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NewsLion Summer 2016


Summer 2016 NewsLion Audio (mp3)

Summer 2016 Newsletter


 We are thrilled to announce our first foray into the “Maker Movement.” This summer we will be offering courses to both youth and adults on the easy-to-learn, accessible Arduino microcontroller. We’ll be teaching beginning electronics and coding to make devices that work for you! Have fun experimenting with a simple, programmable device that can work with components like light sensors, buzzers, and motors. We will guide you through getting to know the layout of an Arduino board, connecting components, and writing your first lines of code. Participants should be familiar with a screenreader or magnification software, but no programming experience is required. Offered in partnership with DIYAbility. Register with, 212-621-0627.

Adults: Saturday, August 13, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Ages 10-18: Monday, July 25, 2:00 – 5:00 PM


Family Saturdays!

Saturdays July 9th and August 6th, 11am – 2pm

Lunch provided.

Families with children ages 2 – 12 are invited to join us for a fun afternoon. Hear stories, do accessible crafts, play accessible games, explore open tech time, and learn a bit about braille and computers. Gain skills in creation and technology with featured tech including 3Doodler pens, tactile drawing tablets, Makey Makey banana pianos, and other fun things. Our new braille awareness kits will be available to check out as well, and include items from braille labelers, braille/print books, and tactile maps to braille playing cards. Siblings welcome. RSVP preferred but not essential. Call Anthony at 212-621-0622, This initiative is funded thanks in part to a gift of Betsy Pinover Schiff in memory of Florence G. Lawrence.

Please join us in welcoming Anthony 

as our new Children’s Librarian and Readers’ Advisor!  Anthony comes to us from the Riverdale Library in the Bronx. In his free time, Anthony enjoys horror movies, superheroes, and Star Wars. If you speak to him on the phone, please be sure to say “hello!”

Newly Available Magazines

The New Yorker is now available as a monthly subscription. It is provided by us courtesy of Audible and each month contains highlight selections. Call to subscribe. The National Federation for the Blind’s Newsline service, a free telephone-based newspaper and magazine service, provides access to publications from all over the country.  NFB Newsline now has three new publications available: Jet Magazine, Guideposts Magazine, and The Forward (formerly the Jewish Daily Forward).  Call Newsline to sign up at 866-504-7300



Forum with NYC Coalition for Vision and Aging

Thursday, July 14, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The New York Coalition on Aging & Vision represents  leading vision rehabilitation agencies in NYC who collaborate to address the needs of older adults with vision impairments. One tool provided by the Coalition is an easy-to-use online referral process to access these services. Come learn about this process and other free resources, including the Bill Payer Program, and take home some valuable complementary tools!


 Introduction and Signup to Bookshare

Tuesday, August 9, 5:00 – 6:45 PM

Are you looking for titles related to your hobbies, education, or career interests? Do you like older books or find yourself frequently wanting titles you can’t find at Heiskell? Come learn about Bookshare’s collection of 400,000 titles that are now available FREE to Heiskell members. Join us at one of these workshops to learn more about this exciting opportunity, and sign up.


Book Discussion Group:

Saturday August 20, 10:30 AM

Join us to discuss Still Alice by Lisa Genova, DB68429. Our book discussion meetings are always lively, entertaining, and “a must” for book lovers! If you can’t make it here, ask about joining by phone or Skype.


Creative Writing Workshop:

Our workshops in partnership with the New York Writers Coalition (NYWC) are ongoing. Registration is required. For a list of the upcoming class dates and to register please call 212-621-0624 and leave your name and telephone number if there is no answer, or email to register.


Opera Concert Series:

The New York Opera Forum performs complete concert versions of operas with piano accompaniment. Programs with act-by-act plot summaries will be provided in large print and braille.

Saturday, July 23, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The Marriage of Figaro, a bubbly drawing room comedy based on a play that caused a scandal. Described by the Metropolitan Opera as the height of Mozart’s genius.

Saturday, August 27, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Fidelio, Beethoven’s Spain-set political intrigue and romance, including noblewomen disguised as errand boys to find their jailed husbands.



Citizens’ Advisory Council

Saturday, September 17, 11:00 AM – 12 Noon 

We can’t serve you as best as possible without your feedback! Run by you, our patrons, this group meets quarterly to discuss issues, make suggestions on the library’s direction, hear news first, and meet staff.  All ideas and opinions are welcome! Refreshments served.


Foundation Fighting Blindness

Saturdays July 23, August 27, and September 24 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Share experiences, information, and support.


Braille Study Group

Saturdays, 10:00 AM- 12 Noon

Join staff, peers and volunteers who can help you with your braille study plan and assignments and recommend strategies for taking your braille proficiency to the next level. Braille games and activities will help you put your skills into practice.  This study group welcomes blind and sighted learners alike. If you’re not sure how to begin learning braille, we can help you get started. To register, please call 212-621-0627 or email


Introduction to Unified English Braille

Saturday, August 6, 10:00 AM – 12 Noon

The Braille code changed on January 4, 2016! Published materials (including NLS Braille books and textbooks used by New York State students) now use the Unified English Braille code. This interactive workshop will explain what’s new, including important adjustments to contractions, punctuation, formatting and transcription rules. Students, teachers and readers of Braille can participate in this workshop to gain an understanding of what’s changing and why; hands-on experience with the specific changes that will impact most readers; and resources to study and learn more about UEB. Register with or call 212-621-0627.





