John R. Ashcroft, Secretary of State Summer 2018

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Wolfner Library Celebrates 80th Anniversary!

An old photograph of the front of the St. Louis Public Library's Department for the Blind.
Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library has a long history of serving Missouri’s visually and physically disabled citizens. Wolfner Library’s origins date to 1924 when a department for the blind formed within the St. Louis Public Library system.

In 1936, Dr. Meyer Wiener, a well-known eye specialist with Jewish Hospital, led a group of St. Louis citizens to raise funds to create a separate library building dedicated to serving the blind. This new location opened on June 7, 1938. Dr. Wiener named the building the Henry L. Wolfner Memorial Library to honor his late colleague, a noted eye specialist who practiced in St. Louis for 53 years.

From the late 1930s through the 1970s, the St. Louis location filled both an educational and social need in the St. Louis area, serving as a community center for blind St. Louisans. During the 1970s, the Missouri State Library took over the administration of Wolfner Library. In 1985, the library moved to Jefferson City. Since 1991, Wolfner Library has been located within the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center.
To learn more, visit

New State Librarian

A headshot of Missouri State Librarian Robin Westphal.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has chosen former Livingston County Library Director Robin Westphal to be Missouri’s State Librarian. Westphal spent 12 years as library director at the Livingston County Library in Chillicothe before accepting a library director position in Johnson City, Tennessee. She has held a wide variety of library jobs over the years, and relishes her Midwest upbringing and education. Robin obtained her Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University.

“Having worked as a library director in Missouri for 12 years, I come to the position of State Librarian with a unique perspective,” Westphal said. “I expect to hit the ground running and develop goals quickly.” Welcome back to Missouri and welcome aboard, Robin!

Wolfner Library’s Third Annual Teen Poetry Contest

Wolfner Library is excited to announce that this year’s third annual teen poetry contest offers some amazing prizes provided by the Friends of Wolfner Library! Teens must submit their poems between October 15 and December 12 for judging. First place will receive a Mac Book Air! Second and third place winners will receive iPads! The iPad will feature standard wireless connectivity (cellular service not included). More information is available on Wolfner Library’s Teen Poetry Contest website: https://www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/programs/teen-poetry-contest.

2018 Libraries Rock! Youth Summer Reading Club Reminder

A Libraries Rock! banner

Wolfner Library’s “Libraries Rock!” 2018 Youth Summer Reading Club ends July 30. Those who provide their total reading times by August 12 will receive a free book. Top readers will receive a Bluetooth speaker fidget spinner! The grand prize is an iPad, awarded to one winner from each age category: ages 2-12 and ages 13-18. The iPad will feature standard wireless connectivity (cellular service is not included). All of the prizes are provided through the generous support of the Friends of Wolfner Library!

Author Talk with Peter Altschul
In September, the Wolfner Library Book Club will discuss Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind: A Memoir by Peter Altschul. On September 21, Altschul, who is a Missouri author, will hold a talk based on his memoir. The discussion will take place from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. by conference call, open to all patrons. If you would like to register for this program, please call Wolfner Library at 800-392-2614 and ask for Amy or Meghan. Look for the summary of Breaking Barriers in the following book club schedule.


Book Club Schedule
Wolfner Library offers book club groups for its patrons, one each for fiction, nonfiction and mild read titles. Each group meets monthly from February through October via conference call. Patrons who participate enjoy discussing their views and hearing others’ thoughts on the selected titles. If you are interested in joining one or more book clubs, call 800-392-2614 to register.

Fall Book Club Selections

Fly Girl Book CoverHindenburg Book CoverAviators Book Cover
August 16 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads: Flygirl by Sherri Smith DB 69493; BR 18643
Ida Mae Jones dreams about flying. After World War II begins, the Army initiates a new program--Women Air Force Service Pilots. Light-skinned, Ida Mae signs up for the mission, but realizes she must keep her African American heritage a secret in order to fly. For junior and senior high readers. 2008.

August 23 at 2 p.m. Good Books: The Hindenburg by Michael Macdonald Mooney DB 49148
Presents a history of the Zeppelin airships, their voyages to and from Germany, and a detailed account of the last flight of the Hindenburg. Mooney writes of the passengers on that fatal flight and of the Luftwaffe officers and crew who were unable to prevent the explosion, perhaps the result of sabotage. 1975.

