Home>Newsletters>Fall, 2012

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).

How much do you love the TBBC? Do you want to be a part of a group that helps support TBBC in its efforts to continue providing you with the services you love? We meet twice a year on the first Saturday in June and December. We alternate locations between Mercer County in December and Middlesex County in June to accommodate the northern and southern members. At our meetings we voice our opinions concerning the direction of the Talking Book and Braille Center and learn about TBBC's new developments. The next meeting will be held on Saturday December 1st from 10 AM to 12 PM followed by lunch from 12 PM to 1 PM at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 1985 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08618. It is located at the corner of Carlton Avenue and Pennington Road across from The College of New Jersey. Anyone wishing to stay for lunch will be asked to contribute $5.00 towards the cost of the food. Directions are at the end of this newsletter. We look forward to you joining us at our next meeting. For more details and to become a member see our application in this newsletter or on our web site http://www.friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org. Our E-Mail address is Friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com and our phone number is (609) 895-1048.

Message from the President

My name is Mary Jo Partyka and I was elected to the presidency of the Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped this past June. I am looking forward to serving with the newly elected officers, Lauren Casey, Vice President, Ottilie Lucas, Secretary and Joyce Sowa, Treasurer. I have asked Betty Dougherty and Doug Heine to serve as Board members. During my term of office, my goal is for the Friends to provide venues and resources available and accessible to our patrons. In an attempt to facilitate this goal, the Friends Newsletter has initiated a new column called "What People Think". In this forum, you can ask questions or offer suggestions of ways that either the Friends or the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (NJSLTBBC) can better serve you. We encourage you to send your comments to us by our E-mail address or by phone or send them to The Friends of NJLBH, PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095. In the current Newsletter, you will read about an exciting trip that some of our Book Club members made to the home of author Lisa Scottoline and other features.

Please join us for our next Friends meeting which will be held on December 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Trinity United Methodist Church.

Mary Jo Partyka, President

News from TBBC from Maria Baratta, Assistant Director of TBBC
  1. The Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) wrapped up a grant through the Disability Rights New Jersey whereby, TBBC received funding to order a large number of flash drives, pre-load them with sampler titles from BARD in the categories of Mystery, Best Seller and Romance, then distribute them to public libraries. Our patrons in the areas served by those public libraries were notified as to availability and encouraged to stop by their local library to pick up a flash drive and learn how to use the bookshelf feature of their digital audiobook player. The project was very well received by the participating public libraries and our patrons they serve locally.
  2. TBBC is completing its first NJ local digital book recording. The title is Sunset.a macular journey and the author F. Leroy Garrabrant is also a customer of TBBC service. This title will be added as a local production to the circulating DB collection in cartridge form. TBBC is now looking at several other books of NJ interest to continue our in-house digital book recording.
  3. NLS announced during the week of October 8th that Web Braille would be incorporated into the BARD practice site for regional libraries to test prior to a full national roll out. More information on end user availability should be ready by the Friends meeting in December.
  4. NLS is still working toward providing magazines on digital cartridge. Initially, roll out was expected by the end of calendar year 2012, but as of October 11, no firm date has yet been issued.
Friends Members Visit Author Lisa Scottoline

Members of TBBC's book club, "The Get Together," were guests, on October 6th, at the home of authors Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella! Lisa Scottoline is the author of several books including "Come Home and Don't Go" (coming to bookstores on April 9, 2013). Lisa and Francesca also write a mother-daughter series, the latest of which is "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim," a collection of narrative vignettes. Lisa Scottoline is also the author of the hilarious column "Chic Wit" in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The authors and their best friend and Lisa's assistant, Laura Leonard, host an annual book party for book clubs at their farm. Book clubs were represented from as far away as Michigan! Guests were greeted at the entrance by the authors, served turkey and vegetable wraps, brownies, and cannolis, then explored the spacious grounds, catching a glimpse of the horses while two very mellow dogs wandered around hoping to catch crumbs! Under a large tent near the house, Lisa and Francesca told hilarious stories about growing up, how they began their writing careers and how mother and daughter have remained each other's best friend! Karen Carson, facilitator of TBBC's book club, "The Get Together," made the arrangements for herself and some of our members (Lauren Casey, Marie Lockwood, Barbara Mayo and Barbara's daughter Christine) to attend Lisa's annual book party.

Spotlight on Our New President
By Lauren Casey

Below is an introduction to our newly elected President of the Friends, Mary Jo Partyka. I have known Mary Jo since we were children. I consider her a good friend and I have to tell you. I think that she is one of the fastest Braille readers I know. I am looking forward to working with her throughout her term in office.

Mary Jo joined the Friends in 1998 after coming to a meeting where she learned that the Library would be offering computer courses and has been involved ever since that time. Her goals for her term of office are to find and communicate ways to make NJTBBC as meaningful as possible to patrons and to find ways that we in the Friends can help the TBBC and our patrons work well together. This may take the form of securing monetary donations to help NJTBBC deliver the maximum service to its patrons and resources in the form of cartridges so that patrons can read books offered on the BARD site. Another of her goals is to solicit more feedback from the patrons on ways the Friends can be of service to them.

Mary Jo has worked for the State of New Jersey in the Division of Family Development in various capacities for the last 35 years and currently writes fair hearing decisions for New Jersey's assistance programs. She is an avid reader and enjoys music and playing trivia games on the computer. She is married and has, in her words, "two terrific adult children."

Options for Reading the Friends Newsletter

Options for reading our newsletter: Large Print, Cassette, E-mail, on our website, http://www.friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org and on Newsline. The newsletters are recorded at normal speed and can be played on any commercial cassette recorder. To access the Friends Newsletter on Newsline call into the service via the local dial up number provided when you signed up. If you don't remember your local number or have questions about Newsline, call the Newsline headquarters in Baltimore at 1-866-504-7300. If you wish to change the medium in which you receive the newsletter, please complete and return the attached membership form.

To our members: The Friends Fiscal year began on July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. If you have not paid your dues for this period, we have included a form at the end of this newsletter to do this. This year we are requesting dues for Individual members of $10.00 and Family of $25.00. Checks should be made payable to The Friends of the NJLBH. Even if you are a current member, dues need to be paid. Attached to this newsletter is a membership form that needs to be completed by everyone. A form is also available on our website (http://www.friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org). If you have any questions about your membership status or anything else Friends, please call us at 609-895-1048. Thank You.

A Heartfelt Thank You.

The Friends of NJLBH would like to thank the following people for their generous donation to the Friends: William & Elisabeth Dougherty, James Dougherty, Lisa Valvano and Barbara Pirie.

Directions to the December 1st meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1985 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08618.
  1. Get onto Route 95 heading south. (From Route 1 south, from Route 295 heading north or Route 195 heading west to Route 295 north)
  2. Get off at Exit #4 making a left turn onto Pennington Road (Route 31 South heading toward Ewing)
  3. Turn right at the 4th traffic light, Carlton Avenue. It is across the street from The College of New Jersey.
  4. Immediately turn left into the parking lot of Trinity United Methodist Church. If you have any questions, call Lucas' cell phone at (609) 638-4232.

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