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This newsletter is published by the New Mexico Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) and is distributed free to the patrons and other interested parties. The newsletter can be requested in large print or Braille versions, and an audio version can be accessed on NEWSLINE. For information, call LBPH at 1-800-456-5515 or 505-476-9770, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

LBPH Newsletter Fall 2012


         The Digital Talking Book Player (DTB)—Standard or Advanced—is less prone to repair needs than its audio cassette predecessor, due to its fewer moving parts. While no formal surveys or studies have been made of the subject, it appears that the primary area of maintenance concern with DTBs is with the management and conservation of battery life.

         Many patrons will leave their players plugged into an electrical outlet most of the time; however, understandably, many other patrons will prefer to leave the player unplugged for portability purposes. Some basic understanding of battery use and recharging can help patrons to better extend the use of the player batteries. It is important to remember that the battery is not replaceable by patrons.

         Players have a built-in energy saving function, when operating solely by battery. In that mode, the player will turn off after 30 minutes of inactivity. When connected to any electrical outlet, turning the player off does not disconnect power. The circuit is still active so that battery charging can occur, if necessary.

         The Advanced DTB has an additional row of controls, which includes a white, diamond-shaped button near the left edge. Pushing this button offers information about the reading position, the book currently being read, and the player power and battery status.

         A DTB battery should provide approximately 29 hours of play time. When connected to an outlet, the player battery begins to recharge when capacity is estimated to have fallen to less than 75 percent. When the player estimates that the capacity is less than half an hour, the announcement will be “Battery Low”.

         About two years ago, the National Library Service (NLS) reported some early distributed players “would not attempt to charge a severely depleted battery”. These players represent about 17% of the library’s standard players and about ten per cent of the advanced. Whenever possible, the recharging problem in these players has been corrected.

         A couple of key points are that under moderate usage (about 20 hours per week), battery life should exceed 4 years. Also, battery charge is reduced by about 10 hours, when using a flash drive playing BARD downloads due to increased communication with the player.

         Finally, we recommend that a player be frequently plugged in to a wall outlet. Leave the player charging for 8-9 hours, as the player may report a full charge when only partially charged.  A player need not be replaced as long as it holds at least a ten hour charge.


         During the upcoming holidays, mail delivery slows as the handling volume increases. With this in mind, we encourage patrons to consider “stocking up” on books early in the month of December.

         In mid-December, the library staff plans to gather for a holiday lunch-time event. As is always the case, when staff are unavailable, voicemail will be activated to receive you talking book orders.


DNM00198—Now Silence: A Novel of World War II written by Tori Warner Shepard and narrated by Mary Jo Halpin. Santa Fe waits out World War II for the return of her men held in Japanese prison camps. Melo Garcia is one of them. He survived the Bataan Death March and is now a slave laborer in a condemned coal mine near Nagasaki, Japan. This novel is as much a story of heroism as it is of his distant and remote Hispanic community.

DNM00239—Belle’s Star written by Connie Gotsch and narrated by Mary Jo Halpin. When Big Toby and his father throw Belle out of their truck, Darcy and her Auntie Ellen rescue the frightened puppy. They show Belle kindness and offer her a life with love and security. However Belle thinks no human is worth trusting. Darcy's family and their pets, including a cat, try to show Belle otherwise.  Written in the first person from a dog's point of view, Belle's Star empowers young people who have escaped abuse and bullying to build new lives. (For grades 3-6)

DNM00309—Two Ways of Seeing written by Cherry Patrick Jamison and narrated by Mary Jo Halpin. Poetry and essays chronicling a 17-year age difference between siblings.  Their shared history bind their respective visions generated by the spirit of the desert southwest of Texas and New Mexico.

DNM00311—Untold New Mexico written by Jason Silverman and narrated by Mary Jo Halpin. A collection of the forgotten moments and people who have defined New Mexico, including explorers, artists, and special activities in the state, from past and present.

DNM00319—A Great Aridness by William deBuys and narrated by William Scheer. Dramatic population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the semi-arid American Southwest close to the brink of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe. This land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is likely to experience the heaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States. The author suggests that while the future of this region may be largely of local interest, what happens in the Southwest will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide--the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East--will experience in the coming years.


         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 is used generally for supplemental funding of materials or travel, where state funding has been reduced, or in areas such as our local recording program, which may not routinely be supported by state or federal funding. In the past year, Friends’ funding has contributed to staff travel to national conferences and upgrades to the recording studio. Contributions to the Friends may be addressed to Friends of the NMLBPH, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507.