Title Page



Fall 2016




Volunteer Gems, page 2
Librarian’s Logbook, page 3
Nuggets from the National Library Service, page 4
Montana Digital Recording Program, page 5
Reader’s Alley, page 6
Memorials and Donations, page 7
Library Holidays, page 7

Montana Constitution Has Gone Digital

In a cooperative effort between the Secretary of State's Office and the Montana Talking Book Library, (MTBL) the Montana Constitution is now in digital audio format.  State Librarian, Jennie Stapp, and Erin Harris, MTBL Recording Director, accepted a Certificate of Appreciation from Secretary of State Linda McCulloch.

Once a week for two months, MTBL volunteers Charlie Briggs (narrator), Jackie Brehe (monitor) and Giles Walker (reviewer), recorded all 12,000 words in the 1972 version of the Montana Constitution.

Briggs said, “Recording the constitution was very personal, getting to verbalize such a historical document for the masses was quite the honor.”








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Volunteer Gems

MTBL hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on October 13, at the Green Meadow Country Club in Helena. This year’s theme was “Volunteers Make a World of Difference.” Craig Lancaster, bestselling author of 600 Hours of Edward (MDB 2009) and Edward Adrift (MDB 2033), was this year’s guest speaker joined by his wife Elisa Lorello.  Craig gave a heartwarming talk about the importance of talking books in our patrons’ lives.

Awards were presented to youth volunteers, Halsey & Kaylee deMontigny, Amanda Genzlinger, Peter Lashinski, Derek & Olivia Martinez, Collin, Reid & Tayden Swank; Telecom Pioneers, Frank Flynn, Tom Flynn, & Tom Tompkins; and “Years-of-Service” awards, Donna Davis (10 years), Peg Barnekoff (10 years), Chari Nelson (20 years) & Bob Vanisko (25 years).  This year’s Special Appreciation Award Winner was Joyce Beckes.  Joyce has been volunteering at MTBL since 2007 and has volunteered 2,186 hours in both the recording studio and the circulation department.  The Recording Team of the Year Award went to Donna Davis (narrator), Tom Laceky (reviewer), and Joyce Beckes (monitor), who was quite surprised!

During the past year, 85 volunteers have contributed nearly 8,000 volunteer hours. The recording program volunteers have recorded 35 books, the Montana Constitution, the 2016 Voter Information Pamphlet, and numerous magazines.  The circulation volunteers have helped process over 212,000 books and magazines.  All the volunteers have helped MTBL to streamline processes as we continue to phase from cassette books to digital books.  The MTBL staff is very grateful for the generous contributions by our many volunteers.






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Librarian’s Logbook – Christie Briggs, Regional Librarian

Employee Gems

GG Waldburger started in June as the third Readers’ Advisor, completing our TBL team.  GG has a Master’s degree in Library Science. She will be developing the Bits of Gold Newsletter starting with this issue. Jackie Crepeau, Readers’ Advisor, now also manages the Machine Lending duties, as Bobbi deMontigny left MTBL in April. 

 Cassette Circulation Ends January 1, 2017

MTBL will stop circulating recorded cassettes (RC’s) from within our collection. We will focus on circulating the digital cartridge (DB) collection.  Starting in January, we will ask patrons to start returning cassette players to us. Patrons may still interlibrary loan NLS cassette books not yet converted to digital. Note: Patrons with a local Montana recording preference will still be able to check-out Montana cassette books (MCB’s) not yet converted to Montana digital books (MDB’s). The loan of a cassette player will also be available.

USPS Delivery of MTBL Materials

Please request extra books at least two weeks ahead of the upcoming holidays so you have plenty! A note to BARD users– Please download BARD materials at least two weeks ahead also due to internet traffic during the holidays.  USPS requests patrons NOT use staples when returning “Free Matter” print materials to us. It is still acceptable to send unsealed envelopes, if the contents are not hand written. Hand written notes and letters require postage.  If you’re using a self-return half-fold item, please use tape, not staples.

 Patron Survey of MTBL Services

Please complete and return the enclosed survey of MTBL services or call us at          1-800-332-3400 (in-state) or 406-444-2064 for assistance in submitting your answers.  For internet users, go to www.Surveymonkey.com/r/mtblsurvey2016.

Thank you for helping us improve our services and consider new ideas.

 Match Book Cartridges with Containers

When returning books, please match the book cartridge with the container it came in.  If these are mis-matched, it will delay us in sending you more books.



