Wolfner NEWS, SUMMER 2019

John R. Ashcroft, Secretary of State

Click here for the audio version

New Wolfner Library Staff

Director—Leslie Bowman 

Picture of Leslie BowmanWolfner Library is thrilled to announce the appointment of the next Director, Leslie Bowman. Leslie has a wealth of experience and has served students and library patrons in a variety of settings. 

Since 2015, Leslie has served as Director for the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. At that library, in Baltimore’s historic and cultural Mount Vernon district, Leslie led a staff of 26, managed a 55,000 square foot, 5-level building, and exercised fiscal management of a $2.5 million budget. Leslie built a strong team focused on customer service. The Maryland Library Association recognized those efforts by awarding her library with the 2018 President’s Award for Customer Service. During her tenure, she managed a major renovation including many technology and IT infrastructure upgrades. As Maryland’s Deputy State Librarian, she also provided support to Maryland’s public libraries in developing improved and innovative library services for persons with disabilities and oversaw the Maryland Accessible Textbook program. 

Luckily for Missourians, Leslie and her husband are excited to relocate to be nearer to their two sons and their families.

A hearty welcome to Leslie who recently joined the Wolfner Library staff on June 17, 2019.  

Public Services Manager—Amanda McConnell 

Picture of Amanda McConnellIn March, Amanda McConnell began as Wolfner Library’s Public Services Manager. Amanda has worked in libraries for over twenty years. She began her library career at the Grand County Public Library in Moab, Utah, where she worked the front desk and then as a children’s librarian. Returning to the University of Missouri for graduate school, she joined the staff at the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library. As a reference librarian, she enjoyed helping students and professionals find information and navigate resources. For the last 10 years, she has worked at the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Kansas, as Circulation Coordinator and then Public Services Manager. Amanda is a huge fan of libraries, people, creating opportunities and providing the best service possible.

Public Services Technician—Julie Stoehr

Julie Stoehr is the new voice on the telephone at Wolfner Library. After retiring from Jefferson City Public Schools last year, where she worked as a library media specialist, Julie wasn’t content to stay out of the workforce too long. Julie is once again putting her library skills to work answering the phones and keeping everything organized. When not at work, you might find her gardening, sewing or spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

 Announcing Book Club Kits

Picture of a Book Club Kit

Book Club Kits are a new service offered by Wolfner Library. These kits, which will circulate to care facilities and senior centers, will include copies of the books on cartridge, discussion and activity guides in both large print and braille, and tactile and other sensory elements. Some kits will also include large print copies of the book, music and/or descriptive DVDs. These kits were made possible with a Literacy Grant from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the hard work of Adult Services Librarian Amy Nickless and Institutions Reader Advisor Meghan McCormack. Fourteen kits are now available, with more to debut over the coming year. The first featured titles are:

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (BCK001)

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (BCK002)

Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther (BCK004)

Deaths on Pleasant Street by Giles Fowler (BCK005)

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (BCK006)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (BCK007)

Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo (BCK008)

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (BCK009)

The Invention of Wings by Susan Monk Kidd (BCK010)

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester (BCK011)

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore (BCK012)

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (BCK013)

The Martian by Andy Weir (BCK014)

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran (BCK015)


New Recommended Reading Lists to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings

This year the United States is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of NASA’s greatest scientific achievements. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin set foot where no man had gone before and taking “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.” In honor of NASA’s numerous achievements, most notably the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, Wolfner Library is proud to share two recommended reading lists, one for youth and one for adults, about NASA. Call your reader advisor if you would like a copy, or check them out on our website:

Adult List: https://www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/themedlists/NASA50thMoonLanding

Youth List: https://www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/readings/youth/nasa50thmoonlanding


Summertime Movie Recommendations

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, check out these movies taking place in outer space or about traveling to space:

Hidden Figures (DVD00276)

Interstellar (DVD00037)

The Martian (DVD00040)

Star Trek: Beyond (DVD00065)

Guardians of the Galaxy (DVD00161)


If you are looking for a movie to enjoy with your child or grandchild, you might try these selections:

Inside Out (DVD00132)

Big Hero 6 (DVD00004)

Finding Dory (DVD00022)

Zootopia (DVD00167)

Peabody and Sherman (DVD00009)


Fall Book Club Selections:


Book Covers for August Book Club Selections

Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads (fiction): The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman DB 73853

Narrated by Jill Fox.