Want to explore accessible online books and magazines, or use your regular telephone to hear newspapers and read out loud?  Would you like to sign up for Download service (BARD), the NFB-Newsline newspaper program, Bookshare’s digital library, or an NYPL library card? We can help!  Get help with email, blogging, downloading audio books, learning accessible computer games, using the web, using accessibility software, and more. The coaches read with braille and print, use text-to-speech technology, and speak a variety of languages. To make an appointment, call 212-621-0627 or email



We offer group workshops on a range of technology and information literacy topics. Call 212-621-0627 or email to register. Workshops are always free, and you may arrange to participate remotely if you are unable to attend in person. We are also happy to arrange customized workshops about accessible technology and information literacy with your school, community group or organization.


Voiceover and IOS for Beginners Short Course with Ed Plumacher

Tuesdays, August 16, 23, 30; September 6, 13, 20,

5:00 - 6:45 PM

Please sign up for the entire series, which will orient you to your IOS device, from unboxing to getting online, communicating, and organizing your schedule and notes. When registering please let us know if you’ll be bringing your own device or borrowing one of ours.



On the Move: Apps and Websites for Getting Around and Getting Involved

Tuesday, July 12th, 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Learn how to use your mobile device or computer to get directions, discover local businesses along with their products and menus, find out which museums and other cultural attractions have accessible programs, and more. See how your mobile phone or tablet can help you figure out which direction you’re traveling in, what intersections and streets are near you, and what’s printed on signs and information in your environment. Make the most of your city and your world with accessible technology!


Intro to Google Calendar

Wednesday, July 13, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Find out how to use this free calendar for the web, iOS or Android to keep track of appointments, goals and tasks, share your appointments with others, and even organize an online meeting.


Tech Tools for Language Learners

Wednesday, July 20, 12:00 – 2:00 PM

Learn about websites and apps that can support your language-learning journey. You’ll find out how you can take free, self-paced language lessons with Mango Languages or Duolingo; access bilingual dictionaries online; discover entertaining and engaging language-learning podcasts; Use web-based translation tools; and join a language exchange or conversation group.


 iOS and Android Apps for Independence

Tuesday, August 16th, 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Learn about apps that can help you identify currency, recognize barcodes, read print, travel independently, and more.


Accessible Games

Saturday, August 20, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Try out games that work well with low or no vision for the PC, Mac, and iOS. Discover your new favorite word, strategy or card game. Enjoy classics like Chess and Othello, immerse yourself in a first-person role-playing or text adventure game, or match wits with friends in a game of trivia. Feel free to bring your favorites to show and share! (We will run this workshop in a round-robin format so that everyone has a chance to try a variety of games. If you’d like to demonstrate a game and help others learn to play, let us know when you register).


Introduction to Programming with Arduino

Adults: Saturday, August 13, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Ages 10-18: Monday, July 25, 2:00 – 5:00 PM

Learn nonvisual techniques for programming a small, affordable computer to do things in the physical world. Arduino can be used for robotics, controlling home appliances, taking environmental measurements, and much more.


Nonvisual Desktop Access: a Free Screen Reader for Windows

Tuesday, August 30, 5:00 – 6:45 PM

Are you curious about how you could use a Windows computer with low or no vision? Do you wish your computer would read long articles and books out loud for you? Learn about a program, created by a team of blind programmers and freely available to anyone in the world, that will make any Windows PC talk. We’ll cover installation, set-up, basic commands for reading, getting online, and resources for further study.


Intro to GarageBand for Mac with Walei Sabry

Thursday, September 8, 5:00 – 6:45 PM

GarageBand 10 for Mac is a user-friendly digital audio workstation that can be used to compose and edit music. It offers an abundance of software instruments and loops at a relatively affordable price. Come learn how to create a project, add tracks, choose software instruments, record music and share your project. 


Introduction to LinkedIn

Saturday, September 10, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

This professional social network can help you find out who’s hiring, network with colleagues in your field, learn from industry experts, and make it easier for companies who are hiring to find you. Whether you use a smartphone or a computer, you can learn to use LinkedIn effectively with screen reading or magnification software. This workshop will introduce you to LinkedIn basics including creating an account, making connections, finding jobs, communicating professionally, and building an effective profile.


The AT Crowd: A Place to Talk about and Test out New Ideas in Accessible Technology and Design

Saturday, September 17, 1:00 – 3:30 P

Do you have ideas about how the tools you use every day could be better? Are you working on software, hardware, services, or practices in the assistive technology field as a developer, designer, researcher or student?  Would you like to meet other New Yorkers who work, play and live at the intersection of design and disability? Please join us for this quarterly gathering, where users, students and professionals in assistive technology and related fields can share ideas, and exchange feedback about current projects in development. Refreshments will be served.


