Home>Newsletters>Fall, 2009

Logo of The Friends of The New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped: Within a circle is a family with their pets. Around the circle is our organization name, The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped. THE FRIENDS OF THE NEW JERSEY LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND AND HANDICAPPED


As Fall is symbolized by leaves changing colors, the NJLBH has changed its name to The NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. In the future the library will be known as NJSLTBBC. At this time, the Friends have decided to keep their name The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped as there are financial issues and confusion with the new name. The Friends ongoing mission is to support NJSLTBBC. We want to make you aware that there are two different ways to donate to NJSLTBBC. Both are tax deductible, but with different spending goals.

The Friends is an organization of library users and others who work to support programs, purchase equipment and fund other requests from NJSLTBBC that are not funded by money from the federal or state governments.

Since NJSLTBBC routinely will not have Saturdays open to the public except for special events, like the Fall Festival, the Friends of the NJLBH's meeting will no longer be held at the library. We will alternate the meetings between Middlesex and Mercer Counties to allow more people from each area to attend meetings. The next meeting will be held on December 5, 2009 in the Fellowship Hall at the Trinity United Methodist Church located at 1985 Pennington Road, Ewing NJ 08638. The church is Access Link-accessible and the cross street is Carlton Avenue. For this meeting there will be a time change. The meeting will begin at 11:45 AM and will end at approximately 2:30 PM. Lunch will be provided for $5.00 prior to the meeting.

With our deepest gratitude, the Friends thank the Lions Club of Metuchen, James Dougherty, and Harriet O'Rourke for their generous donations since our last newsletter.

We are pleased to announce The Friends agreed to donate $20,000 to purchase 2,100 one gigabyte blank cartridges and containers for the digital players to support the new program. NJSLTBBC wishes to supplement NLS by duplicating additional digital books for its patrons. These cartridges and mailing containers are a first step to help NJSLTBBC to reach this goal.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the next meeting on Saturday, December 5th. As a group we need to support NJSLTBBC's future endeavors.

Elisabeth Dougherty, President


One of the items on the December 5, 2009 meeting agenda will be the approval of a revision of Bylaws to reflect the name change from New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped (NJLBH) to New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (NJSLTBBC) and two other minor changes. The Bylaws with the proposed changes are at the end of this newsletter.


James Dougherty will chair the Nominating Committee for June, 2010 elections. Steve Sowa and Bob Lucas have agreed to serve with him.


The Fall Festival held on October 3rd was a great success due in large part to the hard work of the NJSLTBBC staff. Mary Jane Clark, the keynote speaker, is a warm, approachable person. Her speech was both inspirational and full of humor. The Friends arranged for Mary Jane Clark to be the keynote speaker at this wonderful event. We heartily thank Ottilie Lucas, Secretary of the Friends for suggesting her and to Joyce Sowa, Treasurer for contacting her. Mary Jane Clark enjoys the freedom of determining her characters' destinations. Betty Dougherty wishes she could do that. She said that she would then make everyone a Friend of the NJLBH.


On October 9, the Friends officers participated in a tactile tour of the several exhibits at the Princeton Art Museum located on the Princeton University Campus. Caroline Harris, one of the museum curators and her assistant, Sarah Girth, who is a student intern, were delightful and did a wonderful job of describing sculptures and paintings for the group. We were able to touch sculptures similar to those at the Grounds for Sculpture. In addition, the tour guides allowed us to feel smaller figures and models which were produced with different textures that allowed us to identify differences in form, body shape and background. The paintings were fascinating as the verbal descriptions and props allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of what the artists wanted us to see in our minds. Ms. Harris and Ms. Girth were interested in our critique of the tour and all of us were very pleased with the work and effort they put into this endeavor. The Princeton Museum hopes to provide blind patrons in New Jersey with the opportunity to take a similar tour in the future. Tour groups are limited from five to eight people. The next project the museum curators will be working on is landscapes and it will be fascinating to see them. Touring the Art Museum was a very enjoyable experience for all of us.


Not a member yet? We would love to have you be a Friend! Want to contribute to the Library in general or a special project? A membership form is attached to this newsletter for those who wish to renew their membership or make a tax deductible contribution. Please note that the annual dues for an individual are $15.00 and $30.00 for a family. The fiscal year 2010 dues cover the 12 month period from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. The Friends fund a variety of programs including Audio Vision, the Children's Summer Reading Program, The Fall Festival, The American Sign Language Story Hour, The Sensory Garden, Foreign Language Books and Large-print Books for Adults and Children. Donations will be accepted on behalf of the Friends for the organization or for a specific program.

Below are the bylaws which have been updated to incorporate and explain the relationship between the Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped (Friends) and the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (NJSLTBBC). All changes are boldface type and in brackets.



The name of this organization shall be The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Inc. ("Friends").


The mission of the Friends shall be to support and promote the services and programs of the (New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (NJSLTBBC), formerly known as The) New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped (NJLBH).


SECTION 1. Any person 18 years of age or older who is interested in the (NJSLTBBC) shall be eligible for membership in the Friends. The two types of membership are Individual Membership and Family Membership.

