Upstate Update - Fall 2007
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In this issue:
- Service Options
- Basic Book Supply
- Service at a Temporary Address Revisited
- Online Publications at AFB’s Site
- It’s Important to Return Books
- Real U Guides
- AFB Senior Site
- We Are in Albany!
We have explained this in the past, but it bears repeating. Your choice here is really important as it has a great effect on whether your library service works for you or not. There are two basic service options—how you receive books from the library—and we encourage you to make sure that we know which best suits your needs. This choice was presented to you when you completed the application to join the library, but perhaps you misunderstood or your requirements have changed since then. Call us at (800) 342-3688 to discuss or change your service options.
- Automatic Subject Selection:
We send you a book from your request list for each one you return to the library. We encourage you to send your own requests, and these will receive priority attention, but whenever you are due for service and your request list is either empty or contains only books that are not available to be mailed because all copies are in circulation, our computer will choose for you. It is obviously vital that we know what your reading interests are, and also whether or not you will accept books containing sex, strong, language, and violence.
We recommend this type of service to those who (a) want a regular supply of books, (b) have difficulty using the catalogs and choosing books, and (c) have a problem contacting the library.
- Request Only:
You send us lists of the books you want to read, and from your list we send you books up to your personal basic book supply. We send only the specific books that you request, though what we send is randomly selected based on availability. Of course, if your list is empty or the books it contains are all out to other borrowers, we can’t send you anything. Your request list should, therefore, match your reading pace and the longer the list the greater the likelihood that something you want will be available. You can add to your list at any time, by contacting us directly and by using our online catalog.
We recommend this type of service to those who (a) want only their own selections, (b) have no problem choosing books and contacting the library, and (c) understand that there may be delays in service should their specific requests not be immediately available.
Your basic book supply is also an important feature of your service options, and impacts both kinds of service described above. It is usually referred to as your “quota” or “maximum.”
Your basic book supply limits the number of books that are charged out to you through the automatic process, though it can easily be exceeded by staff any time you want an extra supply of books. Your basic supply can be any number that suits your personal reading needs, and we encourage you to inform us what this should be for you. If you often ask for more books, it may be that your maximum is too low. We initially assigned you a fairly low number when you joined the library so as not to overwhelm you immediately, but perhaps now you need more. Once you become familiar with the service, you may want to fine-tune this maximum.
In choosing your maximum, please bear in mind that you probably won’t have all these books on hand all the time. Many of the books charged out to you will often be in the mail, going in both directions, and because of this the ideal maximum for you is probably larger than you may think.
We can change this on your instruction at any time, so contact us at (800) 342-3688 to discuss what your basic supply should be.
In the spring 2007 edition of this newsletter we provided information about what you should do when you want service at a temporary address, such as if you go south for the winter or stay by the lake during the summer months. We would now like to revise the procedure we gave you.
Contrary to what we told you, we are now instructing the central mailing facility in Florida to make the address change so that, in addition to the books, your catalogs and magazines will automatically be sent to your temporary address. You don’t need to alert the post office or anyone else to forward this mail. Remember to give us enough notice of an address change, both for when you go and when you return.
If you are going away for a very short time (say less than a month), it’s better not to make any address change, and you should take enough books with you for the time you’ll be away. You can ask us for an additional supply some weeks in advance.
For fast and easy access to online journals and other information for people with visual impairments, go to www.afb.org, the website of the American Foundation for the Blind, and go to “Quick Links.”
Here you’ll find AFB eNews, a monthly online publication that keeps you up to date on AFB's activities. Here too is AccessWorld, a publication on technology and people who are blind or visually impaired, and CareerConnect, a free resource for people who want to learn about the range and diversity of jobs performed by visually impaired adults in US and Canada, as well as general information about the US labor market.
At this site too is the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, the international interdisciplinary journal of record on blindness and visual impairment that publishes scholarship and information and serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, airing of controversies, and discussion of issues. JVIB is a monthly publication that includes research articles, as well as shorter pieces of interest to practitioners and extensive news coverage about the field of visual impairment.
Please check around and send back any books that you’ve finished with. The timely return of books is helpful for two important reasons: other borrowers get to read them sooner, and we send you more books in their place.
The return of a book to the library triggers the sending of another to you, either from your request list, if possible, or through computer selection, if permitted. Furthermore, returning a book promptly as soon as you’ve read it will mean that we can have another book on its way to you quickly, before you run out of reading matter. Sending a lot back at once is not a good idea, for then you may be without books entirely until they can all be replaced.
The Real U series of books are fun and informative guides for young adults “in transition,” those who are starting out on their own. The National Braille Press (NBP) has selected three guides and has published them in braille: Guide to Your First Job, Guide to Your First Apartment, and Guide to Bank Accounts and Credit Cards. A couple of these are available in braille from us too. Each book has been vetted by blind NBP staff. Individual titles (one braille volume each) cost $6.95, and you can get all three for $18.00. Contact the NBP at 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302, (800) 548-7323, www.nbp.org.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has created AFB Senior Site to help older Americans and their families cope with age-related eye diseases, a growing public health problem. The site is designed to encourage aging adults with eye diseases to live independently and productively, with information about daily living skills, fitness, and more. It connects seniors, caregivers, and family members to local services and resources, and showcases a wide range of assistive living products available to people with vision loss. The site also shows inspiring video testimonials of seniors who have been recently diagnosed with an eye disease, offering a positive outlook and helping to dispel fears about what living with vision loss means. Check the site out at: http://www.afb.org/seniorsitehome.asp.
Because this is a national service you may get mail from more than one place. We get borrowers’ mail and messages forwarded to us from Washington DC, the HQ of the National Library Service, and from Florida, where the national magazine and catalog mailing list is maintained.
Please remember that we’re in Albany NY and you should contact us for all matters connected with your library service. Just call toll free (800) 342-3688 to talk to a staff member. Letters, messages, and book orders sent elsewhere will be forwarded to us, but there is an inevitable delay in handling your request.
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.