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NLS: Overseas Outlook

January–June 2016
Volume 39, Number 1

Contact information

Please remember to update your contact information anytime you move or change your mailing address, phone number or email address. It is very important for patrons to do this to continue receiving books, magazines, and playback equipment. Please notify the overseas librarian immediately to ensure continuous service. If not, your service could be suspended if books are not returned due to an incorrect mailing address and we are unable to reach you. The best way to keep your account active is to make sure your contact information is accurate and up to date so that your books, magazines, and equipment will never be returned as “undeliverable.”

High-volume player and headphones

NLS has developed a high-volume version of the digital talking-book machine (DTBM) for use by patrons who are hearing impaired. The high-volume player, which is paired with a headset, is available as a standard or advanced model that has been programmed to have an amplified volume up to 120 decibels. It can be issued only by NLS and will bear a warning label. The high-volume feature only works with the set of stereo headphones that NLS provides. The equipment pairing replaces the amplifier/headset accessory.

To receive a high-volume player and headset, a patron must provide certification of hearing impairment by a physician or audiologist. An agency may assist an eligible patron with obtaining a high-volume player and headset by downloading a high-volume player application from www.loc.gov/nls/pdf/hvp.pdf and returning the completed and fully signed application to the NLS equipment control officer via email at [email protected] or fax at (202) 707-0712.

Lending agencies are required to retain the original completed applications and will continue to provide service to patrons with high-volume players. Patrons are asked to return their current player upon receipt of a high-volume player and headset. A return label will be included with the high-volume player.

New audio magazines available

Fourteen new audio magazines are available to subscribers via download on the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service or by postal delivery through the Magazine on Cartridge (MOC) program. Eleven of these new audio magazines are locally produced by libraries in the NLS network. Weekly magazines are checked out for three weeks. Monthly magazines are checked out for seven weeks. If your cartridge contains weekly and monthly magazines, you may check out the cartridge for seven weeks.

The new magazine titles, their frequency, and a short description of their subject matter are listed below. Contact the overseas librarian if you wish to subscribe.

Download an audiobook with the BARD Mobile app for Android devices:

  1. Tap the Get Books tab, which is the second tab on the tab bar.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear with four choices:
    1. Browse Wish List
    2. Recently Added Audio Books
    3. Recently Added Audio Magazines
    4. Browse BARD.
  3. Choose Browse BARD.
  4. Search for a book by title, DB number, or subject.
  5. When you’ve found the book you want, tap the blue text “Add to my wish list,” which is at the bottom of the book’s listing.
  6. Tap the Go Back arrow to return to the "Get Books" tab.
  7. Choose Browse Wish List from the drop-down menu and locate the book you’ve just added.
  8. Tap the Go Back arrow to go to the Bookshelf tab, choose Audio Books from the drop-down menu. To download the book: Tap the title of the book.
  9. The book will begin downloading and the percentage of the download will appear beside the title.
  10. A window will open, saying “Download Complete.” Tap on the title to listen to the book. Once you have started reading the book, the book will then be listed in the Now Reading tab, which is the third tab, on the Tab Bar.

Online user guide for BARD Mobile Android app: https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/LOC_02/BARDAndroidUserGuide.html

Grace Mishler: Blind Global Missions worker honored in Vietnam

The following text appeared in a recent Global Missions newsletter and is reprinted with permission:

Mishler holding bouquet of flowers, with people in panel looking on
Grace Mishler

On November 8, 2015, Grace Mish1ler, a Global Missions service worker from Indiana in Ho Chi Minh City, was honored for her work with disabled persons by Vietnamese Government officials. Selected individuals from the southern region of Vietnam were recognized for their contributions to the disabled community including blind and partially sighted persons, the area of Grace’s expertise.

Since September 2000, Grace has been working with the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities where she consults with the staff and provides educational and eye care support for students with visual impairment. Additionally, she facilitates services, monitors and provides support at the Thien An and Nhat Hong Blind Schools with specified project development, like Student Eye Care Project or International Cane Awareness Day.

The Disability Conference held by the Disabilities Federation Association of Vietnam awarded Grace a Medal of Honor, a Certificate of “excellent activities in caring and supporting persons with disabilities within the frame time of 2011–2015,” and a bouquet of flowers in appreciation for her many contributions to disabled persons in Ho Chi Minh City.

Pamela Jean Brown: A Greater Vision

Pamela Jean Brown

Pamela Brown is a retired librarian for the blind and physically handicapped from Virginia. After retiring, she moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In Mexico, she found many vision-impaired American citizens who were once voracious readers, but who did not know about the free braille and audio library service that is available to them.

Pamela, who was very familiar with audiobooks, spread the word so that they can enjoy reading again by registering them for the talking book program provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which is part of the Library of Congress.

Bonnie Black, a registered user of talking books, said “Pamela is an angel. I feel lucky to know her.”

