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Jun 01

[ARCHIVED] Kansas Talking Books News Update – Summer 2018

The original item was published from June 1, 2018 4:37 PM to August 6, 2018 12:30 PM

From the Director’s Desk
Warm greetings and happy summer to you! There’s still time to sign up for the 2018 Summer Reading program (and still time to win prizes). See next article for more information.

I am excited to announce that our new State Librarian, Eric Norris, stepped into his role in April. Congratulations, we are excited to work with you.

In other news, the Advisory Council for Talking Books Services needs three new members. The purpose of the council is to promote library services to citizens of 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 advises the State Librarian and Director of Kansas Talking Books.

We are in search of consumers or direct caregivers of consumers from the following areas in Kansas: northeast, south central, and southwest. Members serve three-year terms. Typically, we meet twice per year, on the first Wednesdays of October and April. Meetings are held at various locations across the state and online through Zoom.

If you would like to know more about the advisory council and this opportunity, please contact me at or 1-800-362-0699.

If you'd like to receive this newsletter in an audio format please call a reader's advisor at 1-800-362-0699.

Keep cool and keep reading!

–Michael Lang, Director

Summer Reading Program

Join us for the Summer Reading Program. The theme this year is Libraries Rock! We’ll have fun summer reading activities and book recommendations posted to our Facebook page throughout the program.

Just for signing up, your name will be placed in a weekly drawing for a $10 gift card. At the end of the program, return your reading log to be entered in the grand prize drawing for a $50 gift card.

To sign up for the program, call 1-800-362-0699 or email letting us know you’re interested. Once we receive your call or email, an information packet will be mailed to you with everything you need to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!

News from NLS

2018 NLS National Conference

Michael Lang, Kansas Talking Books Director, will attend the biennial National NLS Conference, June 17–21 in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference will feature presentations by NLS and network library staff, training sessions, opportunities for informal information-sharing, and more. Ronnie Milsap, one of country and pop music’s biggest stars since the 1970s and an NLS patron, will speak at the conference.

“This summer’s national conference in Nashville will lay the groundwork for the next 20 years of the braille and talking book program,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said.

-adapted from NLS News January-March 2018

New NLS Music Section head

Juliette Appold took the reins of the NLS Music Section this past July. “The section head position at NLS binds all my previous work and interests together,” Appold explained. “The future of NLS is digital. Once we have material digitized, we can duplicate it and preserve it in different formats. Digitization is preservation.”

Appold has focused her efforts on accelerating the digitization of the NLS braille collection. “We have more than 20,000 braille scores,” she said. “Six months ago, 11 percent were digitized. Now, 13 percent are.” The section scans 1,200 –1,400 pages a month, prioritizing patron requests and rare scores. Her long-term plans go beyond the music already held by NLS. “We want to be the hub for digital braille music files for educational institutions around the country,” Appold said.

The NLS music collection includes braille and large-print musical scores, recorded instructional materials, and recorded materials about music and musicians. Any person eligible for NLS service is also eligible for NLS music services. However, while patrons receive most NLS services through the network of cooperating libraries, music materials are circulated directly to patrons from the NLS headquarters in Washington, D.C. To receive music materials from NLS, eligible patrons may contact the NLS Music Section via email (, phone at 1-800-424-8567 ext. 2, fax at (202) 707-0712, or postal mail at:

Music Section
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542

-adapted from NLS News January-March 2018

Phone-In Book Club

The first Kansas Talking Book Phone-In Book Club is approaching fast. The book club will be Wednesday, June 13th, with discussions at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Join us for a lively discussion and meet other Talking Book patrons from across the state. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home.

The book we will discuss is DB 74698 The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Best-Kept Secret by Kent Hartman. Annotation: Music-industry insider profiles the Los Angeles-area studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, who in the 1960s and '70s secretly played instruments on such hits as "California Dreamin'" and "Bridge over Troubled Water." Discusses group members Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and others who forged their own successful careers. Contains some strong language. 2012.

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: Blind Musician Biographies

With so many books about music it’s hard to pick just a few. There’s music history, music theory, biographies, novels, children’s books, and more. We’ve rounded up a list of biographies and autobiographies of blind musicians that we hope you’ll enjoy.

DB 32896 – Almost Like a Song by Ronnie Milsap & Tom Carter. Taken in by dirt-poor, but loving grandparents after his mother rejected him, Ronnie was soon sent off to a school for the blind. There, among other things, he learned discipline, determination, and classical music--acquirements that shaped his boyhood, his career, and his success as a country music superstar. His inspiring story reveals little-known aspects of the music industry where he rose to the top.

DB 67059 – Ray Charles: "I was born with music inside me" by Carin T. Ford. Biography of musical legend Ray Charles (1930-2004), who became blind at age seven. Chronicles his education at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and his career. Describes his love of music and his struggles with racial prejudice, marriage difficulties, drug abuse, and legal problems. For grades 6-9. 2008.

DB 71033 – The Ballad of Blind Tom by Deidre O’Connell. Biography of Thomas Wiggins (1849-1908), a blind and possibly autistic musical savant known as "Blind Tom," who was born a slave in Georgia. A piano prodigy and child composer, Wiggins became a novelty act of worldwide renown, profiting his white guardian. Chronicles his achievements and later descent into obscurity. 2009.

