LBPH Inside the Beltway: A Newsletter

LBPH Inside the Beltway: A Newsletter

Vol. 23 No. 2 Spring 2013

Magazine News | Magazine List | Digital World | Next Generation
Ongoing Adaptive Services Adult Programs | Updates & Reminders | Regular Programs

Magazine News

Digital Magazines Bring Changes
NLS and the DC Regional LBPH are both sending magazines on digital cartridge. These cartridges must be returned in order to receive upcoming issues.

Magazine cartridges are like book cartridges except they are blue, and ship in dark red containers with a distinctive tactile logo. (The logo is on the top side of the box, near the hinge end.  NLS books have a raised ‘eagle’ outline.  NLS magazines have a ‘flag’.  Items recorded here in DC have a smooth circle.) Cartridges are mailed at the frequency of your most frequent magazine. For example, readers of The Week will receive cartridges once a week; they will also contain any of their other magazines issued that week.

Checkout periods are 21 days for weekly magazines, 42 days for all others. This includes 7 days for mailing each direction, so you can keep weeklies 7 days and others 28. Cartridges with more than one magazine, begin with instructions for navi-gating among the multiple magazines. Readers who receive Talking Book Topics (TBT) on cassette will soon receive it on digital cartridge with their other audio magazines; it is possible some people will also receive cassettes during this transition.The print order forms for TBT will arrive in the mail separately from the cartridge.

The process for cartridge return is the same for both books and magazines: place the cartridge inside the box, close the snaps, turn over the address card outside, and send it back.  NLS magazines do not come from the D.C. library, so sending or delivering them to D.C. slows the return by adding an unnecessary step. Each mailing card has the address for return on the flip side, so keep the card with the box it came in, and it will get back to the right place. Two NLS cartridges in overdue status halt further mailings, so it is important to return them promptly.  All NLS magazines go on BARD as soon as they pass quality control, and remain there, so consider that option. 

Magazine List

Current magazines appear below, with the number of issues per year. NLS audio, also on BARD:

  • American Heritage, 4. U.S. social, cultural and educational history.
  • Analog Science Fiction & Fact, 10. Science and science fiction.
  • Asimov’s Science Fiction, 10. Science fiction features and stories.
  • The Atlantic, 10. Politics, current issues, fiction by contemporary writers.
  • Das Beste aus Reader’s Digest, 12. In German, general interest articles.
  • Bon Appétit, 12. Articles on food, travel, entertainment and recipes.
  • Consumer Reports, 12. Articles and reviews of various products.
  • Contemporary Sound Track: A Review of Pop, Jazz, Rock and Country, 6.
  • Cricket, 9. For ages 9-14. Stories, poems, articles, songs, jokes, crafts.
  • Diabetes Forecast, 12. Articles on health care, nutrition, research news.
  • Discover, 10. Articles on ecology, natural history, science and technology.
  • Ebony, 11. African American culture, achievements, news, trends.
  • Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, 10. Stories by new and known authors.
  • Foreign Affairs, 6. International trends, politics, law, economics.
  • France-Amerique, 11. In French, general interest magazine.
  • Good Housekeeping, 12. Family and home management, food, decorating.
  • Health & Nutrition Newsletters, 12. Health news from three major sources.
  • Horticulture, 6. Gardening trends, products, projects for hobbyists.
  • Magazine of the Month, 12. Sample a different magazine each month.
  • Money, 12. Money management and consumer issues, news, advice.
  • The Musical Mainstream, 4. Articles about music, NLS music acquisitions.
  • The Nation, 45. Foreign affairs, politics, education, law; film and book reviews.
  • National Geographic, 12. World geography, cultures, history, space.
  • National Geographic Kids, 10. People, places, customs, plants, animals.
  • National Review, 24. Conservative view of business, politics, education, etc.
  • The New York Times Book Review, 52. Book reviews, literary articles.
  • Odyssey, 9. Grades 5-9, science, emphasis on earth science and space.
  • Outdoor Life, 10. Hunting, fishing, conservation, equipment, news.
  • People, 51. Celebrity news and interviews, non-celebrities of interest.
  • People en Espanol, 11. In Spanish articles for Spanish speakers.
  • QST, 12. Projects and news from American Radio Relay League.
  • Quarterly Music Magazine, 4. Sample different music magazines.
  • Smart Computing, 12. Articles on home computing, hardware and software.
  • Sound & Vision, 8. Equipment and record reviews, especially popular music.
  • Spider, 9. For ages 6-9, stories, poems, jokes, crafts for beginning readers.
  • Sports Illustrated, 51. Sports news and articles, personalities, events.
  • Sports Illustrated for Kids, 12, ages 8-13, sports, people, events, issues
  • Talking Book Topics, 6. Announcements of new NLS books, news, also LP.
  • Travel & Leisure, 12. Articles on vacations, tours, travel, food, etc.
  • True West, 12. Articles about the Old West by historians and buffs.
  • Vanidades, 12. In Spanish, general interest articles, emphasis on style.
  • The Week, 48. News, commentary on world events.
  • The Writer, 12. Articles, news, for new and established writers.
  • Young Adult Magazine of the Month, 12. Teens sample different magazines.

