Sightlines from Central Rappahannock Regional Library
Summer 2021
What’s New?
What a busy spring it was here at Access Services! We’re happy to say all the presentations we shared at Talking Books went well. You can find a recording of the Lunch and Learn presentation, featuring a discussion of Talking Books and BARD, at You can also find recordings from the Virtual Blindness Resource Fair, co-hosted by five of Virginia’s Talking Book libraries, at the Virginia Beach Public Library YouTube channel.

Access Services Assistant Katie Neal--who helps check in and check out all those books--would like to remind everyone to please avoid writing notes on the white boxes that cartridges come in, as that can damage the box. Instead, please write the note on a slip of paper or the back of the name card and put that inside the box. You can also call or email us.
National Library Service Celebrates 90 Years of Talking Books
This year is the 90th anniversary of Talking Books! In honor of that, the National Library Service is hosting events all year long. These include messages from Congress, the Librarian of Congress, and the Director of the National Library Service as well as events like concerts. You can find all of the event information and links to recordings at 90th anniversary page also offers a historical perspective on Talking Books, including a timeline marking significant events and articles on the role World War One-blinded veterans played in the founding of the National Library Service.
National Library Service updates BARD and Talking Books Certification Requirements
There are several groups of people who qualify for BARD and Talking Books services. These include those who are blind, deaf-blind, and visually handicapped; as well as those who have a limited ability to read due to physical disability (such as extreme weakness, missing limbs, or an inability to focus) and those with print/reading disabilities such as dyslexia or dysgraphia.

In the past, Talking Book librarians have had a limited ability to certify these groups for service, but that has changed. We can now certify everyone who qualifies. Because of that, we’d like to encourage you to help us spread the word. If you know someone who qualifies, and might find Talking Books or BARD helpful, send them our way!
Summer Reading: Reading Colors Your World
Summer Reading runs June 1-August 31. Talking Books members with CRRL library cards are welcome to participate, as all Talking Books read during Summer Reading count as part of the challenge. If you live in CRRL’s service area and don’t have a library card, or a county with which we have a reciprocal borrowing agreement, you can get one at Your library card barcode will be emailed to you and your physical card will be mailed to you.

Participants can enter into raffle drawings for weekly prizes and end-of-summer grand prizes, earning tickets with each book logged. This year Braille prizes will also be available for those in Grades K-5 and Grades 6-8, and large print and audiobook prizes available for adults. Visit or call Babak at (540) 372-1144, extension 7054 to register.
Braille Books and Games
Did you know we are starting a circulating Braille collection? The items will live with Talking Books at the Library Administration Center, and will be made available for checkout through CRRL’s catalog. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how that goes, and we look forward to helping spread knowledge about Braille though the area.

If you have gently used, still in good condition Braille books and assistive items (except for old equipment) that you’re looking to donate, then you’re welcome to contact us at Talking Books to do so. The CRRL Friends of the Library also offers sales of large print titles and audiobooks (some on cassette, some on CD). You can learn more about them at
Virtual Memory Cafe
The Talking Books staff join CRRL staff in offering a quarterly Memory Cafe for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. This quarter, Memory Cafe will be summer-themed, and will be held on Friday, June 11, 10:30-12:00. Join the webinar by visiting or by calling +1 402-645-1252 and entering PIN 351 833 522.
Lunch and Learn
CRRL has developed a free, virtual class series called “Lunch and Learn,” where people can explore new ideas and interests during their lunch break. Classes are held Fridays, 12:00-1:00. You can join at No Facebook account needed.

This summer there are two sessions that may be of particular interest:

June 18, 12:00-1:00 - Join CRRL librarians and the Alzheimer Association to learn more about the basics of dementia and Alzheimer’s, a disease with global impact affecting more than twenty-one million individuals and caregivers in the United States

June 25, 12:00-1:00 - Join CRRL Librarians and the Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg for a demo of Chair Yoga, a supportive and accessible yoga class with the use of a chair. Poses will include both sitting and standing with an emphasis on mobility, stability, strength, and balance. Class will include meditation and breathing exercises and is accessible for all experience levels.
Sightlines Book Group (was Talking Book Group)
We've opened the book club to all who can attend virtually! As part of this we've renamed the book club the Sightlines Book Club, and are currently in the process of figuring out what day and time works best for everyone to meet. And we’d love your advice! What time works best for you? Would you be interested in meeting more frequently--monthly, instead of quarterly? Would you like a special email reminder of Book Club events?

