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May 31

[ARCHIVED] Kansas Talking Book News Update – Summer 2022

The original item was published from May 31, 2022 9:40 AM to June 1, 2022 9:09 AM

From the Director’s Desk

Pleasant greetings!

In May, Kansas Talking Book staff attended the online 2022 National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Print Disabled Individuals. This year’s theme was Insight Out: Expand, Engage, Empower!

Over four days we learned from National Library Service for the Blind & Print Disabled (NLS) staff and other talking book and braille libraries across the country about ways to enhance the services we provide you and how to reach more people who would benefit from library services. We also got a peek at upcoming BARD improvements and new technologies in development at NLS. Some very cool things are on the way.

I invite you to connect with us through our upcoming Summer Reading program, one of our virtual books clubs, or by checking out one of our new audio described DVDs. Details on all of these and more are below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly at 620-341-6287 or email me to discuss them.

Enjoy the warm weather, sign up for summer reading, and read on!

Michael Lang, Director

 KTB Updates
Oceans of Possibilities: Summer Reading 2022

Dive into our Oceans of Possibilities Summer Reading Program beginning June 1st. Registrants are automatically entered in a weekly prize drawing for a $10 Walmart gift card. Participants who return their reading logs showing that they met the minimum requirements (5 books read for adults; 60 minutes read each week for youth) will be entered in a random selection grand prize drawing for a $50 Walmart gift card.

Explore the ocean depths and ride the high tide with each week’s themed recommended book lists and activities posted to our website, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.  

Register now by calling 1-800-362-0699, emailing, or filling out our online form. Join the fun!

Phone Book Club, June 8th

Explore Oceans of Possibilities and join our June book club. We are reading and discussing DB 82438 The soul of an octopus: a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness by Sy Montgomery.

Annotation: Naturalist and documentary writer explores the world, intelligence, and consciousness of octopuses. Describes her interactions with captive giant Pacific octopuses named Athena, Octavia, Kali, and Karma at the New England Aquarium in Boston, and her field investigations in French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico. 2015.

Gather to meet and discuss the book with other Kansas Talking Books’ patrons from across the state. Discussion times are at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. (noon). Call the office at 1-800-362-0699 or email to sign up and let us know which session time you would prefer. We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information, visit our website

2022 Book Club Dates & Books

September 9 – DB 105197 The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

December 9 – DB 94113 Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Free Annual Bookshare Subscriptions for KTB Patrons

KTB and Bookshare have partnered again this year to offer free annual memberships to registered KTB readers. Bookshare is an online library of accessible ebooks for people with print disabilities with a collection of textbooks, career resources, and leisure reading in a variety of formats. A limited number of subscriptions are available.

Visit the Bookshare webpage or email KTB staff for information on how to sign up. An internet connection is required to access Bookshare. This is another great resource for KTB users to get accessible reading materials.

News from NLS

NLS Ceases Printing Large-Print Magazines

Due to the ongoing worldwide paper shortage and significant increases in printing costs, NLS has made the decision to cease production of all large-print magazines. These publications include Talking Book Topics (TBT), Braille Book Review (BBR), and Musical Mainstream (MM)Each magazine will continue to be available in all other forms in which they are currently produced. 

  • Talking Book Topics 
    • HTML and PDF on NLS Website
    • Audio from BARD
    • Audio by mail as a magazine on cartridge subscription 
    • Digital book from KTB
  • Braille Book Review
    • HTML on NLS Website
    • Hardcopy braille subscription
    • ebraille from BARD
  • Musical Mainstream 
    • Hardcopy braille 
    • ebraille from BARD
    • Audio from BARD
    • Audio by mail as a magazine on cartridge subscription 

The last large-print issues of BBR and MM will correspond with the end of the Federal Fiscal Year (September 30), TBT’s last hardcopy large-print issue was mailed in late December. 

BARD French Interface

NLS is pleased to announce that the BARD user interface is now available in French. Since fall 2019, the BARD interface has been available in Spanish as well as the default English. Patrons who would prefer to use BARD in French or Spanish can do so by selecting their language of choice from the Language Interface Settings drop-down menu on the main Account Settings page.

There are now more than 3,300 Spanish and 760 French talking books on BARD, along with more than 1,300 additional titles in 42 other languages.

Discontinued Magazines 

The following NLS magazines have ceased publication. 

  • Eating Well, braille 
  • ESPN: The Magazine, braille 
  • Martha Stewart Living, braille
  • People en Español, audio

Patron subscriptions will no longer be available, but patrons may still download existing back issues from BARD.

In addition, Parents braille magazine will be replaced in October 2022 by Today’s Parent magazine. Popular Science braille magazine will cease publication, but you may download or subscribe to an audio edition of the magazine on BARD.

