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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, INC.


Message from the President

Hello to all the members of the Friends of the Library. As you all know, this past June we came very very close to not having a Friends of the Library at all. If nobody had stepped up to run and if the nominating committee hadn’t found anyone we would have to dissolve the Friends. This would be a major defeat for the blind of NJ especially for those of us who didn’t have the benefit of such an organization connecting users of library services with the library. Our former president and founding member Joan Leonard asked me many years ago if I would join and of course I did. With Joan not able to assume the office of president therefore, I didn’t want to be the one that said we let the organization she helped create die. So, I have assumed the task of president. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The very very important international treaty that will greatly expand the availability of the written word across borders has been passed through congress and has been signed by the President and will be declared in effect by the time we gather for our December meeting. As important as it is for the united states it’s especially important in countries in the developing world where especially braille materials are much much harder to come by. All of the organizations for the blind and handicapped have worked very hard over the last 4 or 5 years to make this wonderful day possible and am sure we will have a lot about it in my first meeting as your president. The coming year plans to be very exciting. December promises to be a big meeting and I’m hoping to have a big turnout and maybe even some new members. It will be my pleasure to serve as your president and I hope I can provide the kind of leadership that will keep our organization growing stronger. Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at our December meeting.

Regards, Ken Lawrence,
President of the Friends of the NJ library for the blind and physically handicapped now known as the NJ talking book and braille center.

Volunteer for the Board Needed

Angela Perone was elected as Secretary at the June meeting. Unfortunately, she is unable to full fill the position. The Executive Board is seeking a volunteer to assume the position of Secretary. If you are interested, we want to hear from you. Please contact Bernie Zuckerman at 732-221-5362. We will ask for a volunteer at the meeting on December 1st. It is imperative we have a full board of officers to continue a successful organization.

Meeting Information

The next meeting of the Friends will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M., followed by lunch from 12:00 to 1:00 P.M. The location is the Joseph Kohn Training Center (JKTC) located at 130 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. Directions to the JKTC will appear at the end of this newsletter. Anyone wishing to stay for lunch will be asked to contribute $5.00 toward the cost of the food. Please call Mary Jo Partyka at 609 888-5459 by November 25 to advise us of your attendance so we can plan for lunch. We hope you will consider joining us for an informative and important meeting.

If you cannot attend the meeting, we would like to invite you to dial in to the conference call. Please note; this is not a toll-free number. On December 1st at 10 AM dial 605-468-8005. Enter the access code 425 373#. You will be asked to press 1 after the access code is repeated correctly.

7th Annual TBBC Golf Classic Summary

The Seventh Annual TBBC Golf Classic was another successful fundraiser held on Monday June 11th at Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club in Hopewell NJ. We credit this success to our sponsors, golfers, staff and volunteers. The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind & Handicapped were one of 8 very generous sponsors of the day’s event. The Friends were kind enough to Sponsor the Lunch, the Putting Contest. The remaining funds were used for prizes for the 1st and 2nd Place Teams and a prize for the qualifier of the putting contest. 42 golfers enjoyed a fun filled day of golf, contests, fine dining, auctions, prizes and awards. 25 various donors contributed to the Penny Auction, the Silent Auction and Prizes for the golfers. At the end of the day, we were very satisfied with the results of our fundraiser that profited $4,100.00 and look forward to next year’s golf event.


After more than a decade of advocacy by the library community and our allies, on September 25 the US House of Representatives passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559).

The legislation, passed by the US Senate in June, provides a copyright exception for “authorized entities”—including libraries—to make materials available across borders to people with print disabilities whose countries have already ratified the treaty. In fact, 350,000 accessible titles are already available in the Accessible Books Consortium. American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “Passage of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act will exponentially increase the availability of accessible reading materials to Americans and people around the world with print disabilities. And libraries everywhere are excited to finally get to deliver all this new content to our patrons.”

Throughout this process, advocates have seen firsthand the limitations faced by people with print disabilities, especially those who live in developing countries. Even in the US, some readers with print disabilities say they have “run out of books to read” from the collections of Libraries for the Blind. While technology and publishing practices will eventually provide books that are “born accessible”—available for purchase in text-to-speech, Braille, or other accessible technologies—less than 5% of available content is accessible now. Once President Trump signs the Marrakesh Treaty—which he is expected to do in October—libraries everywhere will be able to share accessible content with these readers across borders.

There are many organizations to thank for their work on getting the treaty ratified, including the International Federation for Library Associations and Institutions, the World Blind Union, Electronic Information for Libraries, Knowledge Ecology International, the National Federation of the Blind, and many others. ALA is proud to work alongside these partners as part of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA).

