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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Nov 30

Kansas Talking Book News Update - Winter 2021

Posted on November 30, 2021 at 8:55 AM by Michael Lang

From the Director’s Desk

Winter greetings.

Kansas Talking Books will be without phones and with limited internet starting at noon on Wednesday, December 29th through Tuesday, January 4th. We will still be mailing items out. If you need to contact us during those times, email and we will help you as we are able. If you leave a voicemail during this time, we will not be able to respond until January 5th. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs is conducting a survey of Kansas Talking Book users. The survey can be accessed online here. I encourage you to provide them with your impressions and suggestions for improvement. The online survey will be active until December 21.   

Keep reading for more news from KTB and NLS, reading recommendations, and information on Humanities Kansas TALK program.

If you have any 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

Mailing Back Your Custom Cartridges

We have had a few questions about how to mail back the new custom cartridges. To return the custom cartridges, remove the mail card from the case. There is a return address label affixed to the backside of the case. This will act as your return mail card. The mail card you received can be disposed of as you see fit.

Welcome Tiffany, New Machine Clerk

Tiffany Fay joined Kansas Talking Books as our new Machine Clerk in September. She joins us with experience in both public and school libraries. In her spare time (the little she has as mom to two young boys), she loves to read, garden, and watch British mysteries. She's incredibly eager to serve this community of patrons as one of her sons is disabled. 

Field & Stream Now Available

KTB patrons can now receive Field and Stream magazine on talking book cartridge. We have partnered with Audio-Reader Network to record and distribute this magazine. Call 620-341-6282 or email to subscribe. 

Phone Book Club

Check out the selection for our next Quarterly Phone Book Club on Wednesday, December 8: DB101568 Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. This book is a light read perfect for the holiday season as it takes its readers on a trip around New York during Christmas through one dare after another. The book was adapted into a Netflix series with audio description.

Join us for our discussion at either 10:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please call Maggie at 620-341-6281 or email our office at Please let us know which session time you would prefer when you contact our office.

Annotation: Dash and Lily, two sixteen-year-olds, carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York City, neither knowing quite what--or who--they will find. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2010.

News from NLS

Representative Sharice Davids Records in NLS Studios

In October, NLS welcomed US Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas to their recording studio. Rep. Davids was there to narrate her children’s book, “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman”. The book, cowritten with her friend Nancy Mays, recounts Davids's path to becoming one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.  NLS patrons can get the book on their custom cartridges, on BARD in audio (DB105175), and ebraille now (BR23723).

New NLS Magazines

NLS has a number of new magazines available for patrons. Foreign Language Quarterly is an online publication that highlights recently added foreign language titles. 

Five new braille magazines have been added to the NLS collection: Cricket, Dell Sunday Crosswords, Knitscene, National Geographic Kids, and Sports Illustrated Kids. Reader’s Digest is now available on BARD in braille.

NLS Reports Magazine Delays

NLS recently became aware that some patrons are not receiving their magazines on cartridge regularly. They have identified the issue as supply chain related. NLS is working with the producer to identify additional resources to return magazine delivery to normal levels. NLS does not yet have an estimate for when the delays will subside.


Services Spotlight: Humanities Kansas

The humanities help us understand what it means to be human — to seek connections with people and place. Humanities Kansas draws on our diverse histories, literature, ethics and cultures, to see more clearly who we are as people and define ideas that will shape a future worthy of generations to come.

The Humanities Kansas Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) book discussions bring Kansans together for engaging conversations over good books. Many of the books in their catalog are available in talking book and digital braille formats. If your community already hosts a TALK program and you want to participate, encourage them to pick selections that have DB or BR beside the title. 

If the program isn’t in your community, hosting a TALK book discussion is free! HK covers costs for in-state nonprofit organizations. The flexible program formats let you customize TALK events that are right for your community. Visit to browse the catalog, choose your books, find discussion leaders, schedule your discussions, and download promotional materials. Join HK’s Movement of Ideas. Visit or call 785-357-0359.

Readers’ Advisor Recommends: Winter Holidays

Winter is full of holidays from different cultures and religions. We’ve gathered a list a books centered around several of these holidays.

