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Fall 2011 Newsletter
Talking Book and Braille News
Digital Talking Book Machine
Talking Book and Braille Services
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-5389 or (800) 452-0292
Fax: (503) 588-7119
email: tbabs.info@state.or.us
website: www.tbabs.org
           Volume 8,  Issue  2  ·  Fall  2011  ·  Editor:  Joel Henderson
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Jim Scheppke, 8th State Librarian of Oregon, has officially announced his retirement on December 31, 2011.  Jim has served the State Library for the last 25 years, and has seen us through many days of such varying circumstances as Oregon’s own weather.
Throughout his 20-year tenure as State Librarian, Jim has been a powerful advocate for public libraries and library services in general, working hard to help provide library access to Oregon residents across the state.  He has demonstrated a strong commitment to services for children, state government, and you our Talking Books patrons.  His leadership helped us through the course of a major renovation of the State Library building from 1995-2000, helped us establish the digital Oregon Documents Repository in 2005, and more recently greatly encouraged and supported our transition to the new digital players.
In lieu of retirement gifts Jim has graciously asked that people offer donations to Talking Books.  You can call us to make a donation over the phone at 800-452-0292, or give online at www.givetotbabs.org.  All donations are tax-deductable. 
The State Library Board is working with our Human Resources Manager to recruit the next State Librarian over the coming months.  We appreciate the comments of those who responded to the recruitment questionnaire that was sent out in April to State Library stakeholders.
Our always popular large-print calendars for 2012 are here!  Each of our active visually impaired patrons will receive one for free (unless you have opted out), and it will be shipped right to your door.  If you have a friend or family member that would like one as well but they are not a registered patron, have them send in a donation of at least $15 with a note saying they would like a calendar and we’ll send them one.  Our stock of calendars usually runs out by December, so make sure to have them get their donations in quickly.  We will also be making Braille calendars available as always to patrons who want them instead.

Talking Books has had a record breaking year all around. During the fiscal year ending June 2011, we circulated 420,539 books. This number breaks the previous record set in 2005 by nearly 33,000 books. One factor that helped TBABS break this circulation record is the record 1,227 new patrons added in the fiscal year. This high level of new patrons is due to the popularity of our digital books and our active outreach model. Since July 2009 Elke Bruton, TBABS' Public Services Librarian, has logged over 8,600 miles in visits, lectures, conferences, and resource fairs around the State. The collaborative work by the staff of Talking Books has put the agency's registration above the mark of 5,100 active patrons and has helped TBABS achieve an overall customer satisfaction rating of 97.8%!
We get a lot of phone calls each day here at Talking Books, and many times your calls will go to our voicemail because the staff member taking calls at the front desk is busy helping another patron.  Here are some pointers to leaving voicemail messages that will enable us to serve you quickly and more efficiently.
First, please start your message with your FULL NAME and PHONE NUMBER, or the name and number of the patron you are calling for.  Spelling your last name is especially helpful, and always remember to give the area code of your phone number.  Your name and phone number are the two best pieces of information we use to look up your account.  Giving us your CITY also lends us a hand; however, your street address does not help us locate your records.
We have two main phone numbers you can call in order to contact us: 503-378-5389 and 800-452-0292 (toll free for Oregon residents).  Both of these numbers will connect you to the same line, so there is no need to call both numbers if one of them goes to voicemail.  Leaving a message as soon as possible ensures we can call you back sooner.
If you are calling to leave requests, you are welcome to simply say what books you want in your message and we will add those requests to your account.  The NLS number for each book is best, but if you have an author and exact title we can use that too.  Because of the high volume of calls we receive each day, we generally do not call patrons back to confirm requests, unless we have a clarifying question we need to ask.
If you are calling because you have a question, please leave a brief but detailed message letting us know what your question is so we can do some prep work and be well prepared to serve you when we call you back.  Be sure to include an explanation when requesting a call back.  Also, because different staff take shifts answering calls at the front desk, make sure to include all pertinent information in each message you leave regarding an ongoing question.
