Tag Archives: TBBS

NLC Staff: Meet Eric Saxon

Questions and Answers with TBBS Studio & Book Circulation Support, Eric Saxon. He started working with NLC in May of 2021. Take a few minutes and get to know him better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
Looking up the pronunciation of Coccidiosis

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Make your money in the early side of life and retire early, as early as possible

What’s your ideal vacation?
Not too far away, not too close, and cheap

What do you do to relax?
Walk my dog

Describe your first car?
A royal blue 1993 Honda Civic

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
Working in a museum or archives

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Social Distortion at the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, TN

What movie can you watch over and over again?
This Is Spinal Tap

What was the last book you read?
The Unexpected Universe, by Loren Eiseley

What was the last movie you watched?
The Alpinist

What is your proudest handyman moment?
I fixed our dryer

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of roasting jalapenos

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to stop time for the world while I can keep moving

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
Text friends especially in other countries/time zones

Do you have any tattoos?
I have a pencil lead tattoo

What is your favorite comfort food?
Mashed potatoes

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Sounds good

On what occasion do you lie?
When I’m tired

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
Torn out pictures of insects, jewel beetles, and a No Bozos poster

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?

Do you have any pets?
Yes – a Bernese mountain dog named Pepper

What is your guilty pleasure?
Throwing rocks through ice

Favorite technology you could not live without?
Running water

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
National Mayonnaise Day

If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Fresh garlic

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Listened to a good book lately?

Narrator Lois Crandall prepares to narrate a magazine.

This article was originally published in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Nebraska Talking Book and Braille Service uses newly developed technology to supply audio books to individuals with print disabilities. As books are requested, they are duplicated and mailed to the borrower’s home. Duplication-on-demand has eliminated waiting lists for popular books. Borrowers are also able to download reading materials and listen to them on their phone.

Talking Book and Braille Service is available to Nebraskans with print disabilities. These include visual impairments, dyslexia, and disabilities that make holding a book difficult. Talking Books is part of the Nebraska Library Commission and works in collaboration with the National Library Service.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled works with Talking Book libraries across the nation to provide audio books, magazines, and special book players. The National Library Service has also paid for mailing the materials back and forth to homes, so that there is no cost at all to borrowers to use the service.

To supplement the bestsellers and national books and magazines, the Talking Books audio studio records 21 magazines of specific interest to Nebraskans. Volunteers narrate the text as a second person follows along and handles the recording equipment. The team’s goal is to make a recording that is word perfect. Experienced volunteers might also narrate books about Nebraska or by Nebraska authors. To audition to be a narrator, or if you or someone you know would like to sign up to use the service, please contact the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service at 402-471-4038 or 800-742-7691.

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#BookFaceFriday – “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva

Bah! Humbug! and Happy Holidays from #BookFaceFriday!

Don’t let the ghost of Jacob Marley get you down! A good book, a cozy blanket, something warm to drink. This is the perfect recipe to put any Scrooge into the holiday spirit. We have ten copies of “Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel” by Samantha Silva (Flatiron Books, 2017) and an audio version for our TBBS users as well. Reserve it for your book club to read next holiday season! You should also take a peek at all of our holiday-themed book club kits!

In the collection we have 114 holiday titles, 81 of which have 4 or more copies. If a library is looking to weed some of their holiday titles – they can think of us because we’re always happy to add to this particular collection!

These titles are very popular in November and December, with some book club groups reserving their choices up to a year in advance! NLC staff keep their eyes peeled for holiday-themed books year-round in order to meet the demand come the first snowfall.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.”
―Anthony Doerr

This week’s #BookFace model could be considered by some, our very own office Scrooge, but with a heart of gold. It’s Jerry Breazile, our Business Manager!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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NLC Staff: Meet Gabe Kramer

Gabe Kramer: The Accidental Librarian

Meet Gabe Kramer who joined the Library Commission staff ten years ago and recently became Talking Book & Braille Service Director. Gabe grew up in Wahoo and graduated from Wahoo High School. He attended UNL earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting and completed his Master’s Degree in Library Science this past December from the University of Missouri. As a kid, Gabe remembers reading all the Goosebumps books and his first Stephen King book in 5th grade.  As an adult, Gabe prefers nonfiction and is currently reading John Adams by David McCullough. Gabe estimates for every fiction book he reads, he reads two nonfiction. Stephen King is his favorite author. Gabe’s library also includes a substantial music collection featuring David Bowie, Nirvana, Kanye West, and Radiohead.

Prior to working in libraries, Gabe worked at Dairy Queen, the UNL Parking and Transit Department, and produced the broadcasts for the Lincoln Stars and the Lincoln Saltdogs. Gabe submitted an application for several jobs with the State of Nebraska and received a call to interview for the Library Commission. He does not remember applying specifically for a job at the Library Commission but happily, his application made him a good candidate making Gabe an accidental librarian. When he isn’t busy juggling the many staff shortages his department has been dealt recently, he likes to play basketball and spend time at home with his family listening to music and playing video games.

Gabe is married to Jenny and together they have a 9-year-old daughter, Ella. When I asked Gabe what is the best thing about life in Nebraska, he replied, “Jenny keeps me here.” A perfect day for Gabe is one with lovely weather, no chores, and plenty of time to do whatever he wants.  If Gabe won the lottery, travel would be the first priority with the goal of filling all the pages of his passport book with custom stamps. Two trips to Japan to visit his mother’s family has whetted his appetite to see more of the world. Accidental or otherwise, we’re grateful Gabe joined the staff at the Library Commission.

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#BookFaceFriday “Let’s Be Reasonable”

This is a #BookFaceFriday to make Grant Wood proud.

"Let's Be Reasonable" by Joel Sartore BookFace Photo

Is there anything more iconic Midwestern than American Gothic? We got the chance to create our own with this week’s #BookFace selection “Let’s Be Reasonable” by Joel Sartore (Unversity of Nebraska Press, 2011). That’s the Nebraska photographer/author himself on the book cover with his wife Kathy. If you’re not familiar with this book of short essays and photography, you should really change that. It’s a must read.

“For this collection of essays and images, photojournalist Santore drew on various subjects encountered in his travels on assignment for CBS Sunday Morning and National Geographic magazine. By turns quirky, candid, whimsical and moving, they cover a wide range of topics, including endangered species, the power of laughter, state-fair food, mud, money, conspicuous consumption, and his own life and family at home in Nebraska.”—Neil Pond, American Profile

(Neil Pond American Profile 2011-09-05)

We pulled this from our Talking Book & Braille (TBBS) collection. It was recorded by NLC in 2016, and narrated by Alice Timm. It’s a part of our collection of Nebraska books and publications made available to Nebraska TBBS customers. It was recently added to TBBS’s Duplication on Demand service. You can learn all about the new Duplication on Demand service in next week’s episode of NCompass Live: Talking Books and Duplication on Demand!

Imagine if there were no books on your library shelves, and instead books were custom-made for every patron, printed and conveniently bound together during their visit. Something along those lines is being implemented with the digital talking books circulated at the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Tune in to find out about the technology behind this change, and its advantages and disadvantages for patrons and staff as we begin this adventure together!

Join Scott Scholz, Director of our Talking Book and Braille Service, and Christa Porter next Wednesday, Dec. 26th at 10:00 am Central Time. Register here!

Scott also happens to be one of this week’s #BookFace models!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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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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