Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Guest Post: Everything Audio Description Offers

 Shared from the Metropolitan Washington Ear

Metro Washington Ear Logo

Contributed by Terry Pacheco, President of Metropolitan Washington Ear


Everything Audio Description Offers April 8, 8:00 PM


What questions do you have about audio described live and recorded programs and performances? How do you get the service to work on your TV? Where do I find what’s available? What live performances are described? These and many more questions will be answered during this special collaborative session presented by The Metropolitan Washington Ear and the Audio Description Project hosted by Phyllis Burson and Terry Pacheco.  Special guests include: Sylvia Rosenthal, Listener Coordinator and Patti Wong, performance audio describer  at the Ear; Carl Richardson, Media sub-committee chair, ADP; and Fred Brack, ADP webmaster.  This is a wonderful learning opportunity for all.  



Join us April 8th, at 8:00 Eastern.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89572693406?pwd=ZG5KaTlMSzBhb3VOdm4wYTlqTnJ2dz09


One tap mobile

+13017158592,,89572693406#,,,,*121212#

+13126266799,,89572693406#,,,,*121212#

Dial by your location

301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 895 7269 3406

Passcode: 121212

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Adventure Awaits: Enter the OPAC

 

Adventure Awaits for You!




[Video on loop: Knight pulls sword from sheath while surrounded by flags and fog.]


Enter the OPAC:

​​​​​For over 70 years, LaTanya was a peaceful place that thrived under King Mighteous.   But one day the lives of its inhabitants were forever changed.  Will you be the savior of LaTanya? Several challenges await you in this epic adventure.  The game will be open to all participants from ages 10-19.  Registration closes at 20 seats or on April 4th. 

How to Register:

If you are interested, please request the "Enter the OPAC" link using a valid email address.  

Round 1:  April 5th - April 11th

  • Registration closes on April 4th.  Registration will close at 20 participants, so register now!  
  • The link will be released on April 5th to all participants who register. 
  • The first to finish with 100% accuracy by April 7th wins the "Grand" prize.  
  • All other entries that are complete and accurate will be placed in a gift card raffle to be drawn on April 12th
  • All participants will be notified of his or her results and prize standing by email. 
  

Round 2:  April 19th - April 25th 

  • Registration will open on April 12th and close on April 18th.  Registration will close at 20 participants.
  • The link will be released on April 19th to all participants who register. 
  • The first to finish with 100% accuracy by April 21st wins the "Grand" prize.  
  • All other entries that are complete and accurate will be placed in a gift card raffle to be drawn on April 26th
  • All participants will be notified of his or her results and prize standing by email. 
  • Participants who register for Round 1 will not be allowed to participate in Round 2.    

 Join now... and Enter the OPAC!​

Monday, March 29, 2021

Guest Post: Consumer Advisory – Cost of COVID-19 Vaccine

 

Shared Information from the Maryland Insurance Commissioner

Maryland Library Commission Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
3/23/2021
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Craig Ey, 410-468-2488 (O)
443-604-9599 (C)

Consumer Advisory – COVID-19 Vaccinations

BALTIMORE – Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane reminds all Marylanders that they cannot be billed for COVID-19 vaccinations regardless of which vaccine they receive.

While the Maryland Insurance Administration has not seen evidence of attempts by providers to bill individuals for vaccine administration in Maryland, we are aware that in other states individuals have been charged for the administration of the more recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As set forth in the Commissioner's December 15th Consumer Advisory, health insurance issuers must cover the administration of vaccines authorized by the FDA for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 without charge regardless of which vaccine you receive.  The cost protections ordered by the Hogan Administration are broader than those afforded under the federal CARES Act, because they apply to all health plans that include vaccination coverage that are issued by health insurers in Maryland, not only the non-grandfathered ACA plans referenced under federal law.

Doses of the vaccine that are purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be provided at no cost.  Vaccination providers are eligible to be reimbursed from an insurer or from the federal government when they administer the vaccine, but may not charge individuals.