70-77 C.E. Among the 900 Jews holding off the Romans at Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert, are four women: Yael, an assassin's daughter; Shirah, called the Witch of Moab; Shirah's warrior daughter Aziza; and Revka, a grandmother whose daughter is dead. Violence. Bestseller. 2011.

Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. Good Books (mild reads): Animal Farm by George Orwell DB 38959; BR 20910; LP000141

Narrated by Gillian Wilson.

An allegorical political satire of communism in which the animals on a farm overthrow their master and live a utopian life until the intelligent pigs take over and one establishes himself as dictator. 1946.

Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas (nonfiction): The Bonehunter’s Revenge: Dinosaurs, Greed, and the Greatest Scientific Feud of the Gilded Age by David Rains Wallace DB 50723

Narrated by Roy Avers.

Account of the historical feud between two nineteenth-century American paleontologists--Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope. After the Civil War both men amassed large collections of dinosaur bones discovered in the West, but their intense rivalry led to muckraking and scandal rather than scientific cooperation. 1999.



September Book Club Selections

Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare DB 22927; BR 14849; LP050006

Narrated by Patricia Beaudry.

When 16-year-old Kit Tyler tries to aid a woman accused of witchcraft in colonial New England, she herself is brought to trial as a suspect. Kit's young friend, Prudence, whom she has taught to read, and Nat, a sailor who has fallen in love with Kit, come to her defense. For grades 6-9 and older readers. Newbery Award.

Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. Good Books: “I Am a Man:” Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice by Joe Starita DBC00756

Narrated by Alice Timm.

In 1877, Chief Standing Bear's people, the Ponca, were removed from their ancestral lands in Nebraska to Indian Territory. When his only son died in 1879, Standing Bear undertakes a 600-mile journey back to Nebraska to bury him. This action sets the stage for a federal trial to determine whether or not Native Americans were entitled to equal protection under the law, and if had they been deprived of their property, homeland, and even their lives without due process.

Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas: The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln by Kate Clifford Larson DB 66976

Narrated by Laural Merlington.

Author of Bound for the Promised Land (DB 64511) investigates the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Focuses on the involvement of boarding-house owner Mary Surratt. Reexamines primary documents to assert that Mary and her son John, both Confederate sympathizers, participated in John Wilkes Booth's plot. 2008.



Book covers for October Book Club Selections

Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. Novel Reads: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis DB 16982; BR 11912; LP000012

Narrated by Paul Watson.

Four English children find their way through a huge wardrobe in an old house to the mysterious land of Narnia, which is suffering under the spell of the White Witch. Chronicles of Narnia, book 2. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 1950.

October 24 at 2 p.m. Good Books: Orphan Trains to Missouri by Michael Patrick and Evelyn Trickel DBC05758

Narrated by Tom Collier.

Discusses the use of orphan trains to place orphaned or abandoned children in home in nineteenth-century Missouri. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. Big Ideas: The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell DB 81065; LP030471

Narrated by Patrick Downer.

Author of Lady Bird (DB 49783) examines the history of the Crystal City internment camp, which operated between 1942 and 1948 and housed families of Japanese, German, and Italian descent, many American-born, who had been decreed dangerous enemy aliens. Describes life at the camp and repatriation to foreign countries. 2015.


New Patron Workshop

Are you a new user of Wolfner Library? Or are you a current patron with questions about using the BARD or WolfPAC? On Aug. 8 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Adult Services Librarian Amy Nickless and Reader Advisor and BARD Specialist Brandon Kempf will be hosting the inaugural New Patron Workshop on our conference call line. To participate, please call Wolfner Library at 800-392-2614 and ask for Amy or e-mail [email protected] to register. Registered patrons will be given the conference call phone number. Following an overview of WolfPAC and the variants of BARD, all questions will be answered. Registration is limited to 25 patrons.

