Wolfner :: Wolfner News :: Wolfner News Spring/Summer 2009


open book logoWOLFNER NEWS

Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State
Spring/Summer 2009

Notes from the Director

We're Digital!

Wolfner Library finished the test of the NLS digital system in July. It was a success and I want to thank all 883 Missouri participants for helping to test the NLS digital machines. Unexpected events provided Wolfner with additional new digital players, so now over 1,500 Missourians are currently reading NLS books on digital cartridges. That is 1,000 more than the expected 500 players for the original prelaunch! Add in the 728 digital players that will be distributed at the rollout in August and Wolfner Library is firmly entrenched in transitioning to digital.

Regular shipments of books in digital cartridge format are expected to begin in July and the initial distribution nationwide of NLS digital talking book players will start in August. Please be prepared to receive a new digital player in the coming months.

What an exciting time to be a patron of Wolfner Library!

Here are some comments from patrons who have already been given the new digital player.

“I’m so happy with my digital book player. The DB cartridges are wonderful. I can’t even tell you how much easier they are for me to use.”

“At this point, all is working fine on my machine and I’m sure having a fantastic time with reading, using it. I think the tone is fantastic and love that it can be adjusted for each narrator’s voice. Also, being a computer user, I appreciate that I can compress the speech and while it’s much faster, it’s not chipmunk-like.”

“Whoever designed the machine was very aware of patrons’ needs.”

“… loves the new digital machine and that it makes listening to audio books a lot easier now that she does not have to flip the cassettes over. She is paralyzed on one side of her body and it was always kind of a hassle to change the tapes.”


Over 400 Missourians are now opting in to downloading from a selection of over 15,000 books and magazines available online at the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website. The new NLS digital player can play BARD digital books on most standard USB memory drives or on an NLS digital cartridge. In addition, Wolfner Library currently has a limited number of third party vendor players, such as the Victor Reader Stream, to loan to eligible patrons. The Stream player will play BARD books.

A new Stream feature is an adaptor that allows digital books on cartridges to be copied to the Stream. That means you can use the portable Stream without having an Internet connection!

Please call your reader advisor if you are interested in borrowing a Victor Reader Stream for use with the BARD program or want to try the Stream with the new digital cartridge adaptor.

Magazine Rack

The Associated Services for the Blind and Visually

Impaired (ASB) has discontinued the following magazines:

Family Circle, Family Handyman, Forbes, Harvard Men’s

Health, New Yorker, Oprah, and Timely Topics

Wolfner Library continues to provide a wide range of periodicals in cassette and braille formats from the National Library Service. In addition, many magazines are now available in electronic format on the Internet for download from the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) program. All BARD books and magazines will play

on the new digital player.

Please feel free to call your reader advisor at 1-800-3922614 if you have any questions.

Staff Notes

Hello! My name is Lisa Stamm and I am the new Special Services Librarian for Wolfner Library. I recently completed my Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University and moved to the beautiful state of Missouri from Indianapolis, Indiana. I love to meet and help people and am excited to be a part of the excellent Wolfner Library team. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, bicycling, and playing with my two cats. I look forward to getting to know you and being of service in any way I can!

Carol Mathews: Forty Years of Service

Reader Advisor Carol Mathews was recently honored for 40 years of service with Wolfner Library. Carol began working in the magazine department at Wolfner in 1969 after graduating from Soldan High School in St. Louis. Carol’s forty years at Wolfner encompass more than half the library’s existence. She’s experienced many changes during this time.

The library was moved to three different buildings in St. Louis. Then, after the move to Jefferson City, the location changed two more times. By then, Carol’s role had expanded to reader advisor for children and adults.

New technology brought many more changes. In 1969 records were kept manually on card files and Braille was mailed out in burlap sacks. At that time, books and magazines were in Braille and large type and on records. Cassettes came later. Now we’re entering the digital age.

Currently, Carol is a Reader Advisor. To Carol, her patrons are her friends. An avid reader herself, she understands how important books are to her patrons and will use all available resources to find the books they request. For her own reading, she chooses romance novels.

As Wolfner’s resident historian, Carol regales her co-workers with tales from the past. In one of her reminiscences, she tells of the winter when the library ran out of coal and employees broke up some railings and old chairs for kindling to stoke the furnace. One day they had to evacuate the building when smoke from the furnace filled the library.

Carol’s favorite letters in the alphabet are B-I-N-G-O. When she’s not working at Wolfner, she can be found playing bingo at one of the many area bingo halls. She also loves listening to jazz and watching TV sitcoms.

Carol is married to Paul Mathews, also a Wolfner Reader Advisor. They have a daughter, Jennifer.

From the Volunteer Office

The recording studio is hopping these days, as we have several new volunteers who have started over the summer. Let me introduce you to them:

Nora Landsbaum is a retired nurse whose mother is a Wolfner patron. She thought helping record books would be a good way to say ‘thank you’ for the pleasure her mother receives from the talking book service. Nora is both a reader and a director, working twice weekly.

Randy Mehrle recently retired from the Jefferson City School District as a computer programmer, and wants to help others in any way he can. He is working as a director once a week.

