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Posts from Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

The Birth of Braille

Most people read with their eyes. They might read a physical book or electronic text. Some people read with their ears, listening to audiobooks or Talking Books from the National Library Service. And some people read with their fingers.

January 4th marks the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the raised writing system that bears his name and is still used by blind people to communicate.

Although many forms of raised writing were used before, during, and for a time, after Braille's life, his sytem 

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Andrew Heiskell Library's End of the Year Links

We've got a few links that might interest you as we say goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011. Don't forget: The library will be closed on Saturday, January 1, 2011, but you'll be able to leave Voicemail messages at 212-206-5400 and 212-206-5425.

The New York Times article, "Just Because One's Vision is Waning, Hope Doesn't Have To" is about access to tools for independence.

The Computer Center for Visually Impaired People 

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December Announcements from the Andrew Heiskell Library

As we get ready to say farewell to 2010, we want to wish all our patrons and their families a Happy New Year. The library will be closed on Saturday, December 25 for Christmas and on Saturday, January 1, 2011 for New Year's Day. You'll still be able to leave a Voicemail message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Our Citizens Advisory Council will meet on Saturday, January 8 at 11:30 a.m. in our first floor community room. The Council meetings provide a forum for patrons to give feedback on library service. All patrons are welcome to 

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Andrew Heiskell Library Announcements and Links

We've got some news and interesting articles to share with you.

The number 1 BARD download for November was The Heart Of The Matter by Emily Giffin, DB 71280 [NYPL] Tied for a distant second: Split Image by Robert B. Parker, DB 71123 [

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The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was designed to level the playing field for individuals with disabilities by ending illegal discrimination and providing reasonable accommodations to balance the needs of those individuals and employers, providers of products and services, and setting minimum standards for a range of services and products from building design and construction to telecommunication devices.

Though ADA has increased accessibility, there is still much to be done to make new 

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Three Faiths in Braille and Talking Books

In October, The New York Public Library launched a large exhibition, showcasing materials from its permanent collections, to celebrate the Three Faiths of Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam. From NYPL's website:  "Jews, Christians, and Muslims all possess a book that they regard as the Word of God. That Word—and the way it has been written, copied and illustrated over the centuries—is the basis of Three Faiths." 


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Andrew Heiskell Library's November Announcements and Links

As part of our monthly series, we're sharing highlights from our postings on Facebook, featuring updates from the National Library Service, news about our programs, and links to sites we thought interesting and useful. You can follow us on Facebook to get all our updates as we post them.

And now you can get updates as we post them even if you aren't a member of Facebook. Read NewsLion Extra, our new Tumblr 

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Andrew Heiskell Library Announcements and Links for October

Once again, we're sharing highlights from our postings on Facebook, featuring updates from the National Library Service, news about our programs, and links to sites we thought interesting and useful. You can follow us on Facebook to get all our updates as we post them.

BARD Update

Good news for those of you reading magazines on BARD. According to NLS:

"The pages will now display the reading time, narrators, and the descriptive 

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Behind the Scenes at the Audio Book Studio

Headphones and CDs

Have you ever wondered why it takes so long for new books to be added to our Talking Book collection? A lot of steps make up the process. Here at the Andrew Heiskell Library, we are able to supplement the audio collection we get from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) with books we record in our own Audio Book Studio (ABS), with the assistance of volunteer narrators, monitors, and audio 

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Andrew Heiskell Library's Roundup of Links and Articles for September

Once again, we're presenting links to sites covering disability issues, as well as announcements of changes and enhancements of the services, and anything else that caught our attention during September. These links and announcements previously appeared on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

The National Library Service  made the following announcements:

"NLS will cease production of books on cassette as of 

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Andrew Heiskell Library: Ahead of Our Time

We're sometimes asked to explain what we do to individuals or groups of people interested in or in need of the library services we provide. In the past, this often meant long, even tedious descriptions of how we put the right books in the homes of our patrons. There was little if anything to which we could make comparisons.

But now, thanks to online services like Amazon, the explanation has become a snap. The following is from a presentation made by Mark McCluski, Head of the Andrew Heiskell Library. We thought you would enjoy reading 

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In the Neighborhood: Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace

Of all the reference questions I expected upon coming to work at the Andrew Heiskell Library in its current location on West 20th Street in Manhattan, "Where is Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace?" was nowhere on my list. I quickly learned that the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Historic Site is a short two blocks east, at 28 East 20th Street, and that this question comes up mostly during the summer tourist season. Since then, I've often walked past this now familiar, unassuming townhouse and 

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Let's Get Social

For a long time, our newsletter, NewsLion, has been our primary way to communicate with people, and while it remains the best way to update the most people on new services, the latest books recorded in our very own Audio Book Studio, upcoming programs, and other services and agencies of interest to our patrons, it is not the most timely of publications. Because it is published only four times a year, we find out about many interesting and useful books, services, and programs too late to include them in the latest issue. To help get the 

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Do You BARD?

Digital Talking Book Cartridge and ContainerIf Google can be used as a verb, why not BARD? BARD is the acronym for the National Library Service's Braille and Audio Reading Download service. If you're registered for Talking Book service from the Andrew Heiskell Library and have a digital player, either a National Library Service (NLS) machine or one you purchased from an outside vendor such as HumanWare, you're probably already downloading books. But if not, 

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Behind the Scenes at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

People often ask us how we send out our books. Sometimes, it seems as if they magically appear in mailboxes across the city, but there's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make that magic happen. We here at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library thought we'd give you a peek into the processes of connecting books and patrons of the library. We'll start this series of posts with a look at patron profiles.

Everyone has a profile, based on the application for 

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Andrew Heiskell Library: Celebrating 115 Years of Library Service

It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the Andrew Heiskell Library's Centennial. On June 3rd, this library will be 115 years old. The library has had a number of names and even more locations over those years, but one thing has not changed: our dedication to serving people who are physically unable to read standard print.

Anniversaries provide a good opportunity to consider the past as well as to plan for the future. So, here's a look back at Talking Book and Braille Service in the United States and here in 

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Andrew Heiskell Library: Return of the Blog

Return of the Blog: Once upon a time, the Andrew Heiskell Library had a blog. It disappeared for a while, and during that time, the library's website got redesigned, and now the blog is back, as part of The New York Public Library's Blogs. We're thrilled to be able to offer this communication format once more. And just in time for the vital Don't Close the Books on Libraries Budget Action campaign.

The proposed city budget for the fiscal year starting in July calls for a $37 million cut, the harshest in NYPL's history. 

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