Vol. 6, No. 1

February 1999


Pinellas TBL is Automation Pioneer

The library staff thanks the Pinellas County talking book readership for patience and positive thoughts during our change to a new automation system in November. The KLAS database from Keystone Systems, Inc. now links Pinellas with client and collection records from the regional library in Daytona Beach. The shared information resides on a computer server at Keystone headquarters in Raleigh, NC. The Internet provides the pipeline for sending and displaying data between sites. We are the first talking book subregional in the country to implement an off-site, or outsourced, automation model. While we were able through months of preparation to anticipate most problems or conflicts, the staff continues working with colleagues in Daytona to troubleshoot and coordinate for consistent, efficient service. Already talking book loans for December were up 27% over the same period last year.

Please contact the library with any question, complaints, needs, etc.; we want feedback to identify and correct errors and inaccuracies caused by merging records. Look for new features and services made possible by KLAS later this year, including a talking book catalog accessible from home via computer and modem for searching the collection and reserving books.

Finally, I wish to extend my appreciation to the TBL staff for their dedication and hard work through our transition. During the two weeks our computers were frozen we received thousands of books returned through the mail that we could not check in. While learning a complex new automation system and new Windows 98 software, plus welcoming and orienting two new staff members, they finished checking-in and reshelving all of the returned books by the second week of December. Their accomplishment was indicative of their energy and belief in quality service.

We will keep you informed of all new developments and changes in the KLAS database, and how you can assist us in optimizing its power and flexibility.

R. Greg Carlson

Talking Book Librarian


Service Tips

Our new automation system depends on mail cards inserted in your green cassette containers to track the loan status of each talking book. A unique association is created at check-out between client record, book, and mailcard. Please keep all mail cards and books together just as they were sent to you. Also, turn over cards to display the library’s return address. Do not readdress cards.

Please contact the library prior to any temporary or permanent move. Direct mail magazines on disk, cassette, or braille may be interrupted if returned to sender due to incorrect address information.

News You Can Use

(From Three Rivers News, Fall 1998, pg. 3)

A reader in Montana has invented a talking book marker for people vexed with falling asleep and losing their place in a story. The device plugs into the remote control jack of the cassette machine and has a switch that must be depressed to keep the tape playing. When pressure is released, the tape stops. Contact Jim Daily at 406/782-2202 for more information and current pricing.

Lifeline and Linkup are underutilized programs designed to cut telephone service fees for individuals who receive food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or other types of assistance. Contact your local telephone company for eligibility criteria and a description of discounts.

The Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has mounted a disability-related website called Family Village (www.familyvillage.wisc.edu). The library section offers numerous links to national organizations, chat groups, and resources on specific disabilities and rare disorders.

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. (SGD) of Palmetto FL, needs puppy raisers to expose future guide dogs to the home environment and social situations. After one year puppies return to SGD and begin formal training. For more information on the rewards of puppie raising or other volunteer opportunities, contact SGD at 941/729-5665.

Gonna Read Like Its 1999

The new millennium has provoked all manner of predictions and prophecy from a computer crisis called Y2K to apocalyptic visions of the world’s end. In this issue we spotlight books that feature millennial thought or related themes. To order the following titles mail the enclosed order form or call/email/fax the library with your request.

The Empire of Ice

by Richard Moran

RC 39137

Set in the year 2000, a geophysicist and his crew study a rapidly growing volcano, as its eminent eruption will cause major catastrophies.

When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture

by Paul Boyer

RC 37257

A detailed examination of the events prophesied in the Book of Revelation, noting especially the effects in secular American culture.

Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession

by Robert C. Fuller

RC 41448

A professor of religious studies looks at the Antichrist in this prelude to the apocalyptic millennium.

Doomsday, 1999 A.D.

by Charles Berlitz

RC 16800

Examines the ways in which the world may soon end and presents evidence that the earth has gone through recurring cycles of destruction and rebirth.


by Gerard O’Neill

RC 17152

Reviews the accuracy of predictions made by Verne, Wells, Huxley, and Orwell, and describes how applications of technology will affect our lives in the future.


New Staff

Please welcome Barbara Lapointe and Logan Allen to the TBL staff. Barbara has assumed duties as assistant talking book librarian. She is from Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada, and holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from McGill University in Montreal.

Logan Allen now handles client services for readers with last names

beginning with A through L. Logan hails from Philadelphia and worked in the patient library at the Bay Pines VA prior to joining the TBL.

Barbara and Logan look forward to serving you.


Donations Welcome

The Pinellas Talking Book Library is grateful to those who have donated funds for free library services to people with print disabilities. We acknowledge donations in writing soon after receipt and apply gifts to purchase computer equipment, descriptive videos, reference books, and other library essentials. You may designate your donation to honor a special occasion including birthdays or anniversaries, or as a memorial for friend or family. Please make your check out to the Pinellas Talking Book Library and mail it to the address printed on the back of the newsletter. Remember to include names and addresses so that we may properly acknowledge your donation or memorial. Thank you for your continuing support.


Moving Update

Since our last newsletter edition in October the Executive Board of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative closed on the purchase of our future office located at 1330 Cleveland Street in Clearwater. Architect Ted Williamson has met once with the TBL staff to elicit suggestions for his initial concept drawings. We will continue to work with Mr. Wiliamson and his project manager on planning sound, smart renovations to the existing building. The TBL’s consumer advocacy committee has provided input on aspects of the building project such as lighting, and our volunteers gave us good ideas for outfitting their work areas. We will keep you informed of news regarding the library’s move, especially developments that will impact services.


TBL Casts For Support

Anglers with disabilities will challenge bass and stereotypes at the TBL’s Fishing Is For Everyone fundraiser, Saturday, May 22 on Derby Lake, Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Lakeland. Proceeds from the event will benefit free library services to Pinellas County residents who cannot use standard print due to low vision, blindness, or physical disability. Derby Lake features a fishing pier designed for wheelchair accessibility and waters maintainned by fisheries biologists to shorten the wait between bites. The TBL wants to recruit 50 anglers with visual or physical disabilities to participate, and match them with individual or corporate sponsors. "The fundraiser joins two of Florida’s great pastimes--fishing and reading," said TBL librarian Greg Carlson. Tenoroc and the TBL will outfit anglers with tackle, including accessible fishing equipment, provide food and beverages, and arrange for transportation to and from Lakeland. Captain Eric Shapiro of Light Tackle Fishing Expeditions and Time-Warner Communication program Left Coast Fishing will also be on hand to share his expertise. Sponsorships are $50 per angler; the TBL also welcomes in-kind donations. Contact Greg Carlson at 727/538-9567 or 727/538-0261 for a fundraiser brochure or more information.


Library Staff

R. Greg Carlson


Barbara Lapointe

Assistant Librarian

Rick Griffing

Office Manager

Marianne Morawetz

Library Assistant

Logan Allen

Library Assistant

Donna Wiggins



Mission Statement

The Pinellas Talking Book Library's

mission is to encourage and support reading by providing free library services to Pinellas County residents for whom conventional print is a barrier.