Title Page






Spring 2014



Librarian’s Logbook (page 2)

MT Digital Recording Program (page 3)

Library Holidays (page 3)

Technology Tailings (page 4)

Reader’s Alley (page 5)

Donations and Memorials (page 6)

Treasure State News (page 7)




Macular Degeneration,


Rheumatoid Arthritis,


OR OTHER CONDITIONS WHERE ONE CANNOT READ STANDARD PRINT, TURN A PAGE OR HOLD A BOOK? Whether permanent or temporary, he or she may be eligible for MTBL services.  Contact us to find out at 1-800-332-3400 or mtbl@mt.gov.


Where No Story Should Go Untold.

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Librarian’s Logbook - Christie Briggs, Regional Librarian


Patron Outreach Project - Undeniable Success!

MTBL partnered with the Wendt Agency, Inc. of Great Falls, in a year-long outreach campaign to raise public awareness of MTBL services.  A statistical year-to-year comparison revealed impressive success. Key increases included new patron enrollments up by 29.7%; materials circulated and downloaded up by 20.7%; new BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) members up by 17%; and requested patron and institution applications up by 117%. Strategies are being developed to transition this project to a long term sustainable program.


Braille Nuggets from the National Library

Service (NLS)

Karen Keninger, Executive Director of NLS, is committed to making Braille education and Braille equipment accessible and affordable for library patrons nationwide. NLS is developing a strategic plan towards that effort. Stay tuned for updates on this important topic.


Praise for Employee Gems

-Carolyn, Circulation Manager, received her Montana State 30 year employee pin recently. Five words to describe Carolyn are: dedicated, efficient, resolute, meticulous and valued. Many (but not all) of her 30 years of accomplishments at the state library can be found at:


-The MTBL team (Carolyn, Diane, Martin, Sandy & Erin) received the 2013

Governor’s Award for Excellence. GO TEAM!

-Sandy, a Readers’ Advisor, closed another book and retired in October 2013. We wish her the best in her retirement.

- Jackie, our newest Readers’ Advisor, was hired in November 2013. She brings eleven years of K-12 academic, and more recent public, library experience to share with patrons.

-Diane, Recording and Volunteer Program Director, has announced her plans to retire in May. We are grateful for all she has contributed to MTBL services. Her many accomplishments will be available in a future newsletter.


Faster Application Process for New Patrons

Newly certified and signed applications can now be scanned and e-mailed to: mtbl@mt.gov or faxed to: 406-444-0266.


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New NLS Commercial “Unrated” Audio Books

The National Library Service has contracted with commercial audio producers to offer patrons access to a much higher volume of audio titles. These are sent to us “unrated”. They are sometimes produced faster than the print version which leaves inadequate time for NLS to determine content exclusions (e.g. strong language, violence and/or sex). You can contact your Readers’ Advisor to stop all “unrated” titles from being automatically sent to you. The drawback is that some of these “unrated” titles may NOT have any content issues, causing you to miss out on some “good reads”. As always, if you have requested specific titles, you will continue to receive them.



Montana Digital Recording Program


Bibliography of Montana Digital Books (MDB’s)

For a complete listing of Montana digital titles, contact your Readers’ Advisor.


Coming soon to BARD– Downloadable Montana titles

The Montana Recording Program is participating in a pre-pilot program with NLS to prepare one Montana title for BARD acceptance.  We are close to having “Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana” approved by NLS as our first downloadable title. We will be one of the first of 8 states to have a local title go national! Stay tuned for more on this.


Bits of Gold Newsletter Available on Digital Audio Cartridge

MTBL’s newsletter is now offered on a digital audio cartridge.  Each digital copy must be returned to MTBL within a month of receipt. 

Bits of Gold continues to be available in large print and on our website at: http://tbl.montanastatelibrary.org/about/mtbl-newsletter/.


