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Upstate Update: Fall 2021

The NYS Talking Book and Braille Library newsletter is delivered to your email three times a year. Upstate Update is attached as a Word document and available in HTML format on our website. If you are having trouble accessing the newsletter, please contact our library. To learn more about Upstate Update and read past newsletters, please visit our TBBL Newsletter page.

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In this Issue of Upstate Update:

Duplication on Demand, DoD, Update
How to Report an Audio Cartridge Error
Bookshelf Directions
New TBBL Application for Service
Magazine Updates
Foreign Language Books
Popular Western Fiction Authors
2021 Holiday Closings
Contact Information and Hours

Duplication on Demand, DoD, Update

Over the past several months, TBBL staff have been busy implementing our new Duplication on Demand (DoD) lending service. DoD changes how patrons receive audiobooks on cartridge through the US mail and improves access to our collection.
The DoD process allows library staff to add multiple audiobooks to a single cartridge. As a result, patrons receive more books on fewer cartridges. With DoD, there is never a waitlist for books in the collection. Whether a patron is looking for a new bestseller, an entire series, or a favorite classic, the books will be available and can be added to a patron's next cartridge.

The way in which audiobooks are selected has not changed. Our library can continue to send books based on subject preferences, favorite authors, and reading level. You may also contact our library by phone, email, or mail, to share specific book requests. Patrons requesting books through the library online catalog may also continue to do so. When books are requested, they will be added to a future audio cartridge.
Since May 2021, library patrons have borrowed 24,780 cartridges. Each cartridge can contain as many as 30 books. Within the last four months, patrons have borrowed over 175,000 books!

If you are interested in DoD and you have not yet received a cartridge containing multiple books, please contact our library. We will review your account and get you started.

How to Report an Audio Cartridge Error

Occasionally, an audio cartridge can malfunction causing a disruption in your reading. If you experience a cartridge issue, please contact the library to inform our staff. We would be happy to resend a new cartridge with the books you have missed.

It is important that you do not tie a string or wrap a rubber band around the cartridge case to identify a problem. With DoD, address cards are removed from cases when cartridges are returned. Without an address card, it can be challenging for staff to identify your cartridge and correct the error.

If contacting the library directly to report an issue is difficult, please include the address card found on the outside of the case, along with a note about the issue, inside the cartridge case when you make a return.

Library staff collect notes found inside cases when items are checked-in. With your address card and note, we can resolve the issue or contact you to learn more.

Bookshelf Directions

There are two ways to listen to books on your Duplication on Demand audio cartridges. You can listen to books in order, or you can listen in any order using a feature on your player called Bookshelf.
Read Books in Order

  • Insert the digital book cartridge into your player, then turn the player on by pressing the red circular Power button.

Power button  Red circular power button on the digital talking book player.

When you get to the end of the cartridge instructions or a book, press the green rectangular Play/Stop button to play the next book. Press the Play/Stop button at the end of each book to move to the next one.

Title: Play/Stop Button - Description: Green rectangular play/stop button on the talking book player.

Read Books in Any Order Using "Bookshelf"

  1. Bookshelf is a feature on your player that lets you skip over books and read in any order you wish. Insert the digital book cartridge into your player and turn the player on by pressing the red circular Power button.
  2. Press and hold the green rectangular Play/Stop button for 3 seconds until the player announces, "Bookshelf". You will hear the total number of books on the cartridge.
    Title: Rewind and Fast Forward buttons - Description: Rewind, RW, and Fast Forward, FF, buttons located on either side of the green Play/Stop button.
  3. Press the white triangular-shaped Rewind, RW, or Fast Forward, FF, buttons located on either side of the Play/Stop button to hear each title on the cartridge. In Bookshelf, the RW button moves to a previous book and the FF button moves to the next book.
  4. When you hear the entire title of a book you would like to read, press the Play/Stop button to begin listening to the book.
  5. To return to "Bookshelf", follow the steps 2-4.

If you would like help using Bookshelf, please call our library to speak with a Reader Advisor. Our staff members are happy to walk you through the steps so you feel comfortable jumping from book to book.

New TBBL Application for Service

NYS Talking Book and Braille Library staff have revised our application for individual service. Changes include updates to certifier language, a change to the library's logo, and a consolidation of the adult and youth application.

