Indiana Insights: Fall/Winter 2012

Indiana Insights

Indiana Voices Celebrates Five Years

Five years ago, with a grant from the Ruth Lily Philanthropic Foundation, the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library started their Indiana Voices recording program.  The program began recruiting volunteers in December of 2007 and started recording their first book in January of 2008.  Originally producing cassette books, Indiana Voices was the first library in the country to convert exclusively to digital production and distribution of books using software provided by the National Library Service. 

Since January 2008, over 65 titles and 34 magazine issues have been recorded and distributed by the program.  The program would not exist without the hard work and dedication of volunteers.  Currently, thirteen onsite volunteers lend their vocal talents to narration and five virtual volunteers serve as home-reviewers of books.  Over the years, volunteers have contributed over 4,800 hours of their time working on this project. 

To sign up to receive books from the Indiana Voices program, or to find out about volunteer opportunities, please call us at 1-800-622-4970.


Talking Books Updates

Discover what regular Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service users have found following a recent upgrade to the catalogue. The latest BARD version is up and running and includes a number of changes designed to improve your user experience. 

The most significant change will be the inclusion of web-Braille, which will be displayed beneath the audio titles. Patrons can also choose to solely display their preferred type of format via the “update account settings” page. Another new feature enables users to display more information for each book. If you click on the book title, you are directed to detailed information about the book along with the option to add the title to your new “wish list”. 

Other changes designed for your convenience is a list of previously downloaded titles, better information on book series, as well as subject headings that will direct you to similar titles.  Items produced locally by libraries around the country are also available so fans of the Indiana Voices program can discover what other libraries have to offer!  

The magazine program is also going digital any day.  All monthly or weekly audio magazine subscriptions will be mailed on a single cartridge, including Talking Book Topics.  It is important to return this cartridge regularly in order to remain in good standing in the magazine program.  Please call the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library at 800-622-4970 if you are an audio magazine subscriber and have yet to receive a digital talking book player.

Indiana Vision Expo

On September 29th, the Indiana State Library hosted the 7th annual Indiana Vision Expo.  This year’s Expo featured 31 vendors as well as presentations by Drs. Richard and Laura Windsor and Bosma Enterprises. A highlight for many attendees was the opportunity to be interviewed by Wade Wingler of Easter Seals Crossroads for his live podcast.  He is planning to put together a one- or two-part special episode of his show, Assistive Technology Update, using the interviews.  This episode is scheduled to be available over the holidays through iTunes and Stitcher Radio as well as at  

The Indianapolis VisionWalk, sponsored by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, was once again held in conjunction with the Expo.  Over 800 walkers participated, raising over $72,000 for sight-saving research, including over $17,000 on the day of the walk.  Congratulations and thank you to all who participated!  Donations can still be made to the VisionWalk until December 31st via check or money order and sent to: Attn:  Indianapolis VisionWalk, 1580 S. Milwaukee Ave., Suite 606, Libertyville, IL 60048. 

Thank you to everyone who came out this year! We hope to see even more of you for next year’s Vision Expo and VisionWalk scheduled for Saturday, September 28th.

NLS Digital Player

Utilizing Your Digital Player

An important, yet often unknown, feature of your digital players is the “bookshelf mode” option.  Understanding how bookshelf mode works is necessary before you begin receiving your digital magazines. “Bookshelf mode” enables you to access multiple magazine subscriptions contained on a single cartridge. This is also true for cartridges that may contain multiple books. 

To access bookshelf mode:

1.   Hold down the green “play/stop” button for ten seconds, or until your player beeps and says “bookshelf mode”. 

2.   Once in bookshelf mode, you can use the “fast forward” and “rewind” buttons of the player to scroll through the books or magazines recorded on the cartridge. 

3.   Once you have located the item you wish to read, press the green “play/stop” button again and it will start to play.

Holiday Book Requests

With the holiday season in full swing, we’d like to inform you of a few Talking Book & Braille Library holiday closures.  The library will close on Friday, December 21st and re-open on Wednesday, December 26th.  As a result, there will be no incoming or outgoing mail during that period. Please take a few moments to request any books that you want to have on hand during this time. All requests must be received before Wednesday, December 19th to ensure they are shipped prior to December 21st. While we will do our best to fulfill book requests received on December 20th, any requests made on Friday, December 21st will not be mailed until we re-open on Wednesday, December 26th.

This is also a great time to think about signing up for BARD.  BARD will give you instant access to over 26,000 digital books and over 50 digital magazines from the comfort of your home, even when the library is closed!  For more information on BARD, please visit or call us at 1-800-622-4970.

