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NewsLion Winter 2017


Winter 2016 NewsLion Audio (mp3)

NewsLion Winter 2017




Did you know that the Andrew Heiskell Library has a very large collection of browse-able, circulating braille books available for walk-in use and check-out?  The collection is on our second floor, open to the public, with reading tables and an outdoor balcony in the warmer months, so anyone can stop by to do research, or just for some leisure reading of books for all ages, on all topics, both fiction and non-fiction.  Stop by and check out this notable feature of our library.

Are you having trouble getting into BARD, the website where you can download our talking books?  Many times, we find that patrons just need a simple password reset, so, we thought we’d include the easy steps to re-setting your BARD password.  All you have to do is go to:  and click “reset my password.” Then, simply type your BARD log-in ID into the box provided.  Your BARD log-in ID will be the email address you use for BARD. Then click “Submit”.  A new temporary password will be sent to that e-mail address.

Reminder: We offer free memberships to Bookshare, a collection of 500,000 books, which will read aloud on a computer or mobile device and provide accompanying text. Go to for more information and call us for the promo code.


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.  Join us on these Saturdays for performances from 1:00 – 4:00 PM:

January 28: Hänsel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

February 25: Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.

March 18: Götterdämmerung (Prologue and Act 1) by Richard Wagner.


Book Discussion Group

Saturday, February 11, 10:30 AM

Please join Andrew Heiskell’s Book Discussion Group to discuss A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren, DB78668.  Our book discussion meetings are always lively, entertaining, and “a must” for book lovers! If you can’t make it to the meetings, ask about participating 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, simply email to register.


Braille Study Group

Saturdays, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Wednesdays, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

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. To register: 212-621-0627 or


Citizens’ Advisory Council

Saturday, January 7, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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, hear news first, and meet staff.  All ideas and opinions are welcome and refreshments will be served.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Saturdays January 28, February 25, and March 25, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Come network and support FFB.



Individual Technology Coaching

Want to explore accessible online books and magazines, or use your regular telephone to hear newspapers and magazines read out loud? Would you like to sign up for our book Download service (BARD), the NFB-Newsline newspaper program, or Bookshare’s digital library? We can help! Volunteer coaches are available to assist new and experienced computer users. Get help with email, blogging, downloading audio books, accessible computer games, accessibility software, and more. The coaches read with braille and print, use text-to-speech technology, and speak several languages. To make an appointment: 212-621-0627 or


Technology Workshops

We offer group workshops on a range of topics. Call 212-621-0627 or email to register for any of these workshops. Workshops are free, and you may arrange to participate remotely if you can’t attend in person. We are also happy to arrange customized workshops for your needs.


Introduction to Programming with Arduino

Saturday January 7, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Thursday March 16, 2:00 PM – 6:45 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.


Web Searching for Screen Reader Users

Monday, January 9, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Learn how to use Google, Bing, or other search engines to find information online. This workshop will focus on how to craft an effective search and navigate the results with your screen reader. We’ll also talk about specialized searches for recipes, news, and videos.


Creative coding with P5.js

Saturday February 4, 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Are you a screenreader user interested in creative coding? Learn how to create accessible and interactive visualizations and sound pieces using P5.js, a powerful web-based creative coding language. This workshop will introduce the concepts behind creative coding and nonvisual techniques for creating visual and tonal output with P5.


Web Design with Pode

Saturday February 11, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Learn to design web pages with Pode, a simple web editor for beginners who use assistive technology. This workshop will include an intro to HTML, CSS and Javascript, getting started with Github and creating an interactive web page.


Voiceover and IOS for Beginners Short Course: Mobile Devices and Tablets

Tuesdays from 5:15 to 6:45 PM as follows: January 17, 24; February 7, 14, 21; March 7, 14, 21

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.


Voiceover and Mac Short Course: Computers

Tuesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 PM as follows: January 17, 24; February 7, 14, 21; March 7, 14, 21

Learn the basics of the Mac operating system, along with its built-in screen reader. Please sign up for the entire short course. When you register, let us know whether you’ll be bringing a Mac or learning with ours.



Thursday, January 26, 12:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Help make video on the web more accessible for blind viewers by adding your voice to DescribeAthon17. Amateur and professional describers all over the world will participate in a day of description. Volunteers will describe as many YouTube videos of as many kinds as possible in a single day. Join us either from your own home or workplace, or by gathering with other volunteers at one of the in-person meetups, including one at the Andrew Heiskell Library. Volunteers will use YouDescribe – a free, online tool for recording and playing audio description for any YouTube video. It’s easy and fun, and raises awareness about the need for more described video. Join us and help make the web a safer place for accessible video! Sign up and learn more at


NVDA: a Free Screen Reader for Windows

Thursday, February 16, 5:00 PM – 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 getting help.


Intro to GarageBand

Saturday February 18, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

GarageBand 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.


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

Tuesday, February 21, 5:00 PM – 6:45 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.


IOS and Android Apps for Independence

Tuesday March 14, 5:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Learn about apps on your smartphone or tablet that can help you read text, identify objects, organize paper money, find out what businesses and streets are nearby, and more.


The AT Crowd: a Place to Talk About and Test New Ideas in Accessible Technology

Saturday March 18, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

This quarterly gathering is a chance for designers, developers and students of accessible technology to network with assistive technology users. Come try out accessible apps and services, share your ideas, and help shape the future of inclusive technology.


Online Shopping with Accessibility in Mind

Saturday, March 25, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Online shopping can be a challenge when you use assistive technology, but it can also be accessible and convenient. Learn about shopping sites and apps that work well with screen readers, including options for household products, accessible tools and gifts, and grocery delivery.



Storytimes with Anthony

Fridays at 11:15 AM.  For ages 0-5.



This season, we asked NYPL staff member and veteran Daniel Landsman to suggest three books for other vets. Here you go!:


Fives and Twenty-Fives  by Michael Pitre.  Written by a separated Marine officer, this book captures the feelings of a recently discharged veteran trying to rejoin the civilian world.  A secondary protagonist is the author's Iraqi interpreter (and friend) who is trying to flee Iraq during the Arab Spring.  Very cathartic and written fairly recently. DB79901


Redeployment by Phil Klay.  Exceptional collection of short stories mostly taking place in Iraq, and coming home from Iraq, from various soldier/Marine points of view.  Won many awards.  Also extremely cathartic for a vet recently returned home. DB78988


Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger.  Another NYPL employee and veteran highly recommended this.  Sebastian Junger is a well-known war correspondent with serious credibility.  DB84696



The library will be closed for the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (observed): January 2
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: January 16
  • Presidents’ Day: February 20

On days we are closed, you may leave a phone message or email us and we’ll get back to you after the holiday.



Our annual Fall Fair on Saturday, October 15, drew 280 people! If you have any comments about our Fall Fairs, please let us know! 212-206-5400 or talkingbooks@nypl.or