Indiana Insights

Maggie Ansty, Editor

317-232-3684 or 1-800-622-4970









Volume XL No.1

Spring 2017


BARD Express: An Easier Way to Download

In an ongoing effort to improve the BARD downloading experience, the National Library Service (NLS) has recently released BARD Express. BARD Express is a free, Windows-based application that simplifies the process of searching for, downloading, and transferring books from BARD to a flash drive for use in their digital talking book players. With BARD Express there is no searching for downloaded books in random folders on your computer, no more unzipping files, and no more copying and pasting books onto your flash drives; BARD Express manages all of these tasks for you.

BARD Express is available to any Talking Book patron who has an active BARD account with the library. Patrons can apply for a free BARD account online at; if patrons are unsure of their log in information for a current BARD account they can contact the library by email at or by phone at 1-800-622-4970.

More information about BARD Express, including a user guide and a link to download the program, is available from the BARD main page under the ADDITIONAL LINKS heading. It will only work on Windows based PCs and will work with a variety of screen readers, including Window eyes, NVDA, and Jaws.

In addition to BARD Express, patrons can continue to utilize their BARD Mobile apps for listening to books on the go. BARD Mobile is available for use on iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods), Android devices, and select Kindle devices. Additional information on BARD Mobile can also be found on the BARD website under the ADDITIONAL LINKS heading.

Your Input Is Still Needed!

One of our librarians, Laura Williams, is a member of the National Library Service’s Collection Development Advisory Group. They will be having their biennial meeting in Washington, D.C. in May and we want to make sure your thoughts about the Talking Book and Braille program are discussed during that meeting.

The Collection Development Advisory Group is made up of 12 people, which includes 3 representatives from consumer organizations (eg. NFB, ACB, and the Blinded Veterans), 4 library patrons from around the country, and 5 librarians; the group gives suggestions to NLS regarding the process by which titles are selected for the program. 

Suggestions can range from the general, such as book length, to the specific. For example, during the 2015 meeting the group suggested that length should not be a limiting factor when selecting braille titles for the library. NLS agreed and as a result longer books such as George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell are now available in braille. The group can also recommend that NLS add books on certain subjects. In 2015 their recommendations included more historical mysteries and westerns, as well as books about wedding planning and protection against identity theft. Further, recommendations can be made by the committee regarding the Magazine on Cartridge program, the BARD website and Mobile App, narration, Talking Book Topics, and any other component of the National Library Service. 

Ideas and suggestions from readers are key factors in the success of the program and are thoroughly discussed in the committee’s deliberations. Thank you to those who have already shared their input! Please continue to submit your suggestions throughout the spring. Laura can be reached at 1-800-622-4970 or


New Magazines Available from NLS

Over the last year, the National Library Service has added several new audio magazines to their direct magazine program. The new offerings include: AARP the Magazine, Audubon, Cowboys and Indians, National Geographic Traveler, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Smithsonian, and Southern Living. These magazines will be sent directly to your house on a digital cartridge; they must be returned regularly in order to stay active in the magazine program. 

 Additionally, Cooks Illustrated, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Popular Science are now available in braille.

To order these or for a complete listing of available magazines, please contact the library.

Quick Tip: Using Bookshelf Mode to Listen to Magazines

If you subscribe to more than one magazine from the library, chances are more than one magazine is being sent on each cartridge. In this case, it is necessary to put your player in “Bookshelf Mode” in order to listen to all of the magazines on the cartridge. To do this, follow these steps:

1.   Turn the player on and put your magazine cartridge in the player. If there is more than one magazine on the cartridge your player should announce how many there are.

2.   If there is more than one book, hold down the square, green play/stop button. After a few seconds your player will beep and say, “bookshelf mode”. Release the play/stop button.

3.   You can now use the fast forward and rewind arrows to go through the magazines on the cartridge. When it reads the title you want to listen to, press the play/stop button again. Your magazine should start playing.

4.   Repeat these steps for each additional magazine on the cartridge.



Summer Reading Returns

The library will once again be sponsoring a summer reading program for our young patrons ages 4-18 from May 29th to July 31st. Our theme this year will be “Build a Better World.” Any audio, braille, or large print book borrowed from the library between May 26th and July 28th will count towards the reader’s total. This includes braille and audio books downloaded through the BARD website or mobile app. Prizes will be awarded to all participants. Each eligible reader will be contacted regarding the program, including information about changes being made this year. Look for more details on our website in coming weeks, including printable applications and reading lists.

Currency Reader Program

This is a reminder that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is still distributing free currency readers to residents of the US who are blind or visually impaired. For information on this program, please visit

If you have already received a currency reader and suspect it is malfunctioning, BEP has staff available to help troubleshoot the problem. You can call them directly at 1-844-815-9388.

Still Time to Apply for a 2017 Technology Grant

Applications are still being accepted for the 2017 Technology Grant from the Indiana State Library Foundation. The purpose of this grant is to provide monetary reimbursement towards the purchase of an assistive technology device of the grant recipient’s choosing. Applications will be accepted until the money allotted for the year has been awarded. For more information, including application instructions, please visit our website at


Book Recommendations

Now that spring has sprung, it is a great time to dive into some books about nature and the outdoors.

