NewsLion: Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library Newsletter



Winter 2024
The Newsletter of the Andrew Heiskell Library for January–March 2024



Free Braille E-Readers (Refreshable Braille Displays) Now Available from the Library

We are excited to announce the launch of the ereader program! NLS will be providing anyone who is interested a refreshable Braille display, also called a braille eReader, free of charge. This will let you read all of our digital braille books on this one small device. Much like the digital talking book player, you may borrow these indefinitely. The display being provided is made by Zoomax. The device measures 8 inches wide, 5 inches deep, and 1.5 inches tall, with 20 braille cells, and 20 accompanying cursor routing buttons. The device is charged via a USB-C port and has wifi and Bluetooth capabilities. The device will have 16GB internal memory, and is designed to accommodate additional storage via SD card and/or USB flash drive. Library staff are available to coach you on how to use the device. If you would like to get a braille e-reader, let us know!


Community Advisory Council  (VIRTUAL)

Our Community Advisory Council returns Tuesday, January 23, at 5:30 PM! 

The Community Advisory Council of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library would love to hear from YOU, our patrons! This group meets to discuss issues, make suggestions on the library’s direction, hear news first, and meet staff.  All ideas and opinions are welcome. January’s meeting will be held virtually.

Events Calendar:

Tactile Printmaking with Stina!

January 16, 23, 30, and February 6, 13, and 20, 5–6:45 PM

This series of art-making workshops led by artist and educator Stina Puotinen is designed to connect or reconnect participants with their creativity. This six-part class will explore a range of techniques and approaches to making printmaking including collographs, monoprints, stamps and foam sheet printing on both paper and fabric. Using playful prompts, class participants will experiment with materials and make discoveries about process and product.

Email or call 212-206-5400 to register


Vinyl Record Club

Thursday, February 1, 5–6:30 PM

Saturday, February 24, 1:30–3 PM

Join staff for the new Vinyl Record Club!

 Share your love of vinyl records with fellow collectors and enthusiasts! We will chat about our favorite albums, care and maintenance of our collections, our most treasured record stores, and the ones that got away.  Bring in an album or two to spin a few tracks for the group. For our first meeting, bring an album that tells us about you as a person. No Registration Required

Audio Described Film Club Presents:

TV Ads from the ‘60s, '70s & ‘80s

Saturday, January 20, 1:30–3 PM

Join us for a retrospective look at television advertisements from the past. One hour of TV ads, fully audio described in real time, will be deconstructed with an eye on Madison Avenue style storytelling. We’ll be focusing on the insight that only hindsight can provide. With time outs for a lively discussion; don’t miss this roll-out of our library’s new projector and improved Audio Visual system!


Writing Workshop

Saturdays February 3 & 17, 1:30–3 PM

Bring in your fiction or nonfiction ideas, manuscripts, or works-in-progress to join a community of writers who meet in person here at Andrew Heiskell Library. The workshop will be run by a Heiskell staff member who will take the time to work one-on-one with those writers who wish to open up an online platform to publish their work. Attendees may break up into smaller groups or work independently in a quiet, safe space. Inclusion, and support for other writers and their work is our only creed. No registration required. For more information please email

Ukulele Club

January 13, February 10, and March 9, 2–3 PM

Want to learn how to play the ukulele? Already play and want a group to jam with? Join library staff to learn chords, songs, and techniques, or teach others what you already know! Ukuleles and felt picks provided, or bring your own instrument. All skill levels are welcome. No registration required. 

Banned Books Club!

First Saturday of every month, 10:30 AM 

Join our brand new book club, focused on showcasing and highlighting titles that have been contested, censored, or banned in the United States and abroad. Call or email to request a cartridge with these titles.

Upcoming Titles: 

Saturday, January 6th - Go Tell it On The Mountain by James Baldwin, DB033488

Saturday, February 3rd - Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, DB043591

Saturday, March 2nd - Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume DB037405

Saturday, April 6th - Bronzeville Boys and Girls, by Gwendolyn Brooks DB063916

Google Meet Link:

Join by phone

‪(US) +1 262-671-8033‬ PIN: ‪688 338 321‬#

Online Book Discussion Group

Our book club hosts engaging and thought-provoking discussions about member-selected books. Meets virtually on the second Saturday of every other month at 10:30 AM. Please call or email in advance to receive a cartridge with upcoming books, a meeting link and/or a dial in number:

Upcoming titles:

  • February 10: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride DB 115655 
  • April 13 Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmuss DB 107538

Open Book Hour

On the Third Tuesday of the Month From 4:00 - 5:00 PM: Jan 16, Feb 20, March 19, 2024

Reading something amazing you can’t wait to tell people about? Join us for our virtual Open Book Hour, where we talk about the books we’ve been reading and get recommendations from fellow book lovers!

