Vol. 6, No. 4

December 1999

Donald Weber, Florida Regional Library Director

It was with great sadness we learned of the passing of Don Weber, on Sunday, November 14, 1999, at his home. Don was Chief of the Florida Bureau of Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Daytona Beach since 1975. During his time as Library Director the collection grew to its present size of more than 2.3 million books on tape and in Braille, with over 45,000 registered readers. He was a published author; a life member of the Visual Aid Volunteers of Florida, where he served as a member of the board of directors and president; and received several awards including the Outstanding Service Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Florida in 1995 and the Francis Joseph Campbell Medal and Citation from the American Library Association in 1999.

Don is survived by a son, Christopher, and a daughter, Aysa, both of New York, a brother Frank Weber, and a cousin, Jerry Crawford, who provided for his care.

We will miss Don, his vision and his leadership in library services to blind and physically handicapped residents of Florida.


Medicare-related Publications

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has made available two Medicare-related publications in special formats. The Medicare and You 2000 Handbook is available in Braille, cassette (in both English and Spanish), and Large Print (also in English and Spanish). The 1999 Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare is available on cassette in English and Spanish. Single copies of each publication may be requested from the Medicare Hotline at 1-800-633-4227.

Helpline Introduces New TDD Line: 727-550-4028

Helpline, a program of Pinellas Cares, Inc., has a 24 hour TDD line staffed by certified telephone counselors providing referrals, crisis intervention, community information and counseling. Services are confidential and callers may remain anonymous. This is a free service.

Holiday 1999

There are several community organizations you may contact for assistance this holiday season.
For assistance with a Jewish holiday, contact Gulf Coast Community Care in Clearwater at 727-538-7150.
Christmas On-Site Meals are available Christmas Day:
St. Vincent De Paul in Clearwater (727-441-3950)
Beacon House in St. Petersburg (727-823-5780)
St. Vincent De Paul in St. Petersburg (727-821-3446)
Salvation Army in St. Petersburg (727-822-4954) will provide a full holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, as will People That Love (727-525-4789).
St. Petersburg City Mission at Trinity Lutheran will provide a noon dinner on December 23rd.

For families in need of special assistance during the holiday season, contact the Salvation Army "Christmas Joy Center" at 1787 Hercules Ave or in Tarpon Springs at 210 South Pinellas Ave, Suite 120. Head of Household will need to come in person to complete application. Be sure to bring I.D. with current address, birth certificates, Medicare cards, and Social Security cards (as applicable) for all persons in household. Sign-up dates for both locations are Nov 1st – Dec 17th.

Talking Caller ID's

GTE Phone Mart has an ASTRA 990 talking caller ID. It has 120 name and number storage, with full audio review. List price is $79.95.

Bell South also has a talking caller ID. The 95000 CW is call waiting compatible, stores 64 names and numbers, will speak callers name if programmed, and speaks English or Spanish. List price is $99.96. Call 1-800-733-2355 for information.

Information for Blind Veterans

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has services and equipment available that may be helpful in dealing with problems related to your vision loss. All United States military veterans, whether they served during war or peace, whether they lost their vision for service or non-service reasons, may be eligible for these services. Request more information by contacting the Visual Impairment Services Team at 1-800-324-8387 ext 5560 for a referral to the VIST Coordinator and VA facility nearest you.
(Compliments of the Bainbridge, GA Subregional Library)


As you know, the National Library Service has been converting flexible disc magazines to cassette format. Starting with the January 2000 issue the following titles will now be available on cassette. If you already subscribe to these magazines you will automatically receive the cassette copy.

The Atlantic Monthly
Sports Illustrated
True West
Outdoor Life
New Choices: Living Even Better after Fifty
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Health and Nutrition Newsletters
Magazine of the Month


Talking book readers now have access to more than 2,600 Braille books via the Internet. A new service of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, “Web-Braille” is available to eligible individuals, libraries, and schools with Braille embossers, refreshable Braille displays, and other Braille-aware devices. Users must provide their own equipment and must have an e-mail address and access to the Internet.

Additional information about Web-Braille is in the November-December issues of Braille Book Review and Talking Book Topics. For information about this service or to obtain a password, call Barbara at the Library.


Last year the Pinellas Talking Book Library converted to the Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS). As part of the improved services available with this new system is access to our catalog of talking book and Braille reading material via the World Wide Web. The address is: http://www.klas.com/talkingbooks/florida

Anyone can visit the Web site to search the catalog of available materials, but registered Library patrons can also place orders for books at the Web site. You must first contact us so we can assign a password for you to use when ordering material. For more information about this service or to receive a password, please call Barbara at the Library.


With the race for the White House about to heat up, as well as other political contests such as House and Senate seats and local races for mayor and city council, you may be interested in reading a few of the following books about politics and politicians. (All are Adult Reading Level unless otherwise noted.) This is just a sampling of what we have available in our collection. If you know of a specific title or author, are interested in a book about a certain person, or would like to order any of the books listed below, please call your Reader Advisor.
Book # Title Author
RC 48630 Gore: A Political Life Bob Zelnick
RC 43310 The Choice Bob Woodward
RC 46708 Prayer for the City Buzz Bissinger
RC 29628 First Father, First Daughter Maureen Reagan
RC 16156 The Parties: Republicans Henry Fairlie
RC 41491 Middle Class Dreams Stanley Greenberg
RC 43244 Time Present, Time Past Bill Bradley
RC 42298 Politics of Conscience Patricia Wallace
RC 42631 Golden Rule Thomas Ferguson
RC 41166 Contract with America Ed Gillespie
RC 42135 Washington Through a Purple Veil Lindy Boggs
RC 42491 Senator for Sale Stanley Hilton
RC 46405 Show Time Roger Simon
RC 40735 All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President Mary Matalin & James Carville
RC 48272 All Too Human: A Political Education George Stephanopoulos
RC 40600 Time to Remember</TD> Rose Kennedy
RC 40862 Gen H Norman Schwarzkopf H. Schwarzkopf
RC 40458 First In His Class David Maraniss
RC 47911 Madam Secretary
(Young Adult Reading Level)
Jeremy Byman
RC 46864 Bob Dole: Politician
(Grades 5-8)
Marcia Wertime