Home>Newsletters>Fall, 2011

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 (Friends) 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 Saturdays of June and December. We alternate locations between Middlesex County in June and Mercer County in December to accommodate the northern and southern members. At our meetings we receive reports from Library staff concerning developments of the TBBC and discuss ways we could work together to meet the needs of its patrons. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting. For more details and to become a member see our application in this newsletter.

Greetings to All Our Friends from the President

Fall has arrived again and it was the time for festivals, for instance, TBBC's Fall Festival and Oktoberfest. Now is the time to reflect on our goals for the future of TBBC. One of my goals is to have the Outspoken Library a real Spoken Library by means of adaptive equipment for all patrons to use on any kiosk the library has provided for downloads. I have a homework project for you. Go to the libraries where TBBC has installed the kiosks to see if you can use it without assistance. Report back and ask questions at the next Friends meeting for the library to qualify their answers.

Winter is also approaching which is the time to snuggle down with a good book. At the last Friends meeting the library said they could convert cassette books into a digital form if the master copy was good. It would take some time to receive your request. I took advantage of their offer and I was pleasantly surprised by their fast response. I have been reading articles about books on Newsline which gave me ideas for books I wanted to read. If I was interested in one of the books, I checked out the Braille and Audio Reading Downloads website known as BARD and Online Public Access Catalog known as OPAC on the TBBC site to see if they were available.

During the spring my husband had an accident. He is progressing nicely. After his hospitalization, he was admitted to Roosevelt Care Center for a month. He goes for physical therapy three times a week. He appreciates the generous gift the Friends gave him and their thoughtfulness. Throughout his recovery period he has been continuously reading. We both are enjoying being in TBBC's Book Club. Instead of being there in person, we join the members through a conference call.

December's meeting is next to my last meeting as the Friends President. For the past seven years, I have either been the Friends Vice-President or President. I have been honored to serve in both posts and I wish the best for the next Board of Directors. As a Friend, I will continue to promote new ideas for the stability and future of TBBC. Hopefully, I will see you there.

Respectfully Yours,
Elisabeth Dougherty
President, Friends of NJLBH

New Website

After much anticipation, the Friends website is in operation and available to all of us. The URL for this site is http://friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org and is very easy to navigate. As you will see, the website contains our membership form, our newsletters, information about the Friends organization and frequently asked questions. We hope you will enjoy all the links to sites of interest. In addition to the TBBC, the National Library Service (NLS) and the BARD site there are links to sites dealing with the causes of blindness, the various blind organizations, government and state sites, guide dog schools, and travel and leisure activities. We hope you will visit our website because you will surely benefit from its many features.

The Friends officers would like to thank Dave Casterline for helping us to put the website together and for his dedication to this project.

Highlights from the TBBC Fall Festival

On October 8, approximately 250 persons, both blind and sighted, gathered at the Grounds for Sculpture for the TBBC's Fall Festival whose primary sponsors were the TBBC, the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NJCBVI) and the Little Rock Foundation. The Grounds for Sculpture donated the use of their site for this memorable occasion.

"It was a beautiful day and all those who attended enjoyed the atmosphere and the activities. Since the weather was nice, many of the activities took place outdoors" stated Mary Kearns Kaplan, the Outreach Director for TBBC. The keynote speaker, Miriam Ascarelli discussed her book "Independent Vision: Dorothy Harrison Eustis and the Seeing-eye". The children enjoyed the sand-sculpting workshop and many people had their first experience learning some beginning yoga postures. The Grounds for Sculpture offered several guided walking tours where blind participants could touch and feel the outlines of various sculptures. There were also carts available to transport people from one area of the grounds to another. TBBC staff members were also available to download books onto the National Library Service (NLS) players for readers who requested them.

One of the attendees, Chris Ward, stated that "the Grounds for Sculpture was the perfect location for the TBBC 2011 Fall Festival. The workshops were the best part. The sand-sculpting, casting, and spinning were hands-on activities. The aroma-weaving was a social group-building exercise and the outdoor yoga was vigorous and relaxing. The attendees were able to take their crafts home and it was a good day for everyone. The Grounds for Sculpture is an excellent venue and they are excellent partners with TBBC."