Mail Issues with USPS

As many of you may be aware, there has been a slowdown in U.S. Mail service over the past couple of months.  While we are working with the Post Master Secretary to sort this issue out, we want to make sure our patrons do not experience any significant time periods without reading materials.  Here are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself well stocked with books:

- Return each book as you finish it.  Since we send new books when we receive old ones back, this will keep a steady stream of books coming your way.  If you return all your books at once, you may have to wait a week or longer for new books to arrive. 

- Call us to adjust the number of books you receive at a time.  We are more than happy to work with you to come up with a number that will allow for a few books being in transit at a time.

- Sign yourself up for BARD.  Signing up for BARD, either on your own or with the help of a friend or family member, will enable you to download unlimited books to have on hand while waiting for new books to arrive in the mail.

Happy Holidays from the Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library!

Volume XXXVI No. 1

Fall/Winter 2012

In This Issue

  1. Indiana Voices Celebrates Five Years
  2. Talking Books Updates
  3. Indiana Vision Expo Recap
  4. Utilizing Your Digital Player
  5. Holiday Book Requests
  6. Mail Issues with USPS
  7. Best Books of 2012
  8. Great Winter Reads
  9. Talking Books 2013 Calendar

Best Books of 2012

As the year draws to a close, many organizations are putting out their “best of 2012” lists.  Here are some of our new and upcoming titles which are featured on many of these lists:

DB074457 Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's 2007-2011 observations of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a slum surrounding the luxury hotels at the airport in Mumbai, India.  Boo shares both tragic and poignant stories—about residents’ efforts to raise families, earn a living, or simply survive. These unforgettable characters all nurture far-fetched dreams of a better life.  Violence and strong language.

DB074880 Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel by Hilary Mantel

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring.  But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle.  Sequel to Wolf Hall (DB 70074). Some violence and descriptions of sex.  2012 Winner of the Man Booker Prize. 

DB074112 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Indiana author)

A miracle drug may have given sixteen-year-old cancer patient Hazel a few more years, but she is still depressed.  Then Hazel meets cute Augustus during a support-group meeting and her world shifts in unexpected and inspiring ways.  Some strong language.

DB074888 Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Nick and Amy alternate telling the story of their troubled marriage, their move from New York to Nick's Missouri hometown, and Amy's disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary.  As clues begin to implicate Nick, he learns more about Amy.  Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

DB074646 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Author recounts the three-month, 1,100-mile solo hike she took on a whim in 1995, after years of devastating personal losses.  She describes her encounters with rattlesnakes, locals, fellow hikers, and her own thoughts during her trek from Los Angeles to Washington State on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Strong language.

Great Winter Reads

When the temperatures drop and the days shorten, there’s no better time to curl up with a good book! Here are some books with a winter theme to keep you company on a frigid evening:

DB060879 Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

Lilly Martin accidentally injures acquaintance Ben Tierney in a car accident during a winter storm, forcing them to seek shelter in Lilly's vacation cabin. Meanwhile her ex-husband, police chief Dutch Burton, discovers that Ben may be a serial killer. Explicit descriptions of sex, strong language, and some violence. Bestseller. 2005.

DB075275 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Poet/physician Yuri Andreevich Zhivago takes his family from Moscow to the Ural Mountains for safety during the Russian Revolution, but he is forcibly conscripted. He also falls in love with Lara, a revolutionary's wife. Translation of Boris Pasternak's acclaimed 1955 novel by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. 2010.

DB068052 The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army by Paul Douglas Lockhart

Biography of Prussian army officer Friedrich von Steuben (1730-1794), who trained the ragged U.S. Continental Army to fight the British during the Revolutionary War. Focuses on the winter of 1778, when Steuben drilled the demoralized colonial troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in European techniques of war. 2008.

DB021198 The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Ingalls family moves from their stake on the Dakota prairie to their store in town to escape the severe winter. One blizzard follows another until trains stop running and the community, isolated for months, faces starvation. Sequel to 'By the Shores of Silver Lake.' For grades 4-7 and older readers.

DB051689 White Fang by Jack London

A wolf-dog, rescued from danger and tamed by a kind master, redeems his brute nature by defending his master's family against an escaped convict. Companion to The Call of the Wild (RC 49486).

Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library Calendar

Saturday, December 22, 2012 - Library Closed

Monday, December 24, 2012 - Library Closed

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - Library Closed

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - Library Closed

Monday, January 21, 2013 - Library Closed

Friday, March 29, 2013 - Library Closed

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Library Closed

Monday, May 27, 2013 - Library Closed

Thursday, July 4, 2013 - Library Closed

Monday, September 2, 2013  - Library Closed

Saturday, September 28, 2013 - Vision Expo

Monday, October 14, 2013 - Library Closed

Monday, November 11, 2013 - Library Closed

Thursday, November 28, 2013 - Library Closed

Friday, November 29, 2013 - Library Closed 

Saturdayy, November 30, 2013 - Library Closed

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - Library Closed

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - Library Closed



Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library Hours

Monday – Friday:    8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday:    8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.