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.

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Sep 18

Kansas Talking Books News Update – Fall 2020

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 3:23 PM by Michael Lang

From the Director’s Desk
Autumnal Greetings!

Thanks to everyone who took time to attend or view the recording of our 50th Anniversary celebration. Though not what we had initially planned, the online event provided an opportunity for many of our patrons, partners across the state, and colleagues at other talking book and braille libraries across the country to join in the celebration. If you were unable to attend, a recording of the event can be accessed at

If your upcoming meeting has been moved online and you need a program or presenter, consider having a representative of Talking Books speak to your organization/group. If interested call 620-341-6281 and speak with Maggie to see how we can help.

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

Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep reading.
–Michael Lang, Director

Kansas Talking Books Updates

COVID-19 Update
Our COVID-19 safety protocols remain in place. As a precaution to protect our staff from the virus, we are quarantining incoming items for 72 hours once received in our library. A safe and healthy staff ensures that we are able to continue to serve you. Once out of quarantine, items are inspected and cleaned before returning to circulation.

This will cause delays in shipping materials to you but there are ways to minimize this inconvenience.
  • Return individual books when you finish them rather than returning as a group.
  • Call or email us to increase the number of books you can have checked out at a time.
  • Sign up for BARD to download books and supplement your mailed items.

Phone Book Club
With all the hustle and bustle of the season, join talking book patrons from across the state on Wednesday, December 9, to discuss DB 81845 Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Annotation: Georgie McCool’s career as a television writer is taking off, but her marriage to Neal is in trouble. Missing the Christmas trip with her family is the last straw, and they go to Omaha without her. When Georgie tries to phone Neal, she somehow calls the past. Some strong language. 2014.

Discussion sessions are at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. To sign up, call 1-800-362-0699 or email and let us know which session you would like to join.

Summer Reading Success!
Congratulations to our summer reading weekly and grand prize winners and a huge thank you to all our participants for making the 2020 Imagine Your Story summer reading program a success! We encourage you and all of our patrons to join next year’s Tails and Tales summer reading program.

We also want to thank the Kansas Advisory Council for Talking Books for providing the prizes for our summer reading program and their continued support of KTB.

News from NLS

Shipping Delays
Operations of several NLS vendors have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months. Network libraries and patrons should still expect delays or disruptions in shipments of products, including braille magazines, talking books, and braille books.

Kansas Talking Books has just started receiving our fist new books since April. They will be added to the shelves and mailed out to patrons as quickly as possible.

Electronic Certifying Authority Signatures for Applications
NLS has determined that in lieu of a handwritten signature from the certifying authority, we can accept complete contact information for certifying authorities submitted on a properly completed electronic application form. “Complete contact information” for certifying authorities includes the following mandatory fields: full legal name; title/position; organization name; complete mailing address; email address; telephone number; and date.

Completed forms can be transmitted electronically, emailed, printed and mailed via USPS or any other carrier, or hand-delivered to the appropriate network library. These forms will be considered as “certified” copies. As is currently the case, libraries will be responsible for verifying the authenticity of the information in cases where more clarity is required.

NLS Wants Your Input for Technology Products and Initiatives!
The NLS Reading Technology Advisory Group (RTAG) needs new members!

RTAG meets twice a year to provide feedback on new NLS products and initiatives. Currently, RTAG is focused on updates to BARD, the braille eReader project, and a “smart speaker” voice-controlled device. Each of these initiatives will have its own working group within RTAG. Meetings—to be attended online—will resume in fall 2020.

Although RTAG members can be network library staff, hardware repair volunteers, and other subject matter experts, NLS patrons are especially encouraged to apply to join RTAG. For questions, please contact your local network library or email questions directly to Applications—a statement of your background and qualifications (no more than two pages)—should be submitted to by Wednesday, September 30.

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: What We’ve Been Reading
Our readers’ advisors and regional library system consultants have decided to share the books they have been reading in the past few months. Some are about current events while others are passages of escape to other worlds. Hopefully, one, or more, of these books will be your next read.

Wanda Brown – Southeast Kansas Library System Consultant
DB 99187 The Room Where it Happened by John Bolton
President Trump's former National Security Advisor describes his time with the Trump administration. Bolton expresses his negative views of the president's choices and priorities, comparing Trump's presidency to those of past presidents he served. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020.

Amanda Diggs – Production Manager
DB 70123 The Highland Fling Murders: Murder She Wrote, Book 8 by Donald Bain
Jessica Fletcher, in Britain promoting her latest mystery novel, accepts an invitation to stay at the Scotland Yard inspector's ancestral Scottish castle, which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of an executed seventeenth-century witch. When a local girl is murdered in an eerily similar manner, Jessica investigates. Clean Reads Collection. 6 hours, 57 minutes.