As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated:

All organizations and providers participating in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program:

  • must administer COVID-19 vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost to the recipient;
  • may not deny anyone vaccination based on the vaccine recipient’s coverage status or network status;
  • may not charge an office visit or other fee if COVID-19 vaccination is the sole medical service provided;
  • may not require additional medical services to receive COVID-19 vaccination;
  • may seek appropriate reimbursement from a program or plan that covers COVID-19 Vaccine administration fees for the vaccine recipient, such as:
    - vaccine recipient’s private insurance company
    - Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement
    - HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program for non-insured vaccine recipients
  • may not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient.
If anyone attempts to charge you for a vaccination, please notify us immediately at 800-492-6116 or file a complaint online at: https://enterprise.insurance.maryland.gov/consumer/ConsumerPortalWelcomePage.aspx.
 
For more information, visit the Maryland Insurance Administration’s COVID-19 Resource Center at https://insurance.maryland.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx. Additional information about the Federal CARES Act can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Books on Demand Update: Bookshelf Mode

 

Books on Demand Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director

Talking books mailing cases with text overlay that says BOD updates

BOOKS ON DEMAND:  BOOKSHELF MODE


We have talked before about the easiest way to use the new Books on Demand (BOD) cartridges by simply playing the books in the order they appear on the cartridge. As you know, BOD cartridges are customized cartridges downloaded according to the preferences and requests of each individual patron, so the easy way to listen to your books is to play them in the same sequence that they were downloaded. This only requires patrons to tap one button, the PLAY/STOP button, to advance from book to book.


Some patrons, however, would prefer to hear the titles of the books on the cartridge before they begin to read and want the opportunity to jump to different books on the cartridge rather than necessarily playing them in order. This can be done by entering the player’s Bookshelf mode. Although using Bookshelf mode is not quite as simple as the easy method of listening to books, it is not at all difficult. In addition to the PLAY/STOP button, patrons will also use the REWIND and FAST FORWARD buttons. All the buttons mentioned in the following instructions to Bookshelf mode are located on the face of the book player.

  1. If you wish to review all the titles on the cartridge before reading, you may opt to use the player’s Bookshelf mode. To move to a different book on the cartridge, press and hold the PLAY/STOP button until you hear “Bookshelf” and release the button. (The green, rectangular PLAY/STOP button is located in the front and middle of the player, closest to the cartridge slot. It is the largest and most conveniently placed button on the player.) Once you hear “Bookshelf,” you will have entered Bookshelf mode. You will hear how many books you have and your current position.
  2. To move to the next book, tap the FAST FORWARD button once (this is the white arrow button to the right of the PLAY/STOP button). Do not hold the button down. To move to a previous book, tap the REWIND button once (this is the white arrow button to the left of the PLAY/STOP button). Again, do not hold the button down. Continue tapping forward or backward until you find the book you wish to read.
  3. When you hear the title of the book you want to read, tap the PLAY/STOP button once to begin playing that book.
  4. Once you reach the end of a book, you will hear: “End of book. Press PLAY/STOP to go to the next book.”
  5. When you remove the cartridge to stop reading for a while, your player will remember your reading position. When you return, you may continue listening to the same book or enter the Bookshelf mode by following the steps above to choose a new book to read from your cartridge.

To recap, the easiest way to listen to your BOD multi-book cartridge is to simply play the books in the order they appear on the cartridge. At the end of each book, you will hear: “End of book. Press PLAY/STOP to go to the next book.” Again, the green, rectangular PLAY/STOP button is located in the front and middle of the player, closest to the cartridge slot. Tap the PLAY/STOP button once and the player will proceed to the next book on the cartridge. If you wish, you may also use the REWIND and FAST FORWARD buttons (white arrow buttons to the left and right of the PLAY/STOP button) to move to other books on the cartridge; however, you may miss out on some very good books!


And if you want to hear the book titles before you begin to read, then enter Bookshelf mode. Try using Bookshelf mode for yourself. It is not hard to do. Again, it is not necessary to use Bookshelf mode to read your books, but it is a nice option.


There is nothing more to it than that. We hope you enjoy your new customized multi-book cartridges through Books on Demand!


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tech Tips: Playing mp3 Material on an Alexa Device

 

Tech Tips: Voice OCR Document Reader

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Coordinator 



Did you know that you can play mp3 files on your Alexa device? All you need is a Dropbox account and an Alexa device.

