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NewsLion Spring 2017


Spring 2017 NewsLion Audio (mp3)

Spring 2017 NewsLion



New: Early Braille and Tactile Literacy Kits!

Early literacy skills differ but are just as important for children with low vision or blindness. In order to help families understand the importance of independent literacy and provide them the tools to start on that road, the Andrew Heiskell Library is launching a line of circulating kits available to anyone with an NYPL library card.

Kits provide the materials to lead children or anyone getting ready to learn braille through steps of tactile awareness, pattern matching, line tracking, braille recognition, alphabet learning, and inclusive activities and games, while teaching the importance of books, pictures, and braille for independence.  Kits are aimed at families, teachers, early interventionists, and service providers, but available to all. Note that you will need to get a New York Public Library card and then can reserve the kit to be picked up at any NYPL branch for a 3-week loan. We are currently not mailing them.

Kit A contains information for caregivers, including “because books matter,” because pictures matter”, “just enough to know better” and two brailled board books, one with fingerplay nursery rhymes and one with touch and feel textures to share with little ones. (Kit F is a supplement containing the caregiver information in braille.) Kit B focuses on touch with pattern recognition, children’s books with tactile images, embossing, and shapes, and tactile mazes. Kit C introduces braille with alphabet and counting cards, and braille practice toys along with a print/braille  and tactile longer book. Kit D has 2 contracted braille books with embossing or tactile tracking.  Kit E has Squid braille and tactile activities magazine, a tactile atlas, accessible card games and a fun longer braille/print & tactile book with weird facts and records. Contact Anthony for more information: 212-621-0622.




  • Beware of overcharging your talking books player (the digital machine). It is ideal to only charge your player for up to two and a half hours at a time.  Try not to leave it plugged in overnight or for extended periods. We know this information keeps changing as we get different kinds of batteries, and we apologize for any confusion!


  • If your battery suddenly won’t hold a charge, let it sit at room-temperature for two days and try again.


  • Magazine cartridges are now being sent out with their order forms in a cardboard mailer. These are to be returned separately - the cartridge is auto-addressed on the container itself (no more mailing card) and just needs to be dropped in the mail to go back to Maryland. The order form is pre-printed with Heiskell’s address and can be mailed as-is too.


  • If you get a book cartridge that suddenly says “end of book” or “error” otherwise find the cartridge damaged, please wrap a rubber band around it before re-inserting it in the case to return to us. That will let us know we need to fix it! You can also call for a replacement.




“See for Yourself 2017”: Long Island’s Assistive Technology and Resource Fair for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Friday, May 5. Open House between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, at the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in Bellport, NY 11713

This event will provide hands-on demonstrations of the current technologies for people living with vision loss. In addition to the assistive technology vendors, the fair will have representatives from a variety of state and county agencies and non-profit service providers. Admission is FREE!! We recommend that you give yourself about an hour and a half to visit all of the exhibitors. Note: We do not provide transportation. If you have questions about the fair, please call 631-286-1600 and ask for Outreach Services.


City Services Day!

Thursday April 13, 12:00 Noon to 3:00 PM

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library invite you to our second City Services Day. Learn about the work that New York City is doing to serve the blind and low vision community, including digital accessibility, housing and rental assistance programs, accessible way finding and adaptive sports. This 3 hour event will feature presentations from city agencies including The Human Resources Administration, Housing Preservation and Development, Parks and Recreation, Emergency Management, and more.


Opera Concert Series

Saturday June 10, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.    

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.


Book Discussion Group:

Andrew Heiskell’s Book Discussion Group meets at 10:30 AM on Saturdays every other month.  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.

Join us: Saturday, April 8, to discuss Crisis by Robin Cook, DB63197 and Saturday, June 10, to discuss Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, DB77188.


Creative Writing Workshop

Saturdays, 2:00 PM

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 you get started. To register, please call (212) 621-0627 or email


Citizens’ Advisory Council

Saturdays April 1June 311:00 AM

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 and refreshments will be served.


Foundation Fighting Blindness

Saturdays April 22May 13June 24.  10:30 AM

Meet for support, information, and action planning.


Stargardts Group:

Saturday, May 2010:30 AM to 12 Noon

Please join us for support, networking, and shared experiences!


Guide Dog Users of New York

Saturday April 112:00 Noon to 2:00 PM



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 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! Volunteer tech coaches are available to assist new and experienced computer users. 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 a coaching 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 for any of these workshops so that we may anticipate the size and needs of each group. Workshops are always free, and you may arrange to participate remotely if you are unable to attend in person. In addition to the workshops listed here, we are happy to arrange customized workshops about accessible technology and information literacy.