August 30 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas: The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight by Winston Groom DB 78787 Author of Shiloh 1862 (DB 74383) and Vicksburg 1863 (DB68947) profiles three celebrated aviation pioneers and recounts their service during World War II: World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, and Jimmy Doolittle--who in 1929 was the first to fly using instruments only. 2013.


Of Mice and Men Book CoverBreaking Barriers Book CoverThinking in Pictures Book Cover
September 13 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck DB 48515; LP 02557; BR 08851
A tale of the far-reaching bonds of friendship between two itinerant ranch workers: George, the more levelheaded, and Lennie, more dependent. Their dream of owning a small farm is doomed by Lennie’s unintentional overuse of his physical strength and George’s honorable attempt to resolve the problem it causes. Some strong language. 1937.

September 20 at 2 p.m. Good Books: Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind: A Memoir by Peter Altschul DB 76081
Autobiography of blind musician, composer, and social worker Altschul. Describes his youth in New York state, education at Princeton University and the New England Conservatory, and career and marriage. Also discusses his experience obtaining dogs through the Guiding Eyes for the Blind. 2012.

September 27 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas: Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life by Temple Grandin DB 43272
A professor of animal behavior attributes her career success to autism. Her heightened ability to visualize allows her to convert concepts to nonverbal images in a mental “video library.” Among other things, this ability has enabled her to design humane handling equipment for livestock. 1995.


Esther Book CoverGreatest Generation Book CoverChristmas a Biography Book Cover
October 18 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads: Esther: A Novel by Rebecca Kanner DBC02785
The Persian King can have anything he wishes, including Esther, a young Jewish girl forced to become one of the king’s concubines. She becomes queen, but wearing the crown brings its own dangers. When the king’s most trusted advisor promises vast wealth to the king, if he allows him to wipe out the Jews, it is up to Queen Esther to stop him. Contains some descriptions of sex, some strong language, and some violence. 2015.

October 25 at 2 p.m. Good Books: The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw DB 47490; BR 13580
Recalling his coverage of the fortieth anniversary of D-Day in 1984, reporter Brokaw describes World War II veterans as “the greatest generation any society has produced.” Profiles individuals who sacrificed for their country, including Thomas Broderick--who founded the Blinded Veterans Association--and businessman Bob Bush, who lost an eye in a heroic rescue mission. Bestseller. 1998.

November 1 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas: Christmas: A Biography by Judith Flanders DB 89600; BR 22123
A chronicle of the development of religious and secular celebrations of Christmas, beginning with the time of the Bible. Examines myths and legends surrounding the day, traditions, literary and artistic interpretations, association with other winter holidays, commercialization, and more. 2017.

Marvel and DC Materials Available at Wolfner Library!

Marvel and DC logos
Wolfner Library offers books AND descriptive DVDs based in the Marvel and DC universes! Check out our comprehensive list of available titles at: www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/themedlists/marvel-dc or contact your Reader Advisor. Please note that, with the exception of Daredevil Volume 1 (DBE00019), none of the books listed are audio or braille versions of comic books.

Volunteer Spotlight

Laurie Mills Volunteer Photo
Laurie Mills began working as a Wolfner volunteer monitor September 24, 2009. She later became a reviewer. Her favorite book was “Love, Aubrey”. She says, “It was a compelling story that was so well written. I remember I couldn’t hold back tears in parts as I was reviewing it. It had a happy ending, thankfully.” When asked if she hated reviewing any book in particular, she replied, “No, I can’t say I’ve hated any of them. I’ve enjoyed them all – some more than others. There was one that was very hard for me to review, though, and thankfully, I was quickly given a different book.” Laurie writes, “I truly enjoy helping at Wolfner Library. It was the first volunteer work I did after retiring from the Department of Revenue. My father suffered vision loss from macular degeneration and when he started getting audio books and periodicals, it made a tremendous difference in his life. I liked to think I was giving back in his honor as I worked at Wolfner. Since starting at Wolfner, I’ve gotten involved more in the music ministry at my church which is House of Prayer Family Church and with volunteering at The Healing House and New Beginnings in Jefferson City.”

Locally Produced Books
In addition to the books recorded in the Wolfner Library studio, volunteers for Wolfner Library create print/braille books by adding braille overlays to children’s picture books. Grandparents or parents who read braille may share these books with their children. These books also provide great practice for children who are learning braille. Ask your Reader Advisor for more information.