1.  Ask Alexa to enable Sound Stream.

2.  Go into your Alexa app and connect it to your Dropbox account.

3.  Go into your Dropbox app.  You will have a folder called Apps and in this folder will be Sound Stream.

4.  Any file you want your Alexa device to play should be moved to the Sound Stream folder.

5.  Ask Alexa to open Sound Stream.  Then ask for a file that is in your Sound Stream folder.

This is an easy way to play Bookshare audiobooks, Librivox audiobooks, lecture notes, or family recordings.  You can even add content remotely for someone who doesn't own a computer or who doesn't have the skills necessary for this activity.


Books On Demand Update: Updating Your Player

 

Books on Demand Update

Books on Demand Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director
Talking books mailing cases with text overlay that says BOD updates

UPDATING YOUR DIGITAL BOOK PLAYER


Many of our Maryland LBPD patrons are now beginning to see their audiobooks delivered through Books on Demand (BOD). Books on Demand, as you know, is LBPD’s new circulation system where we create customized, multi-book cartridges that are downloaded according to the preferences and requests of individual patrons. We will soon discontinue sending out cartridges that play only one book.

While patrons seem to be pleased with their BOD multi-book cartridges, there are some things you need to know to help you successfully use your first cartridge. The first time you insert a BOD cartridge into your book player, the player will most likely need to perform an update to its software. This will not occur for all of our patrons, but for the vast majority of our patrons, the software update will be necessary.

While updating your player’s software may sound intimidating, it really isn’t. Will you need any technical expertise to complete the update? No. Do you need to be familiar with any technical terms to complete the update? No. Will you need to press any buttons to complete the update? No. In essence, you do not need to have any special skills whatsoever to successfully complete the player’s software update. The update will simply begin when you insert a BOD cartridge for the first time and will continue to run until it is finished.

So how will you know that the update is running? The book player will beep throughout the update process. This process usually takes about ten minutes to complete. All you need to do is be patient to allow the software update to run its full course. It is very important that you do not remove the cartridge while the software is updating. It is also very important that you do not press any buttons while the software is updating. Just be patient. Once the software update is complete, the first book on your BOD cartridge will begin to play.

That’s all there is to it. We hope you enjoy your new customized multi-book cartridges through Books on Demand!


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Books on Demand Update

Books on Demand Update

Contributed by Mary Ramos, Assistant Director
Talking books mailing cases with text overlay that says BOD updates



CURRENT PATRONS NOW TRANSITIONING TO BOOKS ON DEMAND


March is here, and Spring is just around the corner. At the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD), we are excited about this time of renewal and change. LBPD’s most significant new endeavor is our switch to a new circulation system called Books on Demand (BOD). Many of our patrons are already enjoying customized BOD multi-book cartridges for their audiobooks and digital braille books.

This month, we will be transitioning many of our patrons to multi-book cartridges through Books on Demand. We will not be able to individually inform patrons beforehand, so you may be surprised to receive a new BOD multi-book cartridge instead of the singular book cartridges you currently use. If you receive a BOD cartridge this month, consider yourself lucky! You will now join the ranks of patrons who no longer have to wait for the books they want to become available or be resigned to reading series books out of order. Those problems will be a thing of the past.

You may have some questions about the Books on Demand circulation system. Here, we will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Why are we making this switch?

All network libraries of the National Library Service (NLS) are transitioning to this new model of service. Soon, NLS will discontinue distributing individual books for us to circulate to our patrons. All circulation will be performed through customized cartridges downloaded according to the preferences and requests of each individual patron.

What is the benefit to me?

Patrons will no longer have to wait for physical copies of books to become available at the Library. If the book has been recorded, we can download it for our patrons.
If they wish, patrons may receive all the books in a series on a single cartridge (unless it is a very long series).

Do I need any special equipment?

No. Patrons will use the same book player they currently have. It will probably need a software update, though. You do not need any special computer skills to complete the update. It only requires two things that patrons already know how to do:

  1. Insert a BOD cartridge into the player. BOD multi-book cartridges look and feel exactly the same as the cartridges you usually play.
  2. Be patient, as the update may take close to 10 minutes. The player will beep continuously while it is updating and will begin to play the first book once the update is complete. Patrons need to be patient and allow the update to run its course. You should not remove the cartridge or press any button on the player while the update is in progress. That is all you need to do to prepare your player to read BOD multi-book cartridges.


How will I read my books?

