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The New York Public Library will be closed August 30th through September 1st in observance of Labor Day.

Current Newsletter

Summer 2014 NewsLion

New Staff Member: Assistive Technology Coordinator

Chancey Fleet joined the library staff in the newly created position of Assistive Technology Coordinator in April after serving as the coordinating volunteer for our Computer Support Clinic since 2010. In her new role, she helps patrons learn fundamental computer skills and understand their options for using, funding and learning accessible technologies. Upcoming small group training sessions with Chancey are listed at the end of this newsletter.

Some of her other roles include providing training and technical assistance to staff throughout the NYPL system, maintaining and curating the accessible technology products  we have on site, and designing and delivering workshops and how-to guides on technology topics. Chancey has 11 years of professional experience with assistive technology. Before joining the library staff, she provided individualized technology assessment and training at Lighthouse Guild International. Outside office hours, Chancey can be found tandem biking, exploring the city with her guide dog, Ramona, and enjoying the occasional BARD book. (If you see our Facebook posts about speculative fiction and tech-themed reads, those are probably hers!)

Summer Reading For Children

This summer, the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library invites all children ages 0-18 to a Summer Reading Challenge! Participation is free and participants will receive a Summer Reading book list of titles in braille and audio format, a calendar of fun summer programs at our library, suggestions for activities to do at home and lots of prizes! To register, go to or contact Jordan at:, 212-621-0622. For more summer reading fun, visit

Children’s Summer Reading Calendar

Children’s Read Aloud Wednesdays

3 p.m. on July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; August 6, 20, 27. Children (accompanied by a favorite adult) will enjoy songs, fingerplays and books. Storytime will help your child develop key pre-literacy skills while interacting with other children their age. Ages 0-4 welcome!

Sensory Science Story Time

Thursdays, July 17 and August 21 at 4 p.m. Join this interactive educational science-themed storytime for preschoolers. We’re combining stories, songs, and activities to stimulate all the senses and promote learning.

Li'l Beakers Workshop

Friday, July 11 at 11:15 a.m. Li’l Beakers Workshops guide children ages 5-12 through cool hands-on experiments. Have fun with science while learning.

CMOM Science Club

Fridays, July 18, 25; August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 at 11:15 a.m. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan gets kids excited about science and provides them with the experiences needed to become creative and critical thinkers! This 7-week program for ages 6-12 will teach children about simple machines, problem solving skills, and more in order to create and present their very own crazy Rube Goldberg machine!

Summer Reading Closing Party

Wednesday, August 13 at 3 p.m. Join us as we celebrate another Summer Reading Program coming to an end! Sing and tell stories with Robin Bady, plus lots of fun surprises!

Spring Events at the Library

Monday, September 8 through Saturday, September 20. Don’t miss experiencing the work of veteran NYC street photographer, Flo Fox, which will be showcased in the community room at the Andrew Heiskell Library from September 8 to 20. Join us on Saturday, September 13 at 2:30 p.m., when Flo Fox will give a talk at the Library about her work and amazing life as an artist and radical disability rights advocate. Since 1972, she has shot over 120,000 images of urban life depicting what she describes as “ironic reality.” Visually impaired  and disabled from the neck down since 1999, she brings her camera everywhere and directs friends, attendants or people in the street to take pictures for her. Fox’s work has been published in many magazines, including Life and New York Magazine, and widely shown around the world at institutions including Nikon House and IBM Gallery. Her images are also a part of the permanent collections of the Brooklyn and Smithsonian Museums. Our exhibit will include audio descriptions of her work. Discover more about her life and work at

Creative Writing Workshop

Saturdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15 at 2 p.m.

A new 7-session writing workshop has been scheduled this fall by popular demand. We’ve partnered again with New York Writers Coalition to offer a creative writing workshop led by a trained facilitator in a supportive group environment. Writing with others in an atmosphere of respect and acceptance, attendees will discover the value of their own stories. Remember, everyone is a writer, regardless of prior writing experience or formal education. Registration is required. Please call 212-206-5400 or email to join.

