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.



The Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) has exciting news to share with you. In June, we will be introducing a better way to get audio-books to you. We are calling this service – Audiobooks on Demand.

No more waiting for your books. Our new program will make NLS audiobooks available the same day they are available in BARD. Most of you have had to wait weeks or months. This changes in June.

With our Audiobooks on Demand, everyone gets the books they want when they want them. If a hundred people want a new book on the first day it is available, a hundred people will have that book in the mail to them the next day.

AND even better, we will be able to put up to eight books on one cartridge. You will no longer need to change cartridges when you finish listening to a book. You move from book to book at your leisure.

Also, if you know of any golfers, our golf fundraiser is June 11th at the Bedens Brook Club in Skillman, New Jersey.

We have more information for you on the following pages.  Enjoy your spring with a new book.

Thank you,

Mary L. Chute
New Jersey State Librarian



Why is TBBC doing this?

The National Library Service (NLS) looked at how books were being sent to patrons and realized there was a better way. After an audiobook is created by NLS, patrons have to wait for the cartridges to be made. Shouldn’t there be a way to get that book right away?

One cartridge has a lot of space on it, and can fit more than one book. So if you want eight books, why send out eight cartridges when instead you can have one cartridge with all your titles?

Getting books to you quickly, eliminating wait time for books, and minimizing how many cartridges you have are all reasons why NLS decided to update how they send books.

How will this change my service?

You won’t have to wait for a book that’s checked out now that we can download a copy of any book in our collection for you on demand.

You don’t need to use BARD to have access to all books on BARD. If an audiobook exists on BARD we can send it to you.

You’ll receive less mail from us without sacrificing the number of books you have. We can fit many titles on one cartridge!

Your service will be customized to what you want:  all of a series or a favorite author can be on one cartridge.

What’s different about Audiobooks on Demand cartridges?

Audiobooks on Demand cartridges have multiple titles on them. To move from one book to another you can use either “Sequential Play” or “Bookshelf,” both of which are explained in this newsletter.

Returning a cartridge is much simpler. A permanent return label is on all the mailing containers, so you no longer will have to flip the mailing card to return a container. And, cartridges can be returned in any container.

How will I know what books are on a cartridge?

Your mailing card will have a list of all the books on your cartridge. The mailing card fits a list of up to eight titles, so for now, we are only having eight books on a cartridge. Or, use the “Bookshelf” described below to have the player read all the book titles to you.

Wasn’t TBBC already doing this?

Here at TBBC we have always been looking for ways to get patrons the books they want! We tested out “Custom Cartridges” that some of you may have had. We realized that Audiobooks on Demand will get more books to patrons than “Custom Cartridges” did.

When does Audiobooks on Demand start?

At the time we are writing this newsletter, we plan to start Audiobooks on Demand on Monday, June 3rd. That week we will not be taking phone calls or be open for public visits so we can concentrate on Audiobooks on Demand. But you know how plans are! Things happen and we have to be flexible. We will have announcements on our phone message and our webpage to keep you informed.



You have more than one audiobook on a cartridge; how do you listen to them? There are two ways to move between multiple audiobooks on a cartridge:  Sequential Play and Bookshelf.

Sequential Play

Sequential Play lets you listen to one book after another. In order to use this, wait for your current book to end. The player will announce “end of book, press Play/Stop to go to next book.” Once you hear this, press the square green Play/Stop button once. The player will then begin to read the next book on the cartridge.

To make sure Sequential Play works on your player, your player will need a software update once. The Audiobooks on Demand cartridge you will be sent has this update on it. You will hear an announcement saying that the update is taking place. This takes only a few moments, and once it’s done, you can listen to your books.


Bookshelf lets you move from one book to another in any order you want.

Turn on your player and insert your cartridge. Once the player is on and the cartridge is in, press and hold down the square green Play/Stop button for 3 seconds, until you hear the word “Bookshelf.” Once the player says the word “Bookshelf” let go of the Play/Stop button.

Now, you can use the fast forward and rewind buttons to move from one book to another. These buttons are the white, arrow shaped, buttons to the left and right of the Play/Stop button. Pressing the fast forward button once will go forward one book on the cartridge, and pressing the rewind button once will go back one book on the cartridge. Be careful to only hit the button once so that the player does not skip any books. The player will announce the number of each book and the title as you go from book to book. Once you get to the book you want to listen to, press the Play/Stop button once and the book will begin playing.



There will be some changes to our online catalog. You will still be able to order books this way, but there will be a new website, a new login, and a new password. The website will be available in June, and you can create a new password then.



All of our cartridges come in a plastic case with a mailing card attached. In the past, this card had your address on one side, and our address on the other. The mailing card will still have your address on the front, but the flip side will have a list of the books contained on the cartridge. Cartridges no longer need to be returned in the same container that they came in.  As long as you have one of our empty containers, you are able to return any of your cartridges. This means less fuss and confusion for you!

When you are ready to return your cartridge, simply place it back in a container and remove the card with your address on it. The cartridge container will already have our address affixed to it, so once the mailing card is removed, the postal carrier will know to return it to us. Simply stated, when sending back books:  remove card and return.



Be sure to join us next summer for TBBC’s by-mail Summer Program. For several weeks over the summer, every participant receives a package full of gifts, activities, and book suggestions. In the past, these have included magnetic picture frames, key chains, and stress balls. The gifts are provided thanks to the generosity of TBBC’s Friends of the Library.

Braille readers may have their packets in Braille, and all reading counts – Braille, audio, and large print! Our audio readers have a new way to get books this year, Audiobooks on Demand! All your summer reading books can fit on one cartridge!



Subscribers to National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) NEWSLINE can now access it hands-free using any Amazon Alexa product, including the Echo and Echo Dot. Just say, “Alexa open National Federation,” and then “Alexa ask National Federation to log in.” You will be prompted to enter your 6-digit login ID and 4-digit passcode. Alexa will remember you on that particular device so you won’t need to re-enter your login information.

You can ask Alexa to read any of the 13 national newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. Just say “Alexa ask National Federation to read the Wall Street Journal.” To listen to any of the 5 New Jersey newspapers, just say:  “Alexa ask National Federation to list publications from New Jersey.” This same format can be used for magazines and newspapers in others states as well. Instructions to get started with a list of basic commands can be found online at

NEWSLINE is sponsored in New Jersey by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) and is available to TBBC patrons. For more information call Chris Riehl at TBBC at 800-792-8322 ext. 821 or NFB directly at 866-504-7300.



Please join us at the Bedens Brook Club in Skillman, NJ on Tuesday June 9th to tee up for Talking Books and help support our free public library that helps thousands of NJ residents each year. For registration and sponsorship opportunities visit our website at (soon to come) or contact Linda Cerce at 800-792-8322 ext. 835,



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 and their mailing address is:

The Friends of the NJLBH
P.O. Box 434
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-0434



P.O. Box 501
Trenton, NJ 08625-0501

Toll-Free Phone Number       (800) 792-8322

Local Phone Number             (609) 406-7179

Email Address             

Website Address