NewsLion: Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library Newsletter

Newslion Fall 2023

The Newsletter of the Andrew Heiskell Library for October–December 2023


The Grand Return of the Accessible Community Culture and Technology Fair!

Friday, October 20, 11 AM–4 PM

Get ready for the highly anticipated return of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library's FREE annual Community, Culture, and Technology Fair! Join us on Friday, October 20, from 11 AM to 4 PM at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library at 455 Fifth Avenue (at the South East corner of 40th Street) in Manhattan. Browse 60+ organizations offering free accessible museum tours, sports, book clubs, support, advocacy groups, technology and more. Hear our keynote talk by Hoby Wedler—a blind chemist and entrepreneur; sign up for individual business coaching; and get an orientation to NYPL Business Center resources in preparation for the small business contest!

NYPL’s First Accessible Technology Conference!

Join us Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 via Zoom for The New York Public Library’s first Accessible Technology Conference—a free and inclusive conference focused on the impact, affordances, and evolution of accessible technologies used by Blind, low-vision, and print-disabled people. The free conference is open to all community members. Find more details here:


Events Calendar:

Launch of the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Braille Music Collection at the Andrew Heiskell Library!

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30–6:45 PM

We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new collection of braille music! This collection of 40 shelves of music scores has been donated to the NYPL by the Filomen M. D’agostino Greenberg Music School and will be made available to all to take out from our 20th street location. Join us for a celebratory launch event with choral concert, refreshments, and speakers.

White Cane Day Open Mic for Adults

Saturday, October 14, 2–4 PM

There are more than eight million stories in New York, and yours is one of them! Come and tell it at our White Cane Day Open Mic. Everybody is a star. We are all V.I.Ps. You don't have to be an author or stage artist to tell your story and have your voice heard among friends here at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Time slots of approximately ten minutes each allotted at sign-in on the Day of the event. For White Cane Day, Open Mic will be held in conjunction with the  Andrew Heiskell Writing Workshop, which all storytellers are welcome to join or find out more about by emailing

Tactile Handweaving with Intertwine Arts!

Thursdays, 5–6:30 PM starting Thursday, October 12, 2023

Intertwine Arts will show attendees how to weave on paper plates in a relaxed, low pressure environment. Participants will be encouraged to make their own unique aesthetic choices, choosing yarns that suit them and using varied intuitive weaving techniques. In these sessions there is no such thing as a mistake, and budding weavers will be encouraged to experiment and create in a way that works best for them. Participants will walk away from the program with finished woven pieces that can be transformed into wearables, decor and artwork.

Call 212-206-5400 or email to register.

Fall Writing Workshop

Saturdays 1:30–3 PM

  • September 23 and 30
  • October 14 and 28
  • November 25
  • December 9 and 16

For the fall/winter round of workshops, a new emphasis on reaching a wider audience will be our theme. 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. Meanwhile attendees will break up into smaller groups or work independently in a quiet, safe space. Inclusion, and support for other writers and their work is the workshop’s only creed. No registration required. For more information please email

Game ON! with CAC!

Saturday, October 28, 1:30–4:30 PM

Join us for a fun filled afternoon of tactile and Braille board games and activities, hosted by the Community Advisory Council for the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library! 

Latinx Heritage Month Author Talk with Carina del Valle Schorske (Virtual)

Wednesday, October 11, 7 PM

Carina del Valle Schorske is an essayist, poet, and Spanish language translator living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a freelance magazine writer, Carina has written extensively on experimental art by women of color for many national outlets. Her debut essay collection is coming out next year with Riverhead, and we are so excited to have her join us for an author talk, and Q&A.

Register online at

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:

  • October 7, 2023 | Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith TalusanDB101114
  • November 4, 2023 | Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, DB065403
  • December 2, 2023 | Maus by Art Spiegelma, DB111228
  • January 6, 2024 | Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, DB016414, or Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, DB033488

Google Meet Link:
Join by phone: ‪(US) +1 262-671-8033‬ PIN: ‪688 338 321‬#

Online Book Discussion Group

Saturday, October 14,  10:30–11:30 AM
The Storyteller of Casablanca, DB 107192

Saturday, December 9, 10:30–11:30 AM 
The Plot, DB 103471

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.

Open Book Hour

Alternating Tuesdays: October 3, 17, and 31; November 14, 28; December 12 and 26. From 4–5 PM.

