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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 to all members and prospective members of the Friends,

The pandemic continues, but so does the work of the NJ Talking Book & Braille Center and the Friends. I have been participating in the trial program with the Braille e-Reader. It has been a great experience and I continue to learn more about its features every day. All participants completed surveys to offer suggestions to improve features and/or solutions to problems. I have some ideas I plan to share at our upcoming meeting.

About 10 days after our June meeting, TBBC will host the annual golf event. Everyone is excited that it is back after last year’s cancellation. Details are included in this newsletter and Adam ‘will give further updates at the meeting.

We are always trying to build up our membership of the Friends. So please spread the word and plan to join us on June 5th. I am looking forward to talking with all of you again. Let us keep supporting the library and all the great work they do.

Respectfully submitted,

Ken Lawrence, President of the Friends of NJLBH.

Meeting Information

The next meeting of the Friends will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM. This meeting will be by 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 starts on July 1, 2021. Annual membership dues are now being collected. 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. Please pay by sending your check to The Friends at PO Box 434 Woodbridge, NJ 07095.

Information about the Braille e-Reader
by Mary Jo Partyka

The mission statement of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is to insure that “all people may read”. For many years, NLS has been providing books and magazines in media which can be used by all patrons, including audiobooks, large-print materials, and Braille. Although NLS is best known for providing readers with a variety of audiobooks, including current best-sellers, it also aims to increase access to Braille. Until now, Braille books, which contain several volumes, have been produced and sent to patrons upon request. Unfortunately, blind patrons throughout the United States have been experiencing problems having books returned to their local libraries because the post offices refuse to pick them up.

In an effort to make Braille more available, NLS initiated a pilot project and chose four states, including New Jersey to test the functionality of the e-Reader, to collect feedback from users and to lay the groundwork for the distribution of e-readers which will increase access to digital Braille materials, and to promote Braille literacy.

The e-Reader, which is about the size of a paperback book, has a 20-cell Braille display, an eight-key Perkins-style keyboard, two Space keys, a round Select key and four rectangular thumb keys for navigation. In addition to using the keyboard to read books, the keyboard is also used to write text in a search box or to enter text such as Login credentials or a Wi-Fi password. The Book Reader application supports the following file formats: BRF, PDF, TXT, HTML, DOCX, and RTF. Patrons can search for text within a book and can place bookmarks in reading material for a quick return to a particular position.

The e-Reader is compatible with JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver and works with Windows, Mac, or IOS devices. You can connect to a compatible device such as a computer or smartphone through Bluetooth or by connecting the USB C-cable to the host device.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the e-Reader, please contact the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (NJSLTBBC) at 800 7928322.

My Favorite Books in The Palm of My Hand
By Beatrice Oliveti, Friends of The Library Secretary

I’m so grateful to have been selected to be part of NLS’s pilot program for their new e-Reader. For the first time I can read all my favorite books using a refreshable braille device. I can either download them or they can be sent to me by TBBC. Also, I can use the braille display contained in this very aptly sized device as a braille display with my iPhone or computer. It conveniently connects to Wi-Fi. Truly I don’t know how I ever did without this wonderful device!

10th Annual TBBC Golf Classic

The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center is proud to announce it will be hosting its 10th Annual TBBC Golf Classic again at The Bedens Brook Club in Skillman, NJ on Tuesday June 15th. All proceeds from this event help TBBC pay for items that our budget cannot.

The day begins with a 7:30 a.m. continental breakfast and registration for a 9 a.m. shotgun start tee off. During the day of golf there will be a Closest to the Pin contest and a Putting Contest. The day will conclude with happy hour, grilled lunch, prizes, and auctions.

This year we are very hopeful for a successful outing, due in part to the generous support of The Friends of The New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped.

As of date we have 8 registered foursomes. We have a Presenting Sponsor, thanks to the Friends, a Continental Breakfast Sponsor and one Tee Sponsor. The donations for the Penny and Silent Auctions are trickling in weekly. If you are interested or know anyone interested in sponsoring or golfing visit our secured site at app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/NewJerseyStateLibrary/donate-1.html.

For more information on how to donate to the auction or how to mail in a sponsorship/registration form visit our website at www.njstatelib.org/talking-book-braille-center/donate/.

Questions about the outing call Linda Cerce @800-792-8322 ext. 835 or email lcerce@njstatelib.org.

Options for Reading the Friends’ Newsletter

The newsletter is available in Large Print, E-Mail, on our website 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 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