INdiana INsights

Maggie Ansty, Editor
317-232-3684 or 1-800-622-4970

Spring 2014
Volume XXXVII No. 1

FIZZ, BOOM, READ with Talking Books this Summer!

This summer, we will once again be holding a reading program for patrons from the ages of 4-18.  The benefits of participating in a summer reading program go beyond the fun prizes; children who read regularly during the summer are shown to perform better on reading comprehension tests when returning to school than peers who do not read during the summer. 

There are two science related themes for this year’s program; the theme for the children’s program is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” while the theme for the teen program is “Spark a Reaction”.  Reading lists for Braille, Large Print, and Digital materials will be provided to get participants started, but any book borrowed from the library and read during the summer will count towards their reading total.  Prizes will be distributed at the end of the program, once all borrowed summer reading materials are returned to the library.  Eligible readers will receive application information in the upcoming weeks. 

Indiana Vision Expo Back this September

The 2014 Indiana Vision Expo will be held on Saturday, September 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Indiana State Library.  For over eight years the Indiana Vision Expo has provided an opportunity for people with vision loss, their friends, their families, and service providers to learn about the resources available that help promote independent living.  It is also a great opportunity to meet the Talking Book and Braille staff as well as fellow TBBL patrons. Vendors returning for this year’s Vision Expo include Bosma Enterprises, Eye Can See, FTP Associates, Leader Dogs, the Low Vision Centers of Indiana, and many more. This year’s speaker is blind athlete and motivational speaker Craig McFarlane, author of the new book “Craig MacFarlane Hasn’t Heard of You Either.”   You can learn more about this inspiring man at his website,

People planning on attending this year’s Expo are encouraged to also participate in the Indiana Vision Walk, which will once again be held prior to the start of the Expo outside of the library. More information on the 2014 Vision Walk can be found at  Continue to check back at our Vision Expo website,, for more information about vendors and speakers.

New Format for Talking Book Topics & Braille Book Review

Beginning with the January/February 2014 issues of Talking Book Topics (TBT) and Braille Book Review (BBR), NLS will introduce some subscriber-requested changes. The large-print, online, and audio versions of TBT have returned to the fifty-word format for announcing books, and in both TBT and BBR, books are now announced in a structured, alphabetical format to make it easier for patrons to find books by subject and author. The change is as follows:

  1. As before, the titles are listed under broad headings: Books for Adults, Books for Children, and Foreign Language Books. 
  2. Within Books for Adults and Books for Children, titles are subdivided into Fiction and Nonfiction. Fiction will now be listed first, since it comes first alphabetically. 
  3. Inside the Fiction and Nonfiction genres, titles are listed by their subject categories in A-to-Z order. For example, the Adult Fiction titles for this issue of TBT are ordered by subject from Adventure to Westerns. 
  4. Within each subject category, the titles are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name. 
  5. If there is more than one title by a given author, the titles are further organized alphabetically by title.

For example if you are interested in Stephen King’s latest novel Joyland, you would look under Adult Fiction, then in Mystery and Detective, and then for the last name King.
The new arrangement eliminates the need for an index. In addition, the 2013 edition of Digital Talking Books Plus will be the last audio book catalog produced and the 2011–2012 edition of Braille Books will be the last Braille book catalog. The biennial For Younger Readers catalog will continue.

Spring Cleaning: Send Us Your Talking Books Clutter

Now that spring is finally here, it is a great time to take a look around your house for stray talking book materials that you may have forgotten about or thought were lost; it is never too late to return those items to the library.  If you have book cases missing their books or book cartridges missing their containers, it is fine to send us whatever you have either using the cases or a regular envelope. 

In addition, if you are cleaning your closet this spring please feel free to return your old, yellow cassette players and let us know that you want to have digital books only.

Talking Books Welcomes New Indiana Voices Director

The Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library recently welcomed Lin Coffman as the new Director of the Indiana Voices recording program.  He will be taking over the day to day operations of Indiana Voices, responsibilities of which include working with volunteers to narrate and proof-read books by Hoosier authors or books about Indiana, editing books to ensure that they meet our high recording standards, and evaluating and choosing new books to record that will meet the reading interests of our patrons.  I am pleased to welcome Lin to Talking Book program.  The following is an introduction from Lin: 

I am very happy to have this opportunity to serve in such a valuable and important role in the Talking Book & Braille Library here at the Indiana State Library. I am excited about the prospect of being part of a program like Indiana Voices which will allow me to make interesting, useful, and high quality resources available to the citizens of our state. These books with an “Indiana signature” cover a wide variety topics which otherwise might not be available to our patrons. Subjects range from nature, music, history, and biographies to classic works of Indiana fiction, romance, westerns, and murder mysteries. I have already learned that this program would not be possible without the valuable part that our volunteers play in both the book narrations and the reviewing of the materials, and wanted to take this opportunity to thank them.