Also, our voicemail system has the ability to rewind messages, so there is no need to repeat your requests or questions in the same message.  However, please speak clearly and at a steady place; we can only type so fast and our computer system doesn’t always respond instantaneously.
Due to the high number of calls we receive when we’re out of the office, we ask that each patron only leave one message during our non-business hours.  We handle calls Monday through Friday, 8AM-12noon and 1PM-5PM, excluding holidays and state office closure days.  This request is especially important over 3-day weekends when we have more messages than usual to catch up on.  We appreciate your help as we continue serving an ever-increasing patron base.
After many meaningful years of service to the state, our very own Jackie Shepherd is starting her retirement on November 1, 2011.  Jackie has been with Talking Books for 15 years, and has been a vital part of our team.  She is currently finishing her tenure as our Enhancements Specialist and our Institutions Liaison, helping to maintain patron accounts for our Web-Braille and Utah Braille services, and to ensure good relationships with our partnering institutions.  Many of you may have talked with Jackie during her shifts taking calls at the front desk, or you may have met her at the local Lions Club meetings she attends.
Jackie plans to move to Portland, and will pursue several hobbies of interest including amateur radio, music, and of course reading good books from TBABS.  She will miss chatting with you all on the phone, and hopes to see many of you in Portland after she retires.
In closing, Jackie would like share these words with both staff and patrons: “I would like to thank my co-workers in TBABS, whom I will miss.  It has been a great 15 years and it looks as if TBABS is bound for greater things ahead; and now speaking as a soon-to-be patron, I can hardly wait!”  We will miss you, too, Jackie, and wish the very best for you in the years to come!
In our last newsletter we introduced you to Valya Rizzo, our student office worker.  Since then Valya has decided to take a break from school and pursue a full-time job, so in her place we have another new student office worker to introduce: Benazir Sardar.
Benazir is a sophomore at Willamette University studying studio art, and is an avid fan of being outside.  Whether she is camping, hiking, swimming, or just sitting in the sun, you will find Benazir enjoying the great outdoors.  She even just returned from her first backpacking trip: a two-week excursion in Wyoming.
On the book front Benazir really enjoys books revolving around Indian culture.  She highly recommends The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafón (DB 58940).  This best-selling historical fiction is written in the magical realism style, which Benazir is particularly drawn to.  Please join us in welcoming Benazir to our Talking Books team!
Lately we have been receiving calls from patrons reporting that the batteries in their digital players are no longer functioning at maximum capacity.  Our Equipment Coordinator has been running tests with the digital players and has the following recommendations that will help ensure the best performance from your player while operating on the battery.
  • Though your player may report a full battery after the NLS recommended 2.5 hours of charging, chances are it is only 75% charged.  We recommend leaving your player plugged in 8 hours to ensure a full battery charge.  Keep in mind that you can still listen to books while the player is charging. 
  • The digital player has been designed to only start the recharging process when the battery charge drops below one hour.  This design feature means the battery will not always recharge when you plug it in.  However, when you plug the player in it will run off the power from the wall, so there is no danger of the player ceasing to function as long as it is plugged in.  If you hear the player announce either of the following messages:   “Battery Low” or “Battery charge remaining 1 hour” you will need to plug your player in for recharging.
  • We are recommending that you leave your player plugged into an electrical outlet at all times when used at home.  This action will not harm or damage the player, battery, or book in any way.  And if you are worried about the financial impact of leaving your player plugged in all the time, the amount of electricity the player may leech when not in use will only amount to a few cents each month.
If you follow the above recommendations and continue to have problems with your digital player battery, please contact TBABS for further assistance.
We want to let you know about some important changes at Choice Magazine Listening (CML), the now quarterly audio magazine anthology of fiction, poetry and non-fiction articles from more than 100 current magazines.  Within the next two years, CML issues will only be produced on digital cartridge.  New issues are still available on cassette for the time being, but not for long.
