Friday, February 28, 2020

Early Literacy Event: Make and Take Braille Book

Early Literacy Event: Make & Take Braille Book

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

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

Make and Take Braille Book

Location:             Glen Burnie Regional Library                                     
                           1010 Eastway, Glen Burnie, MD 21060
Time:                   10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Date:                    Monday, March 9th
Reading stimulates the imagination, stirs the emotions, and provokes thought. As many sighted children are exposed to letters, words, and books each day from a very young age, a child who is blind or visually impaired should be exposed to braille within his or her environment long before beginning to read.  Join the youth librarian from The Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, as we learn helpful tips and make an accessible braille book.  Each family that attends will receive an assortment of free braille books to encourage early literacy.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Help Needed: Water Quality Test Kit

Help Needed: Water Quality Test Kit

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

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

Water Quality Test Kit 

Looking for families who want to be part of some innovative family fun! 

In collaboration with Cornerstones of Science (COS), The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is offering a new resource to public libraries to help library staff support citizen science outreach efforts in local communities through a fun, accessible, loanable kit for families. “Test the Waters” Family Exploration Kit will be available starting in April 2020. Cornerstones of Science have been working with public libraries for over 20 years to create science experiences that spark curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the world around us.

The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in partnership with Cornerstones of Science wants to make these kits accessible to those who are visually impaired.  We are looking for a few families who would be willing to try the Water Quality Kit at home and offer feedback.  The feedback will give COS insight as to the accessibility of the kit and ways to improve its content before its release in April.  The kits are geared towards children in grades 5 and up.  Additionally, we would like families with parents or children who are visually impaired.

Requirements to Participate:

  • The family must be willing to complete the activities within the kit at home by February 21st.
  • Return the kit to MD LBPH and complete a user survey.
  • Participate in an interview session with MD LBPH and COS on Saturday, February 22nd to offer feedback.  The session will be a 30-45 minute face to face interview.  Time will be set between (10 a.m. – noon).

Location of the Interview:

Enoch Pratt Library Central Library
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Families who participate will be compensated with a $25 Visa gift card. If you are interested in participating, please contact LaShawn Myles, MD LBPH youth librarian, at or 410-230-2455.

Tech Tips: Alexa's Show & Tell

Tech Tips: Alexa's Show & Tell

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

Alexa show and tell
Image is taken from 

Alexa now has a skill that will allow certain Echo devices to identify products that you hold in your hand such as “a can of sweet peas” or “green beans.”  The skill, called Show and Tell, is only available on the Echo Show 10 inch.  Consumers need to be aware that there are other versions of the Echo Show, but the Show and Tell feature does not presently work on those models.  You will also need a little practice learning to hold products within the camera range in order to get adequate feedback from the device.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Marylandia: Update

Marylandia Collection: Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director

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).  
February is Black History Month. To celebrate, we are highlighting a travel book
related to the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.


DBC 12463 – Tubman Travels : 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva,
by Jim Duffy
Narrated by Barbara Anderson

Inspiring, true-life stories of the Underground Railroad put modern-day
travelers in touch with the lives of men and women who set out against all
odds in search of freedom from slavery. These stories include not just the
most famous of the region's escaped slaves, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass,
but also many lesser-known figures whose journeys out of bondage speak volumes
about the timeless themes of courage, love, family, and faith. The journeys in the book
begin on the wide Choptank River in Cambridge, Maryland and then wander along
scenic backroads leading through history-laden towns such as Easton, St. Michaels,
Denton, Chestertown, Centreville, Bucktown, Madison, Galena, and Chesapeake City,
and into Delaware through Dover, Middletown, Seaford, New Castle, and Wilmington.
Some strong language.

Youth Event: Maryland Black Eyed Susan Book (BES) Tasting

Black-Eyed Susan Book Tasting

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

Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book (BES) Tasting

The BES Award honors outstanding picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels.  Each year 15 picture books, 10 chapter books, and 10 graphic novels are nominated for the award.  Students in the state of Maryland vote for the winning book in each category.

Come and share your thoughts about your favorite (BES) book.  Sample a few books, cast your vote and enjoy some family fun.    

Location:   MD Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
                   415 Park Avenue
                   Baltimore, MD 21201
Time:         10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Date:          Saturday, April 4th

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tech Tips: Rotor on iOS

Tech Tips: Rotor on iOS

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist

ios rotor gesture

The rotor gesture for the iPhone is considered to be the hardest move to master.  Place your thumb and forefinger in the center of the screen and turn to the left (counterclockwise).  As you turn, you should hear items such as language, speaking rate, words, characters, etc.  Of these, the speaking rate is probably the most important to a new smartphone user.  Once you hear the device say speaking rate, then you can either flick up with one finger to increase the speaking rate or flick down with one finger to decrease it.  Once the speaking rate is set, you may want to do the rotor move again so that the focus in no longer on that option.  