New Books from the Wolfner Library Recording Studio

Adult Reading Level:

The cover for Musial: From Stash to Stan the ManThe cover for Dead White: A Dakota MysteryThe cover for George Caleb BinghamThe cover for Winter of Wishes
75 Years in the Wilderness: A Christian Agnostic’s Search for Answers by Geraldean McMillin DBC06530
Searching for answers about God, the universe and religion, McMillin comes to cherish the doubts that bring joy to her search. She becomes content to be one who knows that they do not know.

Billy Barnstorm, the Birch Lake Bomber: (And Other Tales of Youthful Disaster) by Joel Vance DBC09696
A fun romp through the trials and tribulations of a small-town boy’s life, with all the misadventures that go hand in hand with being a 16-year-old male with raging hormones, looking for excitement! Some descriptions of sex. Some strong language.

Dead White: A Dakota Mystery by M. K. Coker DBC09638
Marek Okerlund is returning to his hometown of Reunion, South Dakota, after working as a police detective in Albuquerque. He accepts a part time detective position with the small sheriff’s department, only to find his estranged niece, Karen Okerlund Mehaffy, is now the county sheriff. Some strong language, some violence. Dakota Mysteries, book 1.

Dughall by Travis McGuire DBC09586
In the small town of Baumgras, Missouri, drag racing is the Saturday night entertainment for young people. Dughall lives to race, until one night a woman steps in front of his car, changing his life forever. Some explicit descriptions of sex, some violence and some strong language.

Forgotten Missourians Who Made History edited by Brett Dufur DBC06503
Missourians who made lasting contributions to our state and nation, yet are largely forgotten by subsequent generations.

The Ioway in Missouri by Greg Olson DBC09698
Focusing on the Ioways’ role in Missouri’s colonial and early statehood periods, Olson describes Ioway culture. Learn about Ioway creation stories and oral traditions, farming and hunting practices and relations with neighboring tribes. Olson also covers Ioway relations with incoming white settlers, the U.S. Government and challenges to their way of life and survival.

Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man by James Giglio DBC09685
The author of The Presidency of John F. Kennedy offers readers the most comprehensive account of baseball legend Stan Musial, describing his youth in Depression-era Pennsylvania, record-breaking baseball career with the Cardinals, World War II military service and personal life.

The Ozarks in Missouri History: Discoveries in an American Region edited by Lynn Morrow DBC09661
This collection features fifteen essays that originally appeared in the Missouri Historical Review, the journal of the State Historical Society. They explore the history, culture and geography of the Missouri Ozarks.

Paper Wings by Marly Swick DBC09666
With Kennedy’s election, presidency and assassination as backdrop, 12-year-old Suzanne tells the story of her relationship with her mother. Together, they struggle and learn to emerge from the
shadows of tragedy.

Scoundrels to the Hoosegow: Perry Mason Moments and Entertaining Cases from the Files of a Prosecuting Attorney by Morley Swingle DBC09682
Morley Swingle, veteran prosecuting attorney, combines true crime and legal analysis with a healthy dose of humor as he re-creates more than 30 stories of villains, heroes and ordinary citizens, taking readers from the crime scene to the courtroom and sharing the occasional “Perry Mason Moment.”

The Talk of the Town: Daughters of the Great Depression by Fran Baker DBC09643
In 1933, Roxie Mitchell, manager at a local clothing warehouse, offers a menial job to ex-con Luke Bauer. Both had recently returned to their small Missouri hometown. A romance develops between them despite the disapproval of Roxie’s overprotective brothers and gossipy friends. Some descriptions of sex and strong language.

The Toast Always Lands Jelly-side Down: And Other Tales of Suburban Life by Suzann Ledbetter DBC09652
A humorous look at life in suburbia discusses the influence of television commercials on children, shopping for junk food, being a young grandmother, housework and other topics.

Unguarded Moments by Larry Neal DBC09672
The Missouri State Penitentiary, the oldest operating penal facility west of the Mississippi River, operated from 1836 to 2004. Larry Neal, who worked there for the last 20 years of its operation, writes about his experiences with prisoners and staff. His book reminds us that people are people, no matter where we live. We all laugh, love, cry and get angry.

Winter of Wishes by Charlotte Hubbard DBC09675
Rhoda Lantz risks being shunned by the Amish community when she begins to fall for a single father while caring for his family. Seasons of the Heart series, book 3.