Eligible individuals may access the new application online through our Apply for TBBL Service webpage.

This application is accessible and is available as a fillable PDF and as a Word document. Applications can be mailed or faxed to individuals by request.

Visitors to our website will also find a Spanish language application for individual service created by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Individuals applying for TBBL service can complete this application and submit it directly to our library. 

Please note: Applications can be completed entirely online and submitted to We do accept electronic signatures from certifiers.

Certifiers can include one of the following individuals: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, a social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).

Magazine Updates

Five new braille magazines will be added to the NLS collection this fall:

  • Cricket – children's magazine filled with a variety of fiction and nonfiction stories.
  • Dell Sunday Crosswords – crossword puzzle magazine.
  • Knitscene – popular magazine about knitting. Includes seasonal patterns and expert advice.
  • National Geographic Kids, (already available in audio) – children's magazine about animals, adventure, and the world around us.
  • Sports Illustrated Kids, (already available in audio) – children's magazine highlighting sports news. Includes games, scores, and articles about sports figures.

Please note – Reader's Digest is currently available in both braille and audio. The braille version is currently only available via hard copy braille but will be provided on BARD in the near future.

Foreign Language Books

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled's foreign language collection has grown significantly to meet the needs and interests of talking book and braille library patrons.  
To help patrons locate the new additions to the collection, NLS has created a new online magazine called the Foreign Language Quarterly (FLQ). The FLQ is a publication that will be produced every three months. Patrons will find a selection of new and popular books in a variety of languages such as Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, German, and Russian.

In addition to the FLQ, NLS has developed search tools in BARD to help patrons locate foreign language books.

Language Settings for the BARD Website:

  • To change the default search language(s) in BARD, navigate to your "Account Settings" and click "language preference settings".  Select one or more languages and click "Update". You can edit these settings at any time. If you would like some help changing your default language settings, please ask TBBL staff for help. 
  • If you select multiple default languages or you do not set a default language, a language drop-down filter may appear in the upper right corner of your results page. The drop-down only appears when results contain books in more than one language. The drop-down displays the total number of books in each language and can be used to filter results.
  • You may also search for books in another language by selecting a language from the drop-down menu to the right of the search field on the BARD main page.

Language Settings for BARD Mobile:

  • To change the default search language settings for BARD Mobile, navigate to your "Get Books" tab. For iOS, tap "BARD Web Site". For Android, tap "Browse BARD". When you get to the BARD Main Page, please follow the directions above to change your language preferences. 

If you would like to receive audiobooks on cartridges in a language other than English, please contact TBBL staff. We can edit your account preferences, so you receive books in your preferred language.

Popular Western Fiction Authors

Western fiction is a popular subject category for many TBBL patrons. Favorite writers include:

  • Louis L'Amour: Author of many stand-alone novels and several popular series including 'The Sacketts'. Book 1 in The Sacketts series is 'Sackett's Land', DB 33963, BR 9555.
  • Zane Grey: Prolific author known for 'The Lone Star Ranger', DB62538 and 'Riders of the Purple Sage', DB 49208.
  • William Johnstone: Author of well-known series, 'Mountain Man'. The first book in the 'Mountain Man' series is 'The Last Mountain Man', DB 57076, BR 22691.
  • Larry McMurtry: Author of the 'Lonesome Dove' novels. The recommended first book in the four-part series is 'Dead Man's Walk', DB 43928, BR 12567.
  • Elmer Kelton: Kelton is the winner of multiple Spur Awards, presented by the Western Writers of America. Well known titles include, 'The Time It Never Rained', DB 49217, and 'The Way of The Coyote', DB 56027.

If you enjoy western stories, you may be interested in exploring books by the following winners and finalists of the Western Writers of America's Spur Award. The Spur Award honors the best in American Western literature.

  • Michael Gear – 'This Scorched Earth', DB 97213

    Summary: In the days before the Civil War, newly minted doctor Philip "Doc" Hancock travels home to Arkansas to see his family. All believe they have the world at their feet, but war changes their fortunes. After, they must count on each other to rebuild their lives. Violence and strong language. 2018.