Intro to Social Networking for Peer Support and Community-Building

Thursday, September 21, 5:00 - 6:45 PM
social networking offers us unprecedented opportunities to share knowledge and experiences. Social networking can also help us learn about events, political changes, and movements affecting people with disabilities around the world. During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to use Facebook and Twitter to give and receive peer support, plan and publicize events, create discussion groups, learn and network around your career and interests. This workshop will focus on social networking and communities of disability, but the strategies you’ll learn can apply to any professional or community interest.




This year’s Summer Reading program is underway! For information on prizes, recommendations, to talk about the books you are enjoying/not enjoying or information about what is going on at the library this summer, e-mail or call 212-621-0622.


Sensory Storytime

Second Wednesday of every month (July 13, August 10, and September 14) at 3:00 PM join us for a Sensory Storytime! Limited to 12 per session. Call the first of the month to register for that month.


Storytimes with Susanna

Fridays July 1 and September 2, 11:15 AM For ages 0-5.


Storytimes with Anthony

Fridays July 8, 15, 22 and 29; August 5, 12, 19, and 26; September 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 11:15 AM.  For ages 0-5.

Introduction to Arduino! See page 13 for our workshop introducing tweens and teens to accessible, beginning coding for electronics.


Navigating Standardized Testing with Marissa Gold

Monday, August 1, 10:00 AM - Noon

Taking the SAT or ACT is a challenge, and understanding the registration, preparation, and accommodations process can be just as difficult.  In this workshop, Marissa will share her view from the field and some strategies she has learned along the way as a school counselor. Students, professionals and families will learn what resources are available, what accommodations are possible and some timelines to be aware of.  By understanding what accommodations are out there, students can be their own best advocates as they contend with the standardized testing web, which can often be confusing if you do not have any directions to follow. Marissa has worked in the field since 2003.



New Talking Book Titles from the Andrew Heiskell Audio Book Studio

Available on cartridge by requesting the DBN number, or download from BARD using the DBC number. Call to order, or use the order form on the last page of this newsletter.


  • Adventures in Immediate Irreality by Max Blecher. DBN 5710 / DBC01389. Blecher’s memoiristic novel sketches the tremulous and exhilarating awakenings of a young man.  2015.
  • Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin.   DBN 5693 / DBC01390 Sarrazin’s novel is about a young woman who escapes prison and lives a life on the lam.  1965.
  • Conversations  by Cesar Aira.  DBN 5706 / DBC01391Cesar Aira weaves the daily conversations between friends that end in an absurd nightmare involving a mutant strain of killer algae.  2007.
  • Django  by Bonnie Christensen.  DBN 5702 / DBC01392
  • Django Reinhardt (1910 – 1953), rose from poverty to become an acclaimed jazz guitarist.  Juvenile Lit, grades 2 -5.  2009.
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor.  DBN 5379 / DBC01393. From a master of the American short story, these span the comic and the tragic as she scrutinizes race, faith, and morality.  1993
  • Gandhi  by Kathryn Tidrick.  DBN 5688  / DBC01394 This portrait of Gandhi explores the social and political context of Gandhi’s life and how his philosophy evolved amid the Indian national movement.  2006
  • Not to Disturb by Muriel Spark.  DBN 5712 /DBC01395 On a winter’s night in a luxurious mansion near Geneva, a twisted murder plot unfolds. 1971
  • Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker. DBN 5701 / DBC01396 An inspiring portrait of a young boy who became one of the piano jazz greats. Juvenile Lit, grades 2-8.   2008
  • Soldier Box:  Why I Won’t Return to the War on Terror by Joe Glenton. DBN 5709 / DBC01397. An account of the author’s deployment to Afghanistan and his disillusion with what he felt was unjust war.  2013
  • The Bachelors by Muriel Spark.  DBN 5708 / DBC01398 A group of British bachelors find their cozy world suddenly shattered when they discover they are the target of blackmail and fraud.  1960
  • The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark.   DBN 5704 / DBC01399 A farcical tale of working-class London and a visitor who may be in league with the Devil.   1960
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann.   DBN 5714  / DBC01400 Ullmann’s short stories are set in the Swiss countryside where the archaic and modern collide. 2007
  • The Strange Case of Rachel K by Rachel Kushner.   DBN 5711 / DBC01401. Three pieces portray a vision of Cuba that is brutal and beautiful. 2015
  • The Trace by Forrest Gander.   DBN 5697 / DBC01402
  • A   couple embarks on a road trip through the vast Chihuahua Desert where they encounter love, hate, and Mexican drug dealers.  2014
  • Use Me by Elissa Schappell.      DBN 5690 / DBC01403 Ten stories from the life of a young woman.  2000

Holidays and Closings:

The library will be closed for the following holidays:

·        Saturday – Monday, July 2 - 4 for Independence Day

·        Saturday – Monday, September 3 - 5, for Labor Day

On days we are closed, you may still leave a voicemail or email us and we will get to it after the holiday.