Winter 2016




Copyright 2016 by the Montana Talking Book Library.



Librarian’s Logbook (pages 2-3)

Library Holidays (page 3)
Montana Digital Recording Program (page 4)

Technology Tailings (page 5)

Reader’s Alley (pages 6-8)

Memorials and Donations (page 8)

Treasure State News (page 9)

Volunteers are Shining Stars
MTBL hosted our annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the lovely Montana Club in Helena. In 2015 MTBL had 90 volunteers contribute over 9,000 hours in a variety of ways, such as pulling and shelving books, equipment repair, clerical duties and recording Montana audio books. This year’s Special Appreciation Award winner was Peggy Barnekoff.  Recording Team of the year winners were Bob Vanisko (narrator), Marie Vanisko (monitor), and Al Tompkins (reviewer). The Keynote Speaker was Dale Sheldon, author of Who Lost? The Autobiography of a Blind Man with Great Vision. (MDB 2029, DBC 1193) We are very grateful for all of our volunteers who help us provide the best possible library service for our patrons.


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Librarian’s Logbook: Christie Briggs, Regional Librarian


Employee Gems
Carolyn Meier retired in May, 2015, after 32 years of dedicated service.  She held several positions, including many years as a readers’ advisor and most recently as the circulation manager. We wish her the best in her retirement.

In mid-November Bert Rinderle joined MTBL as the circulation manager.  Bert has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and over 15 years of public library experience. Please join us in welcoming Bert.

Erin Harris, Recording and Volunteer Director, has completed post-production editing and has uploaded ten Montana books to BARD. 

Martin Landry, Readers’ Advisor (RA), represents MTBL on the Keystone Database Advisory Group. He attended the 2015 KLAS (database) User Conference in Oklahoma. Martin also presented a talking book library in-service at the Montana Health Care Association’s Activity Directors workshop in Helena.

Readers’ Advisors Jackie Crepeau and Martin Landry presented one-on-one MTBL instructions to newly blind and low vision students attending the Montana Association for the Blind’s (MAB) Summer Orientation Program.

Bobbi deMontigny, RA and Machine Lending Agent, directed the electrical upgrade of the machine room and reorganized the workflow to be more efficient.


Volunteer Gems
MTBL recently felt the loss of two special volunteers.  Gloria Purcell volunteered over fourteen years.  She always assisted wherever MTBL needed her expertise. Gloria claimed that MTBL has “a better workout program” than any athletic club.

Jean Barrett, a circulation volunteer for five years, was always open to trying new things. They are remembered with great fondness and appreciation.


 NLS Consultant Visits MTBL
Pam Davenport, a National Library Service Consultant, completed MTBL’s biennial review in July, 2015. Pam met with staff and volunteers and observed daily operations.  MTBL received a positive evaluation of patron services.


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Nuggets from the National Library Service (NLS)


That All May Read Campaign
The long-standing motto of the NLS, “That All May Read,” is also the name of a public education campaign aimed at highlighting services available for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page.   As part of the campaign, their website features videos of nine NLS patrons sharing their experiences with the service, an explanation of resources and reading materials available, information on eligibility, and instructions for enrollment. Visit


Transition to Unified English Braille Code (UEB)

As of January 4, 2016, UEB has become the official literary code for the U.S. This is the first major change to the familiar six dot pattern since the 1930s.  A majority of the changes have to do with the discontinuation of some contractions, rules for spacing and formatting, and the use of symbols such as @ and #.  For more information about UEB visit or call 1-888-657-7323.  To order NLS Braille handout “Frequently Used UEB Symbols” contact MTBL.


Due Dates Extended for NLS Magazines 

The NLS has increased the loan period for audio magazines circulated on a cartridge.  These cartridges are labeled “Magazines: Week” followed by a number.  Cartridges with only weekly magazines are now due 3 weeks from receipt (increased from one week).  Cartridges with monthly magazines are now due 7 weeks from receipt (increased from four weeks).  Please remember cartridges need to be returned to receive the next issue.  Issues may be missed if cartridges are not returned in a timely fashion.


