Author Archives: Annette Hall

TBBS Volunteers Receive Award

Volunteers at Talking Book and Braille Service were chosen for Celebrate Literacy, 2021. The award was presented by the Nebraska State Literacy Association at their annual conference. This year the conference was online. Pictures of some of the volunteers were displayed during the ceremony.

We think the studio volunteers are super! They are very dedicated, and many have narrated for several years. Thank you Nebraska State Literacy Association for honoring them.

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One Book, One Nebraska Selection Now Ready for Talking Book Borrowers

Death Zones and Darling Spies is now available at Talking Books

Death Zones and Darling Spies is now available at Talking Books.

The 2015 One Book, One Nebraska selection, Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam Reporting, is now available on cartridge directly from the Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS). Written by Beverly Deepe Keever and narrated in our studios by Judy Hanefeldt, the book can be ordered by TBBS borrowers as DBC 760. It can also be downloaded directly from BARD, a website hosted by the Library of Congress for talking book borrowers.The book is written by a Nebraska farm girl turned journalist who became the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War. The author earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination. With compelling prose, Beverly Deepe Keever tells personal and human stories that are matched by her insights regarding the war’s political and military strategies. She draws form interviews with generals, politicians, American marines, captured North Vietnamese soldiers, Buddhist monks, and Viet Cong officials.


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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: .

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Recycle Those Old TBBS Application Forms

Talking Book and Braille Service has an updated application form. Pick up the newest version at the Library Commission’s booth during the MPLA/NLA/NSLA conference or print it from our website.

Here’s an easy way to find out if an application form is the current one: on page 3 of the new application form, the second check box is for Braille and/or audio downloads (BARD). Although application forms printed in 2005 or before will still be honored, the older forms include information that may be obsolete.

Thanks for spreading the word — Reading Is For Everyone.

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NLA TSRT Spring Meeting 5/10/2011

The NLA Technical Services Round Table presents a one-day workshop on the proposed cataloging rules, Resource Description and Access (RDA) with UNL Librarian, Margaret Mering. Come learn about RDA and try out the RDA Toolkit.
The workshop will be held at Creighton University, in Room 111 of the Eugene C. Eppley Building. Space is limited to 40 participants.
Register for this workshop by filling out the online registration form.

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The Big READ and Talking Books

Put The Big READ and Talking Books together to include more readers in your discussion groups! . Almost all of the titles are available as digital books on the new cartridges from Talking Book and Braille Service. Contact Dave Oertli or Annette Hall to find out more.
Remember, Talking Book and Braille Service is for anyone who can’t use regular print because of a visual or physical impairment. Individuals can qualify if they can read large print but struggle with regular font. Individuals with Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, and arthritis may also qualify for the service.

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2010 Winter Olympics BookMarks

The 2010 Winter Olympics will be starting on Feb. 12, 2010 in Vancouver and Karen Drevo, from Norfolk Public Library, has created some Bookmarks to highlight some of the associated websites. [obsolete link removed]. Thanks Karen

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Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries Hosts Wine & Wii Fundraiser

Residents of Lincoln, Nebraska were invited to “Unleash your inner rock star or realize your dream of winning the Masters Cup at the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries’ Wine & Wii Game Night and Silent Auction” this spring. And they did. The Lincoln Country Club was the site of the gathering featuring a silent auction and computer gaming.
People of all ages and walks of life played the most talked about games, competing against friends and neighbors at Wii gaming booths. Gaming equipment was donated by local sponsors and turned over to the library for youth programming activities after the event. Sponsors include Kingery Construction, Whitehead Oil Company, LaMar’s, Clark Enersen Partners, Carpets Direct, and Allergy Asthma & Immunology Associates, PC. The silent auction included items such as a lunch with Ted Kooser (U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006), tickets to the Lied Center, tickets to a Cornhusker Football game and a Lincoln Stars game, autographed books, local art, vacation at an Inn in Jamaica, a Wii machine, hand-made wood furniture, and many gift certificates and unique items in all price ranges.
The Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries was founded in 1954 to provide private financial support for Lincoln’s public libraries. For more information about the Foundation and its programs and events, visit or call (402) 441-0164. What fundraising events have your library foundations and friends groups held recently? Click on comment below to share ideas.

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(downtown) Omaha lit fest is September 19 and 20

From Timothy Schaffert:
It’s at that point in the promotional process of the (downtown) Omaha lit fest that I start contacting you regularly, in my desperation, to remind you that the event is THIS WEEKEND (Sept. 19 and 20). Please don’t forget! Visit, print out the schedule, take it to Big Brain, and tattoo it to the back of your hand. I’ll just be heart-broken if I don’t see you there.
Meanwhile, to tantalize, I’ve offered the first few bits of an essay by Lit Fest author Laurie Stone, writing about the infamous JT Leroy, a topic that will likely come up during out “Plagiarism, Fraud & Other Literary Inspiration” panel at 11 am Saturday (at the Bemis). The rest of the essay is here: Laurie was the first person to publish JT Leroy, a young man who turned out to be a middle-aged woman. Fraud? Performance artist? Or simply fiction extending beyond the page?
(Oh, and we have the parking lot right next to the Bemis, on the north side of the building, reserved for Lit Fest, so feel free to park there…)
“Lies and the Memoir” by Laurie Stone…
In 1996, when I was gathering pieces for an anthology of memoirs, the writer Bruce Benderson, a friend, suggested I read the work of a 16-year-old boy he was exchanging emails with. I said, “Why would I be interested in the writing of a kid?” I’d collected pointed work from Phillip Lopate, Catherine Texier, and Lois Gould. In rich, image-driven pieces, each breathed life into a ruthless parent, capturing their seductivity as well. Peter Trachtenberg and Jerry Stahl, former heroin addicts, chronicled in rollicking fashion the pleasure of sooty falls. There would be no recovery or uplift in this book, no advertising for how we should live. I was interested in expanding the range of subjects we could speak about in public. I liked writers who didn’t try to win love.
“He’s literary,” Bruce promised.
“How can that be?”
“I don’t know, but you have to read his stuff.”
He went by the name Terminator—a joke. A picture Bruce kept on his bookcase showed a gawky, towheaded slip of a thing. …

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Mayor Promotes Volunteerism

Sheila Jacobs from Lincoln City Libraries and I attended a proclamation signing by Lincoln Mayor Coleen Seng for National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2007. Wayne Svoboda from Volunteer Partners worked with the mayor’s office to organize the signing. This has been an easy way to promote volunteerism and bring attention to our libraries.
National Volunteer Week will fall on April 27th to May 3rd in 2008. Points of Light supplies a toolkit with a sample proclamation, media release, and statistics on volunteering. Printing companies have gifts for volunteers. We would enjoy hearing about ideas and resources that have worked for you.

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Tracking Volunteer Information

A librarian wishes to update the way she keeps track of volunteers. What method do you use? What experience have you had with electronic databases?
I am using VolunteerWorks from Red Ridge. It works well for logging contact information, dates, volunteer hours, and recognition. Making labels with VolunteerWorks is easy. It can be used to print letters and send emails to volunteers. I also like using Excel spreadsheets and charts for reports.

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