Meeting ID:

Phone Numbers:  (‪US‬)‪+1 402-534-0283‬ PIN: ‪623 161 972#‬

Online Wellness Book Group

Friday, January 5th, 2024

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

Friday, March 1st, 2024

Andrew Heiskell will be hosting a new online book group called Online Wellness Reading Group. This program will be held on the first Friday of each month at 12 Noon. If interested, please call 212-206-5400 or email

Crossword Club

Wednesdays, 10:00 AM

Are you a crossword puzzle enthusiast? Join staff from the Andrew Heiskell Library for our virtual Crossword Club and help solve a puzzle as a group! Please call or register in advance to receive a meeting link or dial in number. Meets virtually every Wednesday. Google Meet link:

Dial - in: 513-480-5181‬ PIN: ‪792 497 986#‬

Braille Study Group – Remote or In Person 

Saturdays, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM on Zoom. (10:30 AM - 12:30 PM in person at the Library)

Tuesdays 7:00 PM- 8:30 PM on Zoom

We welcome learners at all levels! Bring your questions, get support for your learning

goals and find out how to learn Braille for free from home. To register, please email or call (212) 206-5400, extension 3. 


News from The Tech Team:


Our team is committed to equity of access for everyone. For all group workshops, you may

join using Zoom via computer, smartphone or tablet, or you can dial in by phone. One-to-one coaching is available in person, by phone, Zoom or Google Meet: your choice. Our group workshops always feature auto-captions, but if you need an interpreter or captions to participate in coaching or workshops, please email at least two weeks before the event and we will arrange access. 


One-to-One Coaching

We are here to help you achieve your tech goal! Are you learning the iPhone, improving your

typing, or exploring the web with a screen reader? We will be happy to match you with a tech coach to work on achieving that goal. 

Read Wherever You Are 

Our BARD collection offers instant access to all of our Braille and talking books using a computer, smartphone, tablet or accessible device. Our members also have free access to Bookshare, a library of over a million titles which you can read on the web or your smartphone or tablet using magnification, text-to-speech or Braille. Need the daily paper? NFB-Newsline is also free and brings you access

to local and national publications from your computer, smartphone, tablet or even a land-line phone. To get started, just call or email our tech team. 

Tech and Culture Workshops: 

Join our vibrant community for free, interactive remote workshops covering tech topics for beginners and seasoned users, book discussions, a Braille study group and more. Below, you’ll find our offerings for the fall: just use the link within each listing to register. To receive a reminder about each upcoming

workshop or find out about additional pop-up offerings, email or contact our tech team to join our announcement list. Email if you need help or would like to suggest an additional workshop.

Exploring JAWS: an 8-Week Workshop
Wednesdays beginning January 10, 4:30 - 6:-30 PM

If you already know how to type but need to learn how to use JAWS for Windows, this workshop is for you. We’ll explore settings and customizations, key JAWS commands, working with text, navigating in Windows and getting online. 

This workshop will take place online.

Mac for Voiceover Discussion Group
Saturdays January 27, February 24, and March 23, 2:00 - 3:30 PM 

Bring your questions, tips and tricks and talk with other Voiceover users!

This workshop will take place online.


Building a Tactile Graphics Collection: Finding, testing, and filing images you can reproduce tactilely
Tuesday January 9, 7:00 - 8:30 PM Eastern

In this workshop we will discuss places where you can find suitable images, how to look for them with key words and phrases, and techniques for filing your images so you can find them more easily when it’s time to produce them on paper. We will discuss methods for producing tactile images including strengths of each. This workshop will take place online.

Accessible Home Appliance and Home Automation Discussion Group
Tuesday January 23, 4:00 - 5:30 PM

Join this discussion group to explore home appliances that are accessible as well as how to improve accessibility and set up routines with home automation. 

This workshop will take place online.

Nonvisual Drawing Club
Saturday February 10, 2:30 - 4:30 PM

Participants in this workshop will use the Sensational Blackboard to make tactile drawings while exploring fundamentals like line quality, obscuration, and shading. 

This is a hybrid workshop. RSVP to to attend in person or join us online:

Online Dating with Accessibility in Mind
Tuesday February 13, 5:00 - 6:30 PM

Join an open discussion about various online dating apps, their strengths, limitations and accessibility with screen readers. 

This workshop will take place online.

Introduction to Seeing AI
Thursday February 22, 5:00 - 6:30 PM

Explore this multi-purpose app, now available for iOS and Android, that reads text snippets and documents, describes scenes, identifies currency, measures light levels and more. 

This workshop will take place online.

