Talking Book Newsletter
Volume 3, no.2
Listen to the audio version of the newsletter with the embedded player below, and read the transcript, which includes additional resources.
Hello and welcome to the May 2021 edition of our Arlington Talking Books Newsletter, called “News to Use.”
Meet the Staff
This month the newsletter is read by Jennifer Odlum.
Arlington Public Library News
Library Services Update
As we look towards summer, Arlington Public Library is preparing to increase in-person services and reopen additional Library branches in the coming months.
- Based on the recently approved Arlington County FY22 Budget, the Library plans to expand open locations after July 1, as hiring and training of new staff allows.
The Library hopes to:
- Open Aurora Hills and the newly renovated Columbia Pike branches during July;
- Open Cherrydale and Glencarlyn branches by Fall 2021, and sooner if possible;
- Expand service models at Central Library, Shirlington and Westover branches;
- Prioritize increased access to library collections, public computers and public space at all locations, with continued consideration for social distancing.
The Plaza branch will remain closed in preparation for a long-planned expansion and renovation.
Stay tuned to the Library website, library.arlingtonva.us for additional updates and specific dates for service changes as summer approaches.
In the next few months, the Library is reorganizing its staffing structure, including the staffing of the Talking Book Service. At some point later this year, Talking Books will transition to being staffed by a different team. We don’t yet know the details but we, Bridgette, Brittany, Jennifer L. and Jennifer O., will continue taking care of your requests and staffing the service for now. When we have more information about the new team, we will share it with you.
Summer Reading News: June 1 until September 1
Summer Reading kicks off on June 1, and once again you are invited to participate. This year’s theme is “Food for Thought,” and prizes include the following:
- For each person that completes the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library (FOAL) will donate $1 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).
- Talking Book patrons who complete Summer Reading will have the choice of either receiving a set of large print measuring cups or be entered into a raffle to win a gift certificate to one of many favorite Arlington restaurants. Gift certificates will be emailed directly to the winners. When you contact us to say you’ve completed the challenge, just let us know your prize preference.
- Read for an extra 30 days, or complete any three bonus challenges, to become a Super Reader and earn an extra prize! The bonus challenges include downloading an eBook/eAudiobook, exploring the library booklists, and/or attending a library book club. Notify Talking Book staff when you have completed the extra challenge.
Participation is easy! All you need to do is use the attached reading log, keep track on your own, or download the Arlington Public Library app and track your reading there. Make a note of every day that you read. Once you have read for 30 days, contact the Talking Book staff to report your completion.
By phone: 703-228-6333 or by email: TalkingBooks@arlingtonva.us
Library Card Perks Part 2 – Audio Described Video
Are you familiar with audio described videos? Arlington Public Library has over 450 DVDs in its collection that have this feature. Audio description is an accessible feature to help people with low vision understand what is happening on the screen. According to the American Council of the Blind’s definition, Audio Description is “commentary and narration which guides the listener through the presentation with concise, objective descriptions of new scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and "sight gags," all slipped in between portions of dialogue or songs.” Audio Description is sometimes available for live theater performances, in movie theaters and, in this case, within your DVD’s settings. To locate Audio Described DVDs in our library collection:
Visit the catalog: libcat.arlingtonva.us/Union/Search
Use the following limits to narrow your results:
- Select Format > DVD
- Select Genre > Video recordings for people with visual disabilities
Please contact us if you have any questions about this or other library features.
Calendar of Events at the Library
Our programs continue to be online, but we are preparing to increase in-person services and open additional Library branches in the coming months. As these service and branch openings happen, they will be announced on the Library’s website.
In the meantime, we are happy to offer programs on a wide range of topics for nearly every interest. Summer is soon upon us which means Summer Reading! With this year’s theme being ‘Food for Thought,’ what better way to kick it off than by joining author Anne Vileisis as she discusses her book, Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get it Back. Or attend an Arlington Reads Signature Author event and settle in for a conversation between author-activist, Joan E. Biren and Library Director, Diane Kresh.
Here are a few upcoming programs that may be of interest:
Lunch with a Librarian: Virtual Book Buzz
Thursday, June 3, from 12:00 pm until 12:30 pm. Online.
Encore Learning Presents: Author Carol Stricker on Protecting America on Diplomacy’s Front Lines
Monday, June 7, from 3:00 pm until 4:30 pm. Online.
Ann Vileisis – Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get it Back
Wednesday, June 9, from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Online.
Dementia Free Arlington
Wednesday, June 16 from 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm. Online.
Joan E. Biren in Conversation with Library Director Diane Kresh
Thursday, June 17, 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Online.
Meatballs and Matzah Balls: Recipes and Reflections from a Jewish and Italian Life
Monday, June 21, 3:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Online.
Remember, everything we offer at the library is free.
National Library Service News
Karen Keninger – NLS Director – Has Retired After Years of Service
(This is an abbreviated version of the article in the NLS Newsletter: https://www.loc.gov/nls/about/news/quarterly-newsletter-news/news-january-march-2021/)
When she was hired as NLS director in 2012, Karen Keninger recalls, “I thought, because I had run a network library and been a patron, that I knew everything.”
Nine years later, she laughs at her naiveté. “[Acting director Ruth Scovill] told me that I had a very steep learning curve ahead of me, and I thought, ‘How could that be?’ But she was absolutely right.”
Now, as she looks toward retirement later this spring, Keninger credits “a tremendous, dedicated staff”—and her own passion for the work—with helping her meet the challenges of the job.
The braille eReader currently in pilot testing was one of those passions. “It was a dream of mine,” Keninger says. “I said nine years ago, if I could make that happen, I could retire happily. I have the privilege of having access to refreshable braille because of my job, but a lot of people can’t afford thousands of dollars for devices. And I knew the only institution with the capacity to solve the problem was NLS.”
Making that a reality was a long process. “We knew, intuitively, that this was what people wanted, but we needed them to say it, so we could base our decisions on data,” Keninger explains.
But that doesn’t mean NLS has neglected audio under her tenure. Contracts with commercial audiobook publishers, opening the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website to books recorded by cooperating libraries, and the Marrakesh Treaty—which facilitates the exchange of books in accessible formats among more than 80 countries—have expanded the NLS audio collection.
Meanwhile, the BARD Mobile app, which makes more than 100,000 audio and ebraille books on BARD available to patrons with smart devices, and Duplication on Demand, which allows network libraries to put multiple audio books on a single digital cartridge, have both streamlined patron access.
Seeing so many of her goals for NLS become reality makes this a satisfying time for retirement. “It’s been a tremendous place to work, and I’m happy—very happy—I took the chance,” Keninger says. But she is confident that others are ready to continue the initiatives she began.
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: DB 100901
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiburo: DB 102764
- The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly: DB 101096
- The Red Book by James Patterson: DB 102768
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: DB 101310
- The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson: DB 102772
- Disloyal by Michael Cohen: DB 102719
- Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X. Kendi: DB 102425
- Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten: DB 101418
- Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty: DB 102147
The Talking Book staff is here for you. We can help you select or download books or connect you with other information you may be looking for.