Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

See Note Newsletter

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See Note Newsletter

Spring 2016

This newsletter is available in Braille, or via email by contacting the library.

Download alternate forms of this newsletter:

Large Print (.pdf) Audio (.mp3) Braille (.brf)

Table of Contents:

Farewell, Cassette Books
Playback Equipment for Alaska Patrons
Commercial Audio Books
Volunteer Spotlight
Digital Talking Book Machines
Book Discussion
Locally Produced Audio Magazines
Reader's Digent Magazine
Locally Produced Audio and Braille Book Facts
Award Winning Books

Farewell, Cassette Books

Due to the decrease in cassette book circulation and the National Library Service’s cassette recall, effective February 1, 2016, the library discontinued sending books out on cassette. If a book you want to read is only available as a cassette, we will request it for you through interlibrary loan. At this time, we are NOT recalling cassette players. If you have a working cassette player, and want to continue to use it, you may keep it. If you no longer use your cassette player, you may return it to the library in the box you received it in. If you need a mailing box to return the player, please contact us and we will send one to you.

If you are a Utah or Alaska patron and have not yet tried the digital book format, please contact us and we can send digital books and a player to you. If you are a Wyoming patron, please contact your Vision Outreach consultant for a digital player. There are two models of the digital player available, a standard player and an advanced player with additional navigation keys. The digital player is light-weight and has great sound quality. The player is speech enabled, and will announce the function of the keys when they are pressed. An entire book is on a single cartridge, and is easy to navigate. The equipment you get from us is on loan, and needs to be returned if you are not using it or if it is not working. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. In the Salt Lake area call 801-715-6789. Utah toll free, 800-662-5540. Outside Utah toll free 800-453-4293. Our email address is blind@utah.gov.

Playback Equipment for Alaska Patrons

Utah recently began distributing playback equipment to Alaska patrons. If you live in Alaska, please contact the library in Utah if you need to exchange your equipment, and we will send a replacement to you. You may use the same box the equipment was sent to you in to mail it to Utah. If you are able to do so, cross out the Alaska State Library address on the mailing card and write in the address for Utah. Otherwise, please contact us and we will send you a mailing card with our address on it. If you need a mailing box to return your machine, please contact Utah and we will send one to you. Mail usually takes five to seven days to travel between Alaska and Utah, so if you need a different machine, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can get a replacement out to you. If your equipment is working there is no need to return it to Utah, please keep it and continue to use it.

Commercial Audio Books

In late 2014 the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the division of the Library of Congress that we get the majority of our books from, began receiving donations of commercial audio book files from several major publishers. This has greatly increased the number of titles available to our patrons. Last year approximately 900 commercially produced titles were added in addition to the nearly 2,000 titles produced by NLS. An important thing to note, the commercially recorded books are not rated by NLS, so may contain to a greater or lesser degree some or all of the following: descriptions of sex, violence, and strong language. Without the NLS rating, there is no way for us to know if objectionable content is present in the commercially produced book. As a result, we are unable to tell you whether the commercially produced audio titles you request contain content that you have excluded with the NLS produced books.

Volunteer Spotlight: Andy White

Andy is a volunteer narrator here at the Utah State Library, and is a valuable asset to our volunteer program. He has been reading our locally produced books for over four years. You can easily recognize Andy by his deep, rich and easy to listen to voice. Andy graduated with a degree from the Utah State University School of Broadcast, and has taught science in elementary and secondary schools in the Salt Lake area for 25 years. He spends most of his time giving voice to natural and cultural literary arts. Andy, we sincerely appreciate you sharing your wonderful voice, and are grateful for the time you dedicate to reading books for our patrons to enjoy.

Digital Talking Book Machines

There are two models of the digital talking book machine available--the standard machine and the advanced machine. The machines are identical in size, shape, and color. The difference is that the advanced machine has an additional five buttons that allow the user to navigate to points within the digital audio book. The standard player was designed for patrons who wish to listen to a digital audio book from start to finish without skipping introductory material, moving quickly to the beginning of chapters, adding bookmarks, and other functions.
The buttons on the advanced digital machine allow you to navigate to additional level of markers, and/or place your own bookmarks in the audio books. If you preferred the cassette books to the digital books due to the ease of navigating to different points in the story, we recommend you use an advanced machine. If you have a standard machine and would like to exchange it for an advanced machine, please contact the library. When your new machine arrives you may send the original back in the box you received it in, or, you can return it in the box the new machine is shipped in. Please contact us if you'd like further information.

Book Discussion

Please join us for our next phone-in book discussion on Tuesday, March 8, at 2:00 p.m. The book we are reading is The Strangler Vine, a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel,written by Miranda Carter. 

