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Wolfner News Spring 2009
Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State
Notes from the Director
Federal Funding and the Digital Transition Update
The National Library Service (NLS) budget request for an increase of $19,100,000 each year for four years to expedite the transition of the audio books program from analog to digital was not approved. When the omnibus domestic spending bill was signed into law on December 26, 2007, it included a budget increase for NLS of $12,500,000 each year for six years, rather than the requested $19,100,000 each year. For Wolfner patrons, this means that the beginning of the transition to digital books and players has been delayed for several months, and the change to digital will likely be completed in 2014 instead of 2012. On a brighter note, Wolfner Library is one of eight libraries in the country that will participate in the digital prelaunch test. NLS expects that the prelaunch test will begin in late 2008, depending upon contracting and manufacturing progress.
A special thank you goes to the Friends of Wolfner Library. We would not be able to provide yearly programs such as The Summer Reading Program or the volunteer recognition dinner without the support of the Friends of Wolfner Library. Their financial support allows us to buy door prizes for outreach and rewards and incentives for the Summer Reading Program. This year, the Friends will help Wolfner Library by contributing up to $50,000 for the purchase of blank digital cartridges. This will allow the library staff to continue to provide exemplary reading services for patrons, even with an expected shortage of digital books and machines in 2008. Thanks to Stan Rock, president of the Friends, the Friends volunteer board and all of you who support us through your membership.
Richard Smith, Director
From the Editor’s Desk: Political Science 101
Political Science is the study of political behavior and public policies, and in this election year many people are developing a new or renewed interest in our political figures, history and processes. Fortunately, we have books available on many political topics, so you can design your own course of study from the comfort of your home!
If you would like to learn the basics about elections in the United States, you might like America Votes: How Our President Is Elected(RC 57698, BR 15268), which explores the election process and the right and duty of citizens to vote, or The Electoral College (RC 56385), which reviews the electoral process and past disputed elections. Teen Power Politics (RC 51800) explains the history of our democracy, voting rights, and the election process and encourages teens to get involved in politics. The history of our political parties is explained in Party of the People: A History of the Democrats (RC 57723) and Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (RC 57736).
The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are often debated or invoked by political candidates and pundits. If you would like to brush up on these important documents, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (RC 52778, BR 13599) provides the text of both documents as well as historical information about them. If you’re interested in only the Constitution, try America’s Constitution: A Biography (RC 62200) by Yale professor Akhil Reed Amar or Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776—1995 (BR 12363) which is an award winning book that reviews the American constitutional amendment system. If you’re interested in only the Declaration of Independence, try Our Declaration of Independence (RC 36135).
If you are curious about Congress and how it operates, try The U.S. Senate: Paralysis or a Search for Consensus? (RC 25327), which examines the history and inner workings of the United States Senate, or The House: The History of the House of Representatives (RC 64428), which offers a history of the United States House of Representatives since its beginning.
We have many books for those who feel that our political system might need some changes. You could try The Presidential Nominating Process: A Place for Us? (RC 58091, BR 15388) by a political journalist who examines the election process and suggests reforms, or Campaign Politics: What’s Fair? What’s Foul? (RC 51787), which reviews the election process, including campaign practices, and discusses the possibility of reforms. Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems (RC 42631) puts forth the idea that folks who have lots of money have political influence, and the rest of us don’t! In The Lobbyists: How Influence Peddlers Get Their Way in Washington (RC 36211), a journalist explores the relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists. No Way to Pick a President (RC 49821), written by veteran journalist Jules Witcover, offers options for reform of a system he believes has become corrupt. How Democratic is the American Constitution? (RC 55674) explores the Constitution and the electoral college and offers solutions to some problems of American democracy.
If you are looking for information about the issues, we have books on taxes, health care, energy policy, foreign policy and more.
For a look at the controversy surrounding abortion, check out Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade (RC 39823) or Life’s Dominion: An Argument about Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom (RC38769).
Energy policy and alternative energy sources have received a lot of attention recently in the media. The book Big Coal: The Dirty Secret behind America’s Energy Future (RC 63733) explores the ramifications of America’s dependence on coal, and Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil (BR 15591) reviews various alternative energy sources and describes what may happen when fossil fuels run out.
Health care is an important issue to many people. Many feel that our health care system needs improvement, with some politicians calling for universal health care. To learn more, check out One Nation, Uninsured: Why the U.S. Has No National Health Insurance(RC 63896) or Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System (RC 58068).
