Talking Book Newsletter
Volume 1, no.1
Play the audio version of the News to Use Talking Book Newsletter
Welcome to the first edition of News to Use, the Arlington Public Library Talking Book Newsletter, produced by the Talking Book Staff at Arlington Public Library.
Meet the Staff!
The Accessibility and Collection Team is led by librarian Jennifer Lewis. Jennifer Odlum, who also manages the Books by Mail service for homebound patrons, supports the team. We apologize for the confusion of having two Jennifers on staff - it confuses our colleagues as well!
New to the team are Bridgette Wisdom and Brittany Ham. Bridgette also manages our periodical subscriptions at Central Library while Brittany is in charge of our Interlibrary Loan service. Meanwhile, Daniel Ramos, who has been helping us for over a decade, has just retired. We will greatly miss his experience, energy, patience and good cheer. Many of you will surely miss him as well. Look for staff and volunteer spotlights in future editions of the newsletter.
Blind and Low Vision Resource Group
We're happy to announce the new Blind and Low Vision Resource Group. This is our first recurring program for our Talking Book patrons and for the wider blind and low-vision community. This program will meet approximately one time per month and will feature an invited topic expert. We hope you will be able to attend on a regular basis, both to learn something new and also to connect with fellow patrons. The Talking Book staff plans to attend and we’re looking forward to meeting you in person. Light snacks will be provided.
Our first meeting will take place on Friday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 pm., at Central Library.
The guest speaker will be Alex Castillo from the Department of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Fairfax. Mr. Castillo is a rehabilitation teacher and will be speaking about navigating life with a vision impairment. He will also share information on resources available both at DBVI and throughout this area.
This should be a very interesting and useful presentation and we really hope to see you there! Feel free to invite friends who are interested in learning more about this topic.
2019 Survey Results Are In
Thank you to everyone who completed and returned the survey. We had an approximately 24% return rate. We’d love to increase the participation rate next time. If you have suggestions for how we can encourage a more vigorous response, please let us know.
Results included the following:
- On Service: 42% of respondents were satisfied with your ability to reach staff but there is room for improvement. Fortunately, you feel that we call you back in a reasonable amount of time. Some respondents thought that perhaps we did not have enough staff. Luckily, with Bridgette and Brittany joining the team, we should be well-covered. That being said, you will still likely get a voicemail upon first calling us. Our office was recently reconfigured, and we don’t have a staff member seated at the phone. But we will continue to do our best to return your call promptly.
- On Mail Speed: There is some patron dissatisfaction with the US Postal Service. We feel your pain! It seems that mail service has improved in recent months, but please let us know if you are experiencing problems. We will continue to alert USPS when mail delivery slows, and we’ll also keep the National Library Service informed of any problems.
- On Braille and Audio Reading Download (known more commonly as BARD): Many of you are not aware of BARD and we need to do a better job of informing you. Continue on for more information about BARD later in this newsletter.
- On the Most Popular Genres: Not too surprisingly, the most popular genres, in descending order, are: Mysteries and Detectives, Best Sellers (Fiction), Historical Novels, Classics, Best Sellers (Nonfiction), and Biographies.
- On Future Programs: The program most patrons indicated an interest in are presentations about low-vision products and services. Other programs you were potentially interested in included a Support Group about living with low vision, in-person technology assistance and a book club in that order.
We responded to this feedback and hope that you will be able to attend our new Blind and Low-Vision Resource Group.
Reading Recommendations from Staff & Patrons
We’re excited to tell you what we’re reading, and we’d love to hear what you’d recommend.
I recently read "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah (DB 86608), narrated by Trevor Noah. The popular host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, Trevor Noah tells the story of his South African upbringing.
Under apartheid, interracial relationships were prohibited and with a black South African mother and a white German father, Trevor Noah was quite literally the product of a crime. He tells the story of how he was affected by his circumstances and overcame these challenges to become a highly successful comedian, social commentator and talk show host. His narration is authentic and engaging and his story is a unique and fascinating window into life under apartheid. Be aware that there is some profanity.
Do you have a book you’d like to recommend? Please call or email us with a brief description of the book and why you liked it.
Download the BARD Mobile App and Get Instant Reading Gratification
The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) is a way to access Talking Books immediately online. BARD gives you digital access to the complete and vast Talking Book collection. You can use BARD Express to download books using your computer and a cartridge, or you can use the BARD Mobile app to download books directly to your digital device. Talking Book staff use BARD on our iPhones to read books in the car or while taking a walk.
The BARD Website can be found at nlsbard.loc.gov/FAQ.html
If you need help, you can also call our staff at 703-228-6333. We can try to walk you through the process by phone or email. If that doesn’t help, we’ll be happy to meet you one-on-one at the library.
Stay Informed by Getting a Library Card and the Library eNewsletter
Some of you may not have an Arlington Public Library card. If you don’t read printed material, you might wonder why you would want one. When you sign up for a library card and add your email address to your account, you automatically receive the Arlington Public Library’s monthly eNewsletter, which highlights special programs taking place that month. So, if you don’t have a regular library card, consider getting one! Also remember to check the online Arlington Public Library calendar which can be found at library.arlingtonva.us/calendar
Arlington Public Library offers programs this Fall on a wide range of topics that may be of interest to you including movement classes and Aging Well workshops. Health-related programs include presentations about hearing aids, how to use digital tools to improve your health, and highlights from the latest Alzheimer’s International Research Conference.
Upcoming financial programs include topics on retirement planning and reverse mortgages. The Library offers lots of arts and crafts and maker programs year-round. Knitting and sewing are just a couple of programs in this category.
We also offer day-time movies, garden talks, and a huge number of book clubs. If you miss being around small children, there’s a Seniors and Kids Together Storytime on Tuesday evenings.
Upcoming lectures include speakers such as author Tommy Orange and political commentator Chuck Rosenberg; we also have upcoming lectures on Voting and Elections.
From Microsoft Basics to Introductory coding, technology and computer classes are a mainstay of the library, but did you know that we also offer 30-minute, one-on-one tutorials by appointment?
Remember, everything we offer at the library is free.
Here are a few programs we want to highlight:
- Sharpen Your Networking and Interviewing Skills, presented by AARP, Tuesday, September 17 from 1:30 pm until 3:00 pm at Shirlington Branch Library
- Reverse Mortgages 101, Tuesday, September 24 from 2 pm until 3:30 pm at Central Library
- All About Hearing Aids, Thursday, Sept 26, 11 am until noon at Westover Branch Library
In Our Aging Well Series
- Falls Prevention, Monday Oct 7 from 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm at Central Library
- Pain Management with Dr. Michael Byas-Smith of the Adler Center for Caring, Monday Nov 4 from 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm at Central Library
- Our NEW Blind and Low Vision Resource Group, Friday, October 11 from 2:00 pm until 3:30 pm
We Want to Hear from You
We invite you to be participate in the production of this newsletter.
There are many ways you can contribute.
- Let us know what you think of this newsletter. We welcome constructive comments.
- Submit a reading recommendation for your fellow patrons to read. Please keep your submissions under 100 words.
- Think about contributing an article to one of our upcoming editions. Do you have tips or resources you’d like others to know about? Do you have a topic on low-vision you’d like to write about? We’d love to learn from your experiences.
The Talking Book Staff is hear for you. We can help you select books, download books, register for library programs or connect you with other information you may be looking for.
You can reach us:
- By Telephone at 703-228-6333
- Or By Email at TalkingBooks@arlingtonva.us
And that concludes the September 2019 edition of the News to Use newsletter. We hope you found it enjoyable and useful.