Since last year Brown has been working hard to register as many people as she can for the free braille and talking-book service. Since free matter to and from Mexico is difficult, Brown approached the U.S. Consulate in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She was elated to receive a letter from the Consulate stating that her request was granted to have the equipment shipped in care of the Consulate. Brown continues to meet with groups to present the free braille and talking-book service and sign up vision-impaired American citizens living abroad.

Also concerned about blind Mexican children who cannot read and have no opportunity for education or vocational training, Brown is searching for opportunities for these children to be educated and become contributing members of their society.

NLS is deeply grateful to Pamela for her dedicated commitment to providing talking-book service to the vision-impaired American citizens in this part of Mexico.

2016 National Conference

The National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals was held from April 3–7, 2016, at the historic Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill, San Francisco, California. The theme of the conference was “Gateway to Knowledge.” Some of the topics covered included making a digital talking book using the Hindenburg Audiobook Creator software, understanding the differences between Unified English Braille and English Braille American Edition, and using the BARD Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

“The conference was all about learning―whether it is innovative approaches to outreach and programming, the use of technology to increase access to information, or hands-on training on using NLS databases and BARD tools to streamline services,” said NLS Director Karen Keninger.

Minibibliography: Award-winning titles

Each issue of Overseas Outlook includes a bibliography on a subject that may be of interest to NLS overseas patrons. This issue features titles that received various awards. If you wish to receive these titles, please complete the order form at the end of this newsletter and return it to the overseas librarian. All the books listed may also be downloaded from BARD.

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
Journalist uses his experiences living in China between 2005 and 2013 to examine the state of the country—especially that of individuals. Features stories of a soldier who defected to China from Taiwan, a scholar who began an influential dating service, and subversive artist Ai Weiwei. National Book Award Winner. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
When Paris is invaded by the Nazis, Marie-Laure LeBlanc’s father evacuates her to St. Malo to stay with her great-uncle. Blind since the age of six, Marie-Laure must learn the town by the scale model her father has left. Then, the Germans arrive. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Bestseller. 2014.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
After studying in the United States for thirteen years, Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who blogs about race, returns home to Lagos. She has endured enough cultural issues and misses her first love. But the Nigerians label her an “Americanah.” Some strong language. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. 2013.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
Recounts the accomplishments of nine working-class athletes from the University of Washington who beat elite teams at home and abroad and won the gold medal for rowing at the 1936 Nazi-orchestrated Berlin Olympics. Bestseller. 2013.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
BR20541, DB80026
In this autobiography told through vivid poems, Woodson explores her childhood as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s and her growing awareness of the civil rights movement. Reflects on the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite her difficulties with reading as a child. Commercial audiobook. For grades 4-7. Newbery Medal winner. 2014.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
After eight-year-old Havaa’s Chechen home is raided and burned to the ground by Russian soldiers, she is rescued by neighbor Akhmed. He takes her to a hospital, where they meet Sonja, a doctor who is searching for her missing sister. Some violence. National Book Critics Circle Award winner. 2013.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
1986. After socially painful circumstances toss Eleanor and Park together, they form an unlikely—and extraordinary—romance. Although the two sixteen-year-olds know that the odds of remaining together forever are slim, they find the courage to try. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2013.

Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn
BR20780, DB80813
Historian Elizabeth Fenn examines discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, and epidemiology to retrieve the history of the Mandan Indians, a tribe of Plains people who lived along the upper Missouri River. Twenty-first-century archaeological finds are referenced to demonstrate how the Mandan society thrived and later collapsed. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History. 2014.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reports on the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. Reconstructs the five days it took to rescue the hospital’s staff and patients and examines the life-and-death decisions made and the lawsuits that followed. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. 2013.

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
This companion to Life after Life (DB76417) describes the twentieth century through Ursula’s younger brother Teddy—would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather—while navigating the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
BR20997, DB82093
Bridge makes her way through seventh grade on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with her best friends, curvaceous Em, crusader Tab, and a curious new friend—or more than friend—Sherm. With them, she finds her purpose in life. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2015.

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Cambridge lecturer describes the year she spent training a goshawk, a decision she came to after the sudden death of her father in 2007. Discusses the field of falconry, which her father avidly practiced, the grieving process, and author T.H. White’s book The Goshawk (DB42687). Bestseller. Samuel Johnson Prize winner. 2014.

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower
Details the plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln in Baltimore while he was enroute to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration in February 1861. Profiles Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and widow Kate Warne, America’s first female private investigator. Some violence. Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. 2013.

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf
DB 83057
Historian examines the life of naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859). Discusses his expeditions through the Americas and Russia; his friendships and interactions with luminaries of his day, including Goethe, Thomas Jefferson, and Simón Bolívar; and the influence of his writings on Charles Darwin and John Muir. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 2015.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
England, 1910. Ursula Todd’s first life ends before it even begins. But she is born again—and again and again. Growing to various ages, only to start over, Ursula finally realizes the power her reincarnation provides—a chance to change history. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Historical Fiction. 2013.