New magazines available

NLS has recently made fourteen new magazines available through both BARD and by subscription through the Magazine on Cartridge program (MOC).  Eleven of these are produced by network libraries and meet NLS quality standards.  Some of the latest magazine titles available are: AARP Magazine and Bulletin; Good Ol’ Days; O, The Oprah Magazine; Rolling Stone; and Southern Living.  Humpty Dumpty and Seventeen are now available for our younger patrons.  For a complete listing of available magazines, please contact your readers’ advisor.


May 30 (Monday) – Memorial Day
July 4 (Monday) – Independence Day
September 5 (Monday) – Labor Day
October 10 (Monday) – Columbus Day
November 8 (Tuesday) – Election Day
November 11 (Wednesday) – Veterans Day
November 24 (Thursday) – Thanksgiving Day
December 26 (Monday) – Christmas Day

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Montana Digital Recording Program


Recording Studio Status
The local MTBL recording studio has completed its recording software transition and has begun recording Montana books again.  Many new titles are in various stages of production.  As always, a very appreciative thank you to all of our volunteers who make access to regional stories possible.  The most recent additions to our Montana digital collection that are also available on BARD are:

Fate Is A Mountain by Mark Parratt MDB 2039; BARD DBC01203 (Biography)  A family memoir of summers spent in Glacier Park from 1950-1964 which explores Glacier National Park from the perspectives of the late ranger Lloyd Parratt’s sons: Mark, Monty, and Smitty.

Hang ‘Em: Montana Vigilantes vs. Henry Plummer by Donald E. Crosley

MDB 2028; BARD DBC01192 (US History/MT author)  The legendary stories of corruption and lawlessness between gold miners, cattle rustlers, and lawmen that led to the formation of the Montana Vigilantes.

The Land of Empty Houses by Jon L. Moore MDB 2003; BARD DBC00732 (Science and Religious fiction/MT author) In the not-so-distant future a courageous soldier may be the only hope for a world threatened by heretics, racists, and savages.  Daniel guides and protects a mysterious woman through the wastelands of the American interior as she valiantly tries to revive religion in the wake of nuclear disaster.

The Red Corner: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Northeastern Montana by Verlaine Stoner McDonald MDB 2020; BARD DBC00749 (MT History/True Crime) Beginning in the early 1900s in rural northeastern Montana, the story chronicles the political events, including a newspaper editor elected state senator and a county sheriff’s alleged involvement in prostitution and bootlegging, where the farmers’ movement became one of the nation’s most successful rural Communist organizations.

Forever Friends: The Journey of Two Families from Civil War Virginia to Montana Territory 1860-1868 by Lenore McKelvey Puhek MDB 2002; BARD DBC00731 (Romance/Historical fiction/MT author) On the western frontier, Jeremiah and Amelia must choose between their commitments and the true love they once shared.

A Life in Time: A Woman’s Journey from Orphanage to Peace Corps by Kaye Stone MDB 2004; BARD DBC00733 (Biography/MT author) The author recounts her years growing up in an orphanage and later discusses her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in India in the late 1960s.


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Technology Tailings

BARD Mobile App Available for Android Devices
The free BARD Mobile application for Android devices, version 1.0, is now available
at the Google Play store.  Patrons of the Talking Book Library are able to download audiobooks and audio magazines directly to Android and Apple devices.  Access is available at  Download apps under ‘Additional Links—BARD Mobile’ for iOS or Android devices.  Patrons’ devices must meet the minimum standards: iOS devices require iOS 4.3 or later and Android devices require Android 4.0 or later.

Keep Your BARD Account Updated

If a move is in your future, or if you change e-mail addresses for any reason, you can keep your current BARD account.  Log into your BARD account and choose the ‘Update Account Settings’ link on the BARD Main Page. This will take you to a page of options, including a link to ‘Change Your E-Mail Address.’ Once you change your e-mail address (user ID), you will be required to reset your password to protect the security of your account.

Helpful Hints:

Update Your Contact Information

Have you moved, changed your email address or have a new phone number?  Please remember to update your contact information with MTBL.  Call or notify us so we are able to continue your service without interruption.


Ordering Books

The bimonthly publication Talking Book Topics (TBT) which contains book summaries and order forms does not go out-of-date. Each catalog lists only what has been added to the library collection during that time period.  Feel free to order from older TBT publications as the numbers do not change, or you can also ask for specific books by title or author.  A complete listing of available titles is accessible online at or contact your readers’ advisor for assistance.


