Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
February 2001

Nominees Sought For Library Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee of the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service is seeking to fill two vacancies. The purpose of the committee is to represent the needs of Talking Book and Braille borrowers and to make recommendations concerning library policies, services, and programs. Membership consists primarily of library users but may include librarians, educators, health care providers, and other individuals who understand the needs of individuals with disabilities. Normally the committee meets twice a year.

Interested persons should contact the Talking Book and Braille Service to request nomination forms, which should be submitted by March 15.

Two-Track, Four-Track. What's the Difference?

Every so often a borrower or family member lets us know that a cassette book is incomplete. Either the book seems to start in the middle or else is missing its ending. Upon inspecting the book, library staff often finds that the book is complete.

What might be confusing is exactly how four-track tapes should be played on the Library of Congress C-1 cassette players. Commercial audiotapes are two-track, which means that two separate sound tracks are recorded on the surface of the tape. Talking books from our library are different, however, in that they follow the Library of Congress format of four tracks on each cassette. Typically, four separate sound tracks are recorded on the surface of each tape; two sound tracks per side.

Another distinction of talking books is that they are recorded at 15/16 inches per second, which is one-half the standard commercial speed. By using four tracks and this special play speed, each talking book cassette can hold four times the amount of recording as a commercial tape.

To begin playing each cassette of a talking book or magazine, remember that the top rocker switch on the face of the cassette player should be on the left, indicating 15/16

Next, slide the selector switch (or second rocker switch) to the left or into the 1-2 position. After you have finished listening to side two, you would need to turn the cassette over to side one once again, but this time press the second rocker switch to the right, or the 3-4 position, in order to hear side three. With the rocker switch now pressed to the right, side two becomes side four.

When you are ready for the next cassette, remember to press the second rocker switch back to the 1-2 position.

Side change instructions are recorded at the end of each side of a cassette tape. In addition, you might want to use the instruction tape that came with your Library of Congress cassette player to review basic operating instructions. You are always welcome to call your Readers Advisor for personal help.

KFOR 2001 Almanac Offered on Cassette

Talking Book and Braille Service is now recording KFOR Radio's 2001 Almanac. This publication provides weather information, meteorological facts, and lawn and garden tips, fishing and planting tables, and more.

Written especially for Southeast Nebraska, the publication on cassette is free for the asking.

To reserve your copy, please use the order form.

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 845 The A.B.C. Murders
Agatha Christie
3 cassettes

Letters of warning were signed "A.B.C." and it appeared detective Hercule Poirot's homicidal pen pal was well on his way to completing the alphabet with twenty-six murders. Narrated by Alan Haines for the National Library Service.

RC 849 The Biggest Victory
by Alfred Slote
1 cassette

A boy knows the only thing he likes about baseball is finishing a game so he can go fishing, but his father says everyone in his family is a baseball player. For grades 4-7. Narrated by Randy Atcher for the National Library Service.


RC 801 The Purple Pumpkin
by Garnett Bond
1 cassette

This children's book asks, "Who says a pumpkin's always orange? Or maybe even yellow?" A purple pumpkin reminds young readers that life itself is filled with miracles. Narrated by Garnett Tremain Bond. Music performed by Janene Sheldon and John Lacey.

RC 844 Ah-one,ah-two! Life with My Musical Family
by Lawrence Welk
3 cassettes, two track

Stories about the author's triumphant return to television and his happy relationship with his "Musical Family." Maestro Welk also tells about the challenge of a personal tour, the time he flirted with a "hippie" image, and what America and God mean to him. Narrated by Bernice McGeehan for the National Library Service.

RC 848 The Greatest Miracle in the World
by Og Mandino
1 cassette

An inspirational account of the author's encounter with an old ragpicker who wears a crucifix around his neck. Mandino sees him several times, but then the ragpicker disappears, leaving instructions on how to be successful. Narrated by John Stratton for the National Library Service.

Volunteer Profile-Mark Janda

Borrowers who receive Nebraska magazines on cassette have certainly heard Mark Janda's voice. A volunteer narrator since 1997, Mark has recorded Choice, Country, Diabetes Forecast, Midwest Living, Nebraska Farmer, Nebraskaland, and Nebraska Sports America.

He also has the distinction of narrating The Backup Girl (RC 723), a Western written by his father, Dale Janda. Mark has also recorded Wild Towns of Nebraska (RC 740), by Wayne C. Lee, and One Final Pass; The Brook Berringer Story (RC 684), by Arthur L. Lindsay with Jan Berringer.

A Postal Service employee, Mark is Supervisor of Business Mail Entry.

Mark's favorite book of all time is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. It led almost directly to his degree in philosophy.

An avid sports fan, Mark once produced his own public access TV program, "From the Cheap Seats." He holds season tickets to Minnesota Vikings football, and collects miniature automobile models and Snoopy memorabilia. Mark's favorite web site is www.sportstalk.com. He and his wife are proud to say they own two cats.

Volunteer Profile-Paul Killion

Paul Killion is a "behind the scenes" volunteer who makes a big difference in the tape duplication area of the Talking Book and Braille Service. A volunteer since September 1999, Paul performs a quality check on thousands of cassette magazines before they are mailed to borrowers.

Not one who wants to lie in bed and be bored, Paul finds his volunteer duties give him something to look forward to. He finds satisfaction in helping other people out and in using his talents to help borrowers receive quality recordings of magazines.

