Upstate Update - Winter 2009
Listen Now (MP3): This issue of Upstate Update is available in MP3 audio format. The audio file is about 9.5 MB in size, and just over ten minutes minutes in length.
MP3 files will play in many types of audio players, including Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and iTunes.
If you prefer, you can subscribe to our Upstate Update Podcast. (Copy and paste the Podcast URL into your podcast receiver.)
In this issue:
- Return Federal Property
- Use It or Lose It
- Recording for the Blind Offers New Format
- Are You a US Veteran?
- Two Magazine Matters
- Thank You!
- Disability Rights Online News
- New Money Has Low Vision Feature
- Next Generation Perkins Brailler
- Institutions: Refresh Your Book Collection
Please be aware that the cassette player, machine accessories, and the books on loan to you are federal government property and should be returned to the library if you don’t want this service any more. If you are no longer interested in receiving our books, simply tell us that you want to cancel your service and then send back all the books and equipment on loan from us. In addition to the cassette machine, this includes accessories such as the amplifier and remote control switch. Remember that everything can be mailed back to us postage-free.
Occasionally we find out that a cassette player has been thrown away, sold in a yard sale, or even donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. These machines are expensive: the National Library Service values each cassette machine at $300, a sum that we have all paid through our taxes. Every machine must be accounted for, and when no longer wanted for the intended purpose it must be returned to us for use by others. These machines are no longer being manufactured, so each one is now more precious as we endeavor to provide cassette service. If you have any questions about how to return a machine or other items, call us at (800) 342-3688.
In order to continue your library privileges you must remain an “active” borrower, meaning that you must borrow books or magazines from us. If you want to remain in the program but your reading habits have changed, contact us and we will update your reading profile. Borrowers who find it difficult to send book orders may like us to help by choosing books for you when your request list is low or empty. Remember to send back the books you’ve read to get more. Let us know what we can do to keep you active and involved in this library program.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD), the primary source of recorded textbooks in the US, has announced the introduction of a new format called AudioAccess. RFBD members can now choose to use either AudioAccess or their AudioPlus books on CD, or both. AudioAccess allows members to choose audio textbooks and literature from RFBD’s library and download them directly to a Windows-compatible computer as well as a compatible portable media player. For more information go to www.rfbd.org or call RFBD at (800) 221-4792.
Borrowers who have been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces are given priority in receiving some library services, including the assignment of the new digital machine. So if you are such a veteran and have not told us of this status (on your application or later) please contact us at (800) 342-3688 so we can update your record.
The books you get come from us, but your magazine subscriptions are handled by a central mailing list facility in Florida. We must forward to Florida all additions, changes, and cancellations affecting magazine subscriptions.
If you no longer want a recorded or braille magazine, you must inform us in Albany. Do not send anything to the mailing list or refuse the mail delivery of a magazine or catalog. When you refuse delivery, this will be made known to the central mailing list computer and ALL your publications will be automatically suspended. We will be informed and we must investigate, and months may pass before your subscriptions can be straightened out.
Also, when you notify us of a change of address it takes effect immediately for your books, which we then send to your new address. However, we must forward the new address information to the mailing list facility and this means that, depending on when in the computer updating cycle your request is entered, it can take some time for the address change to take effect for catalogs and magazines, so please be patient.
We would like to acknowledge all the generous donations that we have received during the past year. Some donations are to thank us for the service that we provide, and some are received in memory of a friend or loved one who benefited from our service. Every donation is truly appreciated.
Disability Rights Online News is the name of a bimonthly update on the activities of the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in the area of disability rights. The Division enforces laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability in employment, housing, unconstitutional conditions in institutions of confinement, and access to businesses serving the public, government programs, and services including voting and public transportation. The web address is: http://www.ada.gov/disabilitynews.htm.
You may have noticed that the new $5 bill that entered circulation on March 13, 2008, has an extra feature that’s designed to help those with visual limitations to distinguish the denomination. The big, easy-to-read number “5” in the lower right corner on the back of the bill is now enlarged and is printed in high-contrast purple ink. The redesigned bill has other new elements to foil counterfeiters, including two new watermarks and an enhanced security thread that will help businesses and consumers validate the new bills.
Last October the Perkins School for the Blind and the American Printing House for the Blind announced the new “Next Generation” Perkins Brailler, a modern re-design of the well-loved classic Perkins Brailler that first appeared in 1951. Following extensive research and feedback, Perkins embarked on an effort to incorporate several improvements while maintaining the basic functions and ruggedness of the original brailler.
The Next Generation is quieter, lighter, more portable, and more comfortable to use because it has a shorter keystroke requiring less effort. It has an Easy-Erase button for making corrections while brailling, a reading rest to make proofreading easier, redesigned paper feed knobs, and more convenient front panel margin guides. The machine is very sturdy due to a combination of a metal inner frame and a high-impact polycarbonate shell, combining durability and lightness. The new machine is 25 percent lighter than its predecessor. The new brailler also comes in “cool” colors: light blue, dark blue, and raspberry.
The Next Generation sells for $650. To order and for more information contact Perkins Products, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472, (617) 972-7308, http://www.perkins.org/nextgeneration.
While we allow institutions of all kinds to keep our recorded books out for much longer than individual borrowers, we do ask our institution contact-people that from time to time they return the books on loan. Some nursing homes and hospitals have had the same books charged out for many years.
Returning books helps everyone, first by making the books available for others who want to read them, and this also refreshes the institution's collection because new books will be sent as replacements for those returned. Please note, however, that because we have far fewer braille copies (often we have only one), books in this format should be returned to the library as soon as they have been read.
Mention of a product or service in this newsletter does not constitute endorsement by this library. Our intention is to increase an awareness of programs, services, and products that may be helpful to our patrons.