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LBPH Newsletter

LBPH Newsletter Fall 2009


As of late November, the New Mexico library has received over 100 digital talking book (DTB) players for distribution. This amount is less than originally expected by this time but is an encouraging development after a number of delays. At the current pace of distribution, it is estimated that all patrons, who are military veterans, will have had an opportunity to receive a player by the spring of 2010. After the initial distribution to veterans, the general readership of the library will begin to receive players.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the library plans to distribute players based on a report created by its catalog and patron database provider—Keystone Systems. The report prioritizes patrons based on borrowing activity along with the number of overdue books. The library has chosen not to send out overdue notices for the time being but continues to encourage patrons to return books within the 45 day borrowing period or to request a renewal after that borrowing time. If there is a waiting list on the book, it is not renewable.

As the National Library Service (NLS) transitions from audio tape to digital cartridge books, it has begun to reduce the number of audio tape books distributed. The New Mexico library is receiving about half of the allotment of audio tape books that it received before 2008. Audio tape book distribution is schedule to end entirely by the end of 2010.

Because only a small percentage of patrons have received DTB players, the demand for audio tape books remains high. This has resulted in longer waiting lists on a number of newer titles. The library is attempting to offset some of the lower supply by making additional book copies in-house; however, staff time and material resources are limited. Therefore, the library continues to encourage patrons to return overdue books both in consideration of other patrons’ interests and to improve the opportunity of receiving a DTB player sooner.

Although newer supplies of audio tape books are being reduced, there are still many more titles available in tape form than there will be in digital form for a number of years. Therefore, we are encouraging new recipients of DTB players to retain audio tape players until a greater supply of digital books is available. There are an estimated 40,000 titles available in tape form. Currently, there have been about 600 titles distributed in digital form. Those patrons, who are able to use BARD (Braille Audio and Reading Download), which requires computer use and internet connection can access the entire, expanding digital collection of about 15,000 titles. All digital books require a player authorized by the NLS. New cassette players are no longer manufactured; so, we recommend that patrons handle this equipment with care.


RNM00168—A Buffalo in the House: The True Story About a Man, an Animal, and the American West written by R.D. Rosen and narrated by Patricia Jonietz. More than a hundred years after Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight hand raised two baby buffalo to help save the species from extinction, Veryl Goodnight and her husband adopt an orphaned buffalo calf of their own. An uplifting story about one animal's ability to touch human lives and reconnect people of all ages to a vanished past.

RNM00169—The Book of Tea written by Kakuzo Okakura and narrated by John Pen La Farge. Written in English by a Japanese scholar in 1906, The Book of Tea is an elegant attempt to explain the philosophy of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, with its Taoist and Zen Buddhist roots, to a Western audience in clear and simple terms.

RNM00170—Burn English: A Western Story written by William A. Luckey and narrated by Charles Boatright. At forty five, Burn English feels old. He sets his horses free except for a prize mare, burns his ranch and wanders north cutting through barbed wire fences he encounters, but repairing the wire after passing through. He comes upon an idyllic grotto with lush grass by a cold water pond. But others are watching Burn, wondering why he's there and very aware of the beautiful mare.

RNM00172—The Secret Project Notebook written by Carolyn Reeder and narrated by Mary Jo Halpin. Fritz has arrived in a place so secret it doesn't exist on maps and even mentioning its name is forbidden. What are his father and other scientists working on at the lab? With the help of his friend Kathy, Fritz searches for clues and jots them down in a notebook. When he and his friends show too much interest in a restricted area there's trouble.


Occasionally patrons may be interested in giving a financial contribution to the library. The Friends of the NMLBPH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that can accept and maintain tax-deductible donations for the benefit of the library program.

The Friends’ support has generally been in the area of supplemental funding for materials or travel, where state funding has been reduced, or in areas such as the local recording program, which may not routinely be supported by state or federal funding. In the past year, Friends’ funding has covered costs such as cassette rewinder repair, volunteer recognition, and larger computer monitors for improved staff viewing. Contributions to the Friends may be addressed to Friends of the NMLBPH, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507.