Returning Machines

It is much easier to return a digital or cassette player if you have kept the original box and packing materials.  Turn over the preprinted card on the outside of the box for the return address.  You can use another box, but please pack the machine carefully and mark “Free Matter for the Blind” where postage normally goes.  It is helpful to call and let us know why the machine is being returned, especially if you need a timely replacement.  Warning: Priority express boxes are not considered “Free Matter” so please do not use them as you will have to pay postage.

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Reader’s Alley: Recommended Reads


Watchers by Dean Koontz DB 25982 (Suspense/Science fiction).  World-weary Travis Cornell stumbles upon a super-intelligent golden retriever with uncanny powers.  The dog reveals how he and a vile murderous creature were created by U.S. scientists in a secret genetic experiment.  Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex.

English Creek by Ivan Doig DB 22316 (Historical and Family fiction). Young Jick McCaskill remembers older brother Alex’s rebellion and growing up in Montana in the 1930s.  First book in the Two Medicine Country series.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes  DB 76161 (Bestseller/Romance).  Lou, a working class English girl, tries to keep the embittered Will, a former mogul who has been paralyzed, engaged with the world.  Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons. Some strong language.


Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody DB 43671 (Biography). An account of roundups and auctions, irrigation wars and tornadoes depicts Western farm life through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy in 1906.  First of seven books following the Moody family’s adventures.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson DB 67523 (Adventure/Science fiction).  Fifteen-year-old orphan Daniel has followed in his parents footsteps as the Alien Hunter, secretly tracking down and exterminating dangerous aliens.  The fates of Earth and another world hang in the balance as he faces Ergent Seth.  First book in the Daniel X series. For senior high and older readers.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett DB 23638 (Classic). After becoming an orphan, Mary is sent to live on her uncle’s huge estate.  Together with her cousin, they conspire to restore a locked secret garden.  For grades 4-7 or older readers.



(Available on cartridge/not currently on BARD)

When the Meadowlark Sings by Nedra Sterry MDB 748 (Biography/MT Author).  Nedra, born in 1918 Fort Benton, grew up in a succession of isolated one-room schools where her mother, a teacher, eked out a living.

Echoes of Vengeance by Roland Cheek MDB 683 (Western/MT Author) The first book in the Valediction for Revenge series chronicles the life of Jethro Spring, a young man fleeing the consequences of reckoning with his parents’ murder.

Rusty Irons by Dan Cushman MDB 10 (Western/MT Author).  A crooked sheriff, greedy ranchers, and trigger-happy killers lock horns with Rusty and his family.

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Land of my Heart by Tracie Peterson MDB 921 (Romance/Historical and Religious fiction/MT Author). The Chadwick family joins their uncle’s ranch in Montana in the 1860’s and suffer many tribulations, losses, and new beginnings.  First book in the Heirs of Montana series.

The Green Plaid Pants
by Margaret Scherf MDB 23 (Mystery/MT Author).  A vintage “who-done-it” in which police in England and New York solve a murder involving the disappearance of a pair of plaid pants.

Into the Western Winds: Pioneer Boys Traveling the Overland Trails by Mary Barmeyer O’Brien MDB 2022 (Biography/MT Author). Short biographies of young boys who journeyed west in the 1800s tell of their different experiences, work, play, and sometimes tragedies.  For high school and older readers.


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.

Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog by Susannah Charleson DBC 229 (Animal non-fiction/Biography). The search-and-rescue partnership and adventures of a golden retriever and a volunteer.  Their searches include a missing teen, an Alzheimer’s patient, and the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster. [Washington]

Ramblings of a Lowcountry Game Warden: A Memoir by Ben McC. Moise DBC 94 (Biography).  A former game warden shares tales of adventure, humor and danger as he enforced the fish-and-game laws on the coast from 1978 to 2002. [South Carolina]

Yellow Rose Bride by Lori Copeland DBC 51 (Historical romance/Religious fiction). Seven years after their annulled marriage, seamstress Vonnie Taylor finds herself sewing the wedding dress for her ex-husband’s new fiancé. [Texas]