Denise Noonan is an English teacher at Helias High School in Jefferson City, and wants to help students, as well as others, enjoy reading. She is reading one of the Gateway Award books this summer.

Sharon Ludwig is also an English teacher at Helias, and she is directing Denise in the production of her Gateway book. Sharon is also reading one of the award books this summer, so she is working two days per week.

Rachel Newman is a high school student who wants to be a school teacher, and thinks this program shows her interest in helping others. She is reading a Truman Award book and a Mark Twain Award book this summer. She is being directed by her younger sister. She also directs her sister, who reads children’s books.

Mary Grace Newman will be in Junior High this fall, and wants to do something for the community. She is reading some children’s books this summer, as well as directing her older sister.

Laramie Thompson is a retired English teacher who loves to read and wants to share that love of reading with others. She is reading a series of cozy novels written by Elaine Viets, a Missouri native and former columnist for the St. Louis Post dispatch.

Jay Thompson is also retired, and is directing his wife, Laramie, in the production of her books.

Theresa Sullivan is a semi-retired speech therapist who enjoys oral reading, and would like to share that pleasure with listeners. She is reading books in the studio once a week.

Keith Krueger is a retired attorney who sees this as a ‘most enjoyable’ way to serve others, since he now has the time to do so. He is reading books once a week.

Ché Wilson works at Lincoln University as a researcher. She enjoys reading, and wants to share that pleasure with others. Ché is reading books once a week.

Charlotte Hubbard is a Mid-Missouri author who is going to be reading ‘A Patchwork Family’, the first book in her ‘Angels of Mercy’ series. I think you will really enjoy this book!

Newly Recorded Missouri Books

Difficult Decision: Connecticut by Janet Dailey
Until the day of her job interview, when his totally emotionless eyes fastened on her, Deborah hadn’t believed anyone could be as cold and hard as Zane Wilding. He was the most demanding boss she’d ever had, and was also ruthless in his personal life. His good looks didn’t make up for the inhuman iciness with which he treated even his wife. But by the time Deborah learned the real facts behind Zane’s behavior, it was already too late to stop her headlong plunge into love.
Americana series. MOD00176

Immigrant Women in the Settlement of Missouri by Ken Luebbering
Focuses on the lives of immigrant women in Missouri from the colonial period to the Civil War to industrialization. Draws heavily on the diaries, letters, and memoirs of immigrant women from many social classes and ethnic backgrounds and contains photographs and narratives relating to immigrant life. Missouri Heritage series.

Five Stars: Missouri’s Most Famous Generals by James Muench
The Show-Me State has produced a great number of military men and women, including thirty individuals who attained the rank of general. In this clearly written and richly illustrated book, five of the best-known figures are profiled: Alexander Doniphan, Sterling Price, Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, and Omar Bradley. Missouri
Heritage series. MOD00175

Jessie Benton Fremont, Missouri’s Trailblazer by Ilene Stone
Daughter and wife of two prominent politicians, Jessie Fremont lived her ambitions largely through her husband’s career, but she also made a name for herself as a writer and a firm opponent of slavery.
Missouri Heritage series. MOD00114

M. Jeff Thompson: Missouri’s Swamp Fox of the Confederacy by Doris Mueller
Meriwether Jeff Thompson was one of the most intriguing but least-known Missouri participants in the Civil War. This recounting of his life is an action-adventure story that will delight readers as it attests to his important role in Missouri’s heritage.
Missouri Heritage series. MOD00177

Please call or email your reader advisor to order a Missouri talking book. You can also order online at

Descriptive Videos

Descriptive videos are movies and documentaries with narration of on-screen action to enhance the viewing experience of people with visual impairments. For all of you who enjoy Descriptive Video Service, we are happy to announce that soon we will be adding 49 described DVDs to our collection. These DVDs will play on a regular DVD player and will have a check out period of 7 days. If you are currently set up to receive DVS you will be receiving a list of available titles soon. If you are not set up for video now but are interested in receiving described videos, call your Reader Advisor to add this service.


Wolfner Library Staff Listing

Richard J. Smith
Director of Wolfner Library
[email protected]

Deborah Stroup
Coordinator of Volunteers
[email protected]

Archie Andrews
Machines Coordinator
[email protected]

Lisa Stamm
Special Services Librarian
[email protected]

Elizabeth Lang
Youth Services Librarian
[email protected]

Paul Mathews
Reader Advisor A-Co
[email protected]

Brandon Kempf
Reader Advisor Cp-G
[email protected]

Ginny Ryan
Reader Advisor H-L
[email protected]

Cheryl Hassler
Reader Advisor M-R
[email protected]

Carol Mathews
Reader Advisor S-Z
[email protected]

Diann Stark
Reader Advisor Institutions
[email protected]

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.

Contact Information
Toll-free in state phone number (800) 392-2614
Jefferson City area local phone number (573) 751-8720
Toll-free TDD phone number (573) 347-1379
E-mail address [email protected]
Web site address www.s1.sos.mo.gov/wolfner
Wolfner's online catalog https://wolfpac.sos.mo.gov/