Touch and Listen Newsletter

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Fall 2016

Newsletter of the
Bureau of Braille and
Talking Book Library Services
Daytona Beach, Florida


BARD Subscriber Update

Recently, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) performed a review of BARD accounts that have not been logged into for twelve consecutive months and updated them to reflect an Inactive/Suspended status. If you are having trouble logging on to your BARD account and resetting your password does not work, please contact your reader advisor to have your account reactivated. In a few simple steps, you will be back to enjoying downloaded materials again.

Telephone Messages

When calling our library to request information, or to leave a message on our voicemail, please provide your first and last name clearly, with your phone number, including area code. It is also helpful to include the town or city where you live. The Library serves patrons throughout the state, having all information is helpful to fully address every request.

Talking Book Machines

Please leave your machines plugged in as much as possible to fully recharge the battery and to keep your machine running optimally. More information on machine maintenance is included in the New Patron Information section on our website, in audio and text. Go to, click “Talking Books Library,” and click “Apply for Library Services.”

Hear This Newsletter

Touch and Listen is now posted on the Division of Blind Services website in text and audio, and in English and Spanish. Go to, click “Talking Books Library,” and then click “Touch and Listen Newsletter.” If you would like to receive your next issue in Braille, Spanish, or by e-mail, please let us know: 1-800-226-6075.

What’s new at the Library?

Angelic Breedlove has transferred to a new position in the Reader Services Department. She will now be processing new patron applications for Library services. Angie has been a Reader Advisor for the past five years; if your last name begins with K, L, M, N, or R, you have likely spoken with her when you called the Library. A new Reader Advisor will be named soon to assist these patrons. Good luck in the new job, Angie!

Congratulations:  Liz Lawson has been selected as the new head of Reader Services. Liz came to the Library in May of 2016 to work with institutional accounts. She holds an M.A. in Adult Education and Training, and her background includes 14 years of management experience. A “Central Florida girl,” Liz grew up in Sanford where her family roots go back for generations. She loves the beach, enjoys working with people and looks forward to continue serving our patrons.

Farewell:  Margie Mills is retiring after 26 years of service with the Library, most recently in the Reader Services Department, where she worked with new patrons and transfers from other states. Many patrons will recall being helped by Margie, and we are very sorry to see her leave! But Margie has exciting retirement plans: she will follow a life-long vocation, which is her love of animals, by training for her Wildlife Rescue license and volunteering at shelters. All the best, Margie!

Happy retirement: Allan McPherson is also retiring after 21 years with the Library. For many years, Al supervised the Machine Repair area, training and overseeing a large number of volunteers, including the Palm Coast Pioneers, as they serviced cassette players.  More recently, Al has run the Print Shop, and coordinated with the volunteers who help us produce and mail numerous newsletters and other publications for patrons. Well known to all on the DBS campus, we will all miss him.  Enjoy your well-earned leisure, Al!

New Titles Fresh from the Recording Studio

Spooky Florida: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore (FDB03796) by S.E. Schlosser. 4 hours 15 minutes. Narrator: Nancy Shea. Tales of hauntings, strange happenings and other local lore throughout the Sunshine State!

The Sisters Grimm, Book Eight: The Inside Story (FDB03762) by Michael Buckley. 6 hours 50 minutes. Narrator: Susan Christenson. Picking up where book seven left off, this title follows Sabrina, Daphne, and Puck through the world of the Book of Everafter, where all the fairy tales are stored and enchanted characters can change their destinies. Along the way they'll meet Alice, Mowgli, Jack the Giant Killer, Hansel and Gretel, and the Headless Horseman.

Ninety-Mile Prairie (FDB03786) by Lee Gramling. 8 hours 10 minutes. Narrator: Jess Baker. Peek Tillman knows to be on the lookout for wild beasts and poisonous reptiles as he herds his cattle across the big prairie to the east of the Gulf's Charlotte Harbor. But this time he encounters more than he can handle in a beautiful married woman as well as some greedy outlaws.