Two of Paul's favorite books are Ah-one, ah-two! Life With My Musical Family (RC 844) and You're Never Too Young (not on cassette), both written by the famous bandleader, Lawrence Welk. His favorite movies are Miracle on 34th Street (DVS 22541), There's Something About Mary (DVS 70615), and Sister Act (DVS 24330). His favorite food is macaroni and cheese with hot dogs..

Paul's favorite websites are www.ebay.com and www.timelife.com.

Each summer Paul spends a week at the Broken Arrow Ranch in Kansas.

Oprah's Book Club Selections

Television host Oprah Winfrey selects books because of excellent writing and outstanding character development. The books are meant to be thought provoking and to promote personal growth. Which ones would you like to read? They are arranged in alphabetical order. Please mark the order form.

RC 49314 Back Roads, by Tawni O'Dell
A son, 19, holds dysfunctional family together. Explicit descriptions of sex, violence, and strong language.

RC 45715 Black and Blue, by Anna Quidlen
Wife runs with her son from an abusive husband. Violence and strong language.

RC 49914 The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
An eleven-year-old child, who is Black Afro-American, prays for blue eyes. Some sex and strong language.

RC 29464 The Book of Ruth, by Jane Hamilton
Ruth, her husband, and mother live together tragically. Some sex and strong language.

RC 46001 Breath, Eyes, Memory, by E. Danticat
Girl's journey from Haiti to New York and back. Some violence.

RC 48869 Daughter of Fortune, by Isabelle Allende
Chilean girl follows lover to California gold rush.

RC 42874 The Deep End of the Ocean, by Jacqueline Mitchard
Effect of son's disappearance and return on his family. some sex and strong language.

RC 50849 Drowning Ruth, by Christina Schwartz
In March 1919, nurse Amanda Strakey returns to her family home to seek refuge, but finds herself raising her younger sister's child. Some sex and strong language.

RC 44846 Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons
Child escapes abusive family.

RC 49253 Gap Creek, by Robert Morgan
Appalachian catastrophes test newlywed couple. Some sex.

RC 17325 The Heart of a Woman, by Maya Angelou
Fourth volume of the author's autobiography. Strong language.

RC 45717 Here on Earth, by Alice Hoffman
After 19 happily married years, March realizes she still loves her childhood sweetheart. Strong language and descriptions of sex.

RC 50033 (coming soon) House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus II
A recovering addict is evicted from the bungalow she inherited from her father.

RC 46124 I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
Sane twin searches for his identity while caring for his brother, who is mentally ill. Some sex, violence, and strong language.

RC 34438 Jewel, by Brett Lott
Baby with Down syndrome changes mother and family. Explicit descriptions of sex.

RC 36694 A Lesson Before Dying, by Earnest Gaines
Teacher bonds with a convict on death row. Some sex and strong language.

RC 39001 A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton
Accdent leads to trial and a family's downfall. Some sex, violence, and strong language.

RC 47250 Midwives, by Christopher A. Bhojalian
Doctor versus midwife facing murder charge. Some strong language.

RC 48529 Mother of Pearl, by Melinda Haynes
Outcast residents in the 1950s from a family that crosses racial lines. Sex and strong language.

RC 50525 Open House, by Elizabeth Berg
Woman recreates her life after divorce. Some sex and strong language.

RC 46272 Paradise, by Toni Morrison
Nine men assault a convent and its women. some sex, violence, and strong language.

RC 47832 The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve
Wife seeks truth about dead husband.

RC 46882 The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (
Georgia minister moves family to 1959 Belgian Congo.

RC 44391 The Rapture of Canaan, by Sheri Reynolds
Pregnant teen experiences a miracle. Some strong language.

RC 46772 The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
Reading to an older woman creates a loving bond. Some sex.

RC 48816 River, Cross My Heart, by Breena Clarke
Daughter's death changes an Afro-Amercan family.

RC 36063 She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
Woman's painful journey of self discovery. Some sex, violence, and strong language.

RC 38330 Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
Four generations of Afto-American life. Some sex and strong language.

RC 44955 Songs in Ordinary Time, by Mary McGarry Morris
Family is hurt by divorced mother's new love. Strong language and violence.

RC 38888 Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi
A dwarf learns that being different is a secret shared by many in Nazi Germany. Some violence.

RC 47670 Tara Road, by Maeve Binchy
Women trade places in Dublin and New England.

RC 49824 Vinegar Hill, by A. Manette Ansay
Dark secret sets model woman free. Some violence.

RC 44845 A Virtuous Woman, by Kaye Gibbons
Alternating chapters tell the story of a marriage. Some strong language.

RC 46770 What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage
Successful woman who is HIV positive returns to her hometown. Some sex and strong language.

RC 47380 Where the Heart Is, by Billie Letts
Town befriends pregnant teen living in a Walmart Store. Some violence and strong language.

RC 47671 While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller
The past returns to haunt a good wife. Strong language.

RC 48432 White Oleander, by Janet Fitch
Astrids overcomes years spent in foster homes. Some sex and strong language.

Order Form and Ordering Instructions

You may place your order by mailing or e-mailing it to the Talking Book and Braille Service, or by calling your Readers Advisor.

For mailing, please mark the books you wish to order and enclose this page in an envelope. Instead of using a stamp, you may put "Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped" on the corner of your envelope. Send your request to the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023. Be sure to include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

For e-mailing, send your order information to the Talking Book and Braille Service. Please include your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

You may reach a Readers Advisor toll free by calling 1-800-742-7691. Be prepared to give your name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.

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