The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America (RC 64357) by Ray Suarez explores the intersection of religion and politics in the United States, as does God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (RC 59930). The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (RC 38156) explores the relationship between religion, politics and the law and ways they can peacefully co-exist in America.
If you would like to know more about how America wages war and conducts the military, check out Presidents under Fire: Commanders in Chief in Victory and Defeat (RC 41862), which explores the role of the president during wartime or Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground (RC 60647), which examines the role of the U.S. military in foreign countries.
For those foreign policy buffs among us, we have Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower (RC 64218) or War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals (RC 53020), both of which explore recent foreign policy agendas. Two former Secretaries of State examine foreign policy in Does America Need a Foreign Policy?: Towards a Diplomacy for the 21st Century (RC 53026) by Henry Kissinger, and The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (RC 62448) by Madeline Albright.
Two very different ideas about how to handle taxes are presented in The Maximum Wage: A Common-sense Prescription for Revitalizing America—by Taxing the Very Rich (RC 42732) and The Fair Tax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS (RC 60683).
The books mentioned here are just a few of the titles available to you through Wolfner on these topics. Give us a call and one of our Reader Advisors will be glad to help you locate additional titles that will meet your need to know!
Elizabeth A. Lang, Editor
Youth Program News
Catch the Reading Bug!
Fast bug, slow bug, red bug, blue bug, BIG bug, little bug, good bug, bad bug, Catch the Reading Bug! at Wolfner Library this summer. Children can explore the amazing world of bugs and enjoy specially-designed family activities during the library’s summer reading program. Readers may choose from three different reading clubs again this year—Read-to-Me, Beginning Readers, and Independent Readers. Invitations with registration information will be mailed in April to all eligible patrons ages 2–13. We hope many of our young patrons will choose to join one of our summer reading clubs.
Attention Teen Patrons: Are You Ready for a Change?
Teen patrons of Wolfner Library are invited to a Metamorphosis at Wolfner Library this summer by participating in the library’s teen summer reading club. Readers may explore the concept of change in many ways—from the scientific metamorphosis of an insect to external and internal changes of the self. Invitations to the club with registration information will be mailed to all teen patrons in April. We hope you are up for the challenge of change!
Nancy Doering, Youth Services Librarian
We offer a friendly reminder that magazines that come to you in paper envelopes are yours to keep. Magazines that come to you in green containers do need to be returned to Wolfner.
Verhonda Winters, Duplication Technician
Why Did They Choose THAT Book?, or, What You Should Know about the National Library Service’s Collection Development Policy
Over 200,000 books are published in print each year, and the National Library Service (NLS) must select approximately 2,000 of those books to add to its national collection. The NLS readership of over 700,000 includes people of all ages and backgrounds with a wide variety of reading interests, and the 2,000 books selected for addition to the collection must meet the reading needs of them all.
The NLS written policy guidelines clearly state that patrons should have access to the same types of books and information that are available to the general public through a local public library. This includes recreational and informational books and materials, including classic and popular fiction and nonfiction.
When choosing books, the collection development staff at NLS follows the mainstream press as well as specialized publications to learn about what is selling, what is new in a series and what reviewers recommend. They also ensure that the print edition of a book can be clearly presented in braille or recorded format. They select books on the world’s major religions in proportion to demand, and books in foreign languages are chosen based on the relative size of the language group in the overall readership.
The nonfiction collection offers books in all major subject areas, including classics and standard materials, with attention to trends in public interests as well as emerging theories and practices. The fiction collection offers novels for readers of widely differing tastes and interests, and contains classics as well as popular books.
Selection of a particular title does not constitute an endorsement of the views expressed in the book. Some books that are selected in accordance with NLS policy may be offensive to some patrons but will remain in the collection, as NLS subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.
NLS does not offer textbooks, curriculum-related materials, information that is time-sensitive and may be out of date after production, local histories or books with limited regional interest.
If you are interested in helping guide the collection development process at NLS, please speak up! Call your Reader Advisor at 1-800-392-2614 with your recommendations for books that you would like to see added to the collection, and we’ll pass the suggestion along to NLS.
Elizabeth A. Lang, Editor
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
(Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; amended June 28, 1967; amended January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 24, 1996.)