LBPH readers can receive Choice Magazine Listening on cartridge or for download. Visit or call 1-800-724-6423 Each free quarterly issue includes 12 hours of memorable articles, stories, interviews, essays and poems from outstanding current magazines NLS Braille, also on BARD, except for titles from the U.K.:

  • Boy’s Life, 12. Ages 9-16, outdoors, sports, hobbies, fiction, humor.
  • Braille Book Review, 6. New NLS books, news and developments, also LP.
  • Braille Chess Magazine, 4. Articles on chess, news, competitions (U.K.).
  • Braille Music Magazine, 12. Articles on classical music, reviews (U.K.).
  • Conundrum, 12. Word, crossword, logic puzzles, anagrams, quizzes (U.K.).
  • Cooking Light, 11. Short articles on food, nutrition, exercise, health.
  • ESPN, 26. Sports news, information, player profiles.
  • Harper’s, 12. General culture articles by well-known writers, stories, etc.
  • Health Newsletters, 12. News and information from 4 established sources.
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 12. Money management, retirement planning.
  • Ladies Home Journal, 11. Fiction, homemaking, food, fashion, beauty info.
  • Martha Stewart Living, 12. Gardening, crafts, entertaining tips, recipes.
  • Muse, 9. Ages 9-14, art, science, history activities, book and media reviews.
  • Musical Mainstream, 4. Selected articles about music, new NLS music.
  • National Geographic, 12. World geography, cultures, history, space.
  • The New York Times Book Review, 52. Book reviews, literary articles.
  • Parenting: Early Years, 11. Articles on rearing children birth to age 12.
  • Parenting: School Years, 11. Articles on rearing children ages 6-11.
  • PC World, 12. Trends, reviews, tips on hardware and software.
  • Playboy, 11. Fiction, interviews, articles with a male perspective.
  • Poetry, 11. Contemporary poetry from a range of writers and styles.
  • Popular Communications, 12. News and articles for the radio hobbyist.
  • Popular Mechanics, 12. Auto and home repair, equipment, advice, news.
  • Popular Music Lead Sheets, irr. Lyrics and music from many styles.
  • Rolling Stone, 24. Popular culture in arts & entertainment, reviews.
  • Science News, 26. Current programs, in science, medicine, technology.
  • Seventeen, 10, For teens, beauty, fashion, careers, education, family, health.
  • Short Stories, 12. Stories from contemporary writers (UK).
  • Spider, 9. Ages 6-9, stories, poems, jokes, crafts for beginning readers.
  • Stone Soup, 6. Stories, poems, reviews by kids to age 13, activities.
  • Update, 4. News about programs and activities of NLS.
  • Annual schedules: Baseball, Basketball (men & women), Hockey, Football.
  • Various Annual and Biannual Bibliographies, call for details.

Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind (WVRB) audio:

  • AARP Bulletin, 10. News and short articles from AARP, senior focus.
  • Black Enterprise, 12. Business articles, success stories, Black viewpoint.
  • NARFE Retirement Life, 12. News, articles for seniors, Federal employees.
  • New York Review of Books, 20. In-depth reviews of current books.
  • Washingtonian, 12. News, articles of interest to D.C. metro residents. 

WVRB has also recorded several interesting books recently, including:

Digital World

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)
Now you can access electronic braille as well as audio materials through your BARD account. WebBraille materials will continue to be accessible through active links in the NLS catalog as well as through the web version of Braille Book Review.

If you have difficulty registering or using BARD, please contact us.

Electronic Braille downloads to your purchased refreshable braille display, so you must have that hardware as well as high-speed Internet connection (not dial-up) to use it.

CDESK for Media by Adaptive Voice is a commercially produced high-contrast, Large Print, fully-speech enabled program for Windows PCs. It reduces the BARD download process to three steps:

  1. Enter the book title or author’s name in the search feature.
  2. Select the book you want from the results list
  3. Choose GET.

