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.

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.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Extended Magazine Loan Time

Talking Book patrons who receive NLS magazines in audio format will now have even longer to enjoy them.  The loan period for these items has been extended to three weeks for weekly magazines and seven weeks for monthly magazines.  It is still important to return the cartridge as soon as you finish reading your magazines, since NLS reuses the cartridges to send you the next issue of your subscription.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe to any NLS magazines, please contact your local Talking Book Library.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Digital Talking Books Plus Catalog

Every two months, Talking Book patrons receive the Talking Book Topics catalog of new titles.  At the end of the year, the National Library Service compiles these into an indexed catalog called Digital Talking Books Plus.  2013 will be the last issue of this compilation catalog to be published.

The bi-monthly Talking Book Topics will still be available in large print, audio, and online versions, and the entire Talking Books catalog can be found for Georgia patrons at  If you need help finding a book, please consult these catalog resources or contact your Reader's Advisor.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blind Chef Opens Chicago Restaurant

Blind Chicago chef Laura Martinez opened her restaurant, La Diosa, this month.  The chef lost her eyesight as a small child, but graduated from culinary school in 2010.  Her menu is Mexican and French-inspired.  Read more about Martinez and her restaurant here:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Below is a press release from NFB-NEWSLINE.  If you are a registered Talking Book patron and would like to subscribe to NFB-NEWSLINE, please contact your Talking Book Library.

NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service available to anyone who is blind, visually impaired or print-disabled.  It offers 400 publications to choose from, including 9 National Newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, 14 Breaking News sources such as CNN, BBC and ESPN Online, 14 International papers including Financial Times and Vancouver Sun,  as well as 43 magazines like Family Circle, Time, Smithsonian, Reader’s Digest and more.  NFB-NEWSLINE® also offers at least two newspapers for every state, and some states carry many more.  A complete list of publications offered on NFB-NEWSLINE® can be found on our website: . Another feature of NFB-NEWSLINE® is the localized weather alerts.  A blind person can hear the emergency tones but will be unable to read the messages scrolling across a TV screen.  With NFB-NEWSLINE’s emergency weather alerts, when a subscriber hears the tones, he or she can sign into NFB-NEWSLINE and the weather report will be read on the spot.  Any available weather alerts will be provided as soon as the subscriber signs into NFB-NEWSLINE.   NFB-NEWSLINE also has TV listings, job listings and retail ads.  NFB-NEWSLINE’s wide array of publications and announcements can be accessed anytime, on the subscriber’s schedule, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There are a variety of ways to access.   Subscribers can use a touch-tone telephone, or they can access the service via the website, On Demand emails, using portable players, such as the NLS Digital Player, or even via their iPhone, iPad or iPod!  And it’s always free.

Friday, January 16, 2015

OPAC Maintenance

The Talking Book catalog located at will undergo routine maintenance on Monday, January 19 from 6am - 8am.  The website will be unavailable during this time.  We apologize for any inconvenience!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MLK Day Closure

The Athens Regional Library System, including the Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center, will be closed on Monday, January 19th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 20.  Please order your books now for the long weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

PINES Software Upgrade

If you use a PINES library as well as a Talking Book Library, please be aware that all PINES libraries will undergo a software upgrade later this week.  The PINES software will be down Thursday, January 15 - Tuesday, January 20.  During this time, you will be unable to access the online PINES catalog, register for a new PINES library card, pay fines, renew items, or place a hold on items.

If you would like to see what improvements will be made to the software during the upgrade, please watch this short video:

The PINES outage will not affect Talking Book operations.

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