Newsletter of the Nebraska Library Commission
Talking Book and Braille Service
October 2002

Digital Books Online Offered by Bookshare.org

Benetech, the original nonprofit developer of Arkenstone reading systems, has launched Bookshare.org, which features over ten thousand electronic books online. Individuals who qualify for talking book and braille service are eligible to download scanned, copyrighted books through their computers and read them using speech output, large print magnification, or refreshable Braille.

Bookshare.org (www.bookshare.org) is a subscription-based service which charges a $25.00 one-time setup fee and an annual subscription of $50.00. Members can download in either the NISO/DAISY digital book format or grade 2 digital Braille (BRF). A copy of the special Victor Reader software is included with the membership fee.

Volunteers scan books and then upload them to the Bookshare.org Web site. New best-sellers can be made available soon after publication.

Information concerning how to join is available at the Bookshare.org Web site. Bookshare.org can also be contacted by e-mail: info@bookshare.org.

Public Service Announcements Promote Talking Books

Nebraska radio and television stations are now airing public service announcements (PSAs) to spread the word concerning the Nebraska Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service. Provided by the Library of Congress, many of these PSAs were hand-delivered to local stations by Nebraska librarians. These fifteen- and thirty-second PSAs briefly describe the benefits of receiving talking books and provide contact information.

In a related outreach effort, the Talking Book and Braille Service has sent information and application forms to all of Nebraska's optometrists, ophthalmologists, assisted living centers, and home health agencies. Over five hundred packets have been sent out.

Surveys of our borrowers have consistently shown a major avenue for individuals to find out about the Talking Book and Braille Service is through other talking book borrowers.  An encouraging word from you to your friends, neighbors, and relatives can go a long way in persuading someone else with visual or physical impairment to give talking books a try.

Volunteer Profile-Jerry Hall

Jerry is a behind-the-scenes volunteer whose efforts make a big difference in how well our library functions. His primary responsibility is in magazine contents preparation, which means he makes notations in print copies of magazines to make them ready for our volunteer narrators. He also performs data entry for us.

Two years ago, after Jerry retired from a thirty-year career as an engineer with Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, he decided to become a volunteer in order to keep busy and to be helpful to others. He finds satisfaction in helping others accomplish necessary work and in knowing that he has done some good in someone's life.

Jerry is also a volunteer at Dreamcatchers, a therapeutic horse-riding program for individuals with disabilities. Jerry's hobbies are flower gardening and attending horse shows.

His favorite author is Louis L'Amour, and his favorite food is a steak dinner. His favorite movie of all time is An Officer and a Gentleman, and his favorite actors are Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd.

Fall is Great Time for Free Cassette Magazines

Many Nebraskans look forward to autumn, with its sunny days and cool nights, and trees turning yellow, red, and brown. Cooler fall weather may bring back memories of times with family, and of cooking and baking. Taste of Home, a bimonthly magazine produced by Associated Services for the Blind, offers satisfying, easy-to-prepare recipes that come from the readers themselves. Featured are recipes for main dishes, desserts, and snacks-all made using standard utensils and ingredients you are likely to have on hand.

Another magazine for homemakers, Family Circle, also produced by Associated Services for the Blind, offers recipes for family meals, health and beauty tips, and advice for homemakers and home decorating. This magazine is issued 17 times per year.

Redbook, a monthly magazine produced by the Florida Regional Library, offers short stories, advice on child rearing and family relations, home decorating ideas, and fashion and beauty tips.

If fall weather means home or car maintenance, you might like Popular Mechanics, a magazine produced by Associated Services for the Blind. This publication features articles on auto mechanics, woodworking, electronics, and even photography.

To sign up for these free cassette magazines, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor.

Union College Lends a Hand

Twelve students from Lincoln's Union College spent most of a day at the Talking Book and Braille Service. As part of the college's Operation Impact, a day set aside during the first week of classes for community service, these students provided free labor in order to label hundreds of promotional brochures, fill new borrower packets, and clean dozens and dozens of cassette mailing boxes.

Each year, in both Lincoln and Omaha, approximately 70 volunteers provide over 4,000 hours of assistance to the Talking Book and Braille Service. Their invaluable assistance touches all aspects of the service, including the recording of books and magazines, playback equipment repair, new book processing, quality check of cassette magazines, tape duplication, and more. With gratitude, we salute our volunteers!

New Nebraska Cassette Books


RC 912 Linnie's Letters
by Candri Hodges
1 cassette

Phoebe and her young husband choose to settle near a small town on the Nebraska prairie, while her sister Elinore and her parents travel on by wagon train to California. As they exchange letters, Elinore and Phoebe share their experiences on the prairie and Western frontier. Narrated by Sue Monroe.


RC 887 Dunwoody Pond: Reflections on the High Plains Wetlands and the Cultivation of Naturalists
by John Janovy, Jr.
3 cassettes

A celebrated scientist, naturalist and teacher introduces the reader to five of his most gifted students. As they explore a small pond in the Nebraska Sandhills, they demonstrate the curiosity, wonder, and excitement that animate scientific practice. Narrated by Frances Buell.

RC 889 Eggs in the Coffee, Sheep in the Corn: My 17 Years as a Farmwife
by Marjorie Myers Douglas
2 cassettes

This reminiscence tells the story of a city girl from the Twin Cities who, in 1943, moves with her young husband and baby daughter to a western Minnesota stock ranch. For the next seventeen years, the author raises three children, learns to cook bountiful meals for her family and for work crews, and puts up hundreds of jars of canned fruits and vegetables each year from her own garden. Narrated by Lori Davis.

