Tag Archives: Talking Books

Talking Book and Braille Service Celebrates Volunteers

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service celebrated the work of our volunteers at a luncheon on April 6, 2017. Pamela Davenport, a consultant from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in The Library of Congress, thanked the volunteers for their contributions. NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail through a national network of cooperating libraries, including the Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service.

Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner presented a special recognition to three volunteers:

  • Marjory Gloe, who has narrated books and magazines for twenty-five years and is known for her infectious enthusiasm.
  • John Sposato, who sorts new books into sets and has volunteered for twenty years, starting in audio duplication.
  • Jerry Hall, who has volunteered for fifteen years and does a variety of tasks in readers services.

Retiring volunteer narrators Cherie Frederick and Karen Boyer, who are two of the voices behind the talking books recorded here at the Nebraska Library Commission, were also recognized.

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service thanks all the volunteers who play an integral part in serving Nebraskans with disabilities. We provide free audiobooks and audio magazines and braille through the mail and through digital download to individuals with a visual or physical condition, or a reading disability, which limits the use of regular print. For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/tbbs/. To volunteer, contact Annette Hall, Volunteer Services Coordinator, 402-471-4033, 800-742-7691, email.

TBBS Volunteer Recognition LunchTBBS Volunteer Recognition 2017NLC Logo

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Scott Scholz: Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service

Scott ScholzCongratulations to Scott Scholz, who recently completed his MLS degree from the University of Missouri. Scott joined the Library Commission in 2005 to take what might be described as the perfect job for someone with his interest in reading and qualifications for recording. We are fortunate his wife Heidi found the original job posting for circulation manager that led him to us. In recent years, he has taken a leadership role on a number of NLC projects, including moving lower level operations to a new space on the first floor of the Atrium Building in 2014, helping Nebraska become the first state to convert its magazine recording program to digital format in 2010, and implementing assembly and review procedures in the TBBS studios. Currently, Scott is performing the work of two staff, as both the Acting Director of the Talking Book and Braille Service and the Circulation and Audio Production Coordinator.

Scott’s commitment to books, culture, and community makes the Talking Book and Braille Service hum, and he is a devoted advocate for Nebraskans who are unable to use traditional print. This interest started early, in Columbus, NE, where Scott was raised only two blocks from the Columbus Public Library and served as a volunteer for summer reading programs. As a young reader, he was interested in all kinds of fiction and nonfiction, from Encyclopedia Brown to science books. While working at a bookstore in high school, Scott developed an interest in music and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the University of Denver. Scott lists authors David Foster Wallace, William S. Burroughs, and Miranda July among his current favorites, along with interests in Surrealist and Dada literature and history.

Outside of library work, Scott hosts a podcast called Words on Sounds, writes for several online publications, and runs a boutique experimental music label. Scott writes about and reviews experimental music to promote artists and connect with others who share the same passion for the underground music scene.

Scott credits Glee Nelson (the former children’s librarian at Columbus Public Library), and Kurt Cylke (former director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) as influences on his career path.

On the home front, Scott has been married to Heidi Uhing for 13 years and they share their residence with two dogs, Olive and Izzy, as well as some backyard chickens. As a Lincolnite, Scott appreciates what is happening in the local arts and culture community, and the ease and beauty of life in Nebraska. As a staff member of the Library Commission, we hope he stays for a very long time, because nobody could ever replace him and what he offers to our staff and to our patrons.

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NLC Staff: Meet Amanda Sweet

Amanda SweetMeet Amanda Sweet who joined our staff in August as a Library Reader’s Advisor for our Talking Book and Braille service.

Amanda was born in Milwaukee, WI and was raised in the small town of St. Francis, near Lake Michigan. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English with an Emphasis in Publishing from Carleton College. After a brief stint with a literary agency in New York City, she decided to veer away from the making of books and shifted to the circulation of books in the library. As long as she is near a book, she is happy.

It was while working for Beyond Vision, a nonprofit that employs 85% blind and visually impaired individuals, that she began her Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. At Beyond Vision she heard tell of some difficulties in raising awareness for TBBS services and she decided it was time to get more involved with the service as a whole. Here at the Commission, she loves the personal interaction she gets with patrons and will be completing her degree in December. If all else fails with the library career, she will content herself as a professional Dorito taster.

Amanda is a lifelong user of libraries and generally has at least one book in her oversized purse at all times. Some of her favorite authors include Sherman Alexie, Patricia Briggs, Dean Koontz, Richelle Mead, and many others. In her spare time she makes jewelry for the Etsy site she shares with her father- Sweetwater Creations. She lives with her boyfriend Sean and, since their move, they both have a craving for Oakland Gyros Greek Restaurant back in Milwaukee. The silver lining is that Amanda loves the people here in Lincoln as well as the new bead store/ art gallery she stumbled upon. Ideally, she would spend her entire weekend holed up with a gyro while reading, watching movies, making jewelry, and mindlessly surfing the web. We are grateful Amanda has joined us.
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Talking Book Brochures and Applications Available in Spanish

Are there Spanish-speaking individuals with a visual or physical disability in your community? These individuals might benefit from the Talking Book and Braille Service. While most talking books are in English, our collection includes materials in other languages, especially Spanish. We have a supply of Spanish application forms and brochures. Just let us know how many you could use. Call toll-free: 800-742-7691 or email:  nlc.talkingbook@nebraska.gov .

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