Indiana Insights

Maggie Ansty, Editor

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









Volume XXXVIII No.2

Summer 2015


Join us for Vision Expo!

Please join us for the 10th annual Indiana Vision Expo on Saturday, September 26th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Indiana State Library. Please note that due to a change in the library’s Saturday hours the building will not be open before 10 a.m. The Expo will feature our usual wide variety of vendors and non-profit agencies that provide the latest in adaptive technology, independent living aids, and other resources for all ages. There will be multiple vendors new to the Expo this year, including HIMS, maker of products such as the Braille Sense Notetaker and the BookSense DAISY player. 

Our keynote speaker is Kathy Nimmer, 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year and finalist for National Teacher of the Year. Kathy has taught English at Harrison High School in West Lafayette for over twenty years despite being blind.  She is also a published author whose work includes Two Plus Four Equals One: Celebrating the Partnership of People with Disabilities and Their Assistance Dogs (DB74137). Kathy will be speaking at 10:30, followed by an 11:45 presentation on the latest advancements in the treatment of eye disease by low vision specialists Dr. Richard Windsor and Dr. Laura Windsor of the Low Vision Centers of Indiana.

CJ’s Sweet Creations will again be selling lunch items and desserts. Admission is free. Parking will be available for $5 in the Senate Avenue Parking Garage.  The entrance is off of New York Street between West St. and Senate Ave. 


New Saturday Hours

Effective September 1, 2015, the Indiana State Library building will be open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m on Saturdays, which is a 2 hour change from the current hours of 8 a.m - 4 p.m.


In addition, Talking Books staff will no longer be available on Saturdays to answer patron phone calls as we will be concentrating our staff resources on best serving you Monday - Friday, which are the days that we send and receive books in the mail.


Summer Reading Wrap-up

2015 marked another successful year of our summer reading program for children and young adults, ages 4 – 18.  We had 34 participants who read over 525 Braille, audio, and large print books, including a number of our recent order of 100 large print children’s books. After we complete our final tallies we will be distributing prizes in the coming weeks.


Coming in January: Unified English Braille

On January 4, 2016 (the 207th birthday of Louis Braille), the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically handicapped will implement the Unified English Braille (UEB) code; going forward all new braille titles added to the collection will be produced in UEB.


NLS expects the transition to be easy for patrons as the “new code builds on the old system” using the same six-dot cell pattern as the current system but with fewer contractions and different spacing rules. The changes should be especially beneficial to users of computers, smart phones, and e-books.


While all new books being produced beginning in January will be in UEB, it will probably be approximately 6 months before physical copies of these books arrive at the library. In the mean time, NLS has begun adding UEB books to BARD (including Go Set a Watchman BRE00097) which can be found by selecting “Unified English Braille” in the “Browse by subject” drop down menu on the BARD homepage.


The library has a four-page document titled Frequently Used UEB Symbols available to Braille patrons. Please call or email us at 1-800-622-4970 / to request a copy of this document.


BARD Mobile for Android Devices

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically handicapped released a new, free BARD Mobile app for Android devices in June. Available through the Google Play store by searching for “BARD Mobile,” the app is compatible with Android devices running OS 4.1 or later. The app will allow users to download and listen to the nearly 50,000 audio books and magazines currently available through BARD. However, this version of the app does not currently support web-braille.

"The BARD Mobile app allows searching, downloading, and reading books and magazines on one fully accessible, mainstream device," NLS director Karen Keninger said. "It’s a library in your pocket." NLS released a BARD Mobile app for iOS devices in 2013. The addition of an Android app "will give on-the-go access to an even larger number of patrons," Keninger said.

The BARD Mobile app for apple devices was released in 2013 and is available through the Apple App Store by searching for “BARD Mobile”. Since it was released in the fall of 2013, Indiana patrons have downloaded the app to nearly 800 mobile devices. These patrons now have the ease and convenience of downloading and listening to books on the go without carrying around their talking book player. We expect the Android app to experience a similar level of popularity among users.

If you are interested in signing up for a BARD account so that you can take advantage of these mobile apps, visit to fill out a brief application.




BARD Workshop

Anyone who is interested in attending an in-person BARD workshop should contact the Talking Books Department by phone or email. If there is sufficient interest, a workshop will be held on a Saturday at the Indiana State Library. Patrons would be able to receive in-person assistance with downloading books on their computer or through their BARD Mobile devices.


Book Recommendations

As fall approaches, catch up with some of the most talked about books of the summer!