The Mysterious Jamestown Suitcase (FDB03760) by Linda G. Salisbury. 3 hours 45 minutes. Narrator: Toni Blankenship. Before the Keswick Inn opens for business, two guests and a foster child arrive, and they all stir Bailey's curiosity as she and her friends try to find out what is in author Elmo Phigg's strange suitcase and hope to encourage young Sparrow to speak.

The Corridors of Strange Darkness: Struggling with the Experience of Glaucoma (FDB03757) by Eugene L. Neville. 2 hours 55 minutes. Narrator: John Tarmey. The messages in this book contain words of encouragement for anyone who is struggling with a physical affliction or a wide variety of other life altering challenges.

The Thief at Keswick Inn: A Bailey Fish Adventure (FDB03759) by Linda G. Salisbury. 3 hours 5 minutes. Narrator: Lauren Clark. When several items disappear from Keswick Inn, eleven-year-old Bailey Fish and her new friends set a trap to catch the culprit, but what they discover surprises everyone.

Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus (FDB03654) by Christopher Tozier. 7 hours, 10 mins. Narrator: Sue Christenson. Young Olivia moves to the Florida scrub and finds much more than sand and scrawny oak trees. Caught in a battle for the fate of the universe, she slips down a tortoise burrow into the vast Floridian Aquifer where ancient animals thrive in a mysterious world. She learns the secret of a brilliant pearl and must use its power to discover her life's ultimate destiny.

Hannah Senesh, Her Life and Diary: The First Complete Edition. (FDB03751) by Hannah Senesh. 12 hrs. 30 mins. Narrator: Ellen Rabin. Hannah Senesh was born into a wealthy and well-known Jewish family in Budapest. In 1943, she volunteered to parachute into Nazi-occupied Hungary to help organize resistance and escape routes for Allied soldiers and Jewish civilians. She was captured and executed by the Nazis on November 7, 1944.

The Turtle Mound Murder. (FDB03756) by Mary Clay. Narrator: Abbey Jansen. Rebecca Leigh Stratton is divorced, depressed, and thoroughly disgusted. Thanks to her two-timing, asset-hiding, lawyer husband, Leigh faces the prospect of starting over at forty-six. Fortunately, her sassy, Southern sorority sisters, Penny Sue Parker and Ruthie Nichols, are old hands at divorce. The three single-again ladies take off for New Smyrna Beach, their college-days haunt. What they don't bargain for are old flames, fist fights, and gunfire. And, that's just the first day!

The Ghostly Ghost Tour of St. Augustine: and Other Tales from Florida's Coast. (FDB03778) by Doug Alderson. Narrator: Abbey Jansen. Seventeen family-friendly, campfire-style ghost stories set on the Florida coast weave their way through sea serpents, shipwrecks, pirates, haunted lighthouses, and time-bending twists of twilight zone proportions.

Now in Production and Coming Soon

Motherless (FDB03808) by Gabriel Horn. A young Native American girl, orphaned at 5, lives with her grandfather on the white sandy shores of the Florida coast. As she approaches adolescence, Rainy struggles with her love for the Earth and the horrors inflicted on our natural world, facing questions of loss and identity, and the very essence of the human spirit. 2015.

Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America's Obesity Epidemic (FDB03804) by J. Eric Oliver. Presenting the story of America's obesity epidemic, this book examines the political forces that shape America's obesity 'epidemic'. It argues that the concern with obesity is based less in science and more in the financial interests of the health care system. 2006.

Un Arbol Crece en Brooklyn (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) (FDB03787) by Betty Smith. Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both her father's romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. Spanish Language. 2008.

Talking Books are 85 Years Young!

To celebrate, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) unveiled its new logo on March 3, the date President Herbert Hoover signed legislation establishing the Books for the Blind program 85 years ago. The new logo incorporates a visual element, a “Wi-Fi” signal band representing the trend to wireless capability.

In Florida, the Braille and Talking Book Library Service was founded in 1950, in Daytona Beach. It now works through a network of nine libraries throughout the state to provide service for approximately 35,000 Floridians and individuals, and produces Florida-interest books and magazines in the Daytona Beach studio.

