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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.

The mission of the Friends shall be to support and promote the services and programs of the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center.

Message from the President

Greetings members and prospective members,

This amazing year continues. While the library remains closed for in person work the business of the support system that is the Friends of the NJ Library goes on. All the officers were reelected in our June meeting which took place via teleconference. Folks are still able to download from the BARD site and folks can participate in and are partaking in library services. I have my BARD account going thanks to a bit of help from our director Adam. All is a go for the start of my second term as your President. During this time, our primary and biggest concern is of course building up our membership and the outreach to all of the blind in NJ and to all of the different organizations that serve the blind and who are contributors to blindness organizations. We want to see a big turnout on our conference line the day after my birthday when I gavel things to order. The complete info of how to join appears later in this newsletter. Our golf event is likely as of this writing off so we will likely discuss the fund raising and outreach efforts the Friends will be doing in this quite different time, but that effort does go on. As your President, I can say I am ready for the challenge and hope all our regular members and the new ones that hopefully will be coming in are ready to step up to the plate. Looking forward to seeing you all virtually at our meeting on Saturday December 5, 2020. Respectfully submitting, Ken Lawrence, President of the Friends of the NJ Library for the blind.

Meeting Information

The next meeting of the Friends will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM. With respect to our safety, we have decided to conduct this meeting via conference call. We hope you will consider joining us for an informative and important meeting.

Please note that this is not a toll-free number. Please dial 605-468-8005. Enter the access code 425 373#. You will be asked to press 1 after the access code is repeated correctly.

Annual Dues are due

Our new fiscal year started on July 1, 2020. If you have not already paid, please do now. Dues should be mailed in. A membership form is attached to this newsletter. Individual member dues are $10.00 and $25.00 for a family. For those that normally pay at the meeting please pay by mail.

TBBC Update by Adam Szczepaniak

The Capitol Complex remains closed to state workers. All state workers continue to work offsite. This includes the State Library and TBBC. TBBC has received permission for a limited presence in the library since early September.

While staff has been working offsite, all services offered by the library are available. Staff are returning all telephone and email messages usually in a few hours depending upon the volume of calls. Staff can remotely access patron accounts and perform all needed services such as ordering books.

Audiobooks are duplicated and mailed each day. While incoming mail is quarantined for health reasons, TBBC can send out additional digital cartridges without waiting for a cartridge to be returned.

Since TBBC has been placing multiple books on a cartridge, patrons can have as many or as few titles as they wish. Also, since last August no patron has to wait for a book to be returned. TBBC can produce as many copies of an audiobook as is requested.

Digital talking book players as well as other equipment requests have been fulfilled. NLS has not reported on the next generation of digital players but TBBC continues to have a supply to meet demands.

NLS’s program on the Braille eReader Pilot Project began over the summer. TBBC was placed in the second phase of this pilot. With staff on site, we hope to begin our participation in November.

TBBC’s golf tournament has been postponed and rescheduled for June 2021 at the request of the Bedens Brook Country Club.


The building may be closed, but they are still working! If you want to get in touch with TBBC, please call the 800 number, 800-792-8322, and dial extension 861 to leave a message.

Because returning calls to you are coming from staff working outside the library, they will be marked as "private" or "anonymous." If you block private or anonymous numbers, we will be unable to call you back.

All returning calls will only be made by staff on weekdays from 9 AM until 3 PM.

Or you can email TBBC at tbbc@njstatelib.org

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/


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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