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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.
Spring 2019 NEWSLETTER


Message from the President

Hello friends of the library members. This has been an incredible ride that started with a very frustrated president who was extremely angry that I might be the president who would bring an end to the organization for not having a secretary. It ended however with great purpose and drive to make the friends even stronger. Because of a last-ditch desperation email to national federation of the blind president joe Ruffalo to try to save our last meeting we hit a jackpot. Bea Oliveti came to our meeting and despite needing to get up extra early on a Saturday morning and despite three access link transfers not only showing up but agreed to be our secretary thusly saving our organization. I’m sure she will make a great one and so let’s all welcome her to our friends of the library family. During that last meeting it was mentioned that a greater effort should be made to reach out to all the blindness organizations and bring in new members. The friend’s organization is very sound financially and now the time is here to bring in members that will put that to work. It’s just like the opening of that classic TV show the 6 Million dollar man. “gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We like the 6 Million dollar man can be made better! Stronger! Faster! People like me can remember when the library and the commission for the blind didn’t actively reach out to those who they served and that’s why I’m proud to serve as your president. So, from here on the time is at hand to keep our organization moving forward. Let’s all commit to building a stronger and even better organization and I look forward to a packed house next meeting and remember that if you can’t get to JKTC the conference call number will be there for you see you at next meeting where we can hopefully get this freight train to move at bullet train speed.

Ken Lawrence

Meeting Information

The next meeting of the Friends will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 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 May 28th 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. Since this is our annual meeting, membership dues will be collected at the June meeting. Dues are $10.00 for an individual and $25.00 for a family.

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 June 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.

Meet a Local NJ Author

I met a local author by the name of Kristen Witucki who wrote the following book.
Outside myself DB91111
Witucki, Kristen. Reading time: 7 hours, 43 minutes.
Read by Jennifer Hubbard.

Human Relations
Young Adult

When Tallie, a girl struggling to adjust to her blindness, calls Adult Reader Services at a library for the blind, she connects with Benjamin, an older man working in customer service. The two bond over the phone and create a special relationship. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2018.

Kristen is from Pine Hill, which is a suburb of Camden County NJ. She holds a BA in English with a minor in German from Vassar College and Master’s degree in teaching students, teaching students who are blind and visually impaired, and in creative writing. To fit with this epectic academic background, Kristen works as the curriculum content editor for Learning Alli's College Success Program and as a mentor for the New Jersey Edge Program.

Kristen was inspired to write her book "Outside Myself" by her husband's life story for the character of Benjamin, and the Tallie character was inspired by students she's worked with in the past whose parents felt differently about their blindness. Or whose parents, in general hindered the acceptance of their blindness.

When I asked Kristen if she was planning a sequel her response was, she wasn't because she thinks the story ended where it needed to end. Kristen just hopes to write another book sometime soon!

Kristen is and has been for most of her life a member of the TBBC (talking book and braille center.) Kristen shared with me an anecdote in which she had a rocky start as a three-year-old who recorded over one of her first taped books! Kristen says fortunately the library forgave her and she went on to enjoy many happy years of reading!

Kristen has graciously accepted to be our guest at The Friends of the Library meeting this upcoming June 1st at the Joseph Kone Training Center in New Brunswick from 10 am-12 pm. We're looking forward to hearing more from Kristen there!

Bea Olivetti, Secretary of the Friends

Improvements in services coming to TBBC

There has been the problem of unequal access for our patrons. We are going to solve this problem later this spring.

Please let me explain. NLS has done a terrific job of having a number of audiobooks available the same day they are published commercially. One example is the latest book by Michelle Obama. On the day it came out patrons who could download it were able to begin listening to the book that very afternoon.

That is great for about three out of every ten patrons at TBBC. For the out seven out of ten they had to wait weeks for us to get copies from NLS and process them into the collection and send them out. But the issues did not stop there. We pre-ordered twenty-five copies of her book but we had fifty-eight people waiting. Many waited months before they got a copy of the book.

And that is the problem we are going to solve:

Later this spring, this problem will not exist. TBBC is going to a new circulation system and a new way to duplicate books to everyone at the same time.

This “audiobooks on demand” will allow everyone to get a copy of the book the day it is released. So back to the Michelle Obama book, people will still download but for the fifty-eight people who could not download we will be able to serve all fifty-eight that day also.

The only different is you may need to wait a few days as it is mailed to you.

This doesn’t exist for just new books, but it is for all books digitized by NLS. Another example, you want to read Sue Grafton in order from her first book. We will be able to send you the first five books at once and all on one cartridge. We look forward to getting books to everyone this new way and we hope you enjoy reading even more.

Adam Szczepaniak, Director, TBBC

TBBC’s Eighth Annual Golf Outing

Come out and tee up for Talking Books at the 8th Annual TBBC Golf Classic at the Bedens Brook Club in Skillman, NJ. Please join us on Tuesday, June 11th to support our FREE public library that helps thousands of NJ residents each year. This year we are especially honored to have two Bedens Brook Club members, Gordon Gund and Chuck Travers, sponsor us as their guest. Once again, the Friends will be sponsors.

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Friends would like to thank Elizabeth Meckel for her very generous donation. We appreciate your support!

Annual Dues are due

This is a friendly reminder that our annual dues for FY 2020 should be sent in now. 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, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

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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PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095