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Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Questions: or 800-362-0699

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Nov 30

Kansas Talking Book News Update – Winter 2022

Posted on November 30, 2022 at 4:50 PM by Michael Lang

From the Director’s Desk

Winter greetings.

The end of the year is quickly approaching and with it comes a bit of reflection. 2022 is our first full year with all patrons receiving customized talking book cartridges and the change has been overwhelmingly positive. Readers have access to more books, the wait time for new books has decreased, and our reserve list has almost been eliminated!

Additionally, recent NLS initiatives to increase access to braille through the braille ereader and the braille on demand projects have been a boon to our braille readers. In 2022, we saw a 45% increase in braille service subscribers and a 74% increase in the amount of braille downloaded from BARD.

I know that change can also cause a few growing pains. I encourage you to reach out to us if you need to adjust your settings to better suit your needs. There are multiple ways we can customize your account to ensure you’re getting the materials you want.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact me directly at 620-341-6287 or email me to discuss them.

Stay safe, stay warm, keep reading, and happy holidays.

Michael Lang, Director

KTB Updates

Celebrate Kansas Talking Books Week, March 6-10, 2023

Mark your calendar for our annual Talking Books Week celebration March 6-10. Details will be announced in early 2023 on our social media channels and in our Spring 2023 newsletter. Stay tuned!

Advisory Council Members Needed

The Advisory Council for Kansas Talking Books is seeking two new consumer and/or caregiver members, one each from Southeast and Southwest Kansas.

The purpose of the council is to promote library services to those citizens in Kansas who are eligible for Talking Books, to publicize the availability of such services, to provide consumer input to libraries and to augment and support these services. The council meets twice a year, in April and October. Members can attend meetings in person or via Zoom.

If you are interested in learning more, please email Michael Lang.

Quarterly Virtual Book Club, December 14

On December 14, join KTB patrons from across the state for a lively discussion of DB 94113 Gingerbread  by Helen Oyeyemi. Call the library at 1-800-362-0699 or email to register.

Annotation: Perdita Lee grew up with her mother Harriet, making gingerbread from a recipe handed down from generations of Harriet's family in the mysterious country of Druhástrana. When teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. Some strong language, some violence, and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2019. 

News from NLS

Announcing NLS Patron Listserv

Want to get the latest news and updates from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled? NLS’s Patron Engagement Section now hosts an announce-only listserv that will include announcements about NLS programs, services, and products that might be of interest to patrons. New announcements will be posted to the list a few times a week.

If you are interested in signing up for this listserv, please send your name and email address to the Patron Engagement Section at You will be able to unsubscribe yourself from the list at any time.

BARD Password Reset Update

A secret question and answer is no longer necessary to reset your own BARD password. The new, simpler steps to reset a password from the BARD website are as follows:

Open the BARD login page and click the Reset your BARD password here

On the reset your lost password page, type the email address associated with the BARD account in the Email Address field, then click the Submit button.

BARD will send an email with a link that will redirect back to the BARD website, where you can create a new password. The link will expire in one hour.

Note that there is now a button called Show/Hide password, which appears as an eye shape, following the confirmation field on the create a new password page. By default, everything written in the password fields is hidden. If you would like to be able to see what is being typed in the password fields, the Show/Hide button can be toggled in order to show what is being typed.

Braille-on-Demand Book Increase

The NLS Braille-on-Demand project has increased the number of books a patron can request to FIVE per month! The form to request a braille-on-demand book can be found at this link. Readers may complete the form themselves or contact Kansas Talking Books for assistance.

The Braille-on-Demand project allows active NLS patrons to request and receive hard-copy braille titles which they can keep for their personal use. Braille titles are limited to books that are currently available on BARD.


Quarterly Patron Corner, December 12

Join NLS On Monday, December 12, at 6:00 p.m. CST for Do You Hear What I Hear: The NLS Music Section Is Not Just for Musicians. Guest speakers will include Juliette Appold, head of the NLS Music Section, and other members of the Music Section. The session will run for 90 minutes. Information on how to join this zoom meeting can be found on the NLS website.

The Many Faces of BARD, December 8

The Patron Engagement Section offers The Many Faces of BARD online event the second Thursday of every month, at 6:00 p.m. central time. The topics for the December 8 program will be account settings and preferences and the password reset feature. For information, including the Zoom link to join, please email

NLS Magazine Delays

Audio magazine production on magazines on cartridge (MOC) was stalled the week of October 3 due to a BARD database configuration that caused unexpected errors. Distribution of MOC has resumed, and NLS anticipated the backlog of approximately 22,000 cartridges to finish shipping by November 24.

If you are still not receiving magazines that you believe you should have, please email or call Kansas Talking Books.

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: Locally Produced Books

Kansas Talking Books records and produces audio books about Kansas and by Kansas authors on site in the Gerald Kopp recording studio. Once recorded, books are uploaded to BARD for use by talking book readers across the country. Here’s a list of our recently added titles.  

DBC17281 Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River by Max McCoy.

The upper Arkansas River courses through the heart of America from its headwaters near the Continental Divide above Leadville, Colorado, to Arkansas City, just above the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Max McCoy embarked on a trip of 742 miles in search of the river's unique story. Part adventure and part reflection, steeped in the natural and cultural history of the Arkansas Valley, Elevations is McCoy's account of that journey. Adult. Violence and strong language.

DBC17267 Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty.

