Braille Book Review

November-December 2000

In Brief

New braille Instruction Manual issued

NLS has announced publication of the fourth edition of the Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing. This version of the manual was developed under the leadership of Constance Risjord, literary braille transcriber, former member of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) literary technical committee, and past chair of the National Braille Association (NBA) literary technical committee; John Wilkinson, NLS literary braille advisor; and Mary Lou Stark, head, NLS Braille Development Section. More than forty transcribers, peer reviewers, computer specialists, educators, and editors contributed to the project.

The manual is designed for use in the correspondence course in English braille transcribing conducted by NLS and by instructors of similar braille classes in locations across the United States. The course is intended to familiarize students with the braille system, with braille contractions and their usage, and with the rules of braille transcribing set forth by BANA and published in English Braille, American Edition, which became the authorized braille code for the United States in 1959.

The original plan for the manual was to slightly modify the 1984 edition to reflect code changes adopted in 1987 and 1991, but the need for more drastic revision emerged over the course of the project. In the new edition, explanations have been expanded and many simulated braille examples added; drills and exercises have been updated and increased; and lessons have been modified to smooth the progression of the course.

Persons interested in enrolling in the braille transcription course or wishing to obtain further information should contact the Braille Development Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, at 1-800-424-8567.

Sport magazine discontinued

Sport magazine ceased publication in August. A replacement is being considered.

Harry Potter collection complete

J.K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter stories are all available for loan in braille through network libraries. The latest novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (BR 12764), was shipped to libraries in mid-September and will be formally announced in a forthcoming issue of Braille Book Review. The other titles in the series are Harry Potter and the Sorcererūs Stone (BR 11879), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (BR 12276), and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azbakan (BR 12390). The three earlier books are available for use online or for download through Web-Braille at the NLS web site, and the latest will be available in the near future.

The books are available for purchase from the National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115, and may also be purchased on NBP PortaBook diskette for use with a refreshable braille notetaker at the same prices as the embossed editions. For further information, visit the National Braille Press web site or call 800-548-7323.


The following announcements may be of interest to readers. The National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reserves the right to publish announcement selectively, as space permits. Items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

Year 2001 calendars. Listed below are organizations that produce calendars in braille or print/braille.

American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
18440 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 343-2022
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9315
web site:
6 x 6 1/2-inch braille calendar. Features one page per month, a personal day page, and a listing of major holidays. Accepts orders by mail only. Free.

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
(502) 895-2405
web site:
8 1/2 x 11-inch large-print/braille sixteen-month InSights Calendar. Includes holidays and Moon phases. Features selected art from the APH juried competition. Accepts orders by mail or telephone. $7.50. English edition, catalog #5-18971-01; Spanish edition, catalog #5-18973-01. 2 x 3 1/2-inch (business card size) braille pocket calendar. Allows a braille user to track dates for an entire year. $2. JaJo Braille Pocket Calendar 2001, catalog #1-18990-01.

Braille Institute Press
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 663-1111, ext. 1513
8 1/2 x 11-inch print/braille calendar. Provided as an insert in the December issue of the Braille Mirror and the holiday issue of Expectations. A limited quantity of extras are available and can be ordered by mail or telephone. Free.

Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired
1170 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209-0398
(716) 882-1025
(716) 882-5577 fax
5 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch braille desk calendar with two days per page and dividers for each month. Accepts orders by mail, telephone, or prepaid. $33 for base and refills, $27.50 for refills only.

John Milton Society for the Blind
475 Riverside Drive, Room 455
New York, NY 10115
(212) 870-3336 for orders
(212) 870-3229 fax
web site:
12 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch braille calendar. Features a motto on each page. Accepts orders by mail or telephone. Free.

Lutheran Mission with Blind and Visually Impaired Persons
Attn: Lynne Borchelt
1333 South Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
(314) 965-9000
8 1/2 x 11-inch braille calendar entitled Words to Live By. Features a monthly verse from the Bible. Accepts orders by mail or telephone. Free.

National Braille Press
Attn: Customer Service
88 St. Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 266-6160
web site:
8 1/2 x 11-inch print/braille calendar with Winnie the Pooh motif. Accepts prepaid orders by mail or telephone. $10.99.

TFB Publications
238 75th Street
North Bergen, NJ 07047
(201) 662-0956
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch braille appointment calendar with separate week at the top of each braille page. Accepts prepaid orders by mail only. $5.

Maps of Bible lands issued. The Princeton Braillists have issued a collection of tactile maps for students of the Bible and the history of the ancient Near East. Because the maps are detailed and include no descriptive material, some familiarity with the subject matter along with tactile experience are recommended.

Maps of the Bible Lands--Old Testament contains 25 maps and accompanying key pages and index in two bound volumes totaling 96 pages. The price is $22. For information, contact the Princeton Braillists, 28-B Portsmouth Street, Whiting, NJ 08759, or call (732) 350-3708.

The following information is reprinted from Talking Books Topics, November-December 2000.

Reminder: Last TBT on flexible disc

This is the last issue of Talking Book Topics (TBT) to be produced on flexible disc (FD). Beginning in January 2001, NLS's remaining FD magazines, including TBT, will be switched to cassettes. TBT will continue to be available in large print, on computer diskette, and online at The braille edition of Braille Book Review also includes the one- line annotations from TBT. Patrons who have been receiving TBT on FD will automatically receive it on cassette unless they request another format through their network library.

Magazine changes in 2001

In response to patrons' and librarians' requests, Teen People magazine will be available to patrons on cassette beginning in January 2001, replacing Seventeen. Patrons who now receive Seventeen in recorded format will automatically receive Teen People unless they request another title or cancel their subscription through their network library. Seventeen will continue to be produced in braille.


The following announcement may be of interest to readers. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reserves the right to publish announcements selectively, as space permits. Items mentioned, however, are not part of the NLS program, and their listing does not imply endorsement.

Art education: a multisensory approach. The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) announces the publication of the first three volumes of a multisensory series adapted for readers with impaired vision. The Building Blocks of Art, The Art of Ancient Egypt, and European Modernism: 1900-1940 are part of the series "Art History through Touch and Sound," which conveys information about individual artworks and events and perspectives that have influenced major movements in art and architecture. Each volume includes tactile diagrams, photographs with large-print and braille captions, narratives on cassette, and a teacher's supplement on computer disk. The cost of the kit for each volume is $99. The teacher's supplement is available in braille for an additional $49. Diagram manuals and computer disks may also be purchased separately. For further information, visit the APH web site at, e-mail, call toll free 1-800-223-1839, or visit Art Education for the Blind at

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