Home>Newsletters>Fall, 2010

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


The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which promotes financial assistance and acts as an advocacy group for the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC). We meet twice a year on the first Saturday in June and December. The next meeting will be held on Saturday December 4th from 10 AMto 12 PM followed by lunch from 12 PM to 1 PM at the Lawrence Public Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike and Darrah Lane, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. We alternate locations between Mercer County in December and Middlesex Countyin June to accommodate the northern and southern members. At our meetings we voice our opinions concerning the direction of the TBBC and learn about their new developments. We look forward to your joining us at our next meeting. For moredetails and to become a member see our application in this newsletter.

Directions to the Meeting in December:
Get onto Route 1 South from NJ Turnpike, Parkway or Route 295. After the 1st traffic light south of the Route 295/Route 1 South interchange, bear right onto Business Route 1, Brunswick Pike. Turn right at the next traffic light onto Darrah Lane. The Library is immediately on the right.


Since our last newsletter, spring and summer have passed and now we are in the fall season. This is the season for thanksgiving. We are grateful for the friends who support the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. We are truly thankful for the previous support from our Friends, but now we need again to ask for your assistance. The state of NJ is in dire need of financial assistance for New Jersey's programs. Therefore, we plead for your financial support for TBBC to further enhance the new digital and other programs. Here's a suggestion from a friend of mine who told me how she handles gift giving and supports her favorite group at the same time during these times of financial hardships. As a gift she would donate money to a group in the name of the person she was giving the gift, and in turn, the person would do the same for her favorite group.

The International Lions Club Convention was held in Australia this year. A group of us had an adventurous summer by going to Australia including New Zealand. We petted a kangaroo, we fed a kangaroo, and we ate a kangaroo, but it was a different kangaroo we ate from the one we petted and fed. Kangaroo tastes like beef and has no cholesterol. We also petted koala bears, but we did not eat them. I heard koala bears stink and it is true, but I believe they feel the same way about us. We went to see the Penguin Parade where they returned home from fishing all day. As they enter their homes they hug their mates after being away a long day. One penguin was lost, but we had to leave before we knew the outcome. We hope the penguin eventually found his home. We found Australia and New Zealand friendly towards the disabled. On each street corner there were sound activated traffic lights for the blind and vibrations activated traffic lights for the deaf.

Before going on a trip get all the information about the place. For a few examples, learn about the animals, climate, food, and historical areas of the vicinity. Read up on the culture and sights of your destinations. All these facts can be found by reading cookbooks, travel books, and history books, including magazines, provided by the library. I downloaded NLS books and magazines to my player because I knew the trip was long.

Even after a trip it is interesting to read about places you have visited in fiction and nonfiction. You can say I have been there and compare your picture of the place and the image portrayed by the author. Two years ago for my thirty-fifth anniversary my husband and I visited Williamsburg VA with family and friends. It is a quaint town and we felt we were transported in time. An interesting fact we learned at a restaurant was during those times that no napkins were provided for the customers. Two dogs were used to provide this service instead of napkins. The first dog was used to wipe your hands on and the second dog licked clean the first dog. I am sure the guide dog and his owner with us was pleased we had napkins at this restaurant. Remember if you ever lose a napkin your guide dog can have another purpose. I wonder what your guide dogs would think of that.

At the present time many patrons have their new digital players. If you are eligible for Talking Book and Braille Center services and you do not have a player yet, please contact the library to assist you. You can assist eligible patrons if you have a computer to download National Library Services books and magazines by downloading to designated cartridges or thumb drives for them if they do not know how to download or do not have a computer. From your generous donations the Friends were able to finance cartridges to the library to download additional books to augment the books provided by NLS sent to the library for the patrons to borrow.

We all can play an active role in the future of the library by donating funds and being advocates for the library. The library houses treasures of knowledge and pleasure. Eligible patrons can browse independently for books and magazines on the computer or get assistance from Reader Service.

The library means a lot to us and that's why patrons testified at the hearings when the library was in jeopardy from state and federal funding. We hope to see all of you at the next meeting. The Friends heartily thank all of you for your support.

President Elisabeth Dougherty


"I felt that we had to make it clear to the legislators that the blind people of New Jersey would lose library services if the State did not continue to provide a sufficient level of funding to maintain its current programs." said Ottilie Lucas, Secretary of the Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped

In early 2010, staff of the New Jersey State Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC) was advised that the Library might lose its current level of funding for fiscal year 2011. Under normal circumstances, for every $1 the State of New Jersey provides to the Library for the Blind, the Federal Government will provide $3 toward services. However, since there was the possibility that funding would be less available for most facets of State government, TBBC realized that it was time to ask Library patrons to address state legislators concerning the need for continued library service for the blind in New Jersey.

"I wanted the legislators to understand that it would benefit everyone if Library services continued for the blind citizens of New Jersey." According to Joan Leonard, past president of the Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped "I wanted to do everything I could to keep the Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC) open. I enjoy books and I informed the legislators that I was able to download books by myself when I want to read them" Both Ottilie Lucas and Joan Leonard pointed out that the legislators understood the gravity of the situation and realized that blind patrons would lose a valuable service if the Library was forced to close.

Thanks to the efforts of the Friends and other Library patrons and family members, the Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC) received sufficient funding to maintain this service for the 2011 fiscal year. As members of the Friends, we thank all of those who took the time out to approach the legislators on behalf of all of us.

On November 19, 2010 Ottilie Lucas along with Rocco Fiorentino, the Comcast Television Network and others will be honored publicly and designated as Library Champions at a dinner held at the Hamilton Manor for their outstanding efforts in support of TBBC.

Friends Officers Elections

At the June 2010 meeting, elections were held for the officers of the Friends. All current officers were re-elected. They are Elisabeth Dougherty, President, Mary Jo Partyka, Vice-President, Ottilie Lucas, Secretary and Joyce Sowa, Treasurer. The new term runs from July 2010 through June 2012. Congratulations.


The Friends of NJLBH would like to thank the following people for their very generous donations: Eileen Brady, The Metuchen Lions Club, James Dougherty, Betty Jean Grundahl, Harriet O'Rourke, Martha Hefferman, Frances & Russell Brant, Gary & Jean Webster, Joseph Brauman and William & Elisabeth Dougherty. The Friends would also like to give a special thanks to the late Dorothy Viskovich for remembering the Friends in her Will.


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The Friends of the NJLBH
PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095