The synopsis of the story is: It is colonial India in the year 1837, and William Avery, a young officer with the East India Company, is given the mission to accompany secret agent Jeremiah Blake on a mission to find missing Scottish writer, Xavier Mountstuart, whose latest book has added fuel to the fire of discontent with British colonialism.  Avery and Blake encounter unexpected situations on their quest to find Mountstuart, including being drawn into the mysteries of the menacing Thuggee cult. During their journey, Avery learns first hand the impact and consequences of the exploitive nature of colonialism.

This book brings to life the India of the 1830’s with its urban squalor, the glamorous princely courts and bazaars, and the predatory ambitions of its British overlords. If you enjoy history and reading Sherlock Holmes style mysteries, you don’t want to miss this discussion! To participate in the book discussion, please contact the library to borrow a digital cartridge copy of the book.

Locally Produced Audio Magazines

We have a variety of local and regional interest magazines available on digital cartridge format. The magazines are read by library volunteers and are sent to you from the library. The titles are Alaska Magazine, Salt Lake City Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Utah Valley Magazine, and Wyoming Wildlife. Soon the locally produced magazines will come to you on peach colored cartridges. This will allow us to reserve the green colored cartridges for our locally recorded books. The check out time for locally produced magazines is six to eight weeks. A brief description of the magazines is listed in this article. Please contact us to subscribe to any that you find interesting.

Alaska Magazine-articles focus on the natural beauty of Alaska and the incredible stories of life on the last frontier.

Salt Lake City Magazine-includes articles about living in the capital city, the diversity of lifestyles, community, culture, shopping, and dining.

Sunset Magazine-features travel, food, culture, and lifestyles of the American west.

Utah Valley Magazine-information about lifestyles, art, recreation, and community in Utah Valley.

Wyoming Wildlife-covers topics of nature, conservation, and the natural and sporting history of Wyoming.

Reader's Digest Magazine

The Reader’s Digest magazine will be available on digital cartridge June 1, 2016. In addition to the digital cartridge, the Reader’s Digest is available in large type font. The Reader’s Digest needs to be returned, so in order to receive the newest issue, you must return the previous issue. If you do not currently have a subscription and would like to receive the Reader’s Digest, please contact the library.

Locally Produced Audio and Braille Book Facts

Many of you check out audio and braille books that are locally produced in Utah. Our aim is to produce titles in audio and braille for circulation that are not available in special format from other sources. The titles in the collection are of local and/or regional interest, and include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) subjects, or are written by local, regional or LDS authors. Over the past couple of years, we have been converting the cassette books to digital format. This process is very nearly completed, and we will have just over 3,000 audio book titles available. The Utah digital audio books use the prefix DBU and the Utah braille books use the prefix BRU.  We recently began recording books that are of Alaska interest, and these titles too will use the DBU prefix.

We rely on volunteers to record and edit recordings of the audio books produced for our local collection. Our wonderful volunteers donate an average of 36,000 hours to this endeavor each year. On average, we record 180 audio book titles and duplicate 5,790 copies.

In an average year, our braille team produces 18 books. We also produce braille documents for Utah State agencies such as the Utah State Legislature, the Utah Transit Authority, the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and others. The average total number of pages brailled annually is over 29,400.

The locally produced books, both digital audio and braille circulate for the same amount of time as the National Library Service books, six to eight weeks. If you have any questions or would like a print or braille catalog of the local and/or LDS subject books, please contact the library.

In the Salt Lake area call 801-715-6789. Utah toll free, 800-662-5540. Outside Utah toll free 800-453-4293. Our email is blind@utah.gov

Award Winning Books

We’re always looking for good books to read.  These award winning books have all been declared “good”!

Pulitzer Prize Fiction
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. DB 79182.
A young blind girl copes in World War II Nazi occupied France.

Edgar Award Winner
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruger. DB 78187.
Events during a fateful summer impact a boy on the brink of manhood.

Pulitzer Prize Biography
The Pope and Mussolini by David I. Kertzer. DB 78327.
The story of Pope Pius XI, Mussolini and the rise of fascism in Europe.

Pulitzer Prize History
Encounters at the Heart of the World by Elizabeth A. Fenn.  DB 80813.
History of the Mandan people, a plains people whose thriving civilization was located on the banks of the Missouri River.

Pulitzer Prize Nonfiction
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. DB 82175.
The story of the two brothers who flew the first motor powered airplane.

Nebula Award
Blackout by Connie Willis. DB 71904.
Three 21st century historians travel back in time to experience life in World War II England.

LibraryReads Favorites Award
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. DB 82282.
Story of chef Eva Thorvald and the people who influence her life and her cooking.

Edgar Allan Poe Award
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. DB 79570.
Three heroes try to stop a killer from blowing up thousands.

Governor General’s Literary Award
Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King. DB 75707.
Chronicles Leonardo da Vinci’s creation of the magnificent Last Supper mural in the Sistine Chapel.

By providing information in the See Note, the Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled does not endorse any product, service, organization, or company mentioned herein.

The See Note Newsletter is provided by the Utah State Library Division, a division of the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts.

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