CDESK downloads, extracts, and transfers the book from BARD to your flash drive, cartridge, or the internal memory of a purchased player.  You can try a free 15-day version of to help you decide whether to purchase the software. 

There are tutorials on If you are interested, visit the website for more information. 

On the BARD Main Page, scroll down below “Find Books” and “Find Magazines" to see instructions, FAQs, and a link to subscribe to the BARD ListServ. The ListServ is for communication among users, so responses are from fellow users.  NLS Staff monitor the ListServ to note trends in comments and concerns and remove inappropriate content, but they do not respond to specific questions.

Digital Talking Book Player Accessories
NLS has accessories for the digital player available to patrons who need them, including headphones, pillow speakers, elbow adapters; breath switches, and amplifiers. Store-bought headphones and ear buds work with the digital player, so you may prefer a smaller, lighter set you already own or select yourself. Call 202-727-2142 for details.

Next Generation

Adaptive Services will participate in the DC Public Library’s 2013 Summer Reading Program. We invite everyone up to age 19 who is eligible for our Library Services to join us. There are incentives for participation, such as books in alternate formats, water bottles, a BEATS head set, and a chance to be entered for the grand prize drawing of an iPad mini. Please contact us for more information at 202-727-2142 or by email at

Book Review of The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

For everyone living in the time of World War II, the war means something different. For Dewey Kerrigan, a young inventor with an odd leg, and Suze Gordon, a bossy girl with a budding talent for art, the war doesn't mean guns or airplanes; it means living in a secret community called Los Alamos, or the hill. The kids don't know it, but their parents are working to build and test the Atomic Bomb.  

Suze and Dewey have to face challenges like making friends, overcoming bullies and loosing loved ones in a place that is already difficult to live in.  You get a vivid sense of what life was like for the group of kids on the hill, which nobody from the outside knows exists. Dewey and Suze slowly make a friendship held together by strange things like comic books, magazine clippings and the community dump. At the end, the Atomic Bomb is tested, and the Gordons and Dewey take a surprise trip for Suze's birthday which wraps up the book perfectly.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but the end is hard to stick with. It is very detailed, which gives a good image of the character’s lives, but it can get boring when it takes the author forever to describe what the characters ate for dinner. Sometimes the details improve the book by making you feel like you were there; but other times it takes patience to keep reading. Also, you can sometimes get frustrated with the characters because they don't seem to have any positive characteristics. There was a point in the book where it seemed like Dewey was so shy and babyish and Suze was so bossy and selfish that I wanted to stop reading because I didn't care about either of them. Luckily, about half way through, the characters stop being just one thing and, like real people, they have many characteristics and thoughts.

The Green Glass Sea also has many good qualities, like the feeling of being in another place and time. The setting is so real that you can almost feel the heat bouncing off the dirt roads of Los Alamos. Another thing that made this book so real was that it had more than one problem. There was the problem of what the mysterious gadget (Atomic Bomb) was; the problem of Dewey’s depression after her father dies, and the problem of everyone on the hill wanting to go home and live a normal life. I think this story had a very strong end. By that time, you have come to know the characters well and care about what happens to them; you want the book to have an ending that fixes everything and makes the book complete, and that is exactly what you get. The ending is not exactly surprising, but it satisfies any questions you might still be left with. I felt the loose ends had been tied up. If you are looking for a relaxing and interesting, book that can really calm you down, I recommend Ellen Klages's The Green Glass Sea.

-- Review by Kelly J.

Braille Book Club
The D.C. Regional LBPH and Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind continue their partnership in a book club for braille readers grades 1-6. We normally meet from 11 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month. (Call to confirm meetings.) Fun and new friends are waiting!

Save the Dates
The Fifth Annual Transition Fair and Forum for Youth with Disabilities, Oct. 25-26, at the MLK Library.  

Speakers and workshops to help youth and families move from school to college or work.

ASL Story Hour
Selected Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Children’s Room at MLK Library. Gallaudet University students sign stories, DCPL Children’s’ Librarians lead crafts, ASL interpreters and therapy dogs from People Animals Love work together.

For more information, call Janice Rosen on ASL video phone at 202-559-5368, or via voice video relay service at 866-570-7364, or email

Ongoing Adaptive Services Adult Programs

Low Vision Independence for Seniors Through Arts and Culture
Second Wednesday of each month, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in partnership with Prevention of Blindness of Metropolitan Washington. Presentation and discussion, with complimentary light lunch. Call by the Monday before to reserve so we can plan lunch.

Saturday Technology Sessions
Focus on adaptive technology for personal use, job hunting and a variety of other important topics.