RC 896 A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha
by David L. Bristow
2 cassettes

From its beginnings in 1854 as a speculative scheme, Omaha grew into a booming town by the turn of the century. Along the way, early settlers, bullwhackers, gamblers, politicians, prostitutes, and confidence men left behind great, true stories of the city's colorful and, at times, sordid past. Narrated by David King.

RC 906 Stories, Poems and Thoughts to Ponder
by Margaret J. Dolezal
1 cassette

A Nebraska author, who is a retired teacher, shares stories and poems, some humorous and some on subjects she has long pondered. Includes recollections of her beloved family to serve as their memorial. Narrated by Janene Sheldon.

RC 909 War Memories
compiled by Agency Services, Lincoln Area on Aging
1 cassette

Collection of stories, letters, poems and observations on wars submitted by Life Lines Magazine readers for its "Reveille for Writers!" Writing Contest 2001 in observation of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Contains works ranging in scope from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm. Narrated by Dick Shasteen.

RC 913 Abilene Lawmen: the Smith-Hickok Years, 1870-1871
by Larry D. Underwood
2 cassettes

Two lawmen set out to protect the West's first cow town, Abilene, Kansas, from lawless cowboys that arrived with the Texas cattle herds. The first lawman, Bear River Tom Smith, preferred to use his fists. His successor, Wild Bill Hickok, used his smoking guns. Some violence. Narrated by Bonnie Quinn.

Cassette Books for Football Fans

For many Nebraskans, the best part of fall is football. Here is a selection of football books on cassette, including some about our own Cornhuskers. To request these books, please use the order form below or call your Readers Advisor.

RC 245 More Than Winning
by Tom Osborne and John E. Roberts

Tom Osborne gives an in-depth, personal account of his life-the forces that shaped his values, his own accomplishments in sports, and his experiences as head football coach at Nebraska. Throughout, he maintains that his strength and success come from a deep faith in God.

RC 646 On Solid Ground
by Tom Osborne, editing by Gordon Thiessen 

Former head football coach and now Congressman Tom Osborne tells his personal story-about a season when everything went right on the field but not always smoothly off the field. Coach Osborne's faith and personal philosophy are brought into sharp focus.

RC 684 One Final Pass: The Brook Berringer Story
by Arthur L. Lindsay 

The life of Nebraska Cornhusker quarterback Brook Berringer was cut short in a plane crash on April 18, 1996. The story of his life, from childhood through young adulthood, is one of perseverance and success, both on and off the field.

RC 720 Sports Illustrated Presents the Tom Osborne Era: 25 Years of Nebraska Football, Plus the 1997 National Champion Huskers
by the Staff of Sports Illustrated 

A special commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated celebrates Tom Osborne's years as head football coach, 1973-1998. Includes an overview of the Huskers' 1997 undefeated season.

RC 757 Wistrom & Peter: Heart & Soul
by Keith Zimmer 

Defensive tackle Jason Peter and All-American rush end Grant Wistrom chronicle the development of the 1997 National Championship Cornhusker football team.

RC 37789 The Whole Ten Yards
by Frank Gifford and Harry Waters 

Gifford's long NFL career earned him a place in the Hall of Fame in 1977. His looks earned him modeling and acting jobs. And a combination of the two contributed to a long, successful career as a sports broadcaster. He discusses these facets and his personal life. Gifford, the husband of the much-younger television host Kathie Lee, has grown children as well as two younger offspring. Some strong language.

RC 49690 Rockne of Notre Dame: The Making of a Football Legend
by Ray Robinson 

Robinson briefly touches on Knute Rockne's childhood and playing years, then focuses on the Norwegian-born football coach's career at Notre Dame from 1918-1930. Describes Rockne as a "complicated (and) enormously ambitious man," who was a master of player motivation.

RC 51949 Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton
by Walter Payton with Don Yaeger 

Record-breaking NFL football player Walter "Sweetness" Payton, who died of liver cancer in 1999, discusses growing up in Mississippi, attending college, and staying positive through cancer treatment. Supplemented with anecdotes from his friends, family, and colleagues recalling his work ethic, humor, and generosity.

RC 51972 Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football
by John M. Carroll 

Highlights the career and influence of football's first superstar, Red Grange (1903-1991), beginning with the famous 1924 Illinois-Michigan collegiate game. Grange, the first player to have an agent when he signed with George Halas's Chicago Bears, continued to promote the sport as a broadcaster and coach after his playing days.

RC 52322 Parcells: A Biography
by Bill Gutman 

Biography of the professional football coach who went to three Super Bowls and won two before retiring in 1999. Traces Bill Parcells's career with the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the New England Patriots-along with the faults and attributes of the "guy from Jersey."

Just for Fun...

Here is a fun question posed to Talking Book and Braille Service staff: What sound do you associate with autumn?

My autumn sound is the crunchy, crackling sound that comes from walking through dry leaves.-Kathy

The sound of harvested corn running through the auger and the grain bin dryers blowing.-Sarah

The distant sound of geese honking as they fly high overhead.-Cherie

The crackling sound of dry leaves underfoot when I walk down a trail or path on a sunny day.-Dave

The swish of a pile of leaves that's being waded through.-Annette

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 magazines and 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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