Hanukkah (November 28 – December 6)

DB 81412 Hanukkah in America: a history by Dianne Ashton

Professor of religion examines regional variants of the ancient Jewish tradition. In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating a door with a menorah made of hominy grits; latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper; children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream. 2013

DB 62028 Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the season from NPR’s Annual Holiday Special by National Public Radio

Twelve stories celebrating Hanukkah by contemporary authors Myra Goldberg, Daniel Pinkwater, Harlan Ellison, Dani Shapiro, Elie Wiesel, Mark Helprin, and others. In Anne Roiphe's "The Demon Foiled," a new Jewish mayor attempts to light the family Hanukkah candles while he is being filmed for local TV. 2005.

Winter Solstice (December 21)

DB101429 Black sun: Between Earth and Sky, Book 1 by Rebecca Roanhorse

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice celebration is coinciding with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event the Sun Priest believes will lead to an unbalancing of the world. As the priests prepare, a ship heads towards Tova with a seemingly harmless passenger. Contains some strong language, violence, and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Yule (December 21)

DB 44006 Where did Christmas come from? by Al Remson

Remson looks at various Christmas traditions such as trees, yule logs, hanging stockings, caroling, Christmas dinners, and gift giving, and explains how they began.

Christmas (December 25)

DB 97014 Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes

A chance discovery in a pawn shop on Christmas Eve leads Emma to her college boyfriend, Fletcher. She travels up to Vermont to work at an inn for a week and encounters Fletcher--there with his daughter and fiancé. A miracle is needed to save her heart. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

DB 89600 Christmas: a biography by Judith Flanders

A chronicle of the development of religious and secular celebrations of Christmas, beginning with the time of the Bible. Examines myths and legends surrounding the day, traditions, literary and artistic interpretations, its association with other winter holidays, its commercialization, and more. 2017.

Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1)

DB 97859 Seven candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival during which people of African descent rejoice in their ancestral values. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 1993.

DB 34528 Kwanzaa: an African-American celebration of culture and cooking by Eric V. Copage

Kwanzaa is a week-long (December 26-January 1) African-American celebration of the "first fruits." The author has compiled a sourcebook for the observance. Included are selections from historical works, folklore, and biographies that illustrate the "Nguzo Saba" (seven principles of Kwanzaa,) interspersed with a host of recipes from the African diaspora.

New Year’s Day (January 1)

DB 98703 Oona out of order by Margarita Montimore

Nineteen-year-old Oona Lockhart is at a crossroads in her life when she attends a New Year's Eve party in 1982. At midnight, she faints and awakens thirty-two years later. A stranger informs her that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Three Kings’ Day (January 6, 2022)

DB 59244 Hurray for Three Kings’ Day! by Lori M. Carlson

Anita and her older brothers Tito and Tomás enjoy the traditional celebration of el Día de los Reyes, or Epiphany. They reenact the long walk of the three wise men who bring gifts to the baby Jesus. For grades K-3. 1999.

Chinese New Year (February 1, 2022 – February 15, 2022)

DB 60844 When the circus came to town by Laurence Yep

Montana stagecoach station, about 1900. Ten-year-old Ursula catches smallpox that leaves her face so badly scarred she hides away. Ah Sam, the cook, and a Chinese New Year celebration help Ursula to regain her confidence. For grades 3-6. 2002.


DB 42638 Gung hay fat choy = Happy new Year by June Behrens

Gung Hay Fat Choy is the Chinese New Year, a festival that may last for many days with family reunions, ceremonies honoring ancestors, and rituals thanking the gods for their blessings. It is also a grand birthday party, for the Chinese add a year to their age on Gung Hay Fat Choy, no matter the day of their birth. This book explains the Chinese New Year and describes its celebration by Chinese Americans. For grades K-3 and older readers.

Locally Produced Magazines

Kansas Talking Books produces a number of magazines on site. These are available for patrons via digital book cartridge. To subscribe to one or more of these magazines call or email us.

Field and Stream: *NEW* A magazine focusing on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Produced through a partnership with Audio-Reader Network. 

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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.  

Upcoming State and Postal Holidays Reminder

Friday, December 24th - Talking Books Closed: Christmas

Saturday, December 25th – Postal Holiday: Christmas

Friday, December 30th - Talking Books Closed: New Years

Monday, January 17 – Talking Books Closed/Postal Holiday Martin Luther King Day

Monday, February 21 – Postal Holiday: President’s Day 


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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