[nfbwatlk] FW: [wtbbl] Summer 2011 Reading Matters newsletter from WTBBL

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 3 14:22:07 UTC 2011


Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Administered by the Washington State Library

and Office of the Secretary of State


Reading Matters

Summer 2011

David Junius, Editor



A Message from Danielle Miller, Program Manager 


            I recall hearing on the radio a few weeks ago that the Seattle
area had only experienced a cumulative 75 minutes of real summer.  Things
have improved a bit and the end of summer looks promising.  For staff at
WTBBL, summer has been a time to breathe and refocus.  Until recently, we
have spent at least 75 percent of our time going through some sort of
transition or change.  But for now things are calm.


          As we look toward the fall, I am excited for the Washington
Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind of Washington
annual conventions, visiting chapter meetings, and working to increase our
outreach efforts so that all those who qualify for WTBBL service do get
books from us.


          We did weather the budget session fairly well, but as you may have
heard, the Governor is preparing agencies to cut as much as 10 percent
beginning in January.  Nothing is final, but I am constantly looking for
ways to save money without losing staff or programs.  


As part of that effort, this year will be the last year we produce a large
print calendar, the calendar for 2012.  We will be switching to a more
traditional and informative annual report format that I believe will serve
us better in outreach and with members of the community, as well as being
more cost effective.  This was a difficult decision, but many organizations
in the area either give away or sell large print calendars.  We will be sure
to have a list of places to get a calendar for 2013 available to you.


          I wish you a fun and happy rest of your summer and remind you to
include reading in your days if you can.  There are over 25,000 digital
books available for download and the number grows quickly.  If you would
like information or instruction about downloading books, please call the


Finally, I would like to give a big congratulations to our 44 summer reading
kids for participating in the "One World, Many Stories" program.  


As always, contact me at 206-615-1588 or
<mailto:danielle.miller at sos.wa.gov> danielle.miller at sos.wa.gov.



Computers and People Lead to Books by Theresa Connolly


Although many of the staff and volunteers have fit in vacations this summer,
we are still happily recording, reviewing and producing new audio books. It
looks like most of the quirks in the new recording software detailed in
previous issues of Reading Matters have been worked out. That means our days
are going pretty smoothly. 


Our volunteers have shown incredible devotion and tenacity, and many thanks
for weathering the changes.  Learning curves can be steep and computers seem
to be especially good at encouraging frustration.  Thank you for sticking
with us and lending your intelligence to our cause.  Because of you, we are
able to offer new audio books every month. 


Speaking of audio books, here are five by Washington authors that we have
recently released:  


A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly

Seattle-based author, food blog writer, cook, and restaurant owner recounts
her life here and abroad and offers many delicious recipes. The kitchen and
cooking are central parts of her life. Her enthusiasm for that is fun and
inspiring. 2009. Digital Book DBW08209  


Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's
Greatest Flood by Jon Soennichsen.

At the end of the Ice Ages, repeated floods from Lake Missoula in Montana
tore through Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington and down the Columbia
Gorge to the Pacific. The floods took much of the topsoil and left behind
the channeled scablands and Grand Coulee. J. Harlen Bretz was the first
geologist to realize what had happened. 2008. Digital Book DBW08138    


I Want to be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth by Brenda Peterson. 

In Peterson's unusual memoir, fundamentalism meets deep ecology. The
author's forest ranger father leads her to embrace the entire natural world,
while her Southern Baptist fundamentalist relatives prepare to leave this
world. 2010. Digital Book DBW08195  


Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs.

When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful
book she borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked
and closed down. It seems the book contains secret knowledge, and the book's
lender will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. Some
descriptions of sex and violence. 2010. Digital Book DBW08206


All Roads Lead Me Back to You by Kennedy Foster.

When a saddled but riderless horse turns up on Alice Standfast's ranch
during a Washington blizzard, Alice knows the lost rider's chances for
survival are slim. She sets out to find the mare's owner...dead or alive.
2009. Digital Book DBW08320  



Braille Department News by Ed Godfrey


A new Wednesday evening braille transcription class at WTBBL will begin in
October 2011 and end in June 2012. Our goal is to train and recruit new
volunteer transcribers to join our current group of 40 who work off-site to
create our locally produced braille books.  For more information on the
class, visit  <http://www.wtbbl.org> www.wtbbl.org.