A Big Next Step for the NLS eReader Project

Just as it has provided audio playback equipment since the 1930s, NLS has long been interested in providing an affordable, easy-to-use braille eReader to its patrons. In the summer of 2017, NLS took the first step toward achieving that goal when it partnered with Perkins Library to test the effectiveness of distributing digital braille files for use on eReaders. Now we are ready for the next step.

NLS will soon have a contract to purchase eReaders designed specifically to read NLS materials. Initially, NLS will purchase enough devices to conduct a pilot project with a few network libraries. The pilot will cover all aspects of acquisition, quality assurance, distribution, cleaning and maintenance, technical support, training, media distribution, and other relevant topics. We expect the pilot to last two years.

NLS is able to move ahead with this exciting project thanks to a 2016 amendment to the 1931 Pratt-Smoot Act—the NLS authorizing legislation—that now allows it to provide playback equipment in all formats, not just audio. A report by the Government Accountability Office recommended that Congress make that change.

DTBM Firmware Update Version 2.1.15 Limited Distribution

On the September Network Forum call, some of the information shared about the latest DTBM firmware update was incomplete.

NLS distributes firmware updates by adding them to the mass-duplicated DTB cartridges sent to network libraries and by posting them to the NLS public website and the BARD site for download.

The most recent firmware update, version 2.1.15, has not yet been distributed through these channels. To date, NLS has issued a limited “pre-release” for network libraries that use the Gutenberg duplication-on-demand system. A broader release is pending finalized documentation of the new sequential-play capability made possible by the update.

As described during the call, the update allows users to play multiple talking book titles on a single cartridge without the need to enter Bookshelf mode. Standard Bookshelf mode will still function as before, allowing users to play multiple books in any order they wish. But for those who need an easier method, the new functionality will make it possible to play books sequentially without using the Bookshelf.

Network libraries have been requesting the sequential-play capability, and we are confident that many users will find this new feature to be helpful. Before rolling it out to the entire network, we want to make certain that thorough, easy-to-understand documentation and support materials are in place.

TBBC 2018 Summer Reading Program Update

Submitted by Elizabeth Burns

This year, TBBC had over fifty sign-ups for summer reading! The youngest was 2; and the oldest was 17. Between books and magazines, over 1,000 books were read! Perhaps what was most exciting to us was this year we had the highest percentage of Braille readers: over 26 percent of the participants got their weekly summer program materials in Braille!

We also continue to support the readers who attend the summer camps at the Helen Diller House in Avalon. Each spring, we send a mix of audiobooks to the Helen Diller House, and we always get lovely notes back from the readers (often in Braille) thanking us for the books. After a busy day of activities, it's fun to curl up with a good book and relax! The Friends contribute each year to this program and help with its success.

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Friends would like to thank Metuchen Lions Club and Barbara Pirie for their generous donations. As we support the Library in any way we can, the contributions are most welcome. Thank you!

Annual Dues are due

This is a friendly reminder that our annual dues for FY 2019 annual dues are past due. If you have not sent them in yet please do so ASAP. Please send your dues and donations to the Friends mailing address and write your check out to the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Handicapped. The Friends appreciate your efforts and your participation in helping the NJSLTBBC meet its goals. A membership form is attached to this newsletter for those who wish to join the Friends or pay dues. Dues are $10.00 for an individual membership and $25.00 for a family membership. These dues cover the 12-month period from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

Options for Reading The Friends’ Newsletter

The newsletter is available in Large Print, E-Mail, on our website http://friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org/ and for those who do not have computers, by telephone on Newsline. You can access these Newsletters with a Newsline subscription and a touch-tone telephone. If you do not have a Newsline subscription, contact Reader Services at the New Jersey Talking Book and Braille Center at 1-800-792-8322 to get signed up for a Newsline subscription. If you have a Newsline subscription, but do not remember your login information, contact Christian Riehl at the above number extension 821. Once you have secured your login information, dial in to the service by calling 1-888-882-1629, or the local dial up number provided to you for accessing the service. Follow the prompts for logging in and reading the Newsletters. Choose option 2 off the main menu for your state’s information channel, followed by option for the blindness groups, then the option for the Friends Newsletters. Happy reading.

Please check out our website for information on community services as well as present and past copies of our newsletters at http://friendsnjlibraryfortheblind.org/

Directions to the Next Meeting

130 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2421

Cross Street: Seaman Street

From the North
South on Route 1 to Route 18 heading toward New Brunswick.
Get off Route 18 at the New Street ramp.
Turn slight right onto New Street/ NJ 26.
Take the 2nd left onto Livingston Avenue/NJ 26.
Turn left onto Seaman Street and left into the JKTC parking lot.

From the South
North on Route 1 to Livingston Avenue/NJ 26 toward New Brunswick.
Turn right onto Seaman Street and left into the JKTC parking lot.



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