Celebrating Blind Women in Tech
Thursday March 7, 5:00 - 6:30 PM

Join a panel discussion with blind women who have careers in technology.

This workshop will take place online.

Exploring BeMyAI and OKO
Thursday March 28, 5:00 - 6:30 PM

Join us to explore how AI can enhance your navigation and perception of the world, and learn about the limitations and risks of this technology. We’ll explore BeMyAI, which describes scenes and objects, and OKO, which reads pedestrian traffic signals. 

This is a hybrid workshop. Email to attend in person, or join us online:


Youth Calendar:

Family Storytime

Mondays at 3:30 PM

This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. A storytime for all ages to bring families together at the library. An afternoon program where the whole family or caregiver with multiple children at different developmental stages can attend. Children ages birth to 5 years old can develop early literacy skills with their parents/caregivers through action songs, reading of picture books, and related activities.  Space is limited to 30 children. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program. Storytime will begin early if capacity is reached before 3:30 PM.

Lapsit Storytime

Wednesdays at 10:15 AM, starting January 17th 

For children who are pre-walkers or crawlers. This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Join us for a special time to bond with your little one and meet other caregivers. We will explore the joys of movement, books, and songs, in addition to building early learning skills you can practice at home. Come prepared to sit with your child on your lap. Space is limited to 10 babies. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program.  Storytime will begin early if capacity is reached before 10:15 AM.

Little Movers Storytime is suspended for the Winter

There will be no storytime on Fridays this Winter. Thank you for understanding. Little Movers Storytime will resume in the spring. Stay tuned for an announcement! 

Teen Time!

Wednesdays 3 PM - 4:30 PM, beginning January 3, 2024

Join us in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library to decompress with arts & crafts, music, and more! We’ll provide art supplies, musical instruments, and board games, as well as a space to hang out with other teens. If you make some art you’re proud of, submit it to be displayed on the teen space bulletin board! Drop in and out at any time. No registration required. 


New Titles from The Andrew Heiskell Library’s Recording Studio:

  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion, DBC 16647 (Non-fiction, Adult) Joan Didion's classic collection of essays portraying life in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco of the 1960s.
  • Distant Skies: An American Journey on Horseback, by  Melissa A Priblo Chapman, DBC 16709 (Non-fiction, Adult) A personal memoir about “a girl, a horse, a dog and 2,600 miles” as they travel together across America in search of the soul of the nation.
  • The Short Reign of Pippin IV, by John Steinbeck, DBC 27074 (Fiction, Adult) Nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck’s short work of political satire about an amateur astronomer who becomes ruler of France. The story was the basis of the Broadway musical “Pippin”.
  • Jigs & Reels:Stories, by Joanne Harris, DBC 27065 (Fiction, Adult) A collection of 22 short stories which deftly guides the readers through a labyrinth of sensations from tenderness and sympathy to the bizarre and humorous.

New Urban Fiction titles

  • Naughty 3: It's Juicy No Matter How You Slice It, by Brenda Hampton, DBC 27089 (Fiction, Adult) Just when Jaylin Rogers thinks he’s got the world in the palms of his hands, “Jaylin’s World” slips away. He’s not being too particular with his female companions, and settling for anything sends him plunging into a lonely life without anyone by his side. Can he wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late, or will a change for this man just never come? Commercial Audiobook. 2020. Adult. Unrated
  • Naughty 4: Naughty by Nature, by Brenda Hampton, DBC 27090 (Fiction, Adult) More adventures of the naughty Jaylin Rogers – this time involving sexy-diva Scorpio Valentino. Some women are greedy. Some women are sneaky. Some even think they’re Slick. But there’s nothing like a woman that’s Naughty-By-Nature. Commercial Audiobook. 2022. Adult. Unrated
  • Let That Be The Reason, by Vicki M Stringer, DBC 27111, (Fiction, Adult) Let That Be the Reason is a true-to-life saga of a woman's love, ambition to survive, forgiveness, and salvation. Written in prison and based on real-life experiences, this is the novel that launched the writing and publishing career of the best-selling author of Still Dirty, Dirty Red, and Imagine This, the reigning "queen of urban fiction" Commercial Audiobook. 2016. Adult. Unrated


  • Section 8: Hood Rat book 3, by K'wan, dbc27112 (Fiction, Adult) The third book in the Hood Rat series by bestselling author K’wan depicts the harsh realities of the streets of New York City, from Harlem to Brooklyn, and beyond as a group of friends encounter prison life, drug addiction, surprise evictions, flings with rappers, government bureaucracy, and more.  Commercial Audiobook. 2009. Adult. Unrated

Holidays and Closings

The Library will be closed on:

  • Monday January 1st for New Years Day
  • Monday January 15th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Monday February 19th for Presidents’ Day