If you have any thoughts on this change, or want to know more, please contact Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin. Access Services is hoping that any further changes related to the book club will be announced in the 2021 Fall Sightlines, which will be coming in August.
We’ll be reading What You Wish For by Katherine Center (DB 99569).

What You Wish For follows Samantha Casey, a school librarian hoping her new job at a new school in Texas will give her a second chance at life. Then Duncan Carpenter--who Samantha knew from her old life in California--is hired as the new school principal. This news brings mixed feelings for Samantha, who thinks it’s great for the school but horrible for her. Life has changed Duncan too though, and as the situation spirals out of control, both have to figure out who they are and, more importantly, who they are to each other.
An uplifting summer romance by a New York Times-bestselling author, What You Wish For has received great praise for its timely message on what it means to choose joy in harsh times.

We will be discussing this book virtually on Thursday, July 15, from 11:30-12:30 using Google Meet, which has been recommended by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is considered an accessible platform. Join the discussion by visiting or by calling +1 304-402-6161 and entering PIN ‪347 858 750‬#
Best Sellers
Fiction Bestsellers
  • Writers and Lovers by Lily King (DB 98766)
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (DB 98798)
  • The Numbers Game by Danielle Steel (DB 98732)
  • Long Range by C.J. Box (DB 98717)
  • The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (DB 98888)
Nonfiction Bestsellers
  • Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (That Go a Long Way) by Barbara Bush (DB 98970)
  • Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich (DB 98854)
  • More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys (DB 98906) 
  • Open Book: A Memoir by Jessica Simpson (DB 98656)
  • The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable (DB 98912)
Sightlines Archive
We’ve heard from some of you who normally get Sightlines on cartridges that it’s been rough getting it as pandemic delays have impacted both the making and receiving of cartridges. We deeply empathize, and appreciate hearing that you’ve been looking forward to getting Sightlines.

While older editions are available at, both as playable sound files and as downloadable files that screen readers can read, we thought we’d reshare here a few highlights from our past few editions to help you feel up to date:

  • CRRL's Library Express service is ongoing, which includes curbside service and limited inside branch services. Visit for more details.
  • CRRL’s IdeaSpace: Making+Media opened December 17! Located at 1616 Princess Anne Street Suite B in Fredericksburg, IdeaSpace features a recording studio, 3D printers, a laser cutter, and other high-tech equipment. CRRL customers can make appointments for brief tours by emailing or calling 540-372-1144.
  • NLS is developing new Talking Book players, including a smartphone player that can access both BARD and Talking Books wirelessly and two eBraille readers developed with help from Zoomax and Humanware. They are expected to be available within the next 2-3 years, but NLS promises they won’t stop delivery by mail anytime soon.
  • NLS has also begun adding international titles in keeping with the Marrakesh Treaty to “facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.” These new books will begin with the prefix DBG.
  • To solve mail delivery challenges we suggest that you speak with your mail courier, who can give you the best update and, if necessary, help you make accessibility arrangements like applying for Hardship status. 
  • BARD is the same service as Talking Books, only instead of a separate player it works off a smartphone or device. If you are a Talking Books user and have an email address, you can contact Babak and he can enroll you in it. There are training videos available on YouTube about how to use BARD. These videos are narrated by National Library Services Consumer Relations Officer Judy Dixon (who is herself blind). You can learn more, and find the links to the training video playlists, at

We hope these highlights help you to feel caught up!
Holidays and Next Sightlines
Our department will be closed on May 30 and 31 for Memorial Day; June 19 for Juneteenth; and July 4 and 5 for Independence Day. The next Sightlines will come out in August.
Contact Us

For book reservations, to share a review, or for more information, contact Access Services Librarian Babak Zarin at 540-372-1144 extension 7054; toll free at 1-800-628-4807, or email
Please share this information with those who you feel may benefit.

If you receive Sightlines on a cartridge, please return the cartridge after listening to Sightlines.
Inspiring lifelong learning for everyone in our community.
Serving Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, Virginia.