make extra copies
of high-demand audio books.
My other duties include processing material requests from other NLS
libraries across the nation and supervising volunteers who process recorded
books needing repair.
I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa, where I was involved with music for
many years, playing trombone with various organizations from classical to
jazz to rock. In the mid-1970s, I managed a popular record store and in
1979, decided to move to the Great Northwest with my future wife.
I started as a volunteer at WTBBL in the early 1980s and later became part
of the staff. As I remember, nearly half of the recorded books at that time
were on rigid or flexible discs played on record players. The new digital
players represent big advances in the quality of sound and the ease of
It's great to be at WTBBL and to serve our wonderful patrons!
Radio-Activity by John Pai, Lead ERRS Broadcaster
You may have noticed that our radio broadcasts have been free of
interruptions and stronger in technical consistency. With the switch over to
the WireReady Radio automation software and the Adobe Audition production
software, along with new computers, we have been enjoying the fruits of the
newest technology in radio service.
The transition was time-consuming, but now that we have completed the
training of the entire radio volunteer staff, fellow ERRS broadcaster Gregg
Porter and I have been able to concentrate on training new volunteers,
developing new talk and literary news programs, and upgrading content
material delivery for our broadcasts.
One of the new elements we've added is having our current grocery ad and
shopping news programs available to listen to on-demand or download as a
podcast. You won't miss any store specials and you can even take the program
along with you as you shop.
We also have the current week's talk show and literary news programs
available for on-demand listening, as well as special programs from the
"Science Fiction Hour" and the "Kitchen Corner." Look for even more
additions to this service in the future.
You may have also noticed several new voices on the air. A new crew of
exceptional volunteers is working on programs from the news to comedy,
travel and health.
A voice you have been hearing daily has been that of Barbara Longo, who has
just completed producing 366 individual episodes of "This Day in Music
We also would like to bid a fond adieu and a thousand-fold thanks to
longtime volunteer Beth Weir. She has retired from her duties on the "Sunday
Funnies" as well as "Kids Time." Listen for her voice in the future, though,
as she's not going very far away.
We also say "so long" to 15-year volunteer Mary Schile, who has voiced Time
magazine as well as Rolling Stone. "Harmonic Convergence" host Bill Barton
will be on hiatus while morning news host Phil Lipe and "Puget Sound News"
host Meredith D'Amore will be leaving in July.
Authors paying us a visit on our "Literary News" program in the last few
Ron Reagan (My Father at 100)
Deborah Rodriguez (A Cup of Friendship)
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches)
Patrick Rothfus (The Wise Man's Fear)
Patricia Briggs (River Marked)
Chiwan Choi (The Flood)
Andre Dubus III (Townie: A Memoir)
Dr. Michael Riera (Staying Connected to Your Teenager)
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Future)
Donovan Hohn (Moby-Duck)
Mary Daheim (An Alpine Vengeance)
Nic Sheff (We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction)
Janny Scott (A Singular Woman: the Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother)
Listen and look for these interviews in the upcoming months.
As always, we're evaluating and adjusting our program schedule, especially
the programs we get from outside sources. Let us know if you have any
thoughts or comments. Drop us an email at radio at sos.wa.gov. We really
appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for listening!
NEW Books Available at WTBBL by Herrick Heitman
Here are some of the audio and braille books we have recently produced.
These descriptions and the downloadable audio books are added to our website
as each book is completed. Digital cartridge copies are available for
Audio: Adult Fiction
The Alpine Recluse [#18, Emma Lord series] by Mary Daheim.
In the quiet Washington State town of Alpine, newspaper editor Emma Lord is
preparing the latest edition, when she learns of an act of arson a block
away. Emma abets Sheriff Milo Dodge in the ensuing investigation and it soon
becomes clear that the inferno has been used to cover up an even more
sinister crime: murder. Can Emma and Milo find the killer before he strikes
again? 2006. Narrated by Andrea Lewis. 9 hours, 24 minutes. Digital Book DBW
8212. Also available as a downloadable digital book from WTBBL.
Audio: Adult Nonfiction
Amber Waves and Undertow: Peril, Hope, Sweat, and Downright Nonchalance in
Dry Wheat Country by Steve Turner.
Telling stories specific to Columbia Plateau farmers and farmland, this
journalist puts the lives and difficulties of individual farmers into
national and global contexts. He interweaves family narratives, historical
episodes, and his own experience as a young harvest hand to illuminate the
transformation of rural America from the 19th to 21st centuries. Narrated by
Mary Schlosser. 2009. 7 hours, 6 minutes. Digital Book DBW 8204. Also
available as a downloadable digital book from WTBBL, and as Braille Book BRW
Braille: Adult Fiction
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie.
Thomas Builds-the-Fire is an unlikely rock band leader: he is a little goofy
looking and is kind and considerate. But he has the guitar of blues great
Robert Johnson, and its music compels others to join the group Coyote
Springs. The band's tale includes some wild stories about others in the
Spokane tribe and is told with wry humor, mysticism, and warmth. Some strong
language and some descriptions of sex. 1995. Five volumes. Braille Book BRW
Braille: Adult Nonfiction
Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden by Bill
Heirloom vegetables are the older varieties of familiar plants that were in
use before World War II. This book tells gardeners in the coastal area from
California to Canada which heirloom vegetables will do best and offers
historical and cultural techniques to enhance their growing experience.
2009. Three volumes. Braille Book BRW 1345.
WTBBL Giving Update by Carleen Jackson
As we near the end of WTBBL's fiscal year, it is a joy to be able to thank
the hundreds of donors who, through their gifts to the annual fund and
calendar and through memorials and bequests, have shown their dedication and
support of WTBBL's mission.
It is also a pleasure to report one way WTBBL has used donor funds to
enhance the services that it provides. The Heritage Center Board of Trustees
approved $26,000 to purchase additional supplies of digital cartridges and
digital book mailing containers. This will allow WTBBL to keep up with
increasing demand for digital books. We heard your feedback that "We don't
want to lose our books!" and through your generous donations, we will be
better ready to meet demand.
Nearly $5,000 of donor funds were tapped for outreach materials. It is
important to keep WTBBL in front of the public. The funds will pay for a
wide variety of materials that will let people know about WTBBL services,
promote the digital talking book machine, the Evergreen Radio Reading
Service, and more. Over the past three years, the supply of these items has
diminished and become out of date. With less state support, there is no
budget for outreach, so this fills an important gap.
While you know that WTBBL's staff is already superb, $1,000 supported staff
training. It gave library staff the opportunity to keep up-to-date on the
latest in customer service, workplace safety and other topics. This
dedicated group has not had a training day since 2008! They appreciated
getting together and learning new things that will make their work at WTBBL
This is just a sample of how WTBBL donors help this great organization stay
great and get even better in serving our patrons. It doesn't seem enough to
just say thanks!
For this year, we are a little behind in our fundraising, so there is still
time to make a gift before June 30. If you have not yet donated, please
consider doing so. Any amount is appreciated and helps us better serve you.
Just send your check to WTBBL, 2021 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121-2783.
To give by credit card, call Carleen Jackson at (360) 902-4126 and we can
accept your gift over the phone.
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