Michael Lang – Director
DB 98955 The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Vincent Smith is a bartender at an upscale hotel on Vancouver Island when she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a man running an international Ponzi scheme. She poses as his wife, but walks away after Alkaitis is exposed. Years later, she disappears at sea. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Maggie Witte – Outreach Librarian
DB 98177 Love lettering by Kate Clayborn
Meg's hand-lettering skills have made her designed planners a hot item in New York. She's suffering from a creative block, however, and an unlikely encounter with disgruntled former client, Reid, might give her the inspiration she needs. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Dylan Calhoon – Patron Services Manager
DB 92453 Never ran, Never will: Boyhood and football in a changing American inner city by Albert Samaha
Chronicles the working-class, mostly black neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and the youth football team that provides a refuge for some of the community's kids. Profiles several of the boys on the team and examines how football is their possible road to the American dream. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

Aaron Heil – Readers’ Advisor
DB 96181 Lent by Jo Walton
Florence, 1492. Girolamo Savonarola is a Dominican monk who can foretell the future and see demons. On the eve of Lorenzo de' Medici's death, Girolamo finds a green stone that turns out to be the key to his true nature. Some violence. 2019.

Services Spotlight: Manhattan VIP Book Club
Prior to COVID-19, the Manhattan VIP (Visually Impaired Persons) Book Club and Support Group would meet at Meadowlark Hills. When COVID-19 prevented anyone from going into the nursing home/retirement center, Manhattan VIP Book Club started meeting virtually. As such, it is opening its arms to all Kansas Talking Books patrons.

The group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month using Zoom. You can use your computer, mobile device, or phone to join in. If you would like to participate in the Manhattan VIP Book Club or would like more information, please contact Maggie Witte at 620-341-6281 or by email.

The books we will be reading for the next couple of months are:

October 22, 2020
DB 87310 The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
In fourteenth-century Russia, young Vasilisa Petrovna can see and talk to the ancient spirits of the house and the forest. When her stepmother and a new village priest speak out against the old ways, angering the spirits, only Vasilisa can save her people. Contains some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

November 17, 2020
DB 96864 This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
Odie, his older brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and little Emmy escape from the Lincoln School and the harsh superintendent. They use a canoe to travel down the Mississippi River, intent on finding a new place for themselves, and cross paths with other drifters. Contains some strong language and violence. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

December 15, 2020 (Two Books)
DB 87732 Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life…and maybe the world by William H. McRaven
A retired US Navy admiral expands upon the commencement address he gave that became a viral YouTube video. He shares some of the principles he learned while training as a Navy SEAL that have helped him throughout his life. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
DB 93396 Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg
Inspired by her friend Arthur, Lucille Howard has begun teaching baking classes. She's even hired lonely divorcé Iris to be her assistant and tries to help her neighbors when tragedy strikes. Sequel to The Story of Arthur Truluv (DB 89990). Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

Locally Produced Magazines
Our volunteer recording program is on hiatus. However, KTB staff continue to ensure that our local magazines are recorded and distributed in a timely manner. Contact KTB to subscribe to these or one of our other magazines.

KABVI News: Newsletter of the Kansas Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Quarterly.

Kansas!: Every issue tells a story that captures the beauty and essence of our state. Features highlight a variety of topics -from the people and communities to the food and cultures, as well as the striking scenery and beautiful landscapes that make Kansas a unique place to live and visit. Quarterly.

Kansas Country Living: Of interest to Kansas rural electric cooperative members. Readers are informed of energy issues, industry news, other related topics & their impact on rural electrification. Also features articles about people, events, food & travel in Kansas. Monthly

Keynotes: A news magazine for older Kansans’ and their families. Focusing on issues related to Kansas seniors including state and federal legislation, health care, estate planning, etc. Bimonthly

The Secret Place: Each daily devotion in this magazine includes a Scripture passage, an original meditation, and a brief prayer. Written by Christian writers from across the nation, these meditations share comfort and inspiration found in life’s everyday details. This combination of Scriptural and personal insight provides both a timeless and timely perspective for contemplative meditation that draws you closer to God in your daily walk as a Christian. Monthly

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays
Columbus Day: Monday, October 12 (Postal Holiday)
Veterans Day: Wednesday, November 11
Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 26 & Friday, November 27
Christmas: Thursday, December 24 & Friday, December 25
New Year’s Day: January 1, 2021

Contact Information for Kansas Talking Books

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

1 Kellogg Circle, Box 4055
Emporia, KS 66801


On Twitter : @KSTalkingBooks