The easiest way to listen to your BOD multi-book cartridge is to simply play the books in the order they appear on the cartridge. At the end of each book, you will hear: “End of book. Press PLAY/STOP to go to the next book.” The green, rectangular PLAY/STOP button is located in the front and middle of the player, closest to the cartridge slot. It is the largest and most conveniently placed button on the player. Tap the PLAY/STOP button once and the player will proceed to the next book on the cartridge.

It really is that simple. We hope you enjoy your new customized multi-book cartridges through Books on Demand!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

 

Marylandia Collection: Update


Contributed by Jordan Farinelli, Collection Development Librarian

Marylandia Blog Post blog header

The official start of spring is around the corner! When the winter chill leaves the air

and the sun stays up longer, we’ll find ourselves outside more often and ready for adventure.

Until those warmer days are here, check out this title that explores the Chesapeake Bay

from the eyes of Chester the chipmunk and his friends.


Animal stories


DBC 12543 – Chester the Chipmunk: a Chesapeake Bay Adventure, by Cindy Freland

Narrated by Sabrina Dames


"Let's play," said Chester the Chipmunk. But his friend, Carly, had plans to find a new home

and she needs his help. Follow Chester, and his friends, Carly the Chipmunk,

Jasmine the Blue Jay, Luther the Squirrel, and Mister Big the Grumpy Frogas they help each other and experience a day of adventure near the pond at

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. A charming story about

unselfishness, trust, being helpful and brave, and learning patience. Includes fun facts

about chipmunks, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and the Bay.

Monday, February 22, 2021

BARD Update From NLS

 

BARD Updates from NLS


Contributed by Don Olson, Customer Service Specialist at NLS

BARD on a smart phone


A number of patrons and libraries have recently reported that certain BARD account-holders are either no longer able to log into BARD Mobile or can no longer see their Wish Lists from within BARD Mobile on their iOS devices. We have determined that these problems are related to the older versions of iOS devices that these patrons are using.

 

The current version of BARD Mobile for iOS, version 1.4.1, is supported by devices running iOS 11 and above. A list of all devices capable of running iOS 11 is available from Apple at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209574. We encourage patrons using devices on that list but not yet running iOS 11 to upgrade their operating systems.

 

We understand that very old devices may not be able to upgrade to iOS 11 and regret the difficulty this may cause for some patrons, but an unfortunate reality is that all equipment eventually becomes obsolete. NLS is not able to support BARD Mobile on devices running iOS 10.0 or below. We do not know of an option that would allow patrons to download and install any version of BARD Mobile prior to 1.4.1.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Technology User Group Meeting

 Technology User Group Meeting


Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist


On Saturday, March 13th, the Technology User Group has an exciting program for you!

First, we will look at the Wayaround app.  How useful is it?  How does it compare to other labeling systems?  How easy are the app and labels for the average smartphone user?  Then we will look at how to add a flash drive to your iPhone.  Finally, we will take a quick look at the Voice Assistant feature in Freedom Scientific’s Fusion application.
 
The presentation will be virtual and may be joined by calling 319-527-4994.  You do not have to RSVP for this event.
 
The presentation will begin at 10 AM and last about 90 minutes.

We look forward to meeting with you virtually on Saturday, March 13th, and hope you will join us for other exciting events we have planned for 2021.

If you would like to listen to previous TUG recordings, please click here:
https://www.marylandlibraries.org/Pages/Technology%20User%20Group.aspx

Upcoming TUG Programs:
  • Saturday, April 10, 10 AM, Voice Dream Suite
  • Saturday, May 8, 10 AM, Cooking Gadgets & Resources.
 
Follow the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) on: 

  • Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MDLBPD/
  • On Twitter at https://twitter.com/MDLBPD
  • On our blog at https://mdlbpd.blogspot.com/
  • And our website at www.lbph.maryland.gov

For more information about the Technology User Group, please contact Jerry Price at (410) 230-2446 or via email at jerry.price1@maryland.gov.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Tech Tips: Voice OCR Document Reader

