Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center

Talking Books are a free public library service for the visually, physically, and reading disabled. The Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center is part of the Athens-Clarke County Library and the Georgia Library for Accessible Services. For more information about our service, please visit our website.

The purpose of this blog is to provide information and useful links to our patrons. The Talking Book Center does not endorse any product mentioned on this blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

That All May Read Website

"That All May Read" has been the motto of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for many years, and now it is the official public education campaign slogan as well. This campaign is designed to spread the word about Talking Book services for the visually, physically, or reading disabled so that readers who would benefit from them have the opportunity to learn about Talking Books.

You can help! Direct anyone you know who might be interested to for videos, eligibility requirements, and enrollment instructions. New information will be added frequently, so keep checking back! You can also contact your local Talking Book Center for more information.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free Eye Exams for Service Animals

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) and Stokes RX will offer free eye exams for service animals in May. Qualified service animals include those who provdie "guide, hearing assistance, drug detection, police/military, search and rescue, therapy, and those assisting people with disabilities other than blindness".

The exam will be a basic wellness exam to check for visual diseases or abnormalities. Once your service animal is registered, a list of participating providers will be sent to you.

To register your service animal, check qualifications, or read more about this service, please visit

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Visual Enhancements Presentation

The Athens Council of the Blind will host a presentation by Visual Enhancements, an Athens-based provider of low vision aids and products. Please see the invitation below.

The Athens Council of the Blind cordially invites you to attend a presentation by Mike Martinson from Visual Enhancements on Saturday, March 28, at 10:30 AM. The location of the meeting will be at Multiple Choices, 145 Barrington Drive, Athens.
Visual Enhancements, always carries the latest in low vision technology including hand held magnifiers, desktop video magnifiers, computer integration of video magnifiers and the newest HD/OCR CCTV’s.
         Please come out and join us!
For further information contact Jerrie Toney at 706.461.1013 or email

Friday, March 20, 2015

Georgia Guide Dog Users

The Georgia Guide Dog Users group will be holding a meeting next week. Please see the invitation below:

Georgia Guide Dog Users would like to invite you to attend our in-person meeting. We will be eating lunch at Schlotzsky's Deli. Lunches will be pre-ordered, so please RSVP if you would like to join the meal.

Saturday, March 28
10:45am - 2:30pm

Athens-Clarke County Library
2025 Baxter St. Athens, GA

RSVP: 770-464-0450 or

RSVP Deadline: March 26, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gwinnett Lifestyle Showcase

Gwinnett Council for Seniors will hold their annual Lifestyle Showcase this weekend. The event features giveaways, door prizes, food trucks, informational booths, and guest speakers on a variety of topics. This free event is a great way to learn about lots of resources in the Gwinnett area. Talking Books will host a booth, so come by and register for our door prize!

Gwinnett Council for Seniors Lifestyle Showcase

Saturday, March 21

10:00am - 2:00pm

Bethesda Park Senior Center
225 Bethesda Church Rd Lawrenceville GA

For more information, please contact the Gwinnett Council for Seniors at or 770-822-5147.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Author Sir Terry Pratchett Dies

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of over 70 books, including the popular Discworld series, has died. Pratchett continued to pen novels even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 58, and was an outspoken advocate of both dementia awareness and assisted suicide rights. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2009.

There are many Terry Pratchett books available through the Talking Books program, including the ones listed below.

DB 60775 - Color of Magic
DB 27284 - Light Fantastic
DB 52704 - Equal Rites
DB 62443 - Mort
DB 67846 - Wintersmith
DB 73324 - I Shall Wear Midnight
DB 74198 - Snuff

To read more, please visit

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Accessible Tax Forms

The IRS website has links to many accessible forms for taxes. You can find them at or call your local IRS office. You can find a listing of offices at

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Let's Talk

The Georgia Council of the Blind is bringing back their peer forum, Let's Talk GCB. This is a great group to share experiences and meet other GCB members. The first forum will be March 14.