  • Pekka Hämäläinen – 'Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power', DB 98687
    Summary: A historian recounts the history of the Lakota Indians, tracing their society from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first century. Discusses their roots as hunter-gatherers, their reinventions as a river people and then a horse people on the plains. Profiles iconic figures and relates key events. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Nonfiction, 2019.

  • Joe Lansdale – 'Paradise Sky', DB 82034
    Summary: Willie, an African American cowboy, flees his farm after his father is murdered. After a mentor teaches him a variety of skills, he makes a new life as a buffalo soldier, calling himself Nat Love. When his woman is attacked, however, he faces a final, deadly showdown. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

  • David Osborne – 'The Coming', DB 87826
    Summary: Daytime Smoke, the son of Lieutenant William Clark and Swan Lightning, a Nez Perce woman, attempts to act as a bridge between his tribe and the white government that first befriends them and then threatens their way of life. His father struggles as well. Some violence. 2017.

  • Shannon Pufahl – 'On Swift Horses', DB 97348
    Summary: Newly-married Muriel has been in San Diego a few months, but she's already a staple amongst the gamblers at the Heyday Lounge as their waitress. She uses the knowledge she gleans to make her own bets. Her brother-in-law Julius lives his own risky lifestyle in Las Vegas. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

  • Margaret Verble – 'Cherokee America', DB 94372
    Summary: When a hired hand, a baby, and a gun go missing from her corner of the Cherokee Nation, Check Singer is determined to find out what happened. She has little time with the post-Civil War US Army encroaching on tribal lands. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 2019.
  • Ann Weisgarber – 'The Glovemaker', DB 94032
  • Summary: 1888. Deborah is awaiting the delayed arrival of her husband Samuel when a strange man knocks on her door--trouble behind him. But she is unable to turn away a fellow member of the Mormon Church. She keenly misses Samuel, especially when the law comes calling. Some violence. 2019.
  • James Wade – 'All Things Left Wild', DB 101305
  • Summary: Caleb and his older brother Shelby commit a horse theft gone wrong and flee. As they wander the American Southwest, they are being tracked by bookish and inexperienced-despite-his-age Randall. He meets Charlotte who guides him in the ways of vigilante justice. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
  • Charles West – 'Hell Hath no Fury', Book 1 in the John Hawk series, DB 88995
  • Summary: Jamie Pratt and his young bride are abandoned by their wagon-train leader while traveling westward. They decide to press on, but after they vanish, Jamie's brother, Monroe, enlists John Hawk, a well-known scout, to aid in the search for them. Violence and strong language. 2017.
  • Richard Wheeler – 'Snowbound', DB 72743 Summary: After his 1847 court-martial, Colonel John Frémont, known as the Pathfinder, resigns from the army and embarks on an expedition to survey a proposed railway between St. Louis and San Francisco. Trapped in the Colorado mountains during winter, his team battles starvation, and freezing temperatures. 2010.

Westerns for Younger Readers:

  • Terri Farley – 'Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them', DBC 13343 Summary: The book is a synopsis of the issues surrounding wild horses' habitats, their protection and threatened existence. Terri Farley researched Wild Horse Annie's push for legislative protections to current stand-offs with the Bureau of Land Management. For grades 5-8.
  • Clare Vanderpool – 'Moon Over Manifest', DB 72632, BR 19189 Summary: Great Depression, 1936. Drifter Gideon Tucker sends his twelve-year-old daughter Abilene to stay with his friend Shady Howard, a saloon-owner-turned-pastor, in Manifest, Kansas, where Gideon grew up. Abilene discovers a cigar box full of papers and odds and ends that lead her to long-held secrets. For grades 5-8. Newbery Medal. 2010.
  • Vaunda Micheaux Nelson – 'Let 'Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People's Champion', DB 98386 Summary: Explores the legacy of black cowboy George Fletcher, who bonded with horses at an early age. When he unfairly lost the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up to a white man, the outraged audience declared Fletcher as People's Champion and honor him to this day. For grades 3-6. 2019.

Please contact TBBL staff if you are interested in borrowing books by these suggested authors.

2021 Holiday Closings

Monday, October 11 – Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples' Day
Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day
Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving

NYS Talking Book and Braille Library Hours

Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Reader advisors are answering calls between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3688
Fax: 518-474-7041

Talking Book and Braille Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230-0001


Last Updated: September 24, 2021