Library Holidays

We will be closed on the following dates:

          May 26 (Monday) - Memorial Day

          July 4 (Friday) - Independence Day

          September 1 (Monday) -Labor Day

          October 13 (Monday) - Columbus Day

          November 4 (Tuesday) - General Election Day

          November 11 (Tuesday) - Veterans’ Day

          November 27 (Thursday) - Thanksgiving Day

          December 25 (Thursday) - Christmas Day

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Technology Tailings



BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a service we provide patrons. There are currently over 52,000 downloadable audio and Braille books, increasing weekly. If you have high speed internet, an email address, access to a computer and are in good standing with MTBL, apply at:



The BARD iOS APP is available to iPad, iPhone, or iPod owners.


Online Catalog (WebOPAC)

Are you interested in ordering books from WebOPAC, our online catalog?  WebOPAC is MTBL’s Online Patron Access Computer database that allows MTBL library patrons to search the MTBL catalog to choose and order books.  WebOPAC is easy to use, and can also be accessed for you by a computer-savvy friend or relative.  To give WebOPAC a try, just contact MTBL for your Patron User ID, four-digit pin number, and simple instructions.


Special Order “Download Only” Books

If you order books from WebOPAC, you may find books with a status of “Download Only”. These are available to download from BARD. If you are NOT a BARD member or unable to download books, don’t worry. Either call a Readers’ Advisor and place a special order, or while you are in WebOPAC, mark “RUSH” on your book order. These book orders are generally available within 2-3 weeks of the request.



MTBL is on Facebook!  “Like” our Facebook page and stay current on upcoming events, educational opportunities, newly-digitized Montana books, new releases from NLS, and fun facts.  You can view our Facebook page at:




Upgrade to an Advanced Digital Player

Using a standard player? The advanced digital player offers bookmarks and navigation features such as quickly moving between chapters. If you have questions or wish to upgrade, contact us.

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Reader’s Alley: Recommended Reads



Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. DB 72129 (Biography) The life of Olympic runner and WWII bombardier Louis Zamperini, who survived adrift at sea, became a Japanese POW and later a follower of Billy Graham’s ministry. Violence.

Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell. DB 75336 (Travel) The journalist  describes the environmental devastation and people’s motivations behind seven polluted places including Canada’s oil-sand mines, India’s polluted Yamuna River, and the Ukrainian nuclear disaster.  Some strong language.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. DB 76448 (Historical fiction) A fictionalized biography of Anne Morrow, Charles Lindbergh’s wife.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. DB 77198 (Fantasy) A man returns to his childhood home in England and remembers terrifying experiences he and a friend had on her family farm. Some violence.

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson. DB 72618 (Nonfiction/Young Adult) The history of sugar from ancient to modern times across the globe.

Something to Hold by Katherine L. Schlick Noe. DB 75617 (School stories/Native American) Sixth-grader Kitty’s family moves to the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon where she finds friendships and opportunities to make a difference. For grades 4-7.


Goodbye Wifes and Daughters by Susan Kushner Resnick. MDB 2007 (History) A history of the 1943 coal mining disaster in Bearcreek, Montana.

Long Way Home: Journeys of a Chinese Montanan by Flora Wong MDB 1050 (Autobiography) The Montana author retraces her family’s odyssey and her journey in becoming a wife, mother, business owner, and athlete.

Last Tango in Melrose, Montana by Dan Vichorek. MDB 1012 (History/Humor) A collection of short stories about Montana’s places, farmers, ranchers, and overall way of life written by a University of Montana graduate.

Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West. MDB 746 (Sports) A small town basketball team with only six players brings the town together and wins the state tournament despite significant odds.

Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen. MDB 1002 (Adventure/Young Adult) Two troubled teens, who spend time on an Alaskan island, apply the lessons learned there to high school life. Some violence.

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Donations and Memorials

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 persons’ name for whom a memorial is made and the name and address of those to be notified of a contribution.