For more information, please visit

Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 Northeast Georgia Conference and Resource Expo

Northeast Georgia Transition Team will present its annual disability expo and fair tomorrow. This year's theme is "Composing Your Own Song". Panels and presentations will include information about self-advocacy, financial planning, work readiness, post-secondary education, personal safety, and more. There will also be a resource fair held with many community resources in attendance. Lunch will be available as well as a great keynote speaker. Come see how many exciting resources are available, and come say hi at the Talking Books booth!

2015 Northeast Georgia Conference and Resource Expo

"Composing Your Own Song"

Saturday, February 28

8:30am - 3:30pm

Tate Center, UGA Campus

45 Baxter St. Athens, GA

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The weather in Northeast Georgia has been chilly and wet this week! Snow days are a fun break from school AND a great time to read. Here are some snow-themed books for younger readers available from BARD:

DB 58352 - Snowed in with Grandmother Silk, Carol Fenner: Eight-year-old Ruddy is disappointed when his parents go on a cruise and leave him with his fussy grandmother. But an unexpected Halloween snowstorm strands Grandmother Silk’s house without power, and the two must learn to survive--and to make their own fun. For grades 2-4.

DB 68582 - Let It Snow, John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle: In three interconnected short stories set in a small southern town, six teens discover unexpected romance after a train is stranded by a blizzard. In "The Jubilee Express" Jubilee takes refuge in a Waffle House and meets local boy Stuart. For senior high readers.

DB 37834 - The Mystery in the Snow, Gertrude Chandler Warner: The "boxcar children"--Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny--once alone in the woods living in a boxcar and now happily under the care of their grandfather--are at Snow Haven Lodge for their winter vacation. They look forward to competing in the lodge’s annual carnival, and sign up for a host of events. But things are not right from the very start, and the children are determined to find out why. A Boxcar Children book for grades 3-6.

DB 38925 - Wet Weather: Rain Showers and Snowfall, Jonathan Kahl: Without precipitation--water from the sky--life on Earth would not be possible. The authors discuss where precipitation comes from, how it forms, where it falls, and the benefits and occasional disasters caused by wet weather. For grades 4-7 and older readers.

DB 43471 - The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats: Young Peter is thrilled to wake up to snow piled high. He spends the day crunching, sliding, building a snowman, making snow angels, and having a great time. For grades K-3. Caldecott Award winner.

DB 40379 - Snow is Falling, Franklyn M. Branley: A simple description of the beauty, dangers, and usefulness of snow, including an experiment that proves snow retains warmth. For grades K-3.

Since snow is still in the forecast, please be advised the Talking Book Center follows the inclement weather schedule of the Athens-Clarke County government. If the county offices close or delay, the Talking Book Center will as well. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Talking Book Program Converts to Unified English Braille

Unified English Braille (UEB) is becoming the English standard for Braille type, and the Talking Books program will be adopting it in 2016. Below is a press release from the Library of Congress.

Braille and Talking-Book Program Embraces New Braille CodeUnified English Braille Makes Print-to-Braille Translation Easier

