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Jun 20

[ARCHIVED] Kansas Talking Books News Update – Summer 2019

The original item was published from June 20, 2019 9:07 AM to June 20, 2019 9:26 AM

Kansas Talking Books News Update – Summer 2019

From the Director’s Desk

I like Kansas summers. There is no better time to sit in an air conditioned room and read. Too bad library work isn’t just reading books.

Kansas Talking Book staff is hard at work to bring you a number of programs for all ages. Summer reading is in full swing and this year includes an online story time for kids, our Youth Reading Club kicked off in June, our quarterly phone book club meets in September, and we’re gearing up for next year’s 50th Anniversary events. That’s a busy calendar. I hope that you will be able to participate in one (or more) of these events.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, call 800-362-0699 or email me, I’m here to help.

Stay cool, have fun, and read on.

–Michael Lang, Director

KTB News

Artistic Abilities Traveling Art Show: Call for Artists
Kansas Talking Books is celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2020. As part of our celebration, we are inviting KTB patrons to share their Artistic Abilities for our second traveling art show.

Artists with print disabilities, who are registered with Kansas Talking Books, may submit photos of their artwork for review. Submissions can include paintings, sculpture, quilts, ceramics, woodworking, folk art, jewelry, textiles, photos or other creative endeavors. The submission deadline is December 1st, 2019. Submission instructions and more details are at

Artwork will be exhibited at yet to be determined locations across the state from February to December 2020.

Online Story Time for Kids
KTB invites all of our young patrons to explore the phases of the moon with a reading of A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin and tactile elements during our first online story time. This book is intended for children 5-10 years of age but might be enjoyed by slightly older children as well.

To register your child call, 1-800-362-0699 or email by July 8th in order to ensure that materials are received in time. Participants will be able to join online or via their phones through the Zoom Video Conferencing platform. This program is only available to registered talking book patrons.

Phone Book Club: September 18th
Walk with us through history and a search for truth and understanding as KTB’s quarterly phone book club discusses DB 90958 - Warlight by Michael Ondaatje on Wednesday, September 18th. You can join in the discussion at 10:00 a.m. or, if you’re working, spend your lunch hour discussing this interesting book at 12 noon.

Annotation: Now an older man, Nathaniel Williams uses archival materials to investigate his parents and the reasons why, during the waning days of World War II, they would have left him and his sister in the care of two men who might have been criminals. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

To sign up call 1-800-362-0699 or email, and let us know which session you would like to join. On the 18th we will call you; all you have to do is answer the phone.

Summer Reading: A Universe of Stories
Kansas…Kansas…We are maintaining our current course of an exploration of a Universe of Stories.

KTB’s summer reading program blasted off June 1st, but we continue to welcome patrons to join and discover the variety of stories books hold within. Everyone who participates is entered to win weekly prize drawings, get themed book recommendations, and find activities and crafts online for all ages and abilities at

Youth Reading Club
If you are a KTB patron, 17 or under, and love to read (or at least like to receive rewards), you are invited to join our new KTB Youth Reading Club (YRC). Members receive personalized reading recommendations based on your likes and dislikes and rewards for every preset reading goal met.

This year-round program is all about you, with KTB staff dedicated to helping you find the reading materials you enjoy. If you would like to join, please contact our office by calling 1-800-362-0699, emailing, or filling out this form.

Good-Bye Cassette Tapes
KTB will phase out our cassette collection, the old tapes in green cases, at the end of June. Starting July 1, 2019, cassette tapes will no longer be available for check out. This does not affect your digital books; the cartridges in blue/grey/maroon cases with one large hole on the end that slide into your talking books machine.

News from NLS

NLS Magazines
NLS has confirmed a problem with the Magazine on Cartridge (MOC) system. MOC did not properly credit a number of accounts with returned cartridges, causing those accounts to go into delinquent status. NLS is correcting this issue and the correction should return the status of these patron accounts to non-delinquent. If you have experienced recent troubles with your NLS magazines, call KTB at 1-800-362-0699 and we will work to clear your account of inaccurate overdue magazines.

Catster Magazine
Calling all cat enthusiasts! NLS is working on the production of Catster magazine in braille. Issues of the magazine will be available to patrons through BARD and, via subscription, in hardcopy braille, beginning with the May/June issue. If you are interested in subscribing to Catster in hardcopy braille, please contact our office at 1-800-362-0699 or

NLS Name Change
NLS has received final approval from the Librarian of Congress to change its name. This move will address the use of outdated language in the current name and more clearly communicate the breadth of those we serve. Beginning on October 1, the name will change officially to “National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled,” though the NLS abbreviation will continue to be used. Both NLS and Library of Congress sought input on this change from stakeholder groups and gathered data through various public channels.

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: A Universe of Stories
Here are some of our favorite space-themed books being recommended during our 2019 A Universe of Stories summer reading program.

