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Upstate Update

Your Source for New York State Talking Book and Braille Library News


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In This Issue:

A Message from the Director

Braille on Demand

Updates to Talking Book Topics (TBT)

Welcome New Reader Advisor, Quinn

Magazine Updates

NLS Patron Corner

NLS Music Section

TBBL Staff Picks

TBBL Hours and Contact Info:

Monday through Friday,

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Reader advisors are available between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3688

Fax: (518) 474-7041

[email protected]

Visit our Website
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A Message from Shawn Lemieux, Director

Welcome to the NYS Talking Book and Braille Library’s Upstate Update! We’ve updated our format with this latest newsletter to make the content more accessible. We’ll continue to include information and updates about our services using the newsletter and our website.

The Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) is part of a network of libraries that serve people who have low vision, no vision, or a physical or print disability that can be temporary or permanent. We serve New York State, except New York City and Long Island. Service to those areas is provided by the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. We loan free digital talking books and equipment and braille books mailed to your home via the United States Postal Service at no cost. We also offer a free downloading service that can be used with a PC, Android, Apple iOS device, or a recent version of the Kindle Fire.

National Library Service logo that includes "National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled."


The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) has launched Braille-on-Demand as part of its braille modernization initiative. This project invites active Talking Book and Braille Library patrons to receive up to five hard-copy braille books per month to keep.

Requested titles must be available in electronic braille on BARD, NLS’ Braille and Audio Reading Download service. Contact TBBL at 1-800-342-3688 if you need assistance completing the request form or have any questions about this pilot. 

Complete the NLS Braille on Demand Request Form

Updates to Talking Book Topics (TBT)

We have a couple updates to share about Talking Book Topics!

This Winter, readers may see richer and more extensive descriptions provided directly from the publishers. The NLS hopes this helps patrons find titles that interest them. Unfortunately, due to ongoing paper shortages and increased printing costs, NLS has made the difficult decision to cease production of its large-print publications.

View TBT Updates

Welcome New Reader Advisor, Quinn

TBBL would like to welcome Quinn, the newest Reader Advisor to our team! 

My name is Quinn. I started on September 1, and I love the atmosphere here at TBBL. I have been a patron since I was a tiny tot of six years old. I’m an avid braille reader. It’s always been my dream to work at TBBL to assist others to enjoy books. Actually, my dream was to work hands-on with braille books because I like reading the book titles, and I wouldn’t be able to read those on a standard printed book. I learned that a good number of TBBL patrons are audio listeners instead of braille users.

I graduated from The College of St. Rose with a degree in both English and psychology. Along with books, I cherish cats, playing Scrabble, my family and my sign language interpreters, who are also my friends.

You know the saying about laughter being the best medicine? I say reading is the best medicine. I’m delighted to be assisting with patron requests.

Learn more about borrowing Books from TBBL!

Magazine Updates

Magazines are available to be delivered through the US mail to your home address, or you may download issues in electronic braille or audio format from BARD. Check out new titles and enroll!

View TBBL's Magazine Updates

NLS Patron Corner

The NLS Patron Engagement Section (PES) will host a series of informational sessions through its new Patron Corner. The Patron Corner offers programs and resources to help enhance your library experience. Quarterly sessions share information around a specific topic and provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about library services directly from NLS staff.

NLS Music Section

In addition to the Patron Corner, the NLS Music Section will start hosting a quarterly virtual event where patrons can learn in depth about selected music topics. Beginning in the spring, the quarterly Music Notes Meeting will occur on the fourth Tuesday of the first month of each quarter, at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. The 2023 sessions will be on April 25, July 25, and October 24.

Learn more about PES services and the Patron Corner!
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Staff Picks for a Fresh Start in 2023

Are you looking for a new book to read in 2023? Our library staff have put together a list for you about fresh starts. Our list includes romance novels, non-fiction topics, bestsellers, mysteries and much more.

Find a book to start off 2023!

Click Here to View This Newsletter as a Webpage

The NYS Talking Book and Braille Library newsletter is delivered to your email three times a year. Upstate Update is viewable as Word document and available in HTML format on our website. If you are having trouble accessing the newsletter, please contact our library. To learn more about Upstate Update and read past newsletters, please visit our TBBL Newsletter page.