 Tech Tips: Voice OCR Document Reader

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Coordinator 


There are many OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning apps. This particular app is a little different than the others because not only can you manipulate it with Voiceover gestures, but you can also
opt to use your voice.  Other highlights include automatic light adjustment, the customization of voices such as Wonder Woman, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the ability to work with
many different languages, and an option to easily share documents. The free version of the app offers 150 scans a month.  The paid version offers unlimited scans.  Voice OCR is only available for iOS
devices.  If you are a novice iPhone user, you will need assistance setting up the app, but chances are you would also need help setting up the other OCR apps.  These apps include Seeing AI, Voice Dream
Scanner and KNFB Reader.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Marylandia Collection: Update

 

Marylandia Collection: Update


Contributed by Jordan Farinelli, Collection Development Librarian

Marylandia Blog Post blog header

February 2021


In honor of Black History Month, check out this title that covers the story of African Americans from Maryland’s own Eastern Shore.


U.S. History


DBC 12457 – The Road to Jim Crow: the African American Struggle on Maryland's Eastern Shore, 1860-1915, by C. Christopher Brown

Narrated by Khetia Washington


Making extensive use of primary sources, C. Christopher Brown has broken new ground and filled a long overlooked gap in Maryland history. Here is the story of African Americans on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, from the promise-filled days following the end of slavery to the rise of lynch law, segregation, and systematic efforts at disenfranchisement. Resisting attempts to render them, second-class citizens, Black communities rallied to their churches and fought determinedly to properly educate their children and gain a measure of political power. Brown’s vivid stories make the record of cross-racial democracy at once shameful, revealing, inspirational, and all too contemporary. A masterful blend of scholarship and insightful analysis that is at once engrossing and informative.


Monday, February 8, 2021

Tech Tips: Four Finger Swipe

 Tech Tips: Four Finger Swipe

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Education Coordinator 


If you have no apps open, this gesture will do nothing, but if two or more apps are open on your iOS device, you can move amongst them by using the four-finger swipe either to the right or to the left.
Swiping up or down with four fingers does nothing.  You can also move among your open apps with the app switcher; however, this is a bit more cumbersome.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Tech Tips: Locast is accessible

 Tech Tips: Locast is Accessible

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist



Locast is a streaming app that allows individuals in metropolitan areas to watch local channels on their smart devices or computers. Not only do you receive your hometown affiliates such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CW, but you will also be able to view any digital channels carried on their signals.  In Maryland, this app will only work if you are in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor.  The service is free but you will be asked (often) to donate since there are expenses associated with the transmission process.  Five dollars per month will make the donation request disappear.  To sign up for the service, you will need to use your email address.  You will also
have to supply a password and confirm the email address. Locast is available in 26 markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Madison, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Puerto Rico, Rapid City, San Francisco, Seattle, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Tampa Bay, Washington DC., West Palm Beach, and Wilkesboro.  For more information, visit www.locast.org.

Friday, January 15, 2021

January’s Youth Featured Book

 

January's Featured Book!

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


Contributed by LaShawn Myles, Youth Services Librarian


January’s Youth Featured Book

Happy New Year!  Here are some great reads to start “2021” off in a fantastic way! 

  • The Year of the Rat

Author: Grace Lin 

Medium Braille

Book Number:  BR017688

Annotation:  Taiwanese American Pacy learns that the Chinese year of the rat brings new beginnings. Some changes are hard--her best friend moves away, a new Asian boy arrives at school, and her cousin gets married. Sequel to The Year of the Dog (BR 16624). For grades 3-6. 2007. 

  • Bringing in the New Year

Author: Grace Lin

Medium: Digital Book

Book Number: DBC08660 (BARD ONLY)

This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. For grades K-3.

Need a great craft to support Grace Lin’s books?  Visit the author’s website to find more books, activities, and videos. 


Additional Resources

YouTube: Bringing in the New Year Book | New Year Books for Kids | Children's Books Read Aloud

Want more books to help you start off the New Year?   Check out LBPD’s online catalog and request a book. 


