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Indiana State Library

In Touch Fall 2009 In Touch Fall 2009

A Newsletter for Parents and Teachers
Lissa Shanahan, Regional Librarian
Carole Rose, Editor
Fall 2009

Creative Summer Program 

“Be Creative @ Your Library” was the theme for our 2009 statewide children’s summer reading program.  During the period from June 2-August 1, eighty participants read 837 books—182 braille, 201 large print, 454 audio.  Each child received a certificate, bookmark, and sticker just for registering.  Children who read more than one book were eligible to win food coupons, kazoos, tambourines, slide flutes, puzzles, puppets, microphones, jewelry, silly putty, play-doh, pencils and bags.  The top reader from each grade earned a canvas tote and a colorful shirt.  The top readers were: 

Kindergarten: Gerard Garcia and Airel Schlosser
First grade: Alayna Hall
Second grade: Mitchell Bridwell
Third grade: Mikaela Smith
Fourth grade: Nikki Stewart
Fifth grade: Sheila Parks
Sixth grade: Paola Gallegos
Seventh grade: Tyler Perry
Ungraded: Clare Major 

The library was pleased to be able to recognize two outstanding Braille readers.  Mitchell Bridwell and Barbara Miller each received a book from Seedlings Braille Books for Children.  Sheila Parks, the top large print reader, received a tote and a shirt.  

In conjunction with our creative theme, children were asked to submit creative writing, artwork, or crafts to the library.  The submissions were displayed in exhibit cases during our 2009 Indiana Vision Expo in September.  Several students from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired submitted pictures, lovely pieces of artwork, and imaginative creative writing. 

Special Recognition 

Two of Indiana’s young Talking Book patrons deserve special recognition this month. 

In June, twelve-year-old Haley Sumner, a seventh-grader at Chapel Hill Middle School in Indianapolis, competed in the National Braille Challenge at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles.  During the winter, participating states hold challenges for students in grades 3-12.  Finalists from each state are invited to participate in the national competition.  

The purpose of the Braille Challenge is to test participants in their mastery of braille in the areas of reading, writing, interpretation, and comprehension.  Five students from Indiana qualified for the National finals.  This was Haley’s third year as a finalist.  She had performed well each of the past two years, but this year, she placed second in her group of sixth and seventh-graders and received a $1,500 savings bond.  When she returned to Indiana, Wayne Township recognized Haley’s accomplishments by presenting her with a trophy.  Congratulations, Haley! 

Thirteen-year-old Jodi Diane Jones lives on her family’s large farm in Marshall, Indiana and attended public schools.  This year she entered 7th grade at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  Jodi was introduced to farm animals at an early age and began showing calves with her dad at the local county fair when she was three.  

When she joined 4-H at age nine, Jodi began showing calves on her own, with a bit of help from a special headset created by her father.  By listening to her father’s voice through the headset, Jodi is able to navigate the judging area.  Her dad also makes sure she knows exactly where she and the calf should be standing so that she is directly in front of the judges.  She has shown calves at the Indiana State Fair for the past four years and has shown lambs for the past three years.  She is also responsible for the care of her animals.  At the 2009 State Fair, Jodi earned a third place and two seventh-place awards.  Congratulations, Jodi! 

We enjoy including features about our young readers in our newsletters.  Please send more.  Contact Carole Rose at:

(317) 232-0609 or (800) 622-4970

Thanks for Coming 

More than 650 persons attended the 2009 Indiana Vision Expo, held at the Indiana State Library on Saturday, September 26.  This year’s event featured 24 exhibitors, presentations by a noted ophthalmologist, a Talking Book narrator from the American Printing House for the Blind, and workshops offering demonstrations for persons wishing to download audio books from the NLS web site.   

We were delighted to see a number of families at the Expo.  We enjoyed meeting and visiting with so many young patrons and their parents.  The Indiana Vision Expo features products and information for all ages, and we hope to see more children and teens in 2010.

We distributed a number of the new NLS digital talking book players on Expo day.  If your child was one of the recipients, please feel free to share your evaluation of the new equipment with us. 

The 2010 Indiana Vision Expo will be held at the library on Saturday, September 25.  Further information will be available in a few months.  In the meantime, check out links to our current exhibitors on our web site at 

 Digital Era is Here 

At last!  The Talking Book and Braille Library is receiving monthly shipments of digital talking book players and distributing them to our patrons as quickly as possible.   We are now working our way through the list of patrons who put their names on the waiting list that we began compiling in 2007.  Every talking book patron will eventually receive a digital talking book player, but active patrons in good standing will be given priority. 

We want to get the new equipment into the hands of young readers as soon as possible.  It is smaller and easier to use than the cassette player and has a longer battery life.  If your child borrows and returns audio books from the library on a regular basis, and would like to receive a player as soon as possible, please contact us.  

When a teacher assigns a book that is a part of the NLS collection, it can be downloaded immediately on a thumb drive using the NLS BARD site.  The book then can be played on the digital talking book player or on any digital player authorized by NLS.  There are more than 21,000 titles on the site, and new titles are added at least 1 to 2 months before they arrive at NLS network libraries.  Your child will have access to a book in minutes and it doesn’t need to be returned to the library.  Instructions for downloading are shipped with every new digital player.  Please contact the library with questions about the digital transition.  


Please return books as promptly as possible.  Our collection contains a wide selection of braille, large print, and audio titles suitable for book reports and other classroom projects.  A number of titles appear regularly on required reading lists.  Because we have multiple requests for many of these titles, prompt returns keep waiting lists short.  

The library has begun sending overdue notices every six to eight weeks.  We have only one copy of most braille titles, two copies of the majority of large print titles and 2-7 copies of titles on cassette.   Our digital collection is still quite small.  Getting an overdue notice doesn’t mean that you are not a reader in good standing.  It simply means that we are trying to keep a more accurate record of our collection and insuring that books continue to circulate on a regular basis.  If you need to keep a book for an extended period of time, just call or email the library and we will renew it for you. 

Indiana Insights is a publication of the Talking Book and Braille Library, Indiana State Library.
Indiana Insights is also available in braille or on cassette upon request.

Any mention of products and services in the Indiana Insights is for information only and does not imply endorsement.