Dick Wolfsie learns about Indiana Voices at the Indiana State Library

Recently, Emmy Award-winner Dick Wolfsie of WISH-TV stopped by the Indiana State Library to learn more about the Indiana Voices program. He met with Indiana Voices studio director, Linden Coffman, to get a basic understanding of what Indiana Voices is and how the program works. While he was here, he also met two recording studio volunteers, Nelson Goud and Stuart Remali, to see what it is like to be a volunteer in the recording studio for Indiana Voices. Watch the videos and check out some pictures from his visit below.

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library provides library service to Indiana residents who cannot use standard printed materials due to a visual or physical disability. Indiana Voices is a program within the Talking Book Library that focuses on recording books by Indiana authors or with another Indiana connection that otherwise would not be available in an accessible format.

Watch WISH-TV’s news segment videos here.

For eligibility requirements and applications for the Talking Book program, please visit the Talking Book and Braille website, email us or call us at 1-800-622-4970.

This blog post was written by Maggie Ansty of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. 

 

New public awareness coordinator for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library

In May, the Indiana State Library Foundation hired Elizabeth Pearl to be the new public awareness coordinator for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. As the public awareness coordinator, Elizabeth provides statewide outreach services to libraries, support groups, nursing homes and any other organization interested in utilizing and promoting talking books.

Pearl works with patrons at the Hendricks County Senior Center in June of 2017.

Elizabeth wants to spread awareness of the talking book program by talking directly to librarians, service providers and potential users. She is happy to travel throughout the state to attend events at your library or provide training to your library staff, to attend local health fairs and other community events or visit other organizations or groups interested in using or promoting the talking book program.

If you would like Elizabeth to visit your library or attend your event, you can contact her via email or call her at 1-847-770-0933.

This blog post was written by Maggie Ansty of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. For more information, contact the Talking Books and Braille Library at 1-800-622-4970 or via email.

Never judge a book by its cover

But in honor of Valentine’s Day, at least let them entertain you.

Here is just a sampling of cover art that keeps the Talking Book staff entertained on a daily basis. There are hundreds more where these came from, all of which are available to borrow from the Indiana State Library!

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This blog post was written by Talking Books & Braille Supervisor Maggie Ansty. For more information about large print and talking books, please visit the TBBL website.

 

New Grant Opportunity from the Indiana State Library Foundation

The Indiana State Library Foundation in collaboration with the Indiana State Library’s Talking Book & Braille Library is seeking applicants for a new grant supporting talking book patrons with the purchase of assistive technology devices. The grants will provide monetary reimbursements in amounts ranging from $50 to $1,000 towards the purchase of an assistive technology device of the grant recipient’s choosing. These devices remove many barriers to education and employment for visually impaired individuals and may include: video magnifiers, optical character recognition systems, speech systems, etc.Assistive_Tech_Picture_web Continue reading

Talking Books Patrons and their Families Say “Thank You!”

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library is a busy place to work. Each week we get hundreds of phone calls from patrons eagerly awaiting their next book while thousands of items move through the basement of the library on their way to or coming back from patrons. However, talking books is also an extremely rewarding place to work. Amongpatron comments image those hundreds of patron phone calls each week come many thanks for the service we provide; hidden in the occasional returned book is a note telling us just how much people love their talking books. Here is a collection of notes from patrons and their families telling us how much they appreciate what we do. Continue reading

Teacher of the Year Kathy Nimmer Keynote Speaker at 2015 Indiana Vision Expo

We are eagerly anticipating the presentation of Kathy Nimmer, the 2015 Indiana Vision Expo keynote speaker. Kathy is the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year and a National Teacher of the Year finalist.  In second grade, Kathy was diagnosed with a rare eye disease that caused her vision to slowly deteriorate over time. In spite of this, she wentNimmer_2015 INTOY_Tippecanoe School Corporation on to earn her BA, followed by a Masters degree in English from Purdue University in 1992. Shortly thereafter she embarked on her career as an English teacher. Kathy currently teaches at Harrision High School in West Lafayette.  She has published a book of poetry, Minutes in the Dark, Eternity in the Light, and an anthology featuring stories and poems by and about people with disabilities and their working dogs, entitled Two Plus Four Equals One. In 2014 Kathy received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian honor in Indiana.

