Upstate Update - Summer 2007
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In this issue:
- Keep Us Informed
- Changes in RFB&D’s Service
- Jane Somers Retires
- Summer Reading Program
- First We Need Your Name
- No Notes Please
- Reserves and Requests
Communicating with us is very important. We can’t fix what we don’t know about, so contact us whenever you have a question, a problem, or any concern affecting your library service. Call us toll free at (800) 342-3688.
- Remember that we are in Albany. This is a national service so you will see other addresses on some materials you get, such as Washington DC and Florida. We are your Regional Library; your machine and books come from us, and we can take care of your needs and problems.
- If you want to make any changes to your service, contact us. Don’t refuse any mail you get that’s connected with this library service. If you do, it can adversely affect your service because we must put you on “hold” and investigate why you refused the mail delivery.
- We have many borrowers with the same or similar names, so when you contact us, please give us full details—your name and complete address. Your telephone number and e-mail address are helpful too.
- If you change your address, permanently or temporarily, please let us know so that we can take appropriate action.
- Likewise, we need to know if you change your name or telephone number so that our records can be complete and up-to-date.
- If your plans call for you to move out of our service area, please let us know as soon as possible. We can advise you about the transfer procedures and help you contact your future Regional Library with a minimum of service interruption.
- If you want extra books for vacations or other special times, call us at least two or three weeks beforehand and make your request. It can take up to two weeks for books to reach you.
- Call us if you’re having difficulty using your cassette machine. Don’t just send it back and wait for another; we must know of a specific need before we send a replacement. And remember that we might be able to advise you about fixing the problem over the phone.
- Let us know if you wish to cancel the service. We will advise you about returning the books and equipment.
Beginning in July 2007, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) in Princeton NJ will cease distributing textbooks on cassette. All audio textbooks will thenceforth only be available on CD (compact disc), with all books recorded in digital format. In order to play RFB&D textbooks, you will need to use specially adapted CD players that are not be available as part of our library service. RFB&D offers a complete line of players and accessories. The cassette players that we lend for use with our recorded books will no longer be able to play RFB&D’s textbooks. You may retain your NLS cassette player to listen to books on loan to you from our cassette collection, and you must request our books to remain an active patron. As always, we encourage students to discuss their class reading assignments with their teachers well in advance in order to arrange for the timely loan of books from our library or from RFB&D. You can contact RFB&D toll free at (800) 221-4792 and on the web at www.rfbd.org.
Jane Somers, Director and Regional Librarian of the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library, retired on April 27, 2007, after 22 years of committed service to the visually and physically disabled. Jane began as Director in 1985 and over the years has worked with many community groups throughout the state to promote and improve the service. She will be moving on to many personal activities, including gardening, reading, and traveling with her husband, Wayne, on book buying expeditions and on other trips locally and abroad.
At her retirement party, Jane was presented with the Senator Flynn Award by the American Council of the Blind of New York. This award is given to an individual who has made a strong impact on the lives of blind and visually impaired persons with regard to access, legislation, designing of a new product, systemic goals which affect the blind and visually impaired, or who has lent support to ACB in a significant manner. Jane attended most of the state conventions and legislative seminars, often acting as a guide on tours. She also kept library patrons and ACB members informed of TBBL and NLS issues. We wish her well in her retirement.
The theme for this year’s New York State Summer Reading Program is “Get a Clue @ Your Library.” Check out the online activities for kids and teens at the official website at , or go to your local public library to sign up and learn more about the interesting activities they have planned. Your library can help you find great books for exciting summer reading. Our borrowers can request summer reading titles in braille and on cassette. Just call us at (800) 342-3688 for more information. You can visit our website, www.nysl.nysed.gov/tbbl/, to see the summer reading lists.
When you telephone the library, the first thing we need from you is your name, first and last names, please. We may ask you to spell it, and we will verify that we are providing your service at the correct address. This will enable us to access your computer records so that we can provide the requested service. Before telling us the reason for your call, please allow the staff member time to call up this record. It may reveal other matters that we need to discuss with you.
If you call for someone else, such as a friend or relative, we need the name of the registered party. If you call for service to an institution (e.g. a school or a nursing home) tell us the name of the institution that is receiving the service.
It may seem like a good and easy way to communicate, but please don’t send us notes in returning books and machines, and nor should you write notes about your library service on the reversible mailing card that comes in each book we send you. Not only is this against postal regulations, this is a very unreliable way of contacting us as your message can easily be missed or lost. If you need to tell us something, the fastest and most direct way is to speak to a staff member. Just call us toll free at (800) 342-3688 or at (518) 474-5935.
Sometimes we may tell you that we have "reserved" a book for you when we cannot send it right away. This is not the same as adding the book to your request list, so it might be helpful to explain the difference.
REQUESTS: Your "request" list is your reservoir of titles from which the computer will automatically send you an available book for each one you send back to the library. This is what keeps your service going, especially if you prefer to choose all your own books.
We encourage all borrowers to maintain a request list so that we can provide an uninterrupted service by replacing a returned book with fresh reading material. Even if you’re willing to have us choose books for you, for the best service there’s no substitute for your own selections. You should have a request list that’s long enough to support your individual reading pace (remembering that sometimes there will be no available copies of some of the books on your list).
We emphasize that just putting a book on your request list is no guarantee that you will ever get the book. An adequate request list guarantees that we will send you something, but that’s all, and you should tell us if you want a certain book now.
RESERVES: Your "reserves" are high priority requests, and we reserve books for you in a different file. There are two instances when we will reserve a book for you.
First, when you are very interested in receiving a book and we have adequate copies of it, but all the copies that we own are in circulation to other library users at the time you tell us of your interest. We can reserve this book for you, meaning that the computer is looking out for this book for you. It will intercept the first copy that comes back to the library and send it to you.
Second, we will reserve a book for you when you request a book that is in production and we have not yet received it. We know several months in advance what books we’ll be receiving, and, as soon as Washington assigns it a "book number," we can reserve that book for you. The computer knows that you want it, so as soon as the book is received and inventoried it will be issued to you.
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.