Books for Younger Readers:

Saving Mr Terupt book coverBuck O'Neil Book Cover
Saving Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea DBC09642
The kids from Mr. Terupt’s fifth and sixth-grade classes are entering their first year of junior high school. There’s a lot to be excited about, but there are new challenges. Everyone is missing Mr. Terupt. When a fight threatens to break up the group forever, they think their favorite teacher is the only one who can help them. The kids soon find out that it’s Mr. Terupt who needs saving. Mr. Terupt series, book 3. For grades 4-7

Buck O’Neil: Baseball’s Ambassador by Jeff and Micah Gall DBC09657
When Buck O’Neil started his professional baseball career in 1933, he played in the Negro Leagues, the only option available to him. In 1962, he became the first African American coach in major league baseball. For grades 4-7.

Children’s Books:

Can I Bring My Pteradactyl to school book coverSleep In Your Own bed book coverGood Night Bat book coverWho Wants A Tortoise? Book Cover
Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Miss Johnson? by Lois Grambling DBC09680
A child offers many creative reasons why it would be a good idea to bring a pterodactyl to school. For grades K-3.

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming DBC09703
When Pig plops into his sty at bedtime, he finds Cow sleeping there and must send her off to her stall, setting off a chain reaction of animals being awakened to move to their own beds. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2018. For Preschool-grade 2.

Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel! by Paul Meisel DBC09701
A lonely bat thinks he has found a perfect home until he discovers that it’s already inhabited by a persnickety squirrel. They begin exchanging notes, which leads to an ‘opposites-attract’ friendship that shows how to find common ground despite outward differences. Show Me Award nominee, 2018-2019. Preschool–grade 2.

Who Wants a Tortoise? by David Keane DBC09704
Expecting a dog for her birthday, a girl is upset and furious when she gets a tortoise instead, but soon learns that even a tortoise can be a good pet. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 2018-2019. Preschool–grade 2.

Borrow, Renew, Return
Every year, Wolfner Library lends thousands of accessible materials to our patrons. We encourage you to read at your own pace, but please remember that each item does have a loan period. Other patrons are waiting for that book, DVD, or game. To return your item, simply reverse the address card on the container the item came in and put the container in the mail. No postage is necessary. If you wish to keep something for longer, please contact your reader advisor to renew the item. See below for loan periods of the materials we provide.
• Audio, Braille, and Large Print Books: 6 weeks
• Magazines: Return when you wish to receive the next issue
• Descriptive DVDs: 1 week from the date received
• Print/Braille Games: 2 weeks

Fall Outreach
Late summer into fall, Wolfner Library staff will attend the following public events:
August 4, 2018: Ozark Border Electrical Cooperative Annual Meeting, Three Rivers College, Poplar Bluff
September 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Missouri Council of the Blind Health Fair, Missouri School for the Blind, St. Louis
October 5-7, 2018: Missouri Council of the Blind Annual Conference, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City

Upcoming Holidays
Just a reminder to patrons, Wolfner Library will be closed on the following holidays:
September 3, 2018 Labor Day
October 8, 2018 Columbus Day

Wolfner Library Staff Listing
Donna Riegel Director
[email protected]
Abbey Rimel Deputy Director
[email protected]
Deborah Stroup Studio and Volunteer Services Manager
[email protected]
Amy Nickless Adult Services Librarian
[email protected]
Lisa Hellman Youth Services Librarian
[email protected]
Lori Brown Reader Advisor A-Co
[email protected]
Brandon Kempf Reader Advisor Cp-G and Wi-Z
[email protected]
Ginny Ryan Reader Advisor H-L
[email protected]
Diann Stark Reader Advisor M-R
[email protected]
Carol Mathews Reader Advisor S-Wh
[email protected]
Meghan McCormack Reader Advisor Institutions
[email protected]

Wolfner News is a quarterly publication of Secretary of State John Ashcroft’s Office.

Wolfner NEWS is also available in Braille, on cartridge, by email or in human voice audio for listening over the Internet at Wolfner’s Web site, www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/wolfnews/. If you would like to receive an alternate format, please call the library at (800) 392-2614.

Wolfner Library is open Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Closed for state holidays.
Contact Information
Toll-free in-state phone number (800) 392-2614
Jefferson City area (573) 751-8720
local phone number
FAX number (573) 751-3612
Email address [email protected]
Web site address www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/
Wolfner’s online catalog wolfpac.sos.mo.gov/klasweb

 The Wolfner Library LogoThe Institute of Museum and Library Services Logo