Four titles by John C. Hughes from the Washington State Heritage Center's
Legacy Project are now in process for braille production:


Booth Who?: A Biography of Governor Booth Gardner

Lillian Walker, Washington State Civil Rights Pioneer

The Inimitable Adele Ferguson: Bremerton's Legendary Columnist

Nancy Evans: First-rate First Lady


Many other books are in process, including a collection of fiction and
nonfiction GLBTQ (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Questioning) titles made
possible by a grant from Queer and Blind and The Pride Foundation; The War:
An Intimate History 1941-1945  by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns; and The
Holocaust Chronicle by various authors.


Suggestions for the collection are always welcome! Braille books produced at
WTBBL are available for download as braille files at
<http://www.wtbbl.org/braille-files.aspx> www.wtbbl.org/braille-files.aspx.




Author Profile: David Sedaris by David Junius


David Sedaris may be to the past decade what Robert Benchley was to the '30s
and Woody Allen was to the '70s: a writer with a gift for lampooning the
absurdity of daily life in a self-deprecating way that makes him an everyman
or underdog. But Sedaris also focuses on the hypocrisy and cruelty of the
human condition, at times taking on personas that are very funny but
horrific in their self-absorption and callousness.  


Coming up through the ranks of spoken-word performance to his wide-spectrum
launch in 1992 on National Public Radio with his reading of "SantaLand
Diaries," in which he recounts a holiday season as a Macy's elf, Sedaris has
also been an Obie-winning playwright (One Woman Shoe, co-written with sister
Amy), radio contributor (most notably on Chicago Public Radio's This
American Life), and writer for periodicals like The New Yorker, Esquire, and
the New York Times. His following grows with the release of each new book,
and his speaking appearances are major events for his acolytes.  


His stories and essays have evolved to match his life experiences, including
becoming a famous author and expat, keeping the same whimsical sensibility
and often dark humor. Sedaris' subjects range from odd jobs he's had to road
trips he's taken; from growing up with his mismatched family in North
Carolina to relocating to France with his boyfriend Hugh; and from
fantastical celebrity tell-alls to backhanded cultural critiques.  


The work sometimes involves sex, drugs and violence, but Sedaris' seeming
ironic detachment makes it (almost) all right.  There is a commonality of
classlessness among his characters, where the elite are to be ridiculed for
their actions and attitudes, right along with the trashier elements with
which Sedaris often relates. 


Sedaris has won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for Me Talk Pretty One
Day, and was named "Humorist of the Year" by Time magazine for 2000. He has
received three Grammy nominations for his audio works, and has been
nominated for an Audie, the highest audio book honor.


Sedaris' importance can be seen in the NLS making all of his works available
in its collection:


r=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Barrel Fever: Stories And Essays
(1994) Cassette Book RC040676


er=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Naked (1997) Cassette Book
RC044134; Large Print LP013990


mber=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Holidays on Ice (1997) Digital
Book DB068134; Braille Book BR015182


er=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000)
Cassette Book RC050514; Large Print LP018093


&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Dress Your Family in Corduroy and
Denim (2004) Digital Book DB058825; Large Print LP020781


umber=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> When You Are Engulfed in
Flames  (2008) Digital Book DB067035


=1&StopNUmber=17&SessionFile=0000827482> Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest
Bestiary (2010) Digital Book DB071939



Volunteer Spotlight: Mark and Mary Forster


Mark and Mary Forster began volunteering at WTBBL in early 2009. This was
their place of choice to volunteer after retiring because Mary's mother is
legally blind and has been a devoted user of talking books and the Evergreen
Radio Reading Service at WTBBL.


Mark worked in electronic repair and maintenance for a number of years, so
he was a natural to work in the shipping department repairing talking book
machines with other like-minded techies and tinkerers. 


During Mary's volunteer interview and tour, she was introduced to the staff
of the Braille Department. Things clicked and she started working as a
sighted proofreader for books that were being transcribed into braille by
the department's volunteers. 


As she became experienced in proofreading, she became more interested in
braille, and in January 2010 began the braille transcription course offered
by WTBBL. Having graduated the class, Mary is now transcribing books into
braille and continues to work with her proofreading teammates. 


Mark and Mary both hail from Ohio, but met in Seattle in 1970 when Mary
arrived at the University of Washington for a post-doctoral fellowship in
the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. After being stationed at Whidbey
Island Naval Air Station, and living in Denver and Albuquerque briefly, Mark
worked at Boeing on flight simulators, and then worked in electronics repair
and maintenance at the UW and several small companies. 


Mary attended graduate school at the University of Illinois and obtained her
Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology and Biochemistry. She has taught at Wheaton
College in Norton, Massachusetts, and Pacific Lutheran University in
Parkland, Washington. Before retiring, Mary worked for 25 years as the
Director of Swedish Medical Center's In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory. 


