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.


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 

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!