SECTION 2. A person shall be a member of the Friends upon completion of the application form and payment of dues.

SECTION 3. Members shall receive newsletters and special mailings. These shall be available in accessible formats.

SECTION 4. Dues.

a. Annual dues shall be determined by the Executive Board at its discretion.

b. Anyone who desires to support the Friends may contribute any amount. If an individual's contribution is less than the annual membership dues, that individual shall receive newsletters but not have a voice or a vote.

c. The fiscal year of the Friends shall be from July 1st to June 30th of each year.

d. Dues shall be payable on or before June 30th for the next fiscal year.


SECTION 1. The officers shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These officers shall perform the duties set forth in these By-Laws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Friends. The president must be eligible for services from the (NJSLTBBC).

The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint two (2) Executive Board members-at-Large with Board approval, appoint committees and serve as an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The President shall have served at least one term as an officer or board member of the Friends.

The Vice President shall preside in the absence of the President. The vice-President must be eligible for services from the (NJSLTBBC).

The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings, coordinate correspondence and maintain custody of all non-financial corporate records.

The Treasurer shall keep the financial records, maintain responsibility over all receipts and disbursements and prepare periodic financial reports.

Two Executive Board Members-at-Large shall be appointed by the President. These Members-at-Large shall participate in and vote on all matters brought before the Executive Board. Board members must be eligible for services from the (NJSLTBBC).

An officer may resign from his/her position upon reasonable notice to the President. The vacancy created by the resignation shall be filled through selection by the President with the advice of the Vice President and Executive Committee.

SECTION 2. The Friends shall meet at least twice a year. At the Fall meeting in odd-numbered years, a Nominating Committee of three (3) members shall be appointed to present a slate of officers for election at the following even-numbered year's meeting. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to nominate candidates for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Nominating Committee shall report said candidates in a newsletter, before the election at the biannual spring meeting. Additional nominations from the floor shall be permitted.

SECTION 3. The officers shall be elected to serve for two (2) years, and their term of office shall commence at the beginning of the fiscal year for which they are elected. A majority of those present and voting shall be necessary to elect.

SECTION 4. No member shall hold more than one (1) office at a time, and the President and Vice President shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office.


SECTION 1. The Annual Meeting of the Friends shall be held in the spring for the purpose of receiving reports of officers and committees, presenting the budget, planning the year's activities, and for any other business that may arise.

SECTION 2. Special Meetings of the Friends may be called by the President, a majority of the Executive Board, or by five (5) members of the Friends. A request from the members of the Friends shall be submitted in writing. The purpose of the Special Meeting shall be stated in the call for that meeting, which shall be sent by mail to the membership at least fifteen (15) days in advance, except in cases of emergency. No item of business shall be discussed in the Special Meeting other than that set forth in the call for the Special Meeting.

SECTION 3. A majority of the Executive Board and ten (10) voting members of the Friends shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business for the Friends.


SECTION 1. The officers of the Friends and the two (2) Executive Board Members-at-Large shall constitute the Executive Board.

SECTION 2. The Executive Board shall have general oversight of the work of the Friends between meetings, shall fix the time and place of meetings, shall make recommendations to the Friends, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these By-Laws. Special Meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President or by two (2) other members of the Executive Board.

SECTION 3. The designated representative of (NJSLTBBC) shall serve as liaison between the (NJSLTBBC) and the Friends. This liaison may provide input to the budget process, may provide assistance with special projects and discretionary purchases or expenditures as necessary.


SECTION 1. The Finance Committee shall be composed of the Executive Board and another member (or members) of the Friends organization (appointed by the Executive Board). It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to prepare and submit a budget to the Friends organization at the Annual Meeting.

SECTION 2. The Nominating Committee is addressed in Article IV, Section 2 of these By-Laws.

SECTION 3. Such other committees, standing or special, shall be appointed by the President as the Friends organization or Executive Board shall from time to time deem necessary to carry on the work of the Friends organization. The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.


The meetings of the Friends and its committees shall be governed by these By-Laws. Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall govern any issue not addressed in these By-Laws.


These By-Laws may be amended at any Annual Meeting, regular meeting or Special Meeting called for the purpose of said amendment by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided that the amendment has been submitted at the previous meeting or appeared in one or more mailings to the membership.


In the event that the Friends are dissolved, an attorney shall be consulted with respect to said dissolution. New Jersey law and applicable parliamentary authority shall be complied with. Notification shall be the same as for By-Law amendments. Upon dissolution, all assets and records of the Friends shall be given to the (NJSLTBBC or an organization with similar purposes and goals that complies with) exempt purposes within meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code with respect to charitable purposes or corresponding to any future Federal tax code or shall be distributed to the Federal, State or local government for a public purpose.


Name: __________________________________________________

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Telephone (with area code):_________________________________

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Preferred Media Format: LP_______ Tape_______ or E-mail_______

I am eligible for NJSLTBBC Services: Yes ___ No ___

Individual Member $15.00 ___

Family Membership $30.00 ___

Donation $ _________

Donation in Memory or Honor of:

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Please return this form together with your membership check payable to:

The Friends of the NJLBH

PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095