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Tech Tips: Microsoft Edge Makes Browsing Fun Again

 

Microsoft Edge Makes Browsing Fun Again

Contributed by Jerry Price, Assistive Technology Specialist



One of the tools built within the new Microsoft Edge is call Immersive Reader.  When used, this tool weeds out links, ads, and other detritus which ruins the experience of reading articles and items of interest.  Here’s how it works.  Find a news article or newsletter story you wish to read.  When you are on the web page with the news article press Function 9.  If the web page is designed to work with the Immersive Reader utility, it will condense and read as a continuous article.  Sometimes, there is even a “Read Aloud” button.  To get out of Immersive Reader, just press Function 9 again.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Marylandia Collection: Update

 

Marylandia Collection: Update


Contributed by Jordan Farinelli, Collection Development Librarian

Marylandia Blog Post blog header

As the National Football League draws closer to the start of the playoffs, check out this biography of legendary Baltimore Colts player and Maryland resident, Johnny Unitas. Unitas is still recognized as one of the greatest NFL players of all time and remains well loved by football fans nationwide.


Biography


DBC 05289 – Johnny U: The Life and Times of Johnny Unitas, by Tom Callahan

Narrated by Bob Leedom


In a time “when men played football for something less than a living and something more than money,” John Unitas was the ultimate quarterback. Rejected by Notre Dame, discarded by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he started on a Pennsylvania sandlot making six dollars a game and ended as the most commanding presence in the National Football League, calling the critical plays and completing the crucial passes at the moment his sport came of age.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Director's Corner: New Year!

 

Director's Corner: New Year!Talking book player with book on a table

Contributed by John Owen, Director

We hope the new year has started well for you.  LBPD welcomes 2021 with a continuing effort to overcome the peculiar challenges we faced in the past year and deliver excellent customer service to you:  our patrons, your families, and our stakeholders.  Together we’ve weathered these challenges, and we’ve appreciated the opportunity to create and innovate to make sure we are still serving your reading and information needs.  

In the new year, look for:

  • An expanded pilot of the Humanware braille e-reader provided to us by NLS.  This compact refreshable braille device provides access to braille books through BARD via a WiFi connection or through files on an NLS digital USB cartridge.  We have already distributed over 110 devices to our patrons.  Those patrons have been testing out the device and offering feedback about the functionality of the braille e-reader.  And in the process, we’ve seen the download of braille materials increase from 219 in July before the pilot to 4,500 book and magazine downloads in November.  Now we want more patrons to take advantage of this increased access to braille.  Contact our reference desk if you are interested in reading braille on one of these devices.  
  • Expanding service through Books on Demand (BOD) cartridges.  Assistant Director Mary Ramos talked about this new service in a blog post earlier this month.  We’re working on the ability to customize cartridges with multiple digital audiobooks on them.  With Books on Demand, you will not have to wait for a book you want to become available, and you will be able to read the books in most series on a single cartridge.  Books on Demand makes it easier for you to receive and return materials, too.  We are currently in a pilot phase, but LBPD will eventually be moving all our patrons to this process.  If you would like to be among the first to transition to Books on Demand, please contact our reference desk.  
  • A new monthly series of Technology User Group topics.  It starts on Saturday, January 9, at 10 AM as Jerry Price leads you through accessibility in the Microsoft Edge browser and new updates to Windows Narrator and continues on the second Saturday of each month via teleconference.  In the meantime, you can catch up on all the informative TUG programs that you may have missed or want to hear again by listening here. 
  • A new monthly series of programs in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension.  After a very successful series of virtual programs in 2020, UME agreed to extend the partnership for 2021.  The first program will be held on January 12.  Read about the whole series and register for these teleconferences here. 
  • The fourth annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge to kick off the new year.  Join with your fellow patrons and LBPD staff to read 100,000 community minutes between January 1 and January 31.  Register and track your reading at https://marylandlbph.beanstack.org. 

There is more programming in store throughout the year for all of our patrons. 

And we will continue to respond to your telephone and email messages while sending out audiobooks, braille books, and large print materials as we have every day throughout the pandemic.  We are even adding more books to our Marylandia collection, converting textbooks for college students, and teaching our patrons how to navigate their assistive technology and mobile devices as we do in “normal” times.  

Our LBPD building remains closed to the public, following the guidance of the state of Maryland and our concerns for your safety.  We continue to handle materials in a safe and efficient manner.  We have weathered issues with mail service but are confident that, finding ourselves on the other side of some of the busiest seasons for our USPS partners, this situation will improve. 

Yes, we do look forward to being able to open our doors to have you come for events, browse the collection, and attend classes, but in the meantime, keep communicating with us and we will keep reaching out to you.

How to reach us:

Together we will build communities that flourish through the power of information and literacy so that ALL MAY READ!