Books for Adults

DB 88145The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Annotation: A crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet on its way to the job of a lifetime. The crew includes a young Martian woman and a pacifist captain. They travel against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds. Strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

DB 77196The Humans by Matt Haig
Annotation: An alien visitor takes the form of professor Andrew Martin to study humans--and to derail a discovery that the real Martin has made. He bonds with Martin's wife and son, leaving him with a difficult decision when his mission demands closure. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2013.

DB 77126The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable, True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-bats in Nineteenth Century New York by Matthew Goodman
Annotation: Chronicles the events of August 1835 when the tabloid newspaper the New York Sun published a series of articles declaring that the moon was inhabited by unicorns, beavers, and man-bats. Details the hoax's worldwide popularity and the rise of the Sun as the most read newspaper in the world. 2008.

DB 84440Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
Annotation: Biologist profiles the women who contributed to the development of the United States' space program, particularly the human computers, in the 1940s and 1950s. Uses interviews with living members of the team to depict life in science before the use of digital computing. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

Books for Kids and Teens

DB 82700 Space Case: A Moon Base Alpha Novel by Stuart Gibbs
Annotation: After the death of Moon Base Alpha's top lunar scientist, twelve-year-old moon-colonist Dashiell Gibson suspects it was murder. However, no one believes him, and Dash investigates the clues left behind. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2014.

DB 45666American Astronomers: Searchers and Wonderers by Carole Ann Camp
Annotation: Profiles the lives of ten Americans who observed the heavens and made major contributions to the science of astronomy. Includes pioneer comet-discoverer Maria Mitchell, telescope designer George Hale, and Carl Sagan, who popularized science for many Americans. For grades 5-8.

DB 31079How Did We Find Out about Comets? by Isaac Asimov
Annotation: Explores ancient beliefs and fears about comets, and traces the history of scientific knowledge of these phenomena. Also discusses how scientists plot the orbit of a comet, and the relationship of comets to meteorites and asteroids. For grades 5-8 and older readers.

DB 85357
Galaxy Zack, Books 1-4: Hello, Nebulon!; Journey to Juno; The Prehistoric Planet; Monsters in Space! by Ray O’Ryan
Annotation: Moving from Earth to the futuristic planet Nebulon in 2120, eight-year-old Zack is nervous about starting school and meeting people and aliens in Hello, Nebulon! Compilation also includes Journey to Juno, The Prehistoric Planet, and Monsters in Space! For grades K-3. 2013.

Recent Locally Produced Books
As we say good-bye to our cassette collection KTB staff have been busy converting our audio cassettes into a digital format, allowing them to be played on the digital talking book machines and downloaded from BARD. Below you will find a number of these titles, now available in digital.

DBC15015Visits from the Afterlife: Truth about Hauntings, Spirits, Reunions with Lost Loved Ones by Sylvia Browne and Lindsay Harrison
Annotation: The author details encounters into the other side, describing visitations with ghosts, in-transition spirits and troubled souls seeking peace and closure. She travels to locations as diverse as haunted homes and ships possessed by otherworldly forces. Through these spiritual visits, she explains the reasons behind many of the world's most bizarre and mysterious hauntings, and she shares her own personal, face-to-face experiences with these inexplicable phenomena.

DBC15012Waking in the Flint Hills: Poems of the People and the Land by Steven Hind
Annotation: A collection of poems by a Kansas native highlighting the richness of life in central Kansas.

DBC15009Phog Allen: The Father of Basketball Coaching by Blair Kerkhoff
Annotation: Forrest C. ("Phog") Allen overcame the argument of James Naismith, inventor of the game, that basketball didn't need a coach. Allen served (for a while under Naismith) at the University of Kansas as coach from 1907 to 1909 and from 1919 to 1956, and as Athletic Director from 1919 to 1937, also heading the Physical Education Department for a time. Kansas City Star Sportswriter Kerkhoff has written an evenhanded yet generally laudatory story of a highly controversial figure who spoke his mind even when his words spelled trouble for him. He attacked some of his faculty colleagues in the KU Medical School, who objected to having a department head with a degree in osteopathy, carried on a running battle with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and stubbornly clung to his opinion --never heeded -- that the basket should be raised from 10 to 12 feet above court.

DBC17259Pioneer Summer: Prairie Skies Series, Book 1 by Deborah Hopkinson
Annotation: After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1855, eight-year-old Charlie's abolitionist parents decide to move their three children from Massachusetts to Kansas. As members of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, they hope to help vote that Western territory into the union as a free state. Distraught that he must leave his aging dog and beloved grandfather, Charlie is partially consoled by his grandfather, who gently and eloquently reassures him that the Kansas sky is the same sky that covers Massachusetts. Award winner. For grades 6-9.

DBC15013Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
Annotation: A novel of an African-American boy's coming of age in a small Kansas town. Strong language.

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays Reminder
Wednesday, July 4th – Talking Books Office Closed (Independence Day)
Monday, September 9th – Talking Books Office Closed (Labor Day)
Monday, October 14th – Postal Holiday (Columbus Day)

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Emporia, KS 66801


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