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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 2023 NEWSLETTER


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

Spring has sprung. Time to get out and enjoy the beautiful warm days.

First, I want to express my thanks for my Executive Boards extraordinary efforts this year. A special thank you to Joyce Sowa, our Treasurer, for all her hard work. She goes above and beyond the duties of a treasurer. Thank you, Joyce! Also, I want to give a special Thank You to Mary Jo Partyka for stepping in as our acting Secretary. She graciously stepped in even though she had many other obligations to fulfill. Thank you, Mary Jo!

The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind & Handicapped will continue to support programs and projects of TBBC as it has in the past such as the Annual Golf Outing and TBBC’s wonderful Summer Reading Program. This year the golf outing will be held in June. It is a great fundraiser and a fun day full of activities. So, if you like to play golf or know someone who plays, please sign up and join the fun. More information about the outing will follow.

I feel one of the most important projects that we support is the Summer Reading Program. It is so important that children continue to read all year long. With the incentives they learn to enjoy reading and how much fun it can be! I’ am sure many participants look forward to it and I think a reading program is the answer to good reading and fun during the summer.

If anyone has any suggestions for projects or programs that might be useful to TBBC, please submit that to The Friends email address at friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com. All suggestions will be reviewed by The Friends Board prior to submitting to TBBC. You never know one of the suggestions may be yours and be implemented and you made a difference!

Now it is time for you to come and join us at our Annual meeting on June 3rd. To join our organization, all it takes is filling out an application and a $10 check and you are a member.

There are only two meetings a year, one in June and one in December. I am sure that we can all spare two Saturdays a year for such a good cause. I know you will feel good by becoming a member of The Friends because you will enjoy supporting all the good works and programs of TBBC.

I wish everyone a beautiful spring and a safe and enjoyable summer.

Marie Sawyer, President

Meeting Information

The next meeting of The Friends will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, 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, 2023. 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 of the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped at PO Box 434 Woodbridge, NJ 07095.

L.E.A.P. Adds Another Library by Adam Szczepaniak

The Mullica Hill branch of the Gloucester County Library became the 11th location for L.E.A.P. (Library Equal Access Program). Classes are currently being conducted for four individuals on the use of the accessibility features found in Apple iPads and iPhones.

The Library Director, Carolyn Oldt, has been able to arrange with the county’s transportation system rides to and from the library for those taking the classes.

As with other L.E.A.P libraries, Mullica Hill has four iPads that patrons can use while in the library as well as two laptops with accessible software and a CCTV.

All equipment was funded by the Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The Commission also provided staff for the training classes.

On April 4, 2023, the library director, Ms. Oldt, arranged for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Among the guests in attendance was the State Librarian, Jennifer Nelson as well as the CBVI director, Dr. Bernice Davis and the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, Commissioner Sarah Adelman.

L.E.A.P. was an idea for better outreach from CBVI that began in 2015 to bring together the visually impaired with local libraries.

12th Annual TBBC Golf Classic by Linda Cerce

The NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center is proud to announce its 12th Annual TBBC Golf Classic. It seems it was like yesterday when we were hosting our very first golf classic and now, we are well into the planning phase for year 12. This is our second year that we will be hosting the charity event at Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, NJ. It will be held on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a Continental Breakfast, followed by a 10:00 a.m. shot gun start. There will be two contests during the day, a putting contest with a chance to win $5,000 if they make a 60ft putt and a Closest to the Pin contest on a par 3 hole.

There will be course hospitality stations on the course throughout the day. As the golfers end their play they will head back to the clubhouse for cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres while they wait for golfers to finish up their play. A buffeted lunch will be served, followed by announcing contest winners of the 1st and 2nd place teams, a 50/50 winner, and Closest to the Hole finalist. Also, at this time the Putting Contest finalist will take a one putt shot on the putting green for a chance to make a 60ft putt and win $5,000. During the reception golfers will be given an opportunity to purchase Penny Auctions tickets for a chance to win donated baskets and various other items. There will also be a Silent Auction with donated items for the golfers to view and bid on. The day will conclude with dessert!

Many thanks to The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind & Handicapped for supporting our event as The Presenting Sponsor. Their support of this event has been ongoing for the past 12 years. Proceeds of the event benefit the Talking Book & Braille Center, New Jersey’s only FREE library for the reading and print disabled (anyone who is blind, visually or physically impaired).

Please help spread the word! If you know anyone interested in golfing, sponsoring, donating an auction item, or have any questions about the outing, please feel free to contact Linda Cerce at 800-792-8322 ext. 835 or email lcerce@njstatelib.org.

Summer Reading Program by Jennifer Apgar

With the warmer weather upon us, that means it is almost time for TBBC’s by-mail Summer Reading Program! Each summer, TBBC offers a Summer Reading Program to all our children and teens interested in participating. Throughout the summer, we mail out packets to anyone who has signed up that include a variety of activities, trivia, crafts, book lists, reading incentives, and more. The incentives we send are provided by The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind & Handicapped.

Last year, participants received trivia games, crafts and supplies, color your own posters, and a stuffed hammerhead shark, just to name a few!

We thank The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind & Handicapped for their continued support and generosity of our Summer Reading Program.

This year’s Summer Reading Program theme is All Together Now! We cannot wait to share the fun activities and surprises we have in store for you!

Once again, a huge thank you to The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped for their support and generosity to help make the Summer Reading Program what it is.

We are so excited for another great summer!

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Friends would like to thank Mary Zaleski for her very generous donation. We appreciate the support!

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