In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (DB81763, LP19772)


Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1987 to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving the community reeling. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (DB80615)


Bride, who was rejected by her light-skinned mother when she was born for being too black, has made her life into one that many envy. She has her own company, a fortune, and a lover. Dark secrets from the past are coming home to roost, however. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


Early Warning by Jane Smiley (DB81494, LP19730)


The saga of the Langdon family, begun in Some Luck (DB 79659), continues with the death of family patriarch Walter in 1953 on through 1986. While the youngest of Walter's children stays on the Iowa farm, the others scatter across Cold War-era America. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan (DB81114, BR20806)


1937. F. Scott Fitzgerald heads to Hollywood. He leaves behind his wife, Zelda, in a private mental institution and his daughter, Scottie, in the care of family and friends. Churning out short stories and scripts, his health deteriorates and new love beckons. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller.  2015.


The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation by Melissa Rivers (DB81764)


The daughter of comedian Joan Rivers pulls together some of her favorite anecdotes, advice, and personal stories of her often outrageous mother, resulting in a memoir of their relationship. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.    2015.


Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus (DB81802, LP19733)


Drawing upon their recollections and diaries, two of the three victims of Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the story of their abductions, their decade in captivity, and their dramatic 2013 rescue. Washington Post reporters Jordan and Sullivan interweave these events with the search efforts. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.    2015.


The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne (DB80621, BR20655)

Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, scientific advisor for Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar, guides readers through the science at work throughout the movie. Chapters provide context for each of the film's scientific concepts, in addition to explaining the theory and mechanics of such subjects as wormholes, planet dynamics, and quantum gravity. 2014




National Conference Held at the Indiana State Library

The 2015 Tri-Regional Conference of Librarians Serving the Blind and Physically Handicapped was held at the Indiana State Library from June 9th-11th. Appropriately themed “Innovate, Collaborate, Motivate!” the conference brought together 90 librarians from 30 states in the North, South, and Midlands regions of the country to discuss and share ideas on how to best serve patrons in the future.

The conference kicked off on Tuesday morning with an informative program by the National Library Service (NLS), which covered current projects they are working on and their plans for serving patrons in the future. Exciting items discussed in the NLS session included the introduction of Unified English Braille (UEB) in January 2016 as well as ideas on how to serve patrons in the future in a more digital age.

The conference continued Wednesday with programming on marketing ideas for libraries as well as the importance of accessibility among today’s current crop of mobile devices. The conference wrapped on Thursday with an “unconference” session that allowed attendees to discuss more specific topics of interest among colleagues from around the country.

Overall, attendees were impressed by Indiana State Library Foundation’s unwavering support of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library, and gave many effusive compliments of the conference, the library, and their visits to the city of Indianapolis.


Meet the Voices of Indiana Voices

In an ongoing effort to provide some insight into the background of our narrators I have asked them to give me a short bio on who they are and why they have chosen to volunteer to be a part of our program.  Here are a couple more of those profiles.

Name :  Dennis Brake

Age:  67

Current or Previous Occupations:  Semi-retired

Number of years as a narrator: 2

Favorite types of books to read / narrate:  American History, Biographies, Auto-biographies

Reasons for volunteering with Indiana Voices:  I can’t dance, sing, or act.  I have very few talents with my voice being one of them. I thought I might as well use it for something good.

Name:  Kathleen Munsch

Current or Previous Occupations:  Librarian / Archivist for a not-for-profit education organization

Number of years as a narrator:  6

Favorite types of books to read / narrate:  They all have their charm, but I know I dislike auto-biographies.

Reasons for volunteering with Indiana Voices:  My mother began losing her sight almost a decade ago, and I have a cousin with retinitis pigmentosa, so  when I found myself unemployed at the beginning of 2009, I decided to get involved in volunteer work related to vision issues.  Indiana Voices kept me most reliably busy, so you win.  I’m fortunate that my current employer allows me to continue on, as I feel the service it provides is very important to Indiana’s visually impaired citizens.


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:

Saturday             September 5, 2015               Library Closed

Monday               September 7, 2015               Library Closed

Saturday             September 26, 2015             Vision Expo

Monday               October 12, 2015                  Library Closed

Tuesday              November 3, 2015                Library Closed

Wednesday        November 11, 2015              Library Closed

Thursday            November 26, 2015              Library Closed

Friday                  November 27, 2015              Library Closed

Saturday             November 28, 2015              Library Closed

Thursday            December 24, 2015              Library Closed

Friday                  December 25, 2015              Library Closed

Saturday             December 26, 2015              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