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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.

President’s Message

Believe it or not Fall is here.

This is a great time to settle in with a good book.

For those who already use the library why not consider becoming a member of the Friends. The goal of the Friends of the Library is to support projects and programs of the talking book and braille center.

These projects include the Golf Outing in June, the Summer Reading Program and the Fall Festival when it is held. In the past these programs have been very successful and very well attended. To become a member, you fill out a simple application and send in a $10 check. There are only two meetings a year, a meeting in December and a meeting in June. We welcome any suggestions for future projects or programs for the talking book and braille center. All suggestions should be submitted to the friend’s email at Friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com. All suggestions will be reviewed by the board.

I would like to take this time to thank all my board members for all their hard work. Please plan to attend our upcoming meeting in December and you can see for yourself what we are all about!

Marie Sawyer
President of the Friends

Meeting Information

Our next meeting will be by conference call on December 2nd, 2023, beginning 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.

An Award for TBBC

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress recognized two of its cooperating libraries in New Jersey and Michigan for their outstanding service to readers with visual, physical or print disabilities.

The New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center in Trenton, New Jersey, received the 2023 Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Library for the Visually and Physically Disabled Branch of Muskegon Area District Library in Muskegon, Michigan, received the Sub-regional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.

Both libraries – among nearly 100 in the National Library Service network of cooperating libraries – were honored on September 7th at a luncheon in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Each also received a $1,000 award and a commemorative plaque.

“One of these libraries is large, the other is much smaller, but they have much in common: energy, creativity, and a 24/7 commitment to ensuring that disability stops no one from experiencing the lifelong joy of reading,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “They are shining examples of service the National Library Service and its network of libraries provide to hundreds of thousands of people from coast to coast.”

The Annual TBBC Golf Classic Update
By Linda Cerce

The 12th Annual TBBC Golf Classic was another successful fundraising charity event held on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, NJ. We credit this success to our sponsors, golfers, staff, employees of Cherry Valley CC, and volunteers. The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind & Handicapped were the Presenting Sponsor of the day’s event for the fourth consecutive year. Thomas Edison State University was the Course Hospitality Sponsor. The Closest to the Pin Sponsor was Costco Wholesale, who generously donated a $300 gift card which was used to purchase prizes for the event. The Putting Contest Sponsor was NJM Insurance Group. Tee Sponsors were NJ Blind Citizens Association, TC Irons Agency, A Grateful TBBC Patron, and Dicks Sporting Goods. 23 golfers enjoyed a fun filled day starting with a Continental Breakfast, golf and networking, contests, BBQ Buffet Lunch, prizes, awards, and auctions. 25 various donors contributed to the Penny and Silent Auctions. At the end of the day, we were very satisfied with the results of our fundraiser that profited $4,700 and look forward to next year’s 13th Annual TBBC Golf Classic. If you’re interested in joining our Golf Committee or would like more information about the event contact Linda Cerce at 1-800-792-8322 ext. 835 or email lcerce@njstatelib.org.

TBBC’s 2023 Summer Program for Children and Teens Wrap-Up
By Jen Apgar

TBBC has concluded yet another successful Summer Program. This year’s theme was “All Together Now”, focusing on kindness and friendship. We had 34 participants this summer, 9 of which requested their packets also be sent in braille. Each participant received 4 different packages by mail. The packages included booklists, craft ideas, activities, and, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library, prizes such as STEM kits, sidewalk chalk, fidget poppers, and bags. Once again, a huge thank you goes out to the Friends for your continuing support of TBBC’s summer program!

TBBC’s "Chilly Chapters" Adult Winter Reading Challenge!
By Liz Kelly

Are you ready to turn those cold winter days into warm reading adventures? TBBC would like you to participate in the ultimate winter reading experience: TBBC’s "Chilly Chapters" Adult Winter Reading Challenge! Get ready to cozy up, wrap yourself in your favorite blanket, and dive into a world of books that will warm your heart.

Chilly Chapters is a winter reading challenge designed to ignite your love for reading during the frosty season. Whether you're a bookworm, an occasional reader, or someone looking to rekindle their reading habit, this challenge is for you. The mission is simple: to help you explore new worlds and escape the winter blues, one chapter at a time.

TBBC patrons will need to register to participate in the challenge. Registration will begin on November 15th, 2023 and the Winter Reading Challenge will begin in early January 2024. Log the books you have read for a chance to win an Amazon Fire tablet, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. More details to come soon! Contact Adult Services Librarian, Liz Kelly, at lkelly@njstatelib.org or call (800) 792-8322 x 805 for more information and to register.

Nominating Committee - June 2024 Elections
By Jim Dougherty

At our June 2024 meeting, the Friends will be electing the slate of officers who will be holding positions for the next 2 years. The Nominating Committee Chair, appointed by President Marie Sawyer, is Jim Dougherty. If you would like to be considered for an office, please contact the Friends at Friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com or call Jim Dougherty at (732)589-5619 and leave a message on the voice mail. Below are descriptions of each open position. Please be sure to review carefully.

SECTION 1. The officers shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These officers shall perform the duties set forth in these By-Laws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Friends.

The President must be eligible for services from the (NJSLTBBC).

The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint two (2) Executive Board Members-at-Large with Board approval, appoint committees and serve as an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The President shall be a current member and in good standing of the Friends.

The Vice-President must be eligible for services from the (NJSLTBBC),

The Vice President shall preside in the absence of the President.

The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings, coordinate correspondence and maintain custody of all non-financial corporate records.

The Treasurer shall keep the financial records, maintain responsibility over all receipts and disbursements and prepare periodic financial reports.

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Friends would like to thank Barbara Pirie for her very generous donation.

As we support TBBC 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 2024 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, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

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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