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, next year will implement the Unified English Braille (UEB) code on Jan. 4, 2016—the 207th birthday of Louis Braille.
“This is the first extensive change to the English braille code, a major literacy tool, since the 1930s,” said NLS Director Karen Keninger. “The new code will be especially beneficial to students and other users of technology. It resolves persistent translation errors that occur when, for example, a student’s work is translated to print for a teacher to read, or when print material is translated to braille.” Those who use computers, smartphones, e-books and texting features will find it very useful.
The code, which has been adopted by seven other English-speaking countries, brings the braille code into the computer age. “UEB is not much different from the English Braille American Edition that we’ve been using,” Keninger said. UEB uses the same six-dot cell pattern as the present code, but drops some contractions, uses different spacing rules and allows for transliterating a wider array of symbols.
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA)—which oversees the use, teaching and production of braille in the United States—adopted the code in November 2012. It then began preparing constituents for the change to ensure implementation in 2016. “Since many BANA members produce braille or transcribe braille, the NLS announcement will not be a surprise. They have already been preparing,” said Judy Dixon, NLS consumer relations officer and NLS representative to BANA.
Beginning Jan. 4, 2016, all books added to the braille collection will be produced in UEB. “Current patrons should make the transition easily as the new code builds on the old system,” said Keninger. Existing braille books will remain in the collection and be available. The UEB books are not expected to be available from the collection for at least six months. Patrons will not need to change their equipment.
NLS administers the braille and talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness or physical disability makes reading regular materials difficult. Through its national network of libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in audio and braille formats and digital audio equipment directly to enrollees at no cost. Music instructional materials are also available. Selected materials may be downloaded. For more information, visit or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Accessible Mobile Reading Apps

The National Library Service (NLS), the governing body of the Talking Books program, has released an updated list of accessible mobile reading apps. These apps convert text to speech or a Braille output, and are often found in common purchasing locations such as the Google Play Store or iTunes. Please visit to review all the apps.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NLS Narrator Retires

Popular Talking Book narrator Mitzi Friedlander is retiring after over 50 years of recording.  She holds the record for the most books recorded by a single narrator and was awarded the Alexander Scourby Award for nonfiction in 1993.

To read more about Ms. Friedlander and hear a sample of her work, please visit

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whispering Woods Braille Trail

The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center will hold a grand opening for their new Braille Trail, an outdoor natural trail with enhanced features for the visually impaired, on February 22.  The Braille Trail was designed by a local high school student and his friends, who received a Disney Friends for Change grant.

To read more about the Braille Trail, please visit

If you are interested in attending the grand opening ceremony and nature walk, it will be held February 22 at 2:00pm.  The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is located at 2020 Clean Water Drive Buford, GA.  For more information or to RSVP, please call 770-940-1124.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gentle Romances Catalog

Just in time for Valentine's Day, NLS has released a Gentle Romances catalog, filled with suggested titles of love stories without the strong language or explicit content many romances contain. If you would like to order some gentle romances, or would like a copy of this catalog, please contact your Talking Book Library.

Below are some suggestions from the catalog. 

DB 72220 - The Girl She Used to Be, David Cristofano
Melody has been in the federal witness-protection program since she was six, changing identities every few years. Now, weary of living a lie and ignoring warnings from her protectors, twenty-six-year-old Melody begins an unlikely romance with Jonathan Bovaro - son of the mob boss who had her parents killed.

DB 74163 - Love in a Nutshell, Janet Evanovich
Newly divorced Kate Appleton moves into the Nutshell, her family's summer retreat in rural Michigan, to renovate it into a bed-and-breakfast. Matt Culhane hires Kate to go undercover and find out who is sabotaging his brewery. When danger strikes, Kate and  Matt unite and fall in love.

DB 68752 - Sweetwater Gap, Denise Hunter
Josie Mitchell is summoned home to North Carolina to help run her family's apple orchard. Josie embraces old friends and family and, despite her guilty memories and  illness, falls in love with orchard manager Grady Mackenzie. When a crisis occurs, Josie opens her heart to God.

DB 74860 - The Fiddler, Beverly Lewis
When her car gets a flat tire, classical violin prodigy Amelia is rescued by Michael, a young Amish man. Amelia, who secretly fiddles in a country band, stays at Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania, for a few days before returning to the English world.

DB 73631 - The Knitting Diaries, Debbie Macomber
Three romances featuring people who knit. In The Twenty-First Wish, ten-year-old Ellen hopes her adopted mother will marry her birth father. In Coming Unraveled, Robyn goes home to help her grandmother run a knitting store. In Return to Summer Island, Caro meets a marine who is redeploying to Afghanistan.

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