DB 71430 – Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell by Michael Gray. Author Michael Gray recounts his odyssey through the Deep South to research this biography of Georgia blues singer and twelve-string guitarist William Samuel McTell (1903-1959), who was born blind. Portrays Willie's travels and performances during the segregation era and the way his reputation grew after his death. 2009.

DB 75761 – Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight by Laurie Rubin. Rubin, a blind mezzo-soprano opera singer born with perfect pitch and Leber’s Amaurosis, a disease that prevents the retina from developing, recounts her idyllic California childhood learning to read braille, use a cane, ski, and taking voice lessons. Highlights her struggles getting roles because of her disability. Young adult appeal. 2012.

DB 76081 – Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind : A Memoir by Peter Altschul. Autobiography of blind musician, composer, and social worker Altschul. Describes his youth in New York, education at Princeton University and the New England Conservatory, and career and marriage. Also discusses his experience obtaining dogs through the Guiding Eyes for the Blind. 2012.

DB 76189 – Blind but Now I See: The Biography of Music Legend Doc Watson by Kent Gustavson. Biography of blind Grammy Award-winning guitarist, songwriter, and singer Arthel "Doc" Watson (1923-2012) from Appalachian North Carolina. Explores his training at the Raleigh School for the Blind, rise during the 1960s folk revival, partnership with his son Merle, and the development of his flatpicking style of guitar playing. 2010.

DB 83529 – Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis by Ian Zack. Accidentally blinded in infancy, Davis endured an impoverished childhood in South Carolina. Through his extraordinary gifts as a guitar player, however, he made a life as a street singer and preacher, moving to New York in the 1940s and, eventually, becoming an icon of the 1960s folk music revival. 2015

DBC11196 – The Wonder Years: My life and times with Stevie Wonder by Ted Hull & Paula L. Stahel. The story of early Motown, when talented young stars were on the rise. A teacher, Ted Hull, enabled Stevie Wonder to pursue both his music career and education. Visually impaired himself, Ted showed the teen blindness needn't limit independence or adventure. 2000.

New to the Collection
We recently added 15 new DVDs to our collection of descriptive videos. These DVDs include audio tracks that describe the action on screen between dialogue. To sign up for descriptive video service and/or order DVDs please call Kathy at 620-341-6283.

MINIONS - DVD00042 Since the dawn of time, Minions have served (and accidentally eliminated) history's most despicable villains. After their latest explosive mistake leaves them without an evil leader, the Minions fall into a deep depression. With the tribe on the brink of collapse, three unlikely heroes-Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, embark on a journey to find a new big boss. Comedy /Animation PG

FROZEN - DVD00043 Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey-teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. Fantasy/Animation PG

MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS - DVD00044 Mr. Popper, a successful businessman who's clueless when it comes to the really important things in life, gets an unexpected present...six adorable penguins. Soon Popper's rambunctious roommates turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland - and the rest of his world upside down. Comedy PG

A DOG'S PURPOSE - DVD00045 The soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Fantasy/Adventure PG

LIFE OF PI - DVD00046 After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with only one other survivor - a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey that must be seen to be believed. Fantasy/Adventure PG

THE BOOK THIEF - DVD00047 When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel is adopted by a German couple. Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Mas, a Jew hiding from Hitler's army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them. Drama/War PG-13

HIDDEN FIGURES - DVD00048 The incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn, a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race. The visionary trio crossed all gender and racial lines and inspired generations. Biography/History PG

MILLION DOLLAR ARM - DVD00049 In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent JB Bernstein dreams up a wild game plan to find Major League Baseball's next great pitcher from a pool of cricket players in India. He soon discovers two young men who can throw a fastball but know nothing about the game of baseball or America. Biography/Drama PG

SKYFALL: 007 - DVD00050 When Bond's latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Mallory, the new Chairman of the intelligence and security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows, aided only by field agent Eve, following a trail to the mysterious Silva, whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves. Action/Adventure PG-13

THE MONUMENTS MEN - DVD00051 It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys, seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 - possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. History/Drama 2014

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY - DVD00052 When the chilly chef proprietress of a Michelin-starred French restaurant in southern France gets wind of a culinary immigrant opening an Indian restaurant just 100 feet from her own, her icy protests escalate to all-out war between the two establishments. It's a celebration of triumph over exile as these two worlds collide and one young man tries to find the comfort of home in every pot - wherever he may be. Comedy/Drama PG

EDDIE THE EAGLE - DVD00053 Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards is an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself, even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, the lovable underdog wins the hearts of fans around the world by making an unforgettable showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Biography/Comedy PG-13

I SAW THE LIGHT - DVD00054 The story of legendary country western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life. Biography/Romance R

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL - DVD00055 Heaven is for Real recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. A four year old, Colton shares the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth, things he couldn't possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event. Biography/Drama PG

THE MARTIAN - DVD00056 During a manned mission to mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and sprit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Sci-Fi/Adventure PG-13

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays Reminder

Wednesday, July 4th – Talking Books Office Closed (Independence Day)
Monday, September 3rd – Talking Books Office Closed (Labor Day)
Monday, October 8th – Postal Holiday, No Mail (Columbus Day)
Monday, November 12th – Talking Books Office Closed (Veterans Day)
Thursday, November 22nd – Talking Books Office Closed (Thanksgiving)
Friday, November 23rd – Talking Books Office Closed (Thanksgiving)

Contact Information for Kansas Talking Books

1 Kellogg Circle, Box 4055
Emporia, KS 66801


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

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