Tech Tools for Language Learners

Wednesday April 12, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Find out about web-based tools and apps that can help you on your language-learning journey. We’ll include translation tools and translation dictionaries, Mango Languages and Duolingo language learning platforms, and podcasts and ebooks.


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

Thursday April 20th, 3:00 PM - 4:45 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. Make the most of your city!


Introduction to Programming with Arduino

Saturday April 29, 11:00 AM – 4:00 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.


IOS and Android Apps for Independence

Tuesday May 2, 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.


Switching to NVDA: what screen reader users should know

Saturday May 13, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Are you a screen reader user who’s curious about this free, open-source alternative? Get answers to your questions about the switch. We’ll cover how commands are similar or different; available speech engines; compatibility with popular programs; and how to install and configure NVDA.


Accessible Gaming for iOS

Thursday May 25, 5:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Check out games that can be played with low or no vision: card, word, action, trivia games and more!


Social Networking for Peer Support and Community-Building

Tuesday June 13, 5:00 PM - 6:45 PM

From starting a book group to planning a birthday to getting to know professionals in your field, social networking can help you connect, share experiences, and learn. It can also help us learn of political changes, and movements affecting people with disabilities. During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to use Facebook and Twitter for peer support, to plan and publicize events, create discussion groups, and network around your career and interests.


Travel Planning and Trip Management with Accessibility in Mind

Thursday June 29, 5:00 PM - 6:45 PM

If you are blind or visually impaired and tired of depending on others to find you a deal or book flights and hotels, then this workshop is for you. We will cover accessible mobile apps and websites that are designed to save you money, and give you tips and tricks for maximizing your independence and fun while away. Discussion is encouraged so bring your travel stories!



Storytimes with Anthony or Susanna,

Fridays at 11:15 AM.  For ages 0-5.




Use DBN# to request digital cartridge from the library. Use DBC# when downloading title from BARD.

Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov. A stylish man abandons his wife for a mistress one-third his age.  He loved and was not loved, his life ends in despair. DBN 5162  DBC 08584

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li. In this collection of short stories, Yiyun Li reveals the drama hidden beneath the seemingly placid lives of the characters who occupy her landscapes. DBN 5490   DBC 08585

The King by Kader Abdolah. Kader Abdolah takes us on a journey to Persia in the midst of historical change and ruthless palace intrigue circa 1848.  DBN 5621  DBC 08586

The Mulberry Bush by Charles McCarry. In Buenos Aires, an American spy meets the beautiful daughter of an Argentinean revolutionary and is caught in a web of passion and revenge. DBN 5705   DBC 08587

Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck. In a forested property outside of Berlin, the stories of twelve inhabitants create a literary mosaic of 20th century Germany. DBN 5713  DBC 08588

The Edge of the Horizon by Antonio Tabucchi. A body of a young man is delivered to a morgue.  His name is Carlo Nobodi, which sets the morgue attendant on an obsessive journey to discover the identity of the corpse. DBN 5715  DBC 08589

a Cat, a Man, & Two Women by Junichiro Tanizaki. Tanizaki’s novella takes its place as one of the most important works of Japanese cat fiction. DBN 5716   DBC 08590

Kami and the Yaks by Andrea Stenn Stryer. In the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, a deaf Sherpa boy proves himself to his family by rescuing the family’s yaks.  Juvenile Fiction. DBN 5717   DBC 08591

Nickel Mountain by John Gardner. Rural eccentrics populate Gardner’s uncommon love story set in a Catskill community in the 1950’s. DBN 5718  DBC 08592

The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken. In an intricate game of conspiracy and mistaken identity, a man is threatened with the erasure of his past and his self. DBN 5719  DBC 08593

The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia by Sal Polisi and Steve Dougherty. In his insider’s memoir, wiseguy Polisi takes us on an exhilarating journey through Mafia history. DBN 5720  DBC 08594

Paris Nocturne by Patrick Modiano. In Paris, a teenage boy is hit by a car whose driver he vaguely recalls having met before. Dream and memory intersect in this spellbinding novel. DBN 5721  DBC 08595

Saving Baby Doe by Danette Viglante. Two teens find an abandoned baby girl at a construction site and are determined to protect her.  Young Adult Fiction. DBN 5722  DBC 08596

Counternarratives by John Keene. Keene’s stories and novellas challenge our notion of what constitutes “real” or “accurate” history. DBN 5723  DBC 08597

The Execution by Hugo Wilcken. In this psychological thriller, Wilcken comments on the superficiality of modern life. DBN 5724   DBC 08598

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov. After Sebastian’s death, his half-brother sets out to find out just who the famous novelist was. DBN 5725 DBC 08599



The library will be closed for the following holiday:

  ●  Memorial Day (observed), May 27-2