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Nuggets from the National Library Service (NLS)
BARD Audit
NLS now conducts an annual audit of all Talking Book Library’s patron and institution BARD accounts. The minimum requirement to maintain an active BARD account is one book download each federal fiscal year (Oct. 1st through Sep. 30th).
NLS Accomplishments This Year
NLS staff implemented the Unified English Braille on NLS Braille books; trained all local recording directors of all Talking Book Libraries on the new recording software; converted 7,000 cassette books to digital and uploaded them to BARD; added 2,056 locally recorded digital books from all Talking Book Library recording programs; created new versions of the BARD mobile App for Apple and Android devices; and added 14 new magazines on BARD.
Talking Book Topics Catalog
The Talking Book Topics digital catalog in the red digital magazine container is now shipped in a disposable cardboard mailer, along with the order form . These must be returned separately. The order form is pre-addressed to be returned to MTBL. Use tape to close and return via “free matter”.  Return the magazine cartridge in its red container to the producer.  A pre-addressed adhesive label with the producer’s address is adhered to the outside of the red magazine container instead of a mail card.
NLS Future Strategic Plans
At the San Francisco biannual NLS conference this year, NLS announced the following strategic plans, dependent on budget and staffing availability.
Short term plans (1-3 years):
 1) BARD Express software that will enable BARD patrons who have problems downloading and unzipping books to bypass that process.
 2) Duplication for Demand (D4D) hardware that, when coupled with a library’s circulation system, will enable libraries to readily duplicate titles for their patrons for which NLS has not provided a physical copy.
Medium Term (3-5 years):
1) If NLS’s authorizing legislation is amended to enable it to do so, NLS will pursue acquiring refreshable braille displays that it will lend to braille readers the way digital playback machines are now lent to audio readers.  
2) NLS is in a position to acquire publishers electronic text (eText) of many titles now offered in print. 
Long Term (5+ years):
1) NLS is beginning to develop its next generation of digital players.
2) NLS is investigating development of an infrastructure to support wireless delivery of books through the next generation of digital players.  






















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Montana Digital Recording Program
Plans for a second recording studio have been approved, funded in part by a generous contribution from the Montana General Federation of Women’s Clubs. We look forward to sharing the progress of this exciting venture in the coming months.

Due to previous software changes last year, staff & volunteers are diligently working to “catch-up” on recording the following local magazines: Montana The Magazine of Western History, published by the Montana Historical Society, and Montana Outdoors, published by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.  Contact your Readers’ Advisor if you would like to subscribe to either of these magazines.  The following compilations are available:
Montana The Magazine of Western History the 2014 issues DB02054
Montana The Magazine of Western History the 2015 issues DB02063
New MTBL Recording Studio titles:
Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans: Western Ranch Life in a Forgotten Era by Francie Brink Berg, Anne Brink Sallgren Krickel, and Jeanie Brink Thiessen   MDB02027/DBC01191 The three authors write of ranch life as lived in Montana and other western states through a legacy of pioneer values and traditions.  In many ways it is the story of young ranching families all across the west during a time that demanded resourcefulness, hard work and courage. 2013.
Confessions of A Camo Queen: Living with an Outdoorsman by Kristen Berube MDB02057/DBC01219 Montana wife and mother, Kristen Berube, commiserates with her hunting widow sisters everywhere in this irreverent and humorous collection of essays, with chapters on Camouflage Lingerie, the Romance of Camping, Primal Home Decor, and more. 2015.
Bound Like Grass: A Memoir from the Western High Plains by Ruth McLaughlin MDB02001/DBC00730 A memoir of McLaughlin's account of her and her family's struggle to survive on their isolated wheat and cattle farm.  She explores her roots as a descendant of Swedish American grandparents who settled in Montana at the turn of the twentieth century with high ambitions, and of parents who barely managed to eke out a living on their own neighboring farm. 2010.



Contacting a Readers’ Advisor
If you need assistance and your last name begins with:
A through G  contact Martin
H through O  contact Jackie
P through Z  contact GG

If your advisor is not available, other staff will be glad to assist you.



















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Reader’s Alley (Recommended Reads)
National Recordings:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein DB66787 Enzo, a mixed-breed dog, believes he will be reincarnated as a human. He stands by his master Denny Swift's side through Denny's race-car driving career, the birth of his daughter Zoe, the death of his wife Eve, and a bitter custody battle with Eve's parents. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2008.
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson DB73470 Follows the lives of U.S. ambassador William E. Dodd and his family, who moved to Berlin, Germany, in 1933. Discusses their attitudes toward the Nazi Party, obliviousness to Hitler's true character, and naive reactions to the persecution of Jews and Americans and the enforcement of stringent laws. Bestseller. 2011
The Echo Maker by Richard Powers DB64523 Twenty-seven-year-old Nebraskan Mark Schluter flips his truck one night and suffers a head injury that makes his loved ones unrecognizable to him. His sister Karin enlists neurologist Gerald Weber to help Mark. Strong language. National Book Award. 2006.
The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood DB76520 Love and loss shape--and connect--the lives of two women four decades apart. In 1960, a neighborhood boy's kidnapping roils housewife Claire's humdrum existence and she begins an affair. In 1919, obituary-writer Vivien still searches for her lover, missing since the San Francisco earthquake. Some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2013.
BARD Books from Other State Talking Book Libraries
BARD members can search for the DBC number in the BARD basic search box.  Non-BARD members can contact MTBL to receive a digital cartridge copy through the mail.
A Secret Gift: How one man’s Kindness—and a trove of letters—revealed the hidden history of the Great Depression by Ted Gup. DBC03759 A few days before Christmas in 1933, a man who called himself B. Virdot offered cash gifts to dozens of struggling families in Canton, Ohio. More than 70 years later, the benefactor’s grandson, a distinguished investigative reporter, traces the lasting impact of those gifts and untangles the story of his grandfather’s life. 2011