Services Spotlight

Manhattan VIP Book Club 

The Manhattan VIP (Visually Impaired Persons) Book Club has gone virtual and opened to any Kansas Talking Books patrons who wish to participate. Meetings are held at 1:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month on ZOOM, which can be accessed via computer, mobile app on a smartphone or tablet, or by phone.

August is our planning session where we pick the books we will be reading for September 2022 through July 2023. All patrons are invited to participate. If you have any book recommendations for discussion, share them with Maggie Witte at 620-341-6281 or before the August 16th meeting. Books must be available through Kansas Talking Books to be added to the list of books reviewed during the meeting.

We are excited to welcome you to our book club! Please let Maggie know if you are interested in our June and/or July meetings. She will provide you with more information.

Audio-Described Theater at Starlight 

Audio-Reader is providing audio-description at Kansas City’s Starlight Theater’s 2022 Broadway Series  Saturday evening shows (other dates may be available upon request).

June 10 & 11 Hairspray

August 13 Anastasia

August 20 Sister Act

September 17 Prom

Listening devices for described performances will be available for checkout at Audio-Reader's table located at Terrace 2 Tickets: 816-363-7827 or visit their website

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: Summer Reading Preview

Get a sneak peek of the books selected for our summer reading book recommendation lists. We’ll have ocean related books for all ages all summer long. Check out our website or stay up-to-date via our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

DB 100815 Narwhal, unicorn of the sea: Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton

Annotation: A happy-go-lucky, waffle-loving narwhal and a cynical, no-nonsense jellyfish forge an unlikely friendship and share adventures while exploring the ocean together. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2016.

DB 71995 The wave: in pursuit of the rogues, freaks, and giants of the ocean by Susan Casey

Annotation: Explores the science, evidence, and legend behind rare one-hundred-foot-and-bigger behemoth waves. Chronicles the experiences of scientists and a tribe of surfers in their continual and dangerous search for the mammoth wave. Includes historical reconstructions of events that devastated ships and oil rigs. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2010.

DB 105522 Daughter of the deep by Rick Riordan

Annotation: Ana Dakkar begins school at Harding-Pencroft Academy--a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. There, Ana makes astounding discoveries about her heritage and tests her leadership skills against deadly enemies from a rival school. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2021.

DB 93081 The mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Annotation: 1785. Merchant Jonah Hancock is shocked when one of his ship's captains returns home with the news that he sold the ship for the mummified remains of a mermaid. All of London wants to see the wonder, and Jonah finds himself engaged in a perilous liaison. Contains some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

DB 81865 Pirate hunters: treasure, obsession, and the search for a legendary pirate ship by Robert Kurson

Annotation: Author of Shadow Divers (DB 58650) chronicles the story of John Chatterton (born 1951) and John Mattera (born 1962) and their search for the Golden Fleece, a pirate ship sunk off the coast of the Dominican Republic in the 1680s. Discusses challenges faced until the ship's 2008 discovery. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

DB 87202 A storm too soon: a remarkable true survival story in 80-foot seas by Mike Tougias

Annotation: Tougias tells the story of four coastguardsmen and their search for three veteran sailors who were on a forty-seven-foot sailboat that disappeared in the Gulf Stream during a calamitous storm in 2007. Adaptation for a younger audience. For grades 4-7. 2016.

DB 86181 Dive!: World War II stories of sailors & submarines in the Pacific by Deborah Hopkinson

Annotation: Recounts the story and events of America's little-known submarine warfare, also known as "silent service," in the Pacific during World War II. Includes personal accounts from U. S. Navy personnel serving aboard the vessels, submarine design, and descriptions of weaponry. For grades 6-9. 2016.

DB 93246 Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller

Annotation: A sustainable floating city, located in the Arctic Circle, begins to experience heightened levels of disease, crime, and corruption. A woman riding an orca arrives and unites the city's factions. If they band together, they may be able to save the city from crumbling. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

DB 54352 Auquagenesis: the origin and evolution of life in the sea by Richard Ellis

Annotation: Marine biologist traces the evolution of ocean life from the earliest microbes to the myriad species discovered in the twentieth century. Includes discussion of hydrothermal vents, land mammals that adapted to the sea, and the humans who study these creatures. 2001

Expanded Audio Described Movie Collection 

We have added several new descriptive audio DVDs to our collection. Descriptive audio is a form of narration used to provide information surrounding key visual elements in a movie. To order movies call Tiffany at 620-341-6283.



Historical Drama:


This is just a sample of the available titles. A full list of movies can be found on our online catalog.

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays Reminder
Monday, July 4: Independence Day

Monday, September 5: Labor Day
Contact Information for Kansas Talking Books 
 1 Kellogg Circle, Box 4055
 Emporia, KS 66801

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8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

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