Book Discussion Group

Join us to talk about thought-provoking books! The group meets on the third Saturday of every other month at 10:30 a.m. Upcoming discussions:

  • August 16: Good Lord Bird by James McBride, DB 77431
  • October 18: Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, DB 77581
  • December 20: The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry, DB 15886

If you are unable to join us at the Library, we welcome you to participate in our book discussion over the telephone on the Tuesday following our in-person meeting. We’ll discuss Good Lord Bird at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 19. Call or email the Library for the participant code to join the telephone discussion.

Citizen’s Advisory Council Meeting

Saturday, September 6 at 11 a.m. If you would like to show support for the library, learn about library services and programs, provide feedback, and meet staff, please come to the Library’s Citizens Advisory Council meetings. All ideas and opinions are welcome! Refreshments will be served.

Upcoming Musical Events at the Library

A Celebration of Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, August 12, 4 to 6 p.m. Don’t miss this presentation of highlights from the Louis Armstrong House Museum collection, presented by the museum’s archivist Ricky Riccardi. Throughout his storied career, Louis Armstrong entertained countless fans around the world onstage with his show-stopping live performances. But offstage, Armstrong was dedicated to documenting the story of his life, writing autobiographical stories, recording reel-to-reel tapes, designing collages, annotating photographs and compiling scrapbooks - doing so “for posterity.” Come hear selections from of Satchmo’s home recordings and learn more about the greatest jazz man of all time.

Our Inner Ears:  Classical Music Performed by Musicians with Hearing Loss

Saturday, September 27, at 2 p.m. Join us for this inspiring concert by two classical pianists, a composer, and a classical guitarist.  All are members of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss. These musicians have overcome hearing challenges, from moderate loss to profound deafness, by listening with their inner ears. One of the musicians is also visually impaired. The group will perform in support of all who face physical challenges as a celebration of what’s possible, and as a prequel to the Walk4Hearing in Riverside Park on September 28. For more information visit the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss website at

Heiskell Audio Book Studio Titles Now on BARD

In late April the Andrew Heiskell Library became the first NLS Network Library to have its locally produced books appear on BARD! NLS is beginning to post to BARD local recordings that have either gone through their rigorous quality assurance testing or have been converted to digital talking book format and marked up by the local library according to NLS specifications. Books that go through NLS quality assurance can be found in BARD by searching for “DBN” in the keyword search. We have posted 6 DBN books to BARD, and those 6 books were downloaded 162 times in the month of May by NLS patrons around the country! Our most popular book was The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan, DBN 00018. The books are, of course, also available on digital cartridge from the Library.

Spring Survey Results

Thanks go out to the 49 people who responded to our Spring Survey. A supermajority of 44 respondents said they preferred to read our newsletter in Verdana bold in 17 pt. This is the typeface we currently use. Don’t worry, we won’t change a thing!

Summer Survey Questions

We'd love to hear from you! This summer’s survey questions are about cultural, educational, and community events you attend. And to help you provide us with feedback, we've included a tear-out sheet with just a few questions. You can send in your answers by mail, fax, phone, or email. Your honest feedback helps us focus our resources. We’ll share survey results in the following issue.

Where do you hear about events you’d like to attend (circle all that apply):

  1. Newspaper or magazine (which?)
  2. TV or Radio (which?)
  3. Website (which?)
  4. Facebook, Twitter (which?)
  5. Word of mouth
  6. Other:                  

What was your favorite event that you attended last year? It could be a cultural, sporting, local community, or educational event, or an exhibition of any kind.