The Fifth Generation:  a Nez Perce Tale by Linwood Laughy. DBC00781 Trapped between 1950s’ American culture and the ancestral voices that haunt him, a 31-year-old Nez Perce man faces a choice between self-destruction or burning a rural Idaho town to the ground. 2009



























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Memorials and Donations
The generosity of our donors enhances library services to patrons. Tax deductible contributions are greatly appreciated.  An acknowledgement is sent to each donor. Please include the person’s name for whom a memorial is made and the name and address of those to be notified of a contribution.
Memorials: January - June 2016

Robert DeMontigny — Donna Davis

Russell Hartse Joel Heng-Hartse

Bonnie Rosseland John F & Judith Keenan

William CainanHelen Gilbert

Marty Walker — Frank & Peggy Flynn

Veva Spencer — Rex & Jamie Willis; Harold M & Peggy Joyce Miller; Norma Scheidecker; Sara Neff; Elaine Newton; Peggy Barkemeyer; Adele Devries; Louise L. Neff; Joseph & Mary LaFebvre; Daryl & Kimberly Wright; Mary Devries; James & Kathie Yates; Prather Ranch Family LLC; Cherie Mondragon; Terry & Linda Wolfe; Douglas & Jane Lowry; Spencer Farms Inc, Eugene Spencer; Holdbrook Enterprises, Debra Holdbrook; Gregory Mosness; Debbie Hill; Sheryl A Phillips

Herbert Yarus    Alice Yarus

Darlene Kohl — Dave & Betty Callies-Melby; Linda Fox; Sanderson Stewart; Mary Diane Hayden; Ann & John Fox; Susan & Marvin Carter; Toni & Gordon McKittrick; Carl & Gloria Fox; Leon & Deborah Schmidt

Clarence RostadSweetgrass Conservation District; Boulder River Watershed Assocation; Jerry & Emily Graves

Betty Anderson — Sandra Stanton

Elizabeth Hotchkiss — Kenneth & Judith Hotchkiss

Dorothy Carpenter — Donna Davis



Donations: January - June 2016

Thank you to: Al Beavis; Rose Leary; Ann Cole: Louise Neff; Bruce Grimes; and Lucille Revell.


Library Holidays
November 8 (Tuesday) – Election Day
November 11 (Wednesday) – Veterans Day
November 24 (Thursday) – Thanksgiving Day
December 26 (Monday) – Christmas Day





















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Contact Information

Website: tbl.msl.mt.gov

Like us on Facebook!


PHONE NUMBERS: 1-800-332-3400 (toll-free in-state); (in Helena) 406-444-2064

LIBRARY PHONE HOURS: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Voice mail 24/7

ADDRESS:  Montana Talking Book Library

          1515 East Sixth Ave.

          PO Box 201800

          Helena, MT 59620-1800

E-MAIL: mtbl@mt.gov

DISCLAIMER: The products and services mentioned in this newsletter are for your information only and do not imply endorsement by MTBL. 
















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Montana Talking Book Library Patron Survey, Fall 2016

Please complete this survey and return it by folding it in half and taping it closed. 


1.   How often do you contact MTBL?  __ Often   __ Sometimes   __ Rarely    __ Never

2.   What contact method do you use? (Mark ALL that apply)

      __  Phone Call    __ Email    __ In-person visit    __ Written Correspondence

3.   How do MTBL services benefit you? (Mark ALL that apply)  __ Entertainment

       __ Knowledge     __ Quality of Life     __ Research    __ Other:_______________

4.   Are you satisfied with the quantity of books/magazines you receive?  __ Yes   __ No

      __ Too many  __ Too few __ Receive preferred topics  __ Don’t receive preferred


5.   How did you learn about MTBL?  __ Another MTBL patron   __ Public Library

      __ Media __ School   __ Medical Provider  __ Govt. Agency   __ Other: __________

6.   Do you have Internet service?  __ Yes:  __ In-Home   __ Work   __ Public Location

      __ Someone uses it for me.      __ No

7.   Do you use our Online Catalog?  __ Yes   __ Someone assists me   __ No 

8.   Do you use BARD?  __ Yes   __ Someone assists me    __ No  

9.   If you use BARD, how do you access it?  (Mark ALL that apply)

       __ BARD Mobile App  __ MTBL Digital Player  __ Retail Player   __ Braille Device

       __ Other: _________________

10. Do you use?  (Mark ALL that apply) __ MTBL Digital Books  __ MTBL Magazines

      __ Braille embossed materials   __ Book Share   __ Learning Ally   __ Newsline

      __ Public Library Audio Books __ MT Library2Go  __ Audible __Other:___________

11. Would you be interested in an MTBL blog?  __ Yes     __ No    __ Not sure

12. Are you in a Book Club?  __ Yes   __ No  __ I’m interested in joining one

13. Your age is between: __0-18 __19-39 __40-59 __60-79   __80-99   __100+

14. Please provide the county or county number (1 through 56) in which you live:_____