Memorials 2013

Lee Ashworth— Clyde & Becky Donaldson, Roxy Oswald, Lee & Udeen Barrows, J. Steven Restad, Bev & Dave Howland, Marjorie Moberly

Barbara Baarson—Thomas Gillespie & Mary Van Ness, Kenneth & Elaine Baarson, Linda Lazo-Lane & James Lane

Jon Beck—Nancy & Jack Glaser

Muriel Callaghan— Avis Larson (et.al.), Ray & Sharon Callaghan, Mark & Sharon Shafer

Dick Howse—Patricia Howse

James Hume—Madeline Pallanes

Leona Koch— Fred & Alta Bell, Linda & Stephen Walton, Tim & Anita Petterson, Adrian & Betty Inabnit,  Guy Chriske, Elviera Cotter, Arlon & Connie Koch & family, Betty & Mike Ryan, Kenneth Koch, Bob & Dela Rider

Margaret Nash & Florine Nelson—Leila Proctor Memorial Chapter MAB

Luella Nelson—Anita Nelson

Marlyn Parker—Barbara Calvert, Karen Crow, Janice Petersen, Diane Redenius

Robert Patee—Barbara Penner  

Jean Schell—Larry & Carole Wagner

Annamae Somers— from Dian Lewallen, Antoinette Hagener, Lucille & Suzanne Revell, Susan Somers, Donald & Phyllis Majerus, Richard & Helen Ricci, Krista Jo Solomon, John & Inga Goebel, Nick & Jann Goebel, Frank & Margaret Hayes, Ruth Morse, Patrick & Diane Lamphier, T.W. Koepke, Barbara & Charles Salerno, Max & Kirsti Cederberg, Jim & Kelly Rowlatt, Agnes M. Cook, Mary Lou Golden, Roger & Valerie Golden, Carolyn & Thomas Patrick, Flynn Realty Inc.

Donations 2013

Lucille Revell, Audrey Anderson, Rose Leary, Judy Neely, Nancy Jo & Donald Weverstad, Helen Detra, Edna & Oliver Smith, Veva Lee Spencer, Velma Turner, Kenneth & Beverly Rheaume, Kay Stevens, Robert W. Ditmer, Bob & Patricia Pontet, Michael Settevendemie, Erna & John Russell, Marjorie Birdsill, Nadine Thompson, Rose Sylling, Ann Cole, Donna Ryan, and in-kind year-round bountiful treats from volunteers and all.

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Treasure State News


MAB Summer Orientation Program

Montana Association for the Blind offers a 4 week on-campus training for newly blind Montanans to learn daily living and many other skills to reach independence. This is held annually at Carroll College in Helena.

The dates are June 16 through July 11, 2014.

Contact Jocelyn DeHaas, Montana Association for the Blind’s State office, at

406-442-9411 or chinsu@unm.edu for a student application.


Montana Association For the Blind (MAB) 2014 Convention

This year’s convention will be in Great Falls, September 12-14, at the Holiday Inn. Keynote speaker is Michael May, a nationally recognized entrepreneur. Read “Crashing Through: A Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See” (DB 63747)  by Robert Kurson, who profiles Michael May, blinded at age three, and who later became a champion skier, CIA analyst, entrepreneur and national speaker. Contact Ed Worrell: 406-231-6822 or edworrell@live.com for registration information.


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

-The NFB-MT At-large Chapter meets every month, by teleconference, on the second Saturday at 10 a.m. For information e-mail: nfbofmt@gmail.com.

-The Yellowstone County Chapter of the NFB-MT meets every month on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Vintage Suites, 1221 28th Street West, Billings. For information e-mail: mhaworth@samobile.net or call 406-794-5057.


Veterans Blind and Low Vision Group Meetings

For a schedule of support and clinic meetings, or a digital copy of the VA Low Vision Clinic Program Guide, contact Stephanie Kilian at 406-447-7565 or Stephanie.Kilian2@va.gov.  Stephanie is a VA Low Vision Therapist.


New Technology Support in Montana

OverHere Consulting LLP, an assistive technology training company, recently opened in Great Falls. For more information contact 406-992-0028 or go to: http://overhereconsulting.net/contact.html.


Book Clubs in Montana

Are you a member of a book club?  If it is in our digital collection, we can get you a copy.  We always appreciate your book recommendations to other readers.  Most of the books on Reader’s Alley (page 5) were patron recommendations.


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Montana Talking Book Library (MTBL)                                               

1515 East Sixth Avenue                                                               

PO Box 201800

Helena, MT  59620-1800


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Contact Information


We are on the Web!

Website: http://msl.mt.gov/tbl

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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: mtbl@mt.gov   (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.