The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals--and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley (DB 83474, BR 21333)

Professional navigator and travel company executive shares the tips and tricks he has learned over his twenty years of experience about orienting yourself in both urban and rural environments using nature's clues. Includes information on using your senses, identifying landmarks big and small, and ways different environments affect indicators. 2014

Sightlines: A Conversation with the Natural World by Kathleen Jamie (DB 77525, BR 20298)

Fourteen essays explore connections within the natural world. In "Pathologies" the author reflects on her mother's death and examines the role of diseases in our lives. "Three Ways of Looking at St Kilda" details three trips the author took to the island off the coast of Scotland. 2012.

Nature as Spiritual Practice by Steven Chase (DB 75081)

Author examines the spiritual side of nature and offers exercises that the reader can practice to connect with the physical world. Discusses earth's influence on Christian identity and combines the themes of classical spiritual teachings with nature writing. Also explores the "green beatitudes." 2011.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Dayton Duncan (DB 69796)

Companion to Ken Burns' PBS documentary outlines the history of the U.S. national park system. Discusses preservationists including Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Ansel Adams and the visions and political battles that evolved as the park system grew. Includes interviews with Native Americans, writers, and park rangers. 2009.

No Shortage of Good Days by John Gierach (DB 75290)

Essays on the sport of fly-fishing by Fly Rod and Reel columnist and author of Still Life with Brook Trout (DB 61832). Describes traveling to Baja California, the Smoky Mountains, Canada, Wyoming, and other locations. Reminisces about salmon fishing, poaching, and finding the perfect spot. 2011.

A Terrible Beauty: The Wilderness of American Literature by Jonah Raskin (DB 81887)

English professor examines American literature that explores the theme of nature and the environment, covering the time from the Colonial period to the twentieth century. Includes surveys of Cotton Mather, William Faulkner, Thomas Jefferson, Washington Irving, Lewis and Clark, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Willa Cather, and more. 2014

Horn of the Hunter: The Story of an African Safari by Robert Chester Ruark (DB 81018)

Ruark's account of the African safari he took with his wife in the 1950s. For this, his first safari, newspaperman Ruark booked famed big-game hunter Harry Selby as his guide, and experienced the danger and adventure of the African wilderness. Some violence. 1953.

Meet the Narrators of Indiana Voices

Name­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­: Sarah Cudahy

Age: 34

Current and/or previous occupation: Executive Director, Indiana Education Employment Relations Board

Number of years as a narrator: 2

Favorite types of books to read / narrate: Historical fiction.

Reasons for volunteering as an Indiana Voices narrator: Sarah interned at the Indiana Educational Resource Center, a statewide library for school-age students who are blind or visually impaired, in 2003 and 2004.  This internship, and her grandfather’s (an avid reader) impaired vision, inspired Sarah to help the blind and visually impaired obtain access to reading materials. 

New Books from Indiana Voices

Indiana Voices, the program that allows our library to produce books about Indiana or by Indiana authors, has recorded some great books this year. Please contact the library about ordering these books or about signing up to receiving Indiana Voices books regularly.

America’s Deadliest Twister: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 (IDB00134) by Geoff Partlow

The tri-state tornado of 1925 hugged the ground for 219 miles, generated wind speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, and killed 695 people. Drawing on survivor interviews, public records, and newspaper archives, America's Deadliest Twister offers a detailed account of the storm, but more important, it describes life in the region at that time as well as the tornado's lasting cultural impact.

Murder in C Major (IDB00137) by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

The Oliver Civic Symphony is just another small-town orchestra, a gathering spot for local amateur musicians. It has weekly rehearsals, punch and cookies, and colorful gossip, and murder. Joan Spencer, with the help of policeman Fred Lundquist, soon uncovers a daring melody that only a murderous virtuoso could perform.

A Laugh a Day Keeps the Blues Away: Humorous Stories from People with Low Vision, Blindness, and Deaf Blindness (IDB00139) by Rita Thomas Kersh

A Laugh a Day Keeps the Blues Away relates personal stories of real people who happen to have a vision loss or a hearing-vision loss, and can find humor in their condition.

Indiana Insights is a publication of the Talking Book and Braille Library, Indiana State Library.   Indiana Insights is also available online, in Braille, or on a digital cartridge upon request.  Any mention of products and services in the Indiana Insights newsletter is for information purposes only and does not imply endorsement.  This project is funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services Technology act. ____________________________________________________________

Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library Calendar:

Friday                  April 14, 2017                        Library Closed

Monday               May 29, 2017                        Library Closed

Tuesday              July 4, 2017                           Library Closed

Monday               September 4, 2017               Library Closed

Saturday             September 30, 2017             Vision Expo

Monday               October 9, 2017                    Library Closed

Friday                  November 10, 2017              Library Closed

Thursday            November 23, 2017              Library Closed

Friday                  November 24, 2017              Library Closed

Monday               December 25, 2017              Library Closed

Tuesday              December 26, 2017              Library Closed


Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library Hours:

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


Free Matter for

the Blind