There is a second option if the rotor gesture should prove to be too difficult.  Place your forefinger from one hand in the center of your phone.  Now take the forefinger from your other hand and begin to make a semi-circle above the finger that is planted on the phone.  You should hear the options mentioned above.

If you want to add or subtract the options mentioned in rotor, ask Siri to launch your voiceover settings and swipe to rotor.  Now you can select or deselect items by doing one finger double tap on each item presented.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Prospective Program: Lawyer in the Library

Prospective Program: Lawyer in the Library

Contributed by Ashley Biggs, Outreach Librarian 

In our continuing effort to provide programming and events to meet our patron's needs, the library is partnering with any third party organizations. 

One such organization is Maryland Legal Aid. Maryland Legal Aid is currently working with public libraries across the state to provide a "Lawyer in the Library" program that allows library patrons to connect with, ask questions of, and get resources from a lawyer at no cost. 

In order to see if this program is a fit for the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, please fill out this form below no later than 2/14/2020.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact:

Ashley Biggs, Outreach Librarian
410-230-2430 |

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Podcast Review: Adventure Zone (pt. 1)

Podcast Review

Contributed by Taryn Tranby, Administrative Assistant

Part One: Introduction and the Balance Campaign

What starts off as a goofy game of Dungeons and Dragons between three brothers and their dad ends in tears as Griffin, the youngest brother, weaves an incredible tale full of laughter and love. Griffin, Travis, and Justin McElroy are three brothers from Huntington, West Virginia that decided to embark on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign to expand their repertoire. The McElroys already had a multitude of podcasts including Sawbones, The Besties, and My Brother, My Brother, and Me. The Adventure Zone began in 2014 with these three brothers and their father, Clint McElroy, setting up their characters and meeting in a tavern for their first mission. The family embarks with these newly created characters and a few unusually named NPCs, or non-player characters, to join them. (One such NPC is named ‘Barry Bluejeans’ by Griffin after Justin and Travis both snipe at him for trying to create unusual fantasy names to match the setting). 

The Adventure Zone has been running a similar set up since 2014, but there have been several different story arcs and methods of gameplay that the McElroys employ for the podcast. The first campaign, Balance, appeals to those fans of traditional D&D fantasy although Griffin manages to squeeze in a little bit of science-fiction for some extra flavor. The campaign is built on the 5th edition of D&D mechanics, but a late arc named The Stolen Century is played with a Powered by the Apocalypse engine which is a simpler system. While the McElroys struggle a bit with game math and mechanics, they always manage to use their critical successes and failures to aid in building the story. The Balance campaign is broken up into eight arcs and each arc has the three heroes, Taako, Magnus, and Merle searching for a magical relic for an organization known to them as the Bureau of Balance. Balance takes them through caves, trains, and automobile races as well as crystal caverns, towns that repeat an hour nonstop, and even a challenging wheel of sacrifices. 

The campaign itself runs for sixty-nine episodes and is clever, emotional, and a little bit unsafe for work at times with ribald jests and blue humor. Another fun thing to note is that starting with the fourth campaign arc, The Crystal Kingdom, Griffin McElroy begins composing music to add more drama and ambiance to the show. 

The Adventure Zone can be found on the Maximum Fun Network or wherever you get your podcasts. Look out for the next article on this rowdy family and their subsequent Dungeons and Dragons campaigns!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Free Teleconference: 8 Nutrition Tips to Lower Your

Free Teleconference: 8 Tips to Prevent Cancer

Contributed by Ashley Biggs, Marketing & Outreach Librarian 

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

We still have plenty of room in our upcoming teleconference, 8 Nutrition Tips to Lower Your Cancer Risk!

February 12, 2020; 6:30 PM

February is National Cancer Prevention Month! Did you know that every year, nearly 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer? About 20 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States are linked to diet, excess weight and inactivity. Eating a healthy diet, including the types of foods and how much you consume, can affect your lifetime risk of developing certain cancers. Join Beverly Jackey, a Registered Dietitian, to learn about the link between diet and cancer, receive some recommendations to lower your cancer risk, and learn how to put these cancer prevention recommendations ‘on your plate.’ Please note, registration is required to receive the call-in number. Register here:

A full listing of all provided programs is here: Please note, registration is required. 

Stay tuned to our blog,, for more information about the library, library events, and more!