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

Starting Friday October 6, 2023, Andrew Heiskell will be hosting a new VIRTUAL book group called Online Wellness Reading Group. This program will be held on the first week of each month on Fridays at 12 PM. If interested, you can call 212-206-5400 or email

The Book for October is Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, DB070276

Tactile Poster Making for Adults

Tuesday, October 24, 5–6:45 PM
Join us for an evening of art exploration and art-making! Learn about CulturePass, the program that grants you access to dozens of NYC's premier museums and cultural institutions all through your library card! We'll explain how CulturePass works and highlight some participating venues that have strong accessible programs. Then, we'll showcase the Poster House Museum's new exhibition "We Tried to Warn You: Climate Crisis Programs 1970-1920" through verbal description and a fully accessible, tactile poster-making activity.

Open to the first 30 participants.

Crossword Club

Wednesdays, 10 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#‬

Community Advisory Council:

Note that CAC will resume January 23, 2024. 

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 7–8:30 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 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.

iOS Chat for Voiceover Beginners

July 1, August 5th, September 9th, 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM 

Just getting started with Voiceover on your iPhone or iPad? Join us to learn about gestures, settings, problem-solving and more. This event will take place online.

VoiceOver Pro Tips for Mac

Wednesdays October 4 through November 8, 2–4 PM Eastern

This workshop series is for Intermediate to Advanced Mac users who want to take their skills to the next level.  Proficiency in VoiceOver is required.  Participants must also be proficient in file management using Finder, as well as the Mac Mail app, Text Edit, and accessing the web using Safari. Topics will include mastering VoiceOver Commanders, Activities, introduction to using Shortcuts, and more. This workshop will take place online.

iOS Chat for Voiceover Beginners

Saturdays October 7, November 4, and December 2, 1–2:15 PM Eastern

Just getting started with Voiceover on your iPhone or iPad? Join us to learn about gestures, settings, problem-solving and more. This event will take place online.

Voiceover for iOS: Beyond the Basics

Saturdays October 7, November 4 and December 2, 2:30 - 4 PM Eastern

Join other users to talk about navigating the web, learning new apps, customizing gestures and other advanced topics. This event will take place online.

VoiceOver for Mac Discussion Group

Saturdays: October 28, November 25, and December 30, 2–4 PM Eastern

This event will take place online:

Intro to Be My AI

Wednesday September 20, 2–3:30 PM Eastern

Learn about a powerful new image describer built into the popular BeMyEyes app. This workshop will take place online.

Intro to Android Talkback

Thursday October 5, 3–4:30 PM Eastern

Learn about Android’s built-in screen reader. This is a hybrid event. RSVP to to attend in person, or attend online. 

Non-Visual Drawing with Lauren:

Saturday, October 7, 2–3:30 PM Eastern

We’ll use accessible drawing materials to explore the concept of shading. This is a hybrid event: RSVP in person to or attend online.

Intro to Narrator

Saturday, October 14, 3–4:30 PM Eastern

Learn about this built-in, user-friendly screen reader for Windows. This event will take place online.

Intro to NLS E-Readers

Tuesday October 10, 5–6:30 PM
Thursday November 16,  5–6:30 PM Eastern

Get to know the free Braille E-readers that the library is loaning to patrons. This is a hybrid event. RSVP for in person attendance to or attend online. 

October 10th link:
November 16th link:

Intro to Hotel and Airline Apps with Accessibility in Mind

Wednesday December 6, 3–4:30 Eastern

Learn about popular travel apps, how they compare and which ones are most accessible. This event will take place online.

Intro to Conversational AI with Informational Literacy in Mind

Thursday, December 14, 7–8:30 PM Eastern

Learn how to use large language models, sometimes known as chatbots. We’ll go over how they can be useful, what to know about their accessibility, and how to be mindful of their risks and biases. This event will take place 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 

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

Fridays at 10:15 AM

This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. This storytime is for children who can walk. Children and their parents/caregiver will learn interactive action songs, fingerplays, early literacy stories, and build relationships with other families in the neighborhood. Space is limited to 30 children. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program.  Storytime will begin early if capacity is reached before 10:15 AM.

Little Builders 

Mondays, October 16, November 13 and 27, December 11, at 10:15 AM

For children who can walk. This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. This is an informal playgroup for the little ones and their caregivers to meet other families. Building toys will be brought out for toddlers to play with. Space is limited to 15 children. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program. Program will begin early if capacity is reached before 10:15 AM.

