Touch and Listen Newsletter

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Fall 2019

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

News You Can Use

NLS Name Change

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Disabled (NLS) received final approval from the Librarian of Congress for a name change. This move will help address the use of outdated language in the current name and more clearly communicate the breadth of those served. Beginning October 1, the name will officially change to National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled; the NLS abbreviation will continue to be used.  

Suspending Unused Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) Accounts

As of Friday, July 26, 2019, patron accounts that have not been used for 180 days will be moved to an Inactive/Suspended status. This means the account will be temporarily suspended and the account holder will not be able to log into BARD. This is a security measure put into place by the Library of Congress as accounts that remain inactive for an extended period of time pose a security risk.

If you try logging into your account and find it has been disabled, you may call us at 1-800-226-6075 for assistance.

Do You Have More Than One NLS Digital Talking-Book Machine?

Is your extra machine just taking up space? Help us get your unused machine to someone who needs it! To turn in your extra talking-book machine, call your local library and we’ll send you a postage-paid mailing label to mail back your unused machine. Don’t worry if you don’t have the original box anymore - any box will do! Please remember to pack the box with newspaper or bubble wrap to help cushion it and prevent damage during the mailing process.

From DTBMs to BARD: Make the Transition!

BARD and BARD Mobile offer many advantages. BARD is convenient, easy to use, and fast —there’s no wait for braille or talking-books to arrive in the mail and nothing to pack up and return. Nearly 114,000 braille and talking-book titles are currently available on BARD, with more being added each month. More than 2,200 of these are “BARD-exclusive” titles—many of them commercial audiobooks—that aren’t available on cartridge through copy-allotment.

The BARD Mobile for iOS app delivers braille and talking books to a reader’s personal iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. BARD Mobile for Android delivers talking books to a reader’s Android smartphone or tablet; a BARD app is also available through the Amazon Appstore for the Amazon Kindle Fire. While BARD Mobile users may browse the collection independently, you are always able (and encouraged) to call your reading advisor for recommendations.

Finding Commercial and BARD-Only Books

For the first eight decades of its existence, NLS almost always used its own recording studio staff or outside studios to record books. In 2013, that changed when NLS began striking deals with commercial publishers to obtain their audio files, free of charge.

“By taking advantage of commercial recordings when we can, we’re getting more books into the talking book program and doing it in a more timely fashion,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said. “This helps us focus our efforts on producing books that don’t have commercial audio counterparts.”

To easily find commercial audiobook titles in the collection, librarians and patrons alike can use the Voyager catalog search engine at under “Catalog Search.” Once you’re on Voyager’s “Basic Search” screen, type “Commercial Audiobook” (with the quotation marks) under step one; leave the default option of “None” under step two; and select the first option, “Keyword (match ALL words),” under step three. That will give you more than 8,500 commercial titles currently in the collection.

“Of course, most patrons won’t want to browse thousands of titles to find a book they want,” Keninger said. “But they can also use Voyager to search for a specific title, books by their favorite author, or books on a certain subject—whether they are commercial titles or books that NLS has produced.”

The BARD Mobile apps also have a “Most Popular” feature, which shows you which books are most popular amongst your fellow BARD users – a great way to get some additional reading suggestions!

Talking Books Topics and National Federation of the Blind (NFB)-NEWSLINE

Talking Book Topics is now included in the publication choices at NFB-NEWSLINE! You can listen to the selections and follow the prompts to select the categories of your choice – you can choose from the Adult Fiction or Adult Non Fiction, Children’s, or Foreign Language categories and then listen to your choices. When you hear about a book you want to order, stop and record the catalog number. You can then call the Library and give us the book number and we’ll add it to your request list. It’s as easy as that!

NFB-NEWSLINE Online is available! It’s the newest and most exciting way of accessing your favorite content. You can read it on the Web or download it to your digital talking book player or portable MP3 player. You can even have the publications and TV listings read to you over your computer using the same functions as the traditional, phone-based, NFB-NEWSLINE. You can get started by contacting NFB-NEWSLINE at 866-504-7300 or visiting their website at

News from the Commissioner

DOE LogoThe Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, launched a new back-to-school reading list of his and Florida’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Dakeyan Chá Dré Graham’s favorite reads for students and teachers to consider in the upcoming school year. The list is comprised of top-of-the-line literary recommendations, with world-renowned titles, rich historical nonfiction, classical and popular literature, and thought-provoking Florida-based works. The list has been carefully curated to have all students vying to dive into some new books this school year! You can find the list with the associated catalog numbers on the Library’s Reading Room page at

News from the Circulation Area

Moving? Don’t Forget to Tell Your Librarian

If you have moved, please don’t forget to update your current mailing address with us! We must have your current address on file (even if you use BARD). Also, please be aware that we do not automatically receive your new mailing information if you have put a forwarding request in at the post office. Thus, it’s always a good idea to double check with us to make sure we have received your updated information.