For more information on the 2015 Indiana Vision Expo, go to http://indianavisionexpo.library.in.gov/.

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This blog post was written by Laura Williams, Talking Book & Braille Library Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3684 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

 

 

Basement of Braille

The basement of the Indiana State Library is home to a very impressive collection of Braille books, which are loaned to patrons throughout the state of Indiana as part of the Talking Books program.
Basement Pic_webThe Indiana State Library has a long history of providing reading materials to the blind population of Indiana. Starting in 1905, the State Library began mailing embossed books to blind residents throughout the state. At the time, the library’s collection consisted of 300 volumes, 200 of which had been donated by blind people eager to establish a library for themselves in Indiana. At the time, the circulation staff of the library sent these embossed books to patrons just one day a month. Continue reading

10 Years of the Indiana Vision Expo

2015 marks the 10th year of the Indiana Vision Expo, sponsored by the Indiana State Library Foundation and organized by the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. Founded in 2006 by former Talking Book librarian Carole Rose, Vision Expo was designed to connect interested consumers with the resources available to support and promote independent living for individuals experiencing vision loss. The Expo has expanded from 15 vendors in its first year to over 30 in 2014. These vendors exhibit and sell a variety of products from screen-reading software and magnifiers to games and kitchen gadgets. Also participating are advocacy groups including the American Council for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Blinded Veterans Association. Civic organizations including the Indianapolis Public Library and the Marion County Election Board provide information about services they offer to the blind and visually impaired community. Locally based Bosma Enterprises, which provides employment training and rehabilitation for the blind and visually impaired, has always had a strong presence at the Expo.

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Continue reading

Fun Facts About Talking Books and Braille

What is the history of Talking Books and Braille? We have compiled a short list of facts that may interest you regarding that very question.

  • The concept of a national library for the blind was developed in 1897 by John Russell Young, the seventh Librarian of Congress, when he established a reading room for the blind.
  • The Indiana State Library first started mailing embossed books to patrons in 1905. The collection was made up of approximately 200 books donated to the library by patrons.
  • The Pratt-Smoot Act, which established a national library service for the blind, became law on March 3, 1931.
  • The first Braille book produced for the new service was for Woodrow Wilson’s “George Washington”, which was in high demand at the time due to the bicentennial of Washington’s birth.
  • A uniform system of Braille was established in 1933. Before that competing forms of embossed print included Braille, Moon Type, and New York Point.
  • The first “talking book” was developed in 1934. It was described as “the recording on a disc of the voice of a good reader, and its reproduction at will through the instrumentality of a reproducing machine or phonograph.”
  • The Indiana State Library became an official NLS Regional Library for the Blind in 1934.
  • The first talking books produced included: the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution of the United States; Washington’s Farewell Address; Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address; Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”, “The Merchant of Venice”, and “Hamlet” ; Kipling’s “The Brushwood Boy” ; and Wodehouse’s “Very Good Jeeves”.
  • Patrons originally had to purchase their own talking book players which cost between thirty-five and sixty dollars.

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This blog post was written by Margaret Ansty, Talking Book & Braille Library Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3684 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Locally Recorded Books Now Available to Download from BARD

Good news for patrons of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. Locally recorded books from the Indiana Voices program are now available to download from BARD, the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download website. While we have been eagerly anticipating the day when we could start adding our locally recorded books to BARD for several years now, we first had to go through a pilot process so that we could fulfill all of the required criteria.

We were invited to participate in the BARD pilot program in November and completed it in January.  Early in February we uploaded “Brewster’s Millions” by Indiana author George Barr McCutcheon, to BARD. In its first month on BARD it was downloaded over 200 times by people all over the country!

Over the next few months we will be working on making the necessary formatting changes to more books in the Indiana Voices collection so they too can be added and freely enjoyed by Talking Book patrons all over the country. Upcoming Indiana titles to look for on BARD include biographies of Richard Lugar and Frank O’Bannon as well as the classic Indiana novel “Uncle Tom Andy Bill” (a personal favorite).

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This blog post was written by Margaret Ansty, Talking Book & Braille Library Supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3684 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.