Library Builders

Thursdays, October 5 and 19; November 2, 16 and 30; December 14 , at 3:30 PM

This event is for ages 4 and up to bring families together at the library. This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Join your friends, family, and librarians to build and create! Space is limited to 10 children. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program. Storytime will begin early if capacity is reached before 3:30 PM.

White Cane Safety Day

Friday October 13, at 3:30 PM

This event is for ages 4 and up to bring families together at the library. This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Join us to learn white cane safety tips for people who are sighted and visually impaired and how to do proper sighted guide! Space is limited to 20 people. Tickets are distributed 15 minutes before the program. Event will begin early if capacity is reached before 3:30 PM.

Halloween Sensory Spooktacular

Monday October 30, at 3:30 PM

This event is for all ages and up to bring families together at the library. This event will take place in person at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Join us on the eve of Halloween for a sensory all inclusive spooky experience.


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

  • Nineteen Reservoirs: On Their Creation and the Promise of Water for New York City by Lucy Sante, DBC 27066 (Non-fiction, Adult) A study of New York City’s reservoirs and the displacement that followed the city’s increasing demand for water.
  • The Misfortunes of Virtue by the Marquis de Sade, DBC 27075 (Fiction, Adult) An example of the early writing of the notorious Marquis de Sade, translated by David Coward, which reveals the full range of Sade's sobering moods and considerable talents. This edition includes an introduction, a chronology, and Sade's famous story "The Misfortunes of Virtue" also known as "Justine".
  • A Universal History of the Destruction of Books From Ancient Sumer to Modern Iraq by Fernando Baez, DBC 27063 (Non-fiction, Adult) A horrific chronicle of the centuries-long assault on human memory by destroying books.
  • The Writing Irish of New York, edited by Colin Broderick, DBC 27067 (Non-fiction, Adult) A collection of 22 short personal essays, a poem by former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and brief sketches by Broderick himself of the careers of Irish and Irish-American writers with a strong NYC connection, such as Maeve Brennan, Frank McCourt, Frank O’Hara and Oscar Wilde.

New Urban Fiction Titles

  • A Plus Size Diva: The Beginning (Who Ya Wit? Book 1) by Brenda Hampton, DBC 27086 (Fiction, Adult) Desa Rae Jenkins at forty may be classified as over the hill, but with voluptuous curves in all the right places, she attracts Roc Dawson, one of the sexiest men alive, who happens to be almost half her age. When Desa Rae is forced to make a decision that could set her free and send Roc packing, he must reevaluate what he has always known as the street life.  Commercial Audiobook. 2021. Adult. Unrated.
  • Naughty 1: Two's Enough, Three's A Crowd, by Brenda Hampton, DBC 27087 (Fiction, Adult) Jaylin Jerome Rogers, an investment broker worth millions, lives a high-class life with plenty of women to share it with. When Scorpio Valentino, an attractive, seductive, and charming woman saunters into his view, her intention is to make his life a living hell. Surprisingly, soon, love presents itself. Commercial Audiobook. 2018. Adult. Unrated.
  • Naughty 2: My Way Or The Highway, by Brenda Hampton, DBC 27088 (Fiction, Adult) Jaylin Jerome Rogers is back, and he’s naughtier than ever! But just when Jaylin thinks life is perfect and everything is going his way, a past lover delivers a shocking message to him sending him traveling back down memory lane, to realize that the women he disrespected are the very women he needs. Will Jaylin finally learn that it’s not all about him, or will he be forever naughty? Commercial Audiobook. 2020. Adult. Unrated.


Featured Outside Offering: Xavier Society for the Blind

Xavier Society for the Blind provides religious, spiritual, and inspirational reading materials in braille and audio. We support blind and visually impaired people in learning about, developing and practicing their faith. In 2019, Xavier Society transitioned to digital Talking Book format and now our patrons can listen to our books on the talking book machines provided by the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. We have a catalog of over 2,100 wide-ranging titles in braille and audio including contemporary titles by popular authors, The Bible, biographies of saints, and theological dissertations. Our service began in 1900 and we hope to serve many more people in new and innovative ways for many years to come. To learn more about our offerings or to browse our catalog, please visit or call us at 212-473-7800.


Holidays and Closings

The Library will be closed on:

  • Monday October 9th, for Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Friday November 10th and Saturday November 11th for Veterans Day
  • Thursday November 3rd for Thanksgiving
  • Monday December 25th for Christmas
  • Monday January 1st for New Years Day

Note that on Friday November 17th we will have a late opening of 12 noon.