The Friends were Advocate Sponsors of the event.

Options for Reading the Friends Newsletter

Several Friends members informed us that they no longer have cassette players on which to read the newsletter. The newsletters are recorded at normal speed and can be played on any commercial cassette recorder. Options for reading our newsletter: Large Print, Cassette, E-mail, on our website, http://friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org and on Newsline. If you wish to change the media in which you receive the newsletter, please complete and return the attached membership form.

The Friends Newsletter on Newsline

To access the Friends Newsletter on Newsline dial into the service via the local dial up number provided when you signed up or dial the toll free number 1-888-882-1629. If this is the first time you have dialed into the system in more than a month the system will prompt you to enter your log in information, at this point you will need to enter your six digit identification number. It will then prompt you to enter your four digit security code. These numbers were assigned to you when you first signed up for the service. If you have not yet signed up for the service, or do not remember your log in information, contact Newsline at 1-866-504-7300 to get your log in information or sign up for the service.

Once you are signed up and logged in you will be presented with a "Main Menu" of options. Choose option 2 off the main menu which is "Your State's Information Channel". Next, select option #3 for the "New Jersey Information Channel". Then follow the prompts for "Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped". This is currently option #11, but this can change as sections are added or removed from the service. Now you will find a list of selections where the Newsletter is located. At this point, press #3 to skip to the beginning of the next article until you find the article you wish to read. You can also move back to the beginning of the current article by pressing #2, or moving back to the previous article by pressing #1. Happy Reading! Enjoy the Friends Newsletter on Newsline.

Nominating Committee - June, 2012 Elections

At our June 2012 meeting, the Friends will be electing the slate of officers who will be holding positions for the next 2 years. A nominating committee has been appointed, consisting of Pat Kay, Jim Dougherty and Lauren Casey. If you would like to be considered for an office, please contact one of the committee members at Friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com or (609) 895-1048.

Meeting Notice

The next semiannual meeting of The Friends will be on December 3, 2011 from 10 AM to Noon at the Hamilton Public Library. It is located at 1 Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619. The cross street is Whitehorse Mercerville Road. Their phone number is: (609) 581-4050. Lunch will be served following the meeting for a cost of $5.00.

From the North:

Take Route 1 South past Quakerbridge Mall and Mercer Mall.
Take jug handle getting onto Route 295 South.
After driving 2 miles get off at Exit 65 A (Sloan Avenue East)
Proceed 0.7 miles on Sloan Avenue.
Turn right at the second light onto Quaker Bridge Road (County Road 533) and continue for 2.6 miles. (Quakerbridge Road becomes Whitehorse Mercerville Road at 5 points).
Turn right onto Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Way. It is the 6th light after you turn onto Quakerbridge Road. The Library is on the left.
If you reach Kuser Road, you have gone too far.

Alternate route from the North:

Take the NJ Turnpike south to exit 7A. Pick up Route 195 west and follow the directions from the east.

From the East:
Take Route 195 west onto Route 295 north.
Get off at Exit 61 A and follow the directions from the south.

From the West:
Take Route 95 north which becomes Route 295 south at Route 1.
Get off at Sloan Ave, Exit 65 A and follow the directions from the north.

From the South:
Take Route 295 north
Get off at Exit 61 a (Arena Drive east)
Turn left onto White Horse Ave which becomes Whitehorse Mercerville Road and travel 1.3 miles.
Turn left onto Justice Samuel Jr. Alito Way. The library is on the left.

If you have any questions, phone Lucas' Cell at (609) 638-4232.

To our members: please remember to pay your dues if you had not done so already. Our membership is from July 1 thru June 30. Thank You.

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Friends would like to thank the following people for their very generous donations: James Dougherty, Lisa Valvano, & Sheila Weisfeld.


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Please return this form together with your check payable to:
The Friends of the NJLBH
PO Box 434 Woodbridge, NJ 07095