We meet third Saturdays; structured program from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., networking from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. To join the email or phone list for reminders and topics of each program, call 202-727-2142.

Talking Book Club
Second Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sack lunches are welcome; coffee, tea and cold water provided. We read and discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction books from the NLS collection.

Call to receive the book each month — we welcome newcomers. Some folks who are unable to attend receive the book each month to add variety and broaden their reading.

Tech Talk Tuesday (BLV)
First Tuesdays in Adaptive Services, informal meeting on using iPad and similar devices with adaptations for blind and low vision, 6 p.m.

Tech Talk Monday (DHH)
Fourth Mondays, similar to above, for deaf and hard of hearing, 6:30 p.m.

Game Nights
Fourth Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. Large print and braille games. 

Updates and Reminders

Grade DC
D.C. government has a website for feedback on city services. Please visit Grade DC and give your feedback! If your comments are specific to Adaptive Services, please state that (in contrast to comments about the whole MLK building or the whole system).  This is an important route for communicating with city officials, and library administration, so give us your feedback!  If you are not a computer user, call us at 202-727-2142, and dictate your comments.

Closing or Moving an LBPH Account
When it is time to close an account, players and Talking Books can be mailed to the library as Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped, or you can drop them off at Adaptive Services at the MLK Library. If you are moving, call us to transfer your account to your new location. All players and materials are the property of the federal government and must be returned. This includes non-working players, as we repair them or salvage parts to repair other players. 

Please call 202-727-2142, or email to communicate with us. Writing on mailing cards or enclosing notes in returned books is a violation of NLS’s “Free Matter” agreement with the USPS. Books and containers are federal property and must not be defaced. (If your books go through a mailroom, please ask them to mark on the card, not the box. Our boxes are reused many times, unlike most of the mail they handle.)

Looking for a New Author? If You Like...

Karen Kingsbury, try ...

  • Tracie Peterson
  • Lori Wick

Louis L’Amour, try ...

  • Max Brand
  • Loren Estleman
  • Zane Grey
  • A. B. Guthrie
  • Elmer Kelton
  • Larry McMurtry
  • Lewis Patten
  • Luke Short
  • Richard S. Wheeler

Maeve Binchy, try ...

  • Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Higgins Clark, try ...

  • Sandra Brown
  • Carol Higgins Clark
  • Greg Iles

Michael Connelly, try ...

  • James Lee Burke
  • Stephen Cannell
  • Patricia Cornwell
  • Stuart Kaminsky
  • Jonathan Kellerman
  • Donald Westlake

Nevada Barr, try ...

  • C.J. Box
  • Lilian Jackson Braun
  • Deborah Crombie
  • Sue Grafton
  • Sue Henry
  • Dana Stabenow

Nicholas Sparks try ...

  • Richard Paul Evans

Stephen King, try ...

  • Tanith Lee
  • Anne Rice

Robert B. Parker, try ...

  • Agatha Christie
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Loren Estleman
  • Dick Francis
  • Elmore Leonard
  • John D. MacDonald
  • Walter Mosley
  • Marcia Muller
  • Sara Paretsky

Scott Turow, try ... 

  • Richard North Patterson

Tom Clancy, try ...

  • Jeffrey Archer
  • Larry Bond
  • Len Deighton

Tony Hillerman, try ...

  • Sharyn McCrumb

Regular Programs

Holidays, Library Closed:
Memorial Day: Monday, May 27
Independence Day: Thursday, July 4
Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2

Program schedules change around holidays and vacations. Please call 202-727-2142 for updates and other information.

Braille Book Club
Grades 1-6, 11 a.m.-noon, first Saturdays. 

Tech Talk Tuesday (blind and low vision)
6 p.m., first Tuesdays.

Senior Independence Through Arts & Culture
11 a.m.-1 p.m., second Wednesdays.

Talking Book Club
11 a.m.-1 p.m., second Thursdays.

Saturday Sessions
1 p.m.-4 p.m., third Saturdays (note new one-per-month schedule).

WebAccessibilityDC Meetup
6:30 p.m., third Tuesdays.

Tech Talk Monday (deaf and hard of hearing)
6:30 p.m., fourth Mondays.

Game Nights
6:15 p.m.-8 p.m., fourth Tuesdays.

ASL Story Hour
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Selected Saturdays, call for dates.

Inside the Beltway: A Newsletter is published by the Washington, DC Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, in the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library.  It is sent to patrons who are registered with us, and to other in-terested parties, and is available in large print, audio, and email. To make changes, please contact us by telephone or email.
-- Serena McGuire, Editor & Reader’s Advisor