Now Hear This!: Audio Recommended Reading Lists
Whether you are interested in mysteries, westerns, cookbooks or the arts, you should know that Wolfner staff regularly create subject bibliographies, called Recommended Reading lists, using the collection of braille and talking books from the National Library Service (NLS). We currently have over 300 lists available online, covering dozens of fiction and nonfiction topics.
In 2006, we decided to have the lists recorded and made available on the Internet. Therefore, we entered a contract with the recording studio of the American Printing House for the Blind to produce professionally recorded, human-voice audio files of the most popular lists. So far, we have more than 120 of the bibliographies recorded, and they are available for listening over the Internet or for download to your audio player. Visit our web page at www.s1.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/adult for a listen!
Elizabeth A. Lang, Editor
Descriptive Videos Loan Limit Increases
The loan policy for descriptive videos has changed! You may now check out up to three descriptive videos at a time, rather than just one.
Descriptive videos are feature films, television programs and other visual media that include descriptive narration of key visual elements such as gestures and costumes. Inserted in the natural pauses in dialogue, the audio descriptions of important visual details help engage blind or visually impaired viewers with the story. Please call your Reader Advisor if you are interested in signing up for descriptive video services.
Cheryl Hassler, Reader Advisor
Six Suggestions to Improve Your Library Service
Rewind descriptive videos and the last cassette in every book. Your help will shorten the time needed to process your returned materials and get new items out to you.
Update your request list periodically. This will ensure that you always have a book to read or a descriptive video to enjoy.
Send each item back to the library as soon as you have finished it. This will make that item available for others and guarantee you a steady flow of materials.
Call your Reader Advisor whenever you have a question, problem, or need some reading suggestions. You can call the library toll-free in Missouri at 1-800-392-2614, or make a toll call at 1-573-751-8720.
Review your magazine subscriptions at least once a year. This will help you receive only the magazines you want to read.
If you have library books or machines you are no longer using, please call the library and let us help you return them for others to use.
Braille Music Scores Acquisitions
The National Library Service (NLS) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a comprehensive collection of braille music scores, donated by the National Braille Association (NBA) in August 2007.
The NBA collection of braille music scores consists of more than 1,200 paper and electronic-format titles, which are being cataloged and added to the NLS International Union Catalog and will eventually be made available through Web-Braille, the NLS braille material download site. The addition expands NLS collections and allows continued access to NBA music materials.
The collection includes sheet music for many instruments (voice, piano, guitar, flute, cello, violin, trombone, saxophone, and clarinet) and music types, from classical and popular to sacred and secular. This music comprises both individual songs and collections of songs, from operatic arias and Bach cello suites to Cole Porter, Judy Collins, and Elton John. For more information, contact your Reader Advisor.
Wolfner Library’s Online Public Access Catalog (WolfPAC)
Wolfner Library’s catalog of books is available online. The Web address is http://wolfpac.sos.mo.gov/klasweb/. The catalog includes books in braille, large print, and on cassette as well as descriptive video titles. You can request and reserve books and videos through this catalog with a User ID and password. If you do not know your User ID and password, or for assistance with the catalog, please call Wolfner Library at 1-800-392-2614 during regular business hours or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A hearty congratulations goes out to Diann Stark, Wolfner’s new Reader Advisor for Institutions. Diann began at Wolfner in 1997, and after holding a variety of positions at Wolfner she is now settling into her new role of helping Missouri institutions utilize Wolfner Library services.
Another congratulations goes out to Brandon Lammers, who has been promoted from the Circulation Clerk position he held for six years to the position of General Office Assistant. When you call Wolfner Library now, his kind voice is likely to be the first you will hear.
And last, but not least, we welcome Cheryl Givens, a new Clerk in our Circulation Department. She’s the newest member of our circulation team working to get books processed and out to you quickly.
Wolfner Library Staff Listing
Richard J. Smith
Director of Wolfner Library
Coordinator of Volunteers
Public Services Manager
Special Services Librarian
Youth Services Librarian
Reader Advisor A-Co
Reader Advisor Cp-G
Reader Advisor H-L
Reader Advisor M-R
Reader Advisor S-Z
Reader Advisor for Institutions
Wolfner News is a quarterly publication of
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office.
Wolfner Library is open Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed for state holidays.
Wolfner NEWS is also available in braille, on cassette, and by email. If you would like to receive an alternate format, please call the library at 1-800-392-2614.