Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Upcoming Event: FREE Teleconferences!

Free Teleconferences Focus on Healthy Living and Financial Literacy

Contributed by Ashley Biggs, Marketing & Outreach Librarian 

Man sitting on bench listing to phone; teleconference series, partnered with UME

The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) and the University of Maryland Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences department are pleased to announce that they will jointly host a yearlong teleconference initiative focused on healthy living and financial literacy.

The Family and Consumer Sciences division of the University of Maryland Extension Office focuses on strengthening families, communities, and the economy by focusing on the importance of food, agriculture, health, and financial education.

Examples of upcoming teleconferences include, but are not limited to:
  • Intuitive Eating: A Non-Diet Approach to Health
  • Cancer Prevention through Nutrition
  • Vitamin D: What You Need to Know
  • Superfoods for the Brain
  • Understanding Your Financial Health

These programs are free and open to the public; however, registration is required. The teleconference number, event materials, and other items will be sent to the email address used at the time of registration. 

Visit http://bit.ly/LBPHTelCon for more information. 

The first of these events is:

Intuitive Eating: A Non-Diet Approach to Health

January 8, 2020, at 6:30 PM; 

Each New Year, we tend to make a renewed commitment to diet and exercise. We hit the gym every day...until we miss one afternoon...and then another...and then another. We deprive ourselves of our favorite foods only to be invited to a holiday party where resisting temptation is nearly impossible... Join Erin Jewell as she introduces a new approach to your health that focuses less on militant diet and exercise and more on actively connecting with your body. Learn how to reframe your focus from negative thoughts about eating and exercise to finding satisfaction with some of your favorite foods and enjoyment of how your body moves.  Register here: http://bit.ly/UMETelCon

The conference call number, access code, and any materials will be sent to the email address used for registration. 

Please contact Ashley Biggs, Marketing & Outreach Librarian: Ashley.Biggs1@maryland.gov | 410-230-2430 with questions.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Tween/Teen Thursday!

Hot Reads for Cold Days!

Teens jumping; youth services; book, events, and more...

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

December 21st, is the first day of winter.  Reading some great winter reads, will help stave off the chill.  Here are some great picks.

Young Adult

Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
DB084361 (audio)
More than a century after a catastrophic disaster wiped out most of humanity and covered much of the earth with ice, fifteen-year-old Cass yields to the voice in her head urging her to embark on a dangerous journey across a poisoned sea to the mythical land, Blue.

After the Snow

S.D. Crockett
DB075997 (audio)
Fifteen-year-old Willo and his family are "stragglers," independent homesteaders who reject the repressive government that seized control after a new ice age brought an era of scarcity. When his family vanishes from their home, Willo sets out to find--or avenge—them.

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod
Gary Paulsen
DB043280 (audio)
Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on.

Shadow & Bone (Book 1)
Leigh Bardugo
DB075094 (audio)
After exhibiting new-found powers during an attack on her convoy, Alina Starkov is taken from her post as a lowly assistant cartographer--and away from her only friend, Mal--to become the protégée of the mysterious and deadly Darkling. Some violence. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2012

Grades K-3

John Rocco
BR021045 (Braille)
After a massive blizzard, a boy becomes a hero when he manages to walk to the local store and bring supplies back to his neighborhood, which has been snowed in for days. PRINT/BRAILLE.

Snowflake Bentley
Jacqueline Briggs Martin
DBC08707 (download audio)
BR012032 (Print/Braille)
A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations. 

Upcoming Events

Maryland Regional Braille Challenge

Braille is an important key to literacy! It allows for the enjoyment of reading, leads to school success, and opens the doors to future employment. Each year in February, students who read braille in grade Pre-K through grade 12 are invited to participate in the Maryland Regional Braille Challenge reading and writing contests. Parents are invited to participate in workshops about current topics related to visual impairment, the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) and education, while students are taking the tests. Teachers and school staff are invited to assist with test proctoring and scoring and helping to facilitate the day.

Students whose test scores qualify for the National Braille Challenge will be invited to compete at the annual competition which is held at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, CA each June. 

Save the Date: the 2020 Maryland Braille Challenge will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020

See 2020 MD Braille Challenge Flyer for more information
Register for the Maryland Braille Challenge by completing this 2020 MD Braille Challenge Registration Packet and this  2020 MD Braille Challenge Permission Form.

Enter the Student MDBC Creative Writing Contest

For more information, contact:
Jackie Otwell
410.444.5000, ext. 1488 | 

Enoch Pratt Library Poetry Contest

Maryland poets, this FREE contest is for YOU!  If you are a Maryland resident age 18 and older and enjoy writing, submit your work to the Enoch Pratt Free Library.  Rules are listed below.