Metaphysical Dog by Frank Bidart
BR20426, DB77660
Thirty-nine poems examining life’s conflicts. “Queer” reflects on the coming-out process for a gay man who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s. “Race” explores the poet’s feelings about his immigrant grandmother’s racism. 2013.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
France, 1939. Vianne Mauriac sends her husband off to war, while her younger sister Isabelle runs off to Paris, claiming an affair. Once there, Isabelle becomes involved in the Resistance. Vianne’s home is occupied by the invading Nazis. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Historical Fiction. 2015.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Minnesota, 1961. Thirteen-year-old Frank Drum’s summer is steeped in death: a neighborhood boy hit by a train, a hobo found dead—and then a member of Frank’s family is murdered. Frank is determined to seek vengeance and can’t understand why his younger brother isn’t. Some violence and some strong language. Edgar Award for Best Novel. 2013.

Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry Selected and with an Introduction by Billy Collins
Anthology of contemporary verse that grew from former U.S. poet laureate Collins’s project to make poetry accessible and inviting to teenagers. Features one short selection to be read during morning announcements each day of the school year. Includes notes on the poets. YA appeal. 2003.

The Pope and Mussolini: the Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer
Brown University professor uses Vatican archives released in 2006 to investigate the relationship between Pope Pius XI and Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, who both came to power in 1922. Discusses the ways they used each other to achieve their goals and the pope’s ultimate regret over their bargain. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. 2014.

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
CIA operative Nathaniel Nash loses his Moscow post after narrowly escaping from a meeting with an important source. New Russian intelligence agent Dominika Egorova is assigned to seduce Nash and identify his contact. Violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. 2013.

Redeployment by Phil Klay
BR20602, DB78988
Twelve stories about soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the personal wars they fight reintegrating into society at home. In the title story, a soldier who had to shoot dogs on the battlefield must readjust to life in suburban America. Violence. National Book Award for Fiction. 2014.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
BR20478, DB78463
Editor of The Ends of the Earth (DB66582) examines the causes of the five prehistoric mass extinctions and compares previous conditions with those existing in the twenty-first century. Posits that humanity is on the brink of the sixth mass extinction and is the primary cause of it. Bestseller. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. 2014.

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
Twenty-five years ago, two girls were convicted of killing another child. After her release from prison, Amber takes a job as a carnival cleaner. When she discovers a girl’s corpse, it brings Amber back into contact with her codefendant—now a journalist covering possible serial killings. Violence and strong language. Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. 2012.

Order Form for Books

Mail to:
Y. Rathan Raj
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, DC 20542
U. S. A.
Fax: (202) 707-0712
Email: [email protected]

Your Name_____________________________________________________


____ BR20541     Brown Girl Dreaming
____ BR20780     Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
____ BR20997     Goodbye Stranger
____ BR20426     Metaphysical Dog
____ BR20602     Redeployment
____ BR20478     The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History


____ DB79724     Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
____ DB79182     All the Light We Cannot See
____ DB77188     Americanah
____ DB77138     Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for God at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
____ DB80026     Brown Girl Dreaming
____ DB78290     A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
____ DB76406     Eleanor & Park
____ DB80813     Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
____ DB77656     Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
____ DB81443     A God in Ruins
____ DB82093     Goodbye Stranger
____ DB81386     H Is for Hawk
____ DB78103     The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War
____ DB83057     The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World
____ DB76417     Life after Life
____ DB77660     Metaphysical Dog
____ DB81189     Nightingale
____ DB78187     Ordinary Grace
____ DB75492     Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry Selected and with an Introduction
____ DB78327     The Pope and Mussolini: the Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
____ DB77102     Red Sparrow
____ DB78988     Redeployment
____ DB78463     The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
____ DB77349     The Wicked Girls

Order Form for Magazines

Mail to:
Y. Rathan Raj
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, DC 20542
U. S. A.
Fax: (202) 707-0712
Email: [email protected]

Your Name_________________________________________________

____  AARP The Magazine (bimonthly) and AARP Bulletin (10 issues/year)
____  Audubon (bimonthly)
____  Cowboys and Indians (8 issues/year)
____  Humpty Dumpty (for ages 2–6; 6 issues/year)
____  Missouri Conservationist (monthly)
____  National Geographic Traveler (6 issues/year)
____  The New Yorker (47 issues/year)
____  O, The Oprah Magazine (monthly)
____  Oklahoma Today (6 issues/year)
____  Playboy (monthly)
____  Rolling Stone (biweekly)
____  Seventeen (for ages 10-19; 10 issues/year)
____  Smithsonian (11 issues/year)
____  Southern Living (13 issues/year)
____  Vital Speeches of the Day (monthly)

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Posted on 2016-07-13