Technology Assistance at the Library

Are you interested in learning to use a computer with screen magnification or screen reading software? Would you like to learn how to use an iPhone or iPad to read books, take notes and manage your calendar? Do you aspire to be more effective at finding information online? The library offers small-group workshops and individualized consultations on a range of technology and information literacy topics. You’ll find a selection of what we offer below, but please call or email to inquire about additional small group trainings that may be organized as patrons request them. Call 212-621-0627 or email to register for all workshops so that we may anticipate the size and particular needs of each small group. Registration is always free.

Literacy Consultations

Would you like to sign up for our Braille Audio and Reading Download service (BARD), the NFB-Newsline newspaper and magazine program, Bookshare’s digital library, the Learning Ally collection of textbooks, or an NYPL library card? We can help! Please call for a 1-on-1 appointment which will give you the opportunity to learn about and sign up for literacy resources in one convenient location.

Computer Support Clinic

Every Saturday, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Volunteer tutors are available to assist new and experienced computer users. You'll be able to get help with email, blogging, downloading audio books, learning accessible computer games, using the web, using accessibility software, and more. The tutors read with braille and print, use text-to-speech technology, and speak a variety of languages. 

The clinic takes place in the second floor computer lab.

Intro to VoiceOver for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Thursday, July 10, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bring your own device or borrow one of ours for the morning. This workshop will introduce you to VoiceOver, the screen reader built into every iOS device. You will learn how to:

  • Activate VoiceOver
  • Use gestures to work with apps and read text
  • Change the volume and rate of speech
  • Enter and edit text with VoiceOver

Intro to Zoom for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Friday, July 11, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. This workshop will introduce you to Zoom, the built-in magnification tool for iOS. You will learn how to:

  • Activate and use Zoom to magnify the screen
  • Set other preferences to best work with your vision
  • Use the camera to capture and magnify images

Siri and Dictation for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Monday, July 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can use your voice to compose emails, search the web, set reminders, and do much more. During this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Dictate text effectively
  • Ask Siri the “right” questions
  • Set reminders and alarms
  • Make calculations and check dates
  • Search for information on the web

Intro to NVDA Screen Reader

Monday, August 4, 3 to 4:30 p.m. NVDA is a free and powerful screen reader that can provide users with low or no vision with complete access to a Windows computer. This workshop will provide you with the opportunity to install NVDA on your laptop or try it on one of ours. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Set NVDA voice and keyboard settings
  • Hear what’s under the mouse
  • Read and edit text
  • Navigate the Windows desktop and menus; move among programs; and work with popular applications

Learning to Learn: Troubleshooting, Community Support and Self-Advocacy Online

Thursday, August 21, 5 to 6:45 p.m. Choosing, maintaining and learning about technology can be a challenge. Fortunately, there’s a world of online content that can help. In this discussion-based workshop, we’ll cover:

  • Best practices for using an online search to solve problems
  • Online communities of technology users with vision loss
  • Free online classes and materials about assistive technology
  • Self-advocacy online: communicating with technology developers about accessibility

IOS Apps for Independence

Tuesday, September 9, 5 to 6:45 p.m. This discussion-based workshop will explore free and low-cost apps that make life easier or just more fun for people with vision loss. We encourage you to bring your iOS device and prepare to talk for a minute or two about your favorite app. We’ll cover apps that magnify images, describe what’s in front of the camera, read text and labels, identify currency, and more!

Off the Map: Transit and Urban Information for Patrons with Vision Loss

Thursday, September 18, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This workshop will introduce you to online tools to help you select a destination, get where you’re going and be in the know once you arrive. We’ll cover:

  • HopStop transit directions
  • Google Business Search
  • Finding menus and retail information online
  • Contacting businesses to arrange assistance
  • Finding out about accessible cultural happenings

Holiday Closings

The library will be closed for the following holidays:

  • Friday, July 4 for Independence Day
  • Saturday, July 5 for Independence Day Weekend
  • Saturday, August 30 for Labor Day Weekend
  • Monday, September 1 for Labor Day

On days we are closed, you may still leave a telephone message or email us and someone will get back to you as soon as possible after the holidays. You can leave us book requests too!

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