Issues available on digital cartridges will be loaned directly from CML to subscribers, and MUST be returned to the publisher before you can receive the next issue.  CML is also available for download through BARD.
If you would like to subscribe to CML please contact us and we will help set up your account.  You will still receive issues directly to your home from CML, but we can do the leg work for you.  If you currently have a subscription to CML or download it for yourself, please let us know so we can keep our records up-to-date.
Join our first six members to help Talking Books continue providing services for years to come.
How did the Irene Price Society begin?  Twenty plus years ago, Thomas Price of Grants Pass, Oregon left a large portion of his estate to Talking Book and Braille Services. His bequest was made in memory of his wife Irene who enjoyed talking books throughout her lifetime. His bequest made it possible to establish the Talking Book and Braille Services endowment fund.
What does the Endowment Fund do?  Today, the endowment fund has grown to over $800,000 thanks to many individuals who include Talking Books in their estate planning. The endowment fund ensures that future generations may continue to enjoy Talking Books and other special services for Oregonians with print-related disabilities.
Action - How do I become a member?  Make one phone call to Robin Speer at 503-378-5014, or call toll free 1-800-452-0292 and leave a message for Robin to return your call. Let Robin know if you have made plans in your will or estate planning to leave a bequest to Talking Books.
Please consider becoming a member of the Irene Price Society today!
Every so often we field a call from one of our patrons saying their player keeps announcing an “end of book” message when they are trying to play a book.  There are a couple of reasons why you may hear this message, and a few suggestions of what to do about it.
The most common reason you will hear the “end of book” message is when you are trying to listen to a book you have already read.  Your player remembers your progress through each book you read, so if you previously finished a book and want to read it again, the player will still register your progress at the end of the book.  There are two ways you can proceed:
  1. When the book cartridge is in the player, press and hold the rewind button.  You will hear the player begin to jump back through the book in greater and greater increments until you finally hear “beginning of book”.  If you have an advanced digital player, you can also use the previous button to jump back by whatever navigation level you have the player set to. OR
  2. Reset your player’s profile: this option will reset your player to factory default, meaning it will erase ALL the progress marks it has in its memory.  You will then be able to start any book again from the beginning.  To reset your player’s profile, turn your player off, remove any cartridge or flash drive in the player, then press and hold the TONE UP, SPEED UP, VOLUME UP, and POWER buttons in that succession until the player beeps and says, “Creating new profile.”  This process requires two hands.
If you are a patron who downloads books from BARD, you may hear the “end of book” message when you start reading a book you have never read before.  This error can usually be troubleshooted by checking the following:
  1. If you are using a flash drive, make sure to plug your flash drive into your player when the player is OFF.  If you plug the flash drive in when the player is on, it may not connect with the player properly.
  2. Did you extract the files correctly?  If you simply copy and paste the book files out of the zipped folder rather than extract them they may be corrupted.  Remember to ALWAYS extract the files, and we recommend extracting them directly onto your flash drive or blank cartridge into folders.
If you need to cancel your service, or if you are helping to cancel service for someone else, you need to contact us in order to effect the cancellation.  Returning a player does not automatically cancel service, since we regularly receive returned players for repair as well.  A simple message with the name and city of the patron to cancel is adequate.  Please return all equipment and books to TBABS after canceling service.
Remember, too, that you do not need to cancel your service if you are moving to another state.  You are welcome to transfer your service to the state you are moving to, and you can even take your player(s) with you.  Just call us with your new address, phone number, and the date you are moving, and we’ll transfer your records.
TBABS will be closed on the following state office closure days and legal holidays:
  • November 11, Veterans Day
  • November 24, Thanksgiving
  • November 25, Closure Day
  • December 26, Christmas
  • January 2, New Years
Any mention of products and services in Talking Book and Braille News is for information only and does not imply endorsement.

Page updated: September 26, 2011