Mark and Mary have lived in West Seattle for 38 years and have two daughters
who both still live in Seattle. Mark and Mary are avid vegetable gardeners
and grow most of their vegetables for the year. They are renowned for their
blueberries and red raspberries. When not busy in the yard or babysitting
their two-year-old grandson, Mark's interests include genealogy and
crossword puzzles, and Mary enjoys reading and crafts-including cross
stitching, knitting and crocheting.


Thanks to the Fabulous Forsters for the more than 1,250 hours they have
given to WTBBL! 



Remembering and Thanking Our Friends 

by Carleen Jackson


Many of you are aware of a wonderful tradition at WTBBL, the Ten-Squared
Talking Book Club.  Ten-Squared recognizes our active library patrons who
are 100 years old or older.  Each May, a lovely tea is held at WTBBL to
honor these amazing people and to initiate new members to the club. It is an
inspiring event that we look forward to every year.  Our centenarians tell
wonderful stories of their lives and their passion for books, and how much
being able to keep reading at their age lightens their days.


In the last 18 months the Ten-Squared Club lost four wonderful members who
would regularly attend our event: Maud Lepley, 107; Faith Callahan, 106;
Grace Stanchfield, 105; and Evelyn Valentine, 103. Each of these women lived
active and fascinating lives and WTBBL was an important part of their lives
in their later years.  


Maud Lepley was a teacher, a girls' basketball coach, and became the oldest
tutor in the Seattle Public Schools.  At 98 she made her first trip to
Europe, followed by more traveling until she was 103.  Wherever Maud went
and whomever she met, she impressed everyone with her positive energy and
youthful joy of life.  And she loved her audio books.  She said they helped
keep her mind active and provided her with much pleasure.


Faith Callahan was asked at the Ten-Squared tea a couple of years ago what
her favorite books were.  She cited two that she read as a young woman, The
Shepherd of the Hills and How to Live Life on 24 Hours a Day. Those books
had stayed with her all of her life. A writer herself, civically active and
a book discussion club member, she was a great consumer of books from WTBBL.


Grace Stanchfield also had an active and full life living over a century of
history.  She drove an ambulance during World War II, and worked at Boeing
and the Seattle Mayor's office.  She raised her two sons as a single mom and
was an avid listener to liberal talk radio. She loved getting audio books
from WTBBL.


Evelyn Valentine lived most of her life in Ketchikan, Alaska.  She was
involved in many organizations even after moving to Seattle in her 90s.  She
was a voracious reader and WTBBL provided her with books for her digital
player.  Her daughter reported that when Evelyn passed away she had finished
all 57 of the books downloaded for her only a couple of months before. 


In recent months these Ten-Squared friends also passed away:

Gladys Anderson, 100; Bernard Chichester, 106; Herbert Faubion, 100;

Marianne Jones, 108; Margaret Kime, 100; Helen Minton, 100; Carol Nagle,
101; Elizabeth Platt, 102; and John Turbitt, 102. 


Your gifts to WTBBL made it possible for our centenarians, and many others,
to stay involved, active and entertained to the end of their very long
lives. Thanks for remembering WTBBL with your contributions that help bring
joy to so many lives. 



Meet Our Staff: Herrick Heitman


Herrick is the Adult Services Librarian at WTBBL. He answers reference
questions, backs up Readers Advisory, and catalogs large print, braille, and
talking books. 


Herrick grew up near Sandpoint, Idaho, went to Whitman College in Walla
Walla, and got his library degree at the University of Washington. He has
worked for the Washington State Library for over 28 years, which has taught
him that life is one big learning curve and that adaptability is a virtue.
His first job was at the Washington State Penitentiary Branch Library. It
was the most educational job he ever had, and also the most taxing. He took
a three-and-a-half-year break after that job and rejoined the State Library
in 1984. 


While working in institutional libraries, he served staff, clients,
residents, members and patrons at Rainier School and Fircrest (for people
with developmental disabilities), the Soldiers Home, the Veterans Home, and
the Public Health Lab, along with a side trip to the State Library's
Washington/Northwest Room in 1989-1990. In 1997 he started working at the
main branch of the State Library full time. 


At the State Library he worked with the online catalog and circulation
system, databases for state employees, general reference work, and the
Federal Documents collection. Herrick came to WTBBL in 2010, and finds its
patrons are the most appreciative and supportive library users he has ever


When not at work, Herrick enjoys reading, listening to music and hanging out
with his many collies. Every year he reminds himself that to be a Seattle
sports fan is to be philosophical, usually of the stoic school of thought.

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