If you are permanently moving out of state, we’ll even transfer your braille and talking-book service to your new library. You can keep your equipment to use in your new state; there’s no need to return it to us.

Returning Materials

When sending your books back, please remember to keep the cartridges together with the address cards and the container they came in. It will help us to process your returns quicker!

HELPFUL TIP: If you are concerned with the card falling out, use a small piece of Scotch tape to hold it in place. If there’s a problem with the borrowed book, please put a rubber band around the cartridge before you place it in the mailing container with a note as to what is wrong so our librarians can handle the matter.

News from the Reader Services Area - Book Announcements

One of the most overlooked features of a book is the one at the very beginning — the book announcement! At the beginning of the recording, you automatically hear the standard information like the title and author, but did you know you can also hear what was printed on the book jacket? This is an important browsing feature that can help you decide whether the book is right for you or not!  If you decide the book isn’t for you, you can easily and promptly return the book; doing so makes it available for other patrons and allows you to get another book! This is especially helpful if you are on auto-select service, so try listening to the book announcements you are getting today!

On the Library Bookshelf

Fresh from the Recording Studio: New Books

You can find books with the DBC designation in BARD; they are available for immediate downloadable. Books beginning with the FDB designation, must be ordered through your reading advisor. If you aren’t able to access BARD, please call your reading advisor.

Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein. DBC12773.
P.T. and his friend Gloria must solve a mystery in order to save their beloved Wonderland Motel.  Narrator: Ellen Rabin. Reading Time: 4 hrs. 20 min.
Cured by Bethany Wiggins. DBC12743.
Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, search for their mother as raiders try to stop them with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Narrator: Ellen Rabin. Reading Time: 8 hrs. 40 min.
Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood. DBC12777.
When the villainous Gorm invade their home, Podkin and his siblings go on the run in order to find allies to help reclaim their world. Narrator: David Hostetler. Reading Time: 5 hrs. 20 min.
The Indian River Journal. Spring/Summer 2018 - FDB03937.
Fall/Winter 2018 - FDB03939.
Spring/Summer 2019 - FDB03959.
Three Journals of the Brevard County Historical Commission. Narrator: Joan Koechler. Reading Time: Approximately 1 hr. 15 min. each.
Heartwood Hotel: A True Home by Kallie George. DBC12778.
Mona the Mouse finds the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of the storm. It’s a place of safety from the danger lurking in the woods, but will they let her stay?  Narrator: Susie Baldwin. Reading Time: 3 hrs. 5 min.
Heartwood Hotel: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George. DBC12780.
Secrets are revealed when a blizzard strikes the Heartwood Hotel and Mona the Mouse must contend with, among other things, food shortages and difficult guests. Narrator: Susie Baldwin. Reading Time: 2 hrs. 55 min.
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. DBC12774.
A girl with no short-term memory chases after the boy she loves and who she believes can restore her memory. Narrator: Toni Blankenship. Reading time: 10 hrs. 15 min.

Multiple Book Cartridges

New Multiple Book Cartridges (MBCs) Collections are now available. Each MBC features multiple titles from popular authors and series. Search the WebOPAC catalog at for other collections by typing “MBC” into the query box under Quick Search on the main page.

You can now play Multiple Book Cartridges more easily. The NLS has updated the firmware for the Digital Talking-Book Machine (DTBM). This update (version 2.1.16) allows users to sequentially play multiple talking book titles on a single cartridge without needing to enter Bookshelf mode, a capability that has long been requested by NLS patrons and network libraries. You can request the DTBM Software Upgrade (FDB03944) individually, but the upgrade is automatically included with the new MBC files.