When Leigh was growing up, she always believed she would be a good mother. She would be the kind of mother a daughter could come to for comfort, advice or understanding. She had it all planned out. Then, one summer's day, something terrible happens to the Churchill family. Something that shatters the already fragile relationship that mother and daughter share - testing it, and the rest of the Churchill family, to the very limit. Adult. Some strong language.

DBC17274 A Kansas Bestiary by Jake Vail.

This book presents Kansas animals as you've never imagined them, fifteen portraits in word and image assembled from deep time to present day, offering fantastic yet true-to-life views of our contemporary wild neighbors. A Kansas Notable Book. Adult. Some strong language.

DBC17280 All Hallows Shadows. Pete Stone Series, Book 3 by Michael D. Graves.

A young woman is stabbed to death in Wichita. Within hours police nab a suspect and put him behind bars. The case is open and shut, until a university professor calls on Pete Stone, Private Investigator, to prove that the suspect is innocent. He hires Stone to find the real killer. Stone harbors doubts about the professor and his motives; the professor is keeping secrets of his own. Another murder, too similar to the first killing, leaves puzzling clues that point to the professor. Is he a serial killer, a mere pawn in a cruel game, or the next victim? Stone must find answers before another innocent person is slain.

DBC17284 Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales from the Tallgrass Prairie by James F. Hoy.

The Flint Hills are America's last tallgrass prairie, a green enclave set in the midst of the farmland of eastern Kansas. Known as the home of the Big Beef Steer, these rugged hills have produced exemplary cowboys -- both the ranch and rodeo varieties -- whose hard work has given them plenty of material for equally good stories. Adult.

DBC17285 Bonepile by Gaylord Dold.

One beautiful summer Mitch Roberts is visiting his grandmother in a small Kansas town. A young girl there wants Roberts to help free her brother who has been on death row for fourteen years. The girl insists her brother did not commit the crime. So, Roberts gives up his vacation to investigate but no one is willing to talk, either about the crime or the long-ago love affair that seems to be connected with it. Then a loaded shotgun blasts through the terrified silence and the killer coils to strike again Adult. Some violence and some strong language.

DBC17293 The Small-Town Midwest: Resilience and Hope in the Twenty-First Century by Julianne Couch.

Most people in the United States live in urban areas; still, there are nearly fifty million people living in small towns of just a few thousand people or less. Some towns are within a short drive of a metropolitan area where people can work, shop, or go to school; some are an hour or more from any sort of urban hub. In this book, Julianne Couch sets out to illuminate the lives and hopes of these small-town residents. As Couch found in her travels throughout the Midwest, many people long to return to these towns, places where they may have deep family roots or where they can enjoy short commutes, familiar neighbors, and proximity to rural and wild places. From Bellevue, Iowa, to Centennial, Wyoming, the region's small-town residents remain both hopeful and resilient. Adult.

DBC17295 Life In A Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer.

During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto.  After the war her heroism was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years-- until three high school girls from an economically depressed rural school district in southeast Kansas stumbled upon a tantalizing reference to Sendler's rescues, which they fashioned into a history project.

DBC17299 The Story of Ty Durant: Getting Even by Dee Penley.

This is a story set in the prairie states during the time of the great trail drives, before barbed wire fenced off the great, vast prairies and caused the end of an era. Cowboys rode together, ate together, lived together -- sometimes for months or years. Real friendships were made and this is the story of such a friendship. It is also the story of the loss of a great friend, and how one cowboy handles that loss. Rather than Ty Durant taking the killing of his friend, Derrick, lying down, Ty decides to hunt down the three outlaws who killed Derrick. He buries his friend, vowing at the gravesite that he will hunt down the three outlaws. He vows to get even for the loss of his pard. Contains strong language.

DBC17302 The Youngest Brother: On a Kansas Wheat Farm During the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression by Hugh C. Snyder.

A first-person account by the youngest of five children born to a prosperous Kansas wheat farmer during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.  This is a family's struggle to preserve their relationships and maintain the farm after the father became seriously crippled when the author was just a toddler.  With a touch of humor, it describes life as it was in the "good old days" when considerably more than half of all Americans lived on farms.

DBC17305 Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape.

An inspiring portrait of the extraordinary high-school football team whose quest for perfection sustains its hometown in the heartland, The football team in Smith Center, Kansas, has won sixty-seven games in a row, the nation's longest high-school winning streak. They have done so by embracing a philosophy of life taught by their legendary coach, Roger Barta: "Respect each other, then learn to love each other and together we are champions." But as they embarked on a quest for a fifth consecutive title in the fall of 2008, they faced a potentially destabilizing transition: the greatest senior class in school history had graduated, and Barta was contemplating retirement after three decades on the sidelines.

DBC05151 Girl In Reverse by Barbara Stuber.

When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and the fear of "commies" everywhere, Lily's Asian heritage makes her a target. For Lily, war is everywhere  -- the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin. Some strong language.

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays

Monday, December 26th – Talking Books Closed/Postal Holiday: Christmas

Monday, January 2nd  - Talking Books Closed/Postal Holiday: New Years

Monday, January 16th  – Talking Books Closed/Postal Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, February 20th  – Postal Holiday: President’s Day


Contact Information for Kansas Talking Books 

1 Kellogg Circle, Box 4055 

Emporia, KS 66801 

1-800-362-0699 (Toll-free)


Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m 


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On Twitter : @KSTalkingBooks