Today, NLS works to ensure “That All May Read” by providing eligible patrons access to its materials regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, the Braille and Talking Book Library Service circulates recorded and Braille books and magazines, music scores in Braille and large print, and specially-designed playback equipment at no cost to borrowers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, and to U.S. citizens living abroad, by postage-free mail, or by download.

What the future may bring:  According to Steve Prine, Assistant Chief of the Network Division at NLS, the next generation of digital player will have wireless capability. Talking Books Libraries will modify their circulation systems to be able to “push” books to readers’ players. It is expected that within the next 20 years, 70 percent of all NLS patrons will have access to this new technology. By comparison, it is estimated that about 15 -17 percent of NLS readers are downloading from BARD at present.

About BARD

The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) is a web-based service providing access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores available from NLS for registered patrons of the Talking Books Library network. The BARD website and mobile app are protected by password, and all files are in an electronically downloadable form of compressed audio or formatted Braille.

What is available on BARD? Patrons may access most of the books and magazines in the NLS collection, which are selected for their broad appeal. Thousands of audio and Braille fiction and nonfiction titles are available, including titles in Spanish, as well as issues of more than 90 magazine titles. NLS adds new titles regularly, including a growing number of locally produced materials.

Digital Talking Books may be downloaded as a ZIP file, which may then be decompressed and transferred to a USB flash-drive or cartridge to play on your NLS player or other approved third-party device. They may also be downloaded to an iOS or Android device using the BARD mobile app.

eBraille: Electronic Braille (eBraille) materials are available in contracted and uncontracted formats and may be downloaded by individual volume or in a zip file containing all the volumes of the book or magazine. Materials may be embossed, or read with a refreshable Braille display. Users will need to connect to a Braille display via an iOS device with a Bluetooth connection.

What people say about BARD

“Being able to download titles and manage my reading list independently has made an outstanding service so much better. The BARD mobile app for the iPhone has also been so wonderful, since it makes it so easy to take books with you anywhere…”
-- Peggy, NLS patron since 1962.

“The BARD mobile app allows searching, downloading and reading books and magazines on one fully accessible mainstream device. It’s a library in your pocket.”
-- Karen Keninger, NLS Director

Florida Digital Books now available on BARD

We’re now downloadable! As of July 1, our Daytona Beach Studio’s production of the classic Cross Creek, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, is posted on BARD as DBC08181. Narrated by Studio volunteer Sue Christenson, this autobiography covers life in a remote Florida hamlet describing the landscape, wild life, and the people of the town. Length: 14 hours, 55 minutes.

Coming soon on BARD

The Secret River (DBC08182) by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Narrator: Lauren Clark. Length: 20 minutes. For grades 2-4. Young Calpurnia takes her dog, Buggy-horse, and follows her nose to a secret river in a Florida forest, where she catches enough fresh fish to feed her hungry neighbors, even after giving some to the forest creatures she meets on the way home.

Once We Were Brothers (DBC08183) by Ronald H. Balson. Narrator: Tom Hart. 13 hours, 30 minutes. Compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland and a young love that incredibly endures through the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption.

Volunteering at the Library

Volunteers make a difference for readers who are unable to read conventional print. We are always looking for new volunteers. This volunteer effort ensures that people who have reading disabilities have access to Braille or talking books.

Contact Kathy Searle Acevedo ( to volunteer or get more information. Phone number: 386-239-6043.

Don’t Forget

You can order talking books and books in Braille over the Internet.  The library catalog is located at:

Anyone can visit the Web site and search the online catalog but only registered library customers can place orders for books.  To order via the Web, you must first contact us by telephone (1-800-226-6075) or e-mail to verify the nine-digit identification number for your account and obtain a password.

Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services
421 Platt St.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Learn more about NLS and its services at

The Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library Services is part of the Division of Blind Services, Florida Department of Education. Visit our websites at or

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DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.