MBC: Alex Cross 11-15 by James Patterson. FDB03834.
Mary, Mary; Cross; Double Cross; Cross Country; Alex Cross’s Trial.
MBC: Sackett 11-17 by Louis L’Amour. FDB03841.
The Sky-Liners; The Lonely Men; Mustang Man; Galloway; Treasure Mountain; Ride the Dark Trail; Lonely on the Mountain.
MBC: Jack Ryan 11-15 by Tom Clancy. FDB03854.
Red Rabbit; The Teeth of the Tiger; Dead or Alive; Locked On; Threat Vector.
MBC: Twilight 1-4 by Stephenie Meyer. FDB03856.
Twilight; New Moon; Eclipse; Breaking Dawn.  
MBC: Kay Scarpetta 1-12 by Patricia Daniels Cornwell. FDB03886.
Postmortem; Body of Evidence; All that Remains; Cruel and Unusual; The Body Fram; From Potter’s Field; Cause of Death; Unnatural Exposure; Point of Origin; Black Notice; The Last Precinct; Blow Fly.
MBC: Zane Grey 1-10 by Zane Grey. FDB03923.
Riders of the Purple Sage; Open Range: A Western Story; The Man of the Forest; The Desert of the Wheat; The Heritage of the Desert; The Last Trail; The Light of the Western Starts; Rangers of the Lone Star; Thunder Mountain; The Last of the Plainsmen.
MBC: Infernal Devices 1-3 by Cassandra Clare. FDB03859.
Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess.
MBC: Song of Ice and Fire 1-5 by George R.R. Martin. FDB03884.
A Game of Thrones; A Clash of Kings; A Storm of Swords; A Feast for Crows; A Dance with Dragons.
MBC: John Grisham 1-10 by John Grisham. FDB03899.
A Time to Kill; The Firm; The Pelican Brief; The Client; The Chamber; The Rainmaker; The Runaway Jury; The Partner; The Street Lawyer; The Testament.
MBC: Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber. FDB03950.
The Shop on Blossom Street; A Good Yarn; Susannah’s Garden; Back on Blossom Street; Twenty Wishes; Summer on Blossom Street; Hannah’s List; A Turn in the Road; Starting Now; Blossom Street Brides.  
MBC: Lord of the Rings 1-4 by J R.R. Tolkien. FDB03925.
The Hobbit; or, There and back again; The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King.
MBC: Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. FDB03938.
The Gunslinger; The Drawing of the Three; The Wastelands; Wizard and Glass; Wolves of the Calla; Song of Susannah; The Dark Tower; The Wind Through the Keyhole.
MBC: Classic Novels 11-20. FDB03948.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London; Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier; The Stranger by Albert Camus; Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; Beloved by Toni Morrison; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Book Reviews

Braille and Talking Book Librarian Review of Florida Teens Read Award Winner

Dry by Neal Shusterman. DB093017.

This young adult dystopian story of ecological disaster shows what happens when climate change affects humanity’s most precious natural resource - water. I’ve always been fascinated by doomsday scenarios so this tightly and well-written novel was right in my wheelhouse. It showcases humans at their best and worst under desperate conditions. Now please excuse me - I’m off to stockpile some supplies!

Emily’s Review

Here are the latest reviews from our teen reader, Emily. She reads a diverse range of books, including the classics and books which tackle controversial topics.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. DB037602/BR014874.

This story of a young boy pursuing his passion is incredibly told by Paulo Coelho. There is so much figurative language in this book, every page has a meaning. Santiago’s journey is described so vividly and intriguingly that readers can truly connect with the character. It is not an action based book, it’s simply the journey that Santiago undertakes. It’s a great literary book, and would be perfect for readers who are fascinated by literature and different cultures of the world.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. DB047868/BR022683.

Jane Eyre’s path in life was long and hard. Reading this book was not easy, the language was challenging to understand, but I believe the more you read it, the better you are able to understand it. The story is very good; Jane had a hard childhood with many obstacles, but she was strong through it all. She meets a man who impacts her life greatly and who, I believe, makes her stronger. The romance is quite hard to accomplish at the end, but their love prevails. 

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. DB024293/BR009269.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a spectacular tragedy. Shakespeare incorporated his extravagant metaphors, soliloquies, and his innovative style in iambic pentameter in this literary masterpiece. There are so many moments of suspense and dramatic irony, while the majority of the characters are ignorant of the horrifying things that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are planning.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. DB087420.

Goodbye Days was not the best book but it was pretty good. The concept of the book was sad, but getting attached to the protagonist, who is depicted as being very vulnerable - was very easy for me to do. The main character has to deal with the loss of his three best friends, and worst of all, he thinks he is the cause of their deaths. If the book was only about him saying goodbye to his friends, then the book would be boring, but the author adds value to the story through the discussion of the complicated emotions the grieving families are going through. This is a good read for anyone who likes to hear a sad story with a happy ending or for anyone who likes to read about dramatic scenarios and emotions.

Publication Information

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

Contact us at 1-800-226-6075 or via email at

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

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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.