South of Superior
by Ellen Airgood DBC 3386 (Friendship fiction).  Moving to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to care for an aging family friend, Madeline Stone becomes involved in the lives of the small community and two octogenarian sisters who teach her valuable lessons about love and goodwill.  A 2012 Michigan Notable book. Unrated. [Michigan]

Don’t Make Me Go To Town: Ranchwomen of the Texas Hill Country by Rhonda Lashley-Lopez DBC 32 (Biographies). Portraits of eight women, from young mothers to grandmothers, who have chosen to live and work on family ranches. [Texas]

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Pioneer Mother on the River of No Return: The Life of Isabella Kelly Benedict Robie by Herman Wiley Ronnenberg DBC 814 (Biography). After her husband was slain at the beginning of the Nez Perce War in 1877, Isabella and her two young children escaped only to be in danger as the Battle of White Bird ensued. She survived, with the help of a Nez Perce man, to become an honored Idahoan pioneer. [Idaho]

Brewster’s Millions by George Barr McCutcheon DBC 4901 (Humorous fiction). Montgomery Brewster, a playboy with great potential, is bequeathed one million dollars or he could win seven million by spending his one million dollars within one year.  The catch is that he has to keep his plans of spending the one million a secret from everyone including his friends and fiancée. Unrated. [Indiana]

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: June - December 2015

Dick Howse — Patty Howse

Robert Morgan — William & Linda Browning; Margaret Carver & Family; Peter & Patricia Tyanich; Kim & Michael Randall; Robert M. Morgan; Donna Davis; Kirby Lambert & Rebecca Kohl; James & Patricia Hammill; Richard & Bridget Saravalli; Marlene Barbour; Irene Roberts; University of Washington Bothell School of Educational Studies; John L. Hollow

Rae O’Rourke — Traci Shinabarger; Mike Salvagni

Kathleen Basinger — Martin & Madilon Beatty & Families

Margaret Cameron — Samuel & Jessie Mourich; Alexander & Dixie Cameron

Gloria Purcell — James & Laura Brown; James & Dorothy Quinn; Vernie Kralicek; Ralph & Carol Leonard; Diane Larson, Elizabeth Larson & Lydia Larson; Sandra Stanton

Dianna Riley — Donna Davis

Jon Richard Beck — Jack & Nancy Glaser

Donations: June - December 2015

Thank you to: Al Beavis; Rose Leary; Marjorie M. Birdsill; Judy Neely;

GFWC of Montana; Kay Stevens; Lester & Solveig Finneman; Louise Neff;

Daniel Propp-Benef; Maxine Pogreba; Erna & John Russell; Jim & Juliana Verzuh; Ivan O’Neil; Jean Leck


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Treasure State News

National Federation of the Blind of Montana (NFB-MT)

For information on meeting dates, times and events, contact Joy Breslauer, state President, at 406-454-3096; email; visit; or write to: Nat’l Fed of the Blind of MT; P.O. Box 1325; Great Falls, MT 59403.  The 2016 NFB-MT state convention will be held in Billings in the fall.  The place and dates to be announced.


Montana Association for the Blind (MAB)

For information on meeting dates, times, and events, contact Rhonda Cochrane, state President, at 406-442-9411; email; visit; or write to: Montana Association for the Blind, P.O. Box 465; Helena, MT 59624. MAB Summer Orientation Program (SOP) is June 6-30th in Helena.  The MAB 2016 state convention is Sep. 30– Oct. 2 in Helena at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel.


Veterans Blind and Low Vision Group Meetings

For a schedule of support and clinic meetings, contact the VIST office at

406-447-7625 or the VIST Coordinator Tracey Tillinger at


Montana Blind and Low Vision Services (BLVS)

BLVS provides a broad range of services through programs to assist eligible individuals with visual disabilities in finding or maintaining employment and increasing independence. Mailing address: 111 N Last Chance Gulch, Suite 4C, PO Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604-4210. Phone: 406-444-2590 (voice/TTY). Toll-free: 877-296-1197. Fax: 406-444-3632.  Website:

Contacting a Readers’ Advisor

In order to provide more personalized service, we divide the alphabet between our Readers’ Advisors. If your last name begins with:

A—G contact Martin, 

H—O contact Jackie, and

P—Z contact Bobbi.

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

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Contact Information

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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: (for patron requests or contact information)

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