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Insights: Newsletter of the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center

Insights is the newsletter of the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC). Read our current newsletter. Questions?  Call TBBC at 800-792-8322.


I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer. During the past few months my responsibilities have taken me all across New Jersey and as always I am reminded of the many beautiful places located in our state.

Speaking of beautiful places, the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ is once again the location for our upcoming Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14th.  This is the fourth time we have collaborated with the Grounds to provide a day for you that you will enjoy.

For many of you, this may be the first time you have heard about our Fall Festival. Let me briefly tell you about the day. The morning begins with a continental breakfast sponsored by our generous Friends of the Library group and an opportunity to meet with representatives from the Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC), other state agencies and organizations, and commercial vendors. The afternoon will feature several hands-on art classes led by artists and guided touch tours of the Grounds.

I cannot express how deeply we appreciate the efforts of the Grounds to make the Fall Festival a special day for everyone. Please spend a few minutes reading in more detail about our 2017 Fall Festival. We hope that you will join us for this special event.

Thank you,


Mary L. Chute, New Jersey State Librarian


All TBBC members are invited to our Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14th. Once again, we are partnering with the Grounds For Sculpture for this event. The Grounds, a 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum founded on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, is a premier cultural destination that is not to be missed! We invite you to join us. Here are important details, registration information and the agenda for the day.


10:00 am – 12:00 pm   Continental Breakfast with the Vendors
12:30 pm-   1:30 pm   Art Workshop or Guided Walking Touch Tour
2:00 pm –   3:00 pm   Art Workshop or Guided Walking Touch Tour
3:00 pm –   4:00 pm   Guided Walking Touch Tour

Continental Breakfast with the Vendors:

Explore assistive technology products and a wealth of services. Continental breakfast is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art Workshops:

  • Woven Newspaper Workshop—Transform newspaper into a woven artwork! Using a custom loom created from cardboard, fold newspaper into strips, and learn traditional weaving techniques to form a one-of-a-kind artwork. Be amazed at what you can create from everyday materials!
  • Creating Art Using Your Mind’s Eye— In this workshop, create a work of art from your mind’s eye. Bend, twist, and shape wax sticks into creative shapes, which are then pressed onto textured paper to create a dimensional drawing. Add color to the spaces between shapes using markers. Leave the workshop with the knowledge that anyone can create a beautiful piece of art!

Guided Walking Touch Tours

Discover the wonders of the Grounds For Sculpture! Register for a docent-led touch tour featuring a variety of sculptures. Both types of tours will include information on artists, artistic techniques and provide opportunities for the participants to explore the sculptures through touch. Guided Walking Touch Tours last about 45 minutes.

  • Touch Tour Group 1: A tour that is moderately paced and will highlight sculptures in and around the perimeter of the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts building.
  • Touch Tour Group 2: A general tour that will highlight major sculptures throughout the Grounds.                                                               



Free to all TBBC members plus two guests only. Additional guests must pay admission:

  • Adults: $18 in-person or $16 online
  • Adults 65+: $15 in-person or $13 online
  • Students 6-17 or with college ID: $10
  • Grounds For Sculpture Members & children 5 & younger: Free


Registration deadline is October 2, 2017. Registration is required for all TBBC members and their guests attending the Fall Festival. To register, call TBBC at 800-792-8322, extension 816 with the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • Total number of adults (including yourself) and children attending
  • Requests for a sighted guide
  • Your choices of art workshops and tours

(Please specify the time and the workshop or tour you wish to attend. Spaces are limited—register early!)


Attendees must make their own transportation plans. The Grounds For Sculpture is located at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton, NJ 08619. Registration, vendors and the festival are located in the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts building, located at the main entrance of the Grounds. Find directions at this Grounds for Sculpture web site.

FOOD: You may purchase lunch and snacks at the Van Gogh Café and the Peacock Café.

WEB PAGE FOR THE FESTIVAL: http://www.njstatelib.org/festival


Liz Burns and Jen Apgar will be at this year’s Fall Festival, and are looking forward to meeting the children and teen patrons of TBBC! We will be in the East Gallery from 10:00am – 12:00pm, and will turn our table into a mini makerspace with crafts and projects that can be either made there or taken home. Stop by and say “hi”!


TBBC’s by-mail summer program was another great success! Over sixty children and teens signed up! For six weeks, summer program participants received a package of activities and prizes. Participants read Braille, audiobooks, and large print books over the summer. And, of course, the weekly packages were sent in Braille for Braille readers. Thanks to the generosity of our Friends group for supplying the prizes.


Our Recognition Wall continues to grow! Many supporters expressed their dedication to TBBC and memorialized a valued patron with a book-shaped plaque in their honor. For more information about purchasing a plaque, contact Linda Cerce at 800-792-8322 ext. 835. For your convenience, you can order your plaque and pay online on our Donate page.


Check out our new and improved ways of donating. We have been working hard to make donating online secure and convenient. There are several different ways to donate and support TBBC. You can donate with our standard remittance envelope or visit us online at our Donate page.

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

The Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) is available to all TBBC members. BARD contains our entire collection of audiobooks and audio magazines.  We now have over 90,000 audiobooks! You can have a free BARD account to download items.

BARD can be enjoyed several ways by our members:

  • If you are using our talking book machine, audiobooks and audio magazines can be downloaded to a flash drive that you can insert into the right side of the machine. If you need help downloading, we have partnered with public libraries around the state to offer assistance. Call Reader’s Services at 800-792-8322 to find a library near you.
  • The BARD Mobile app is here for those using Android, Apple or Kindle Fire devices. Find more information about BARD Mobile here.
  • Register for a BARD account.


Are you 55 or older with a change of vision? You can receive free training on computers and iPads that magnify and speak.  Thanks to the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, assistive technology learning centers have been created at 8 public libraries throughout New Jersey.  FREE training is available on computers and iPads!  To register, call Advancing Opportunities at 888-322-1918, extension 501.


The Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes financial assistance and acts as an advocacy group to the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center. The Friends support and promote the services and programs of TBBC. They meet twice a year on the first Saturday in June and December at the Joseph Kohn Training Center in New Brunswick, NJ.

For additional information and a membership application, visit the Friends’ website  or call 609-888-5459. The Friends’ email address is Friendsnjlbh@yahoo.com and their mailing address is:

The Friends of the NJLBH

P.O. Box 434

Woodbridge, NJ 07095-0434


Toll-Free Phone Number       (800) 792-8322

Local Phone Number             (609) 406-7179

Email Address                       tbbc@njstatelib.org

Website Address                   www.njstatelib.org/tbbc