  • Paid or volunteer staff of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Little Patuxent Review and their immediate families are not eligible, nor are previous Pratt Library Poetry Contest first-place winners.
  • Please send only one original poem, on any theme and in any form, for consideration.
  • Your entry must be unpublished, either in print or on the Web, including personal blogs, Facebook, or Twitter. It cannot be currently under review for possible publication. 
  • Your entry must not exceed 100 lines.
  • Submit your typed entry as a Microsoft Word attachment by e-mail to contest@prattlibrary.org or by mail to:
Poetry Contest, Fiction Department
Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201-4484.
  • Entries received after Sunday, March 1, 2020, will be disqualified.
  • Please submit your name, address, phone number, and a brief biography on a separate page. Please do not put your name, address, phone number, or biography on the entry itself. Our judges will see only the poem.
  • Confirmation of receipt and comments on your entry will not be provided, nor will your entry be returned to you. These rules are also available on the contest page, where an announcement of the winner will be posted in mid-April: www.prattlibrary.org/poetrycontest

The winning poem will be published in Little Patuxent Review, enlarged for display in a Central Library window and celebrated at a public reading at the Library.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Technology User Group: Important Information

Technology User Group: Important Information

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

TUG boiler plate

Change is coming to the Technology User Group for 2020

Beginning on January 11, 2020, and running through December 12, The Technology User Group will be doing presentations from LBPH in Baltimore.  In addition, patrons can call in by phone so to listen in and enjoy the guest speakers and demonstrations.

Upcoming Technology User Group Presentations

January 11:  
Understanding 3D Audio and a look at the Amazon Echo Studio

February 8:  
A Quick Look at New Streaming Video services such as Disney Plus and Apple Plus

March 14:   
A Presentation by OrCam

All presentations will begin at 10 AM and last about 90 minutes


If you have any questions, contact jerry.price1@maryland.gov for more information. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Thank you for Hosting Braille Bettie

Thank you for Hosting Braille Bettie

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

During the month of October, Braille Bettie traveled across the state visiting schools, libraries, organizations, and even outdoor spaces.  It has been a blast and the support has been enormous.  The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped wants to thank all those who participated and advocated for “Braille Literacy” across the state.   A special thank you to the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. We shall continue to encourage and raise awareness of reading for ALL!  #ReadBrailleMD.

Please enjoy this "thank you" video! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tech Tips: Four Finger Tap

Tech Tips: Four Finger Tap

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

Phone open to messenger setting

One of the more challenging gestures for using Voiceover is the four-finger tap.  Of course, you do not have to use four fingers on one hand but can use two fingers from both hands as long as there is a total of four.

  • Four-finger tap near the top of the screen:  Selects the first item on the screen
  • Four-finger tap near the bottom of the screen:  Selects the last item on the screen
  • Four Finger double-tap:  Starts and stops help.

For more great tips like this, subscribe to this blog or email Jerry Price to be added to his Tech Talk newsletter. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Marylandia Collection: Update

Marylandia Collection: Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Collection Development Librarian

Marylandia Boiler Plate

The Marylandia Collection is produced by the LBPH Recording Studio. This collection includes books by Maryland authors and select regional authors and books of particular interest to Marylanders.  The Marylandia Collection is available for download through Braille & Audio Reading Download (BARD).  

Spy, Espionage - Fiction

DBC12467 – Forever Vulnerable, by Donald Helm
Narrated by John Breuer

Four Russian deep sleeper agents who have resided undetected in the United States for over twenty years are suddenly called upon by their government. The shock to the families is enormous as their lives are instantly turned upside down. The men, separated from their loved ones, are ordered to the eastern shore of Maryland where a Russian Major greets them and thus begins a series of events that will cause the reader to rethink how vulnerable our nation may be.  

Monday, December 2, 2019

MAT Program: Update

MAT Program: Update

Contributed by Joseph Beckett, Program Coordinator for MAT

MAT Program boiler plate: girl looking at camera; text states MAT provides accessible college textbooks to Maryland students

The Maryland Accessible Textbook program (MAT) is pleased to announce that it is positioned to extend services to the many print disabled military veterans attending Maryland colleges and universities. MAT’s recent participation in a veteran’s summit held at the New Carrollton Library in Prince Georges County, Maryland, increased its visibility and introduced the program to several organizations working with military veterans. Summit participants, previously unfamiliar with the program, were enthusiastic about learning more about the offerings and eager to introduce the program to their organizations and members. 

According to the Veteran’s Administration, there are nearly 400,00o veterans in the state of Maryland, 21.5 percent of whom are disabled. Of the almost 400,000 veterans, 9.9 percent are 18-34 years of age. This is the demographic that the MAT program serves.  Throughout the upcoming year (2020), the MAT program is planning to develop a partnership with the Blind Veterans Association as well as several other veterans focused organizations, increasing its reach to print-impaired veterans and increasing its involvement in veteran-focused events. As the year progresses, new organizations will be sought, and the MAT program will adapt its services to meet the absolute needs of those who sign up. 

If you know any veterans who are attending or interested in attending one of Maryland’s two or four years colleges, please have them contact us. We will guide them through the steps and processes regarding how to receive our textbook conversion services. 

For additional information about the Blind Veteran's Association, they can be reached at

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)
1101 King Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 844-603-0145
Fax: (202) 371-8258