A little about me:  I am a graduate of both Purdue University, with a BA in library media, and from Ball State University, with a Masters degree in library science.  I come to the State Library after a long career working for the Center Grove School Corporation. For many of those years, I served as both the audiovisual director at the high school and as the technical instructor for the electronic broadcast journalism classes. More recently, I worked for several years as the library media specialist at the middle school level, where I was responsible for promoting the Young Hoosier Book Award reading program.

Working as the director of the Indiana Voices program is a new adventure for me and I am really looking forward to actively promoting this program.  Those of us in the Indiana Voices program hope we are meeting your literary needs and we are always interested in feedback from our patrons. If there are titles with an Indiana connection that you would like for us to look into adding to our collection, or if this is new to you and would like to be a part of our program, please feel free to contact us by phone at 317-232-3683 or by email at

Tips for Recharging Batteries (literally) After Long Winter

We are aware that there have been problems with the batteries in both the standard and advanced digital players. We hope to resolve this issue soon. In the meantime, here are some tips for managing your batteries:

  1. Disregard what the player says about how much time the battery has left because this information is often inaccurate. The best way to get an accurate reading is to let the player run down to zero and then recharge it 3 times. 
  2. It is fine to let the battery run down to zero; in fact the battery will not recharge until it is less than ¼ charged. 
  3. You will know the battery is fully charged when the player says “greater than x hours.” 
  4. Even if the battery will not charge at all, it will still play if plugged into an electrical outlet. 
  5. If you are not going to use your player for a long period of time, please make sure it is plugged in to prevent battery damage.
  6. If the battery will not charge at all, please let us know and we will send out a player with a fresh battery as soon as possible.

Disability-Themed Reads

The library has a wide selection of books that feature disability themes, including memoirs by people living with disabilities and novels with disabled protagonists.  Here is a selection of some of our recent acquisitions.

DB073559 Overcoming Macular Degeneration: A Guide to Seeing Beyond the Clouds by Yale Solomon
Ophthalmologist Solomon, who has the condition, offers information and advice to patients. Lists special tools, including magnifiers and text-to-voice devices; issues for caregivers, such as watching for signs of depression; and resources.

DB074742 What To Look For In Winter: A Memoir in Blindness by Candia McWilliam.
Memoir of Scottish novelist McWilliam, who became functionally blind in 2006 because of the involuntary closing of her eyelids from a condition known as blepharospasm. McWilliam reviews her life, describes undergoing a two-part operation to restore her vision, and explores a possible psychological basis for her sightlessness. Strong language.

DB075156, BR019653 The Next Best Thing: a Novel
Screenwriter Ruth Saunders, disfigured from a childhood accident, makes it big with a television series based on her life with her grandmother. While dealing with actors, rewrites, and so-so reviews, Ruth falls for her producer Dave, who uses a wheelchair. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller.

DB075536, BR019656  Blink Once by Cyril Busby
When a bike accident leaves him paralyzed, high school senior West blinks to communicate. West connects with Olivia, a fellow hospital patient, who seems to understand his dreams and nightmares. But Olivia has a secret. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers.

DB075554, BR019638 A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen
The professor and author of The Radical Lives of Helen Keller chronicles the role of people with disabilities in America. Discusses the concept of dependency, Native American beliefs, disabled war veterans, institutionalization, and civil rights activism.

DB077282, BR020220 Trusting Calvin: How a Dog Helped Heal a Holocaust Survivor's Heart by Sharon L. Peters
Biography of Holocaust survivor Max Edelman. Describes Max being blinded by two Nazi guards and witnessing a German Shepherd kill another prisoner. Discusses Max's difficulty bonding with Calvin--the Labrador guide dog he received after retiring in America--because of his fear of canines, and Calvin saving Max's life. Violence.

DB077717, LP019141 Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic by Nora Gallagher
Middle-aged essayist describes the two years from 2009 to 2011 that she spent in the "land of the sick," searching for a diagnosis and treatment for her inflamed optic nerve. Also describes her spiritual disorientation in this companion to Things Seen and Unseen (DB 49806). 2013.

Indiana Talking Book & Braille Library Calendar

Talking Books will be closed on the following holidays in 2014:

Friday, April 18, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Friday, November 28, 2014
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
Saturday, December 27, 2014

Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library Hours
Monday – Friday    8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday    8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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 is for information only and does not imply endorsement.  This project is funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services & Technology Act.

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