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This newsletter is published by the New Mexico Regional Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) and is distributed free to the patrons and other interested parties. The newsletter can be requested in large print or Braille versions, and an audio version can be accessed on NEWSLINE. For information, call LBPD at 1-800-456-5515 or 505-476-9770, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

LBPH Newsletter Summer 2007


Digital Talking BookA number of patrons have recently inquired as to the status of the National Library Service Digital Talking Book (DTB) player and cartridge along with the availability of DTB download via the Internet.

The National Library Service (NLS) is currently seeking a special appropriation of 19.1 million dollars through the United States Congress to begin funding of the transition to the DTB in 2008. Presently, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are recommending 12.5 million dollars. Therefore, it is not clear that the NLS will have sufficient funds to meet its original production goals.

Even if the NLS is able to find sufficient funds to begin its transition as planned, the DTB is expected to be phased in over a four year period. For example, beginning in 2009 the New Mexico program may expect to receive about 60 DTB players per month. As military Veterans benefit from a legal preference, and the library has about 500 such patrons, it is expected that much of the first year of distribution may go to these patrons.

How NLS regional libraries will prioritize distribution of DTBs after meeting the Veteran’s requirement is still being discussed. Ideas being discussed include prioritizing patrons who have been most active and have few overdues, new patrons, youth patrons, etc. The New Mexico library plans to mail a survey in 2008 that will poll patrons as to preference. In the meanwhile, we welcome suggestions on the subject of distribution priority . It is likely that distribution policies and priorities may vary among regional and subregional libraries.

The availability of downloadable NLS produced digital books has been limited to a “pilot” group of about 100 participants for nearly a year. This group was selected to evaluate available DTBs. Recently, the NLS has decided to open the pilot book-and-magazine download site to patrons who are active readers, and who have acquired a third-party digital talking-book player. In July, the NLS reported that the Victor Reader Stream, which lists for about $300, is the first such player and that other assistive technology devices may have playback capability in the upcoming months.

The NLS emphasizes that the current download access should not be viewed as a full-scale service. Furthermore, it is limited to active patrons with a third-party player acquired through non-NLS sources. Those eligible individuals with such a player will need high-speed Internet service such as DSL or cable, access to a computer connected to the Internet for downloading and unzipping books and/or magazines, and have access to an active e-mail address.

Patrons interested in participating in the expanded Download Pilot may access an online application page at The New Mexico regional library does not have DTB compatible machines to loan.


  • RNM00056 - The Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston and narrated by Jose Sanchez. A brief interpretation and history of the Spanish Civil War, its origins and consequences, by a leading authority, written from an anti-Franco viewpoint.
  • RNM00080 - Jose’s Buffalo Hunt written by Marc Simmons and narrated by John McCarthy. Fictionalized but true story of an eleven-year-old New Mexico boy taking part in the annual buffalo hunt. Jose lived with his family and farmed along the Pecos River. Each fall they would ride to Texas to hunt the buffalo in order to bring the meat back so everyone could eat during the long, cold winter.
  • RNM00081 - Millie Cooper’s Ride written by Marc Simmons and narrated by John McCarthy. Set in the Missouri frontier during the War of 1812. Millie's family and neighbors are set upon by Indians allied with the British. Millie volunteers to ride to nearby Ft. Hempstead for reinforcements. Her desperate journey turns the tide of battle.
  • RNM00086 - The Spanish Labyrinth written by Gerald Brenan and narrated by Jose Sanchez. The classic account of the background to the Spanish Civil War. Written during and immediately after the Civil War, the book has all the vividness of personal experience. It represents a struggle
    to see the issues in Spanish politics objectively and is a careful, sympathetic and judicious account.
  • RNM00095 - The Witches of Abiquiu by Malcolm Ebright and Rick Hendricks and narrated by Jose Sanchez. The little-studied witchcraft trials that took place between 1756 and 1766 at Abiquiu, New Mexico, symbolized a resistance by the Genizaros (Hispanicized Indians) to forced Christianization.
  • RNM00097 - The Peopling of Bandelier edited by Robert P. Powers and narrated by Zella Kay Cox. The areas surrounding present-day Bandelier and the Pajarito Plateau are a treasure trove rich in history, pueblo culture, and nature. This book explores these beautiful places and takes a look at the impact Pueblans had on their environment and the places that figured importantly in their lives.
  • RNM00110 - The Doctor Wore Petticoats written by Chris Enss and narrated by Sat Nirmal Khalsa. "No women need apply." Western frontier towns looking for a doctor often concluded their ads in just that way. But apply they did, and in small towns all over the West, highly trained women from Eastern medical schools took the post of local doctor, changing the lives of their patients and themselves.