Going forward, a New Patron Workshop will be offered on a quarterly basis with dates announced in the newsletter. While targeted to new patrons and their caregivers, all patrons are welcome to participate if they are new to using BARD or WolfPAC or are just interested in learning more. 

Volunteer Profile

Picture of Laramie and Jay ThompsonLaramie and Richard “Jay” Thompson are a husband-and-wife recording team who began working in the Wolfner Recording Studio in June of 2009. Laramie is a narrator (reader), and Jay is her monitor (director). Jay says he likes it because it is the only time he gets to tell Laramie what to do.

Laramie and Jay are both retired. Laramie taught English in Jefferson City Public Schools for over 20 years, and at Columbia College for 10 years. Jay worked for the Missouri Department of Health in the EMS Bureau. He also served in the U.S. Air Force in England from 1964-68. Jay is a member and past exalted ruler at Elks Lodge 513 in Jefferson City. Laramie directs and acts in community theatre (most recently at St. Joseph Cathedral School) and with The Little Theater and Capital City Players in Jefferson City.

Laramie enjoys quilting, reading, and attending her grandchildren’s games and concerts in St. Charles, Missouri. Jay loves watching his four grandchildren and playing golf. Jay and Laramie both enjoy traveling; they have been to Costa Rica, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Seattle. Both volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital, providing tea and coffee to patients and guests via the hospitality cart. Laramie also works in the gift shop.

When asked if they have a favorite book they have recorded, Laramie responded, “I enjoy almost every book we record, but The Moonflower Vine was probably my favorite.” Jay says that his favorites have been the Jean Carnahan books they recorded. When asked if there was a book they hated, Laramie said, “None”, and Jay claimed, “No – I love them all.”

Congratulations to Mary Grace Newman

Congratulations go to Mary Grace Newman on being inducted into the ‘Mortar Board’ society at the University of Missouri on Tap Day, April 19. Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes students in scholarship, leadership and service. Applicants are evaluated based on involvement on campus, scholarship, a letter of recommendation and a personal statement. Mary Grace has been a Wolfner volunteer since 2009, reading over 200 children’s books, and several chapter books.


New Books from the Wolfner Recording Studio

Book Covers of Recent Wolfner Recordings

Bald Knobbers: Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier by Elmo Ingenthron & Mary Hartman DBC06493

In the 1880s, the Ozark hills around Taney County, Missouri, echoed with the sound of Winchester rifles, as Bald Knobbers wreaked havoc on the area. This book traces the roots of the group in the region's border struggles during the Civil War, and examines the organization of anti-Bald Knobbers which sprang up to oppose them. Violence.

Bottled Up by Jaye Murray DBC09762

A high school boy comes to terms with his drug addiction, life with an alcoholic father, and a younger brother who looks up to him. Gateway Award nominee, 2005-2006. Some strong language. For junior and senior high.

Breaking it Down and Connecting the Dots: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules by Peter Altschul DBC16304

A book of essays by a motivational speaker, exploring topics ranging from psychology, sports, and diversity to family life, politics, and Christianity. Includes personal stories, political analysis, and satire. Strong language.

Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard DBC16264

Annie Mae takes her five siblings to a new community for a fresh start and begins caring for them alone, but fears that no man will want to take on her responsibilities, even her neighbor Adam Wagler, who has helped her through her trials. Seasons of the Heart series, book 4.

Daughter of the Regiment by Stephanie Grace Whitson DBC16272

Plantation mistress Elizabeth Blair and her neighbor, Irish immigrant Maggie Malone, want nothing to do with the war, but find themselves drawn into it against their wills on opposing sides.

Dead Wrong: a Dakota Mystery by M. K. Coker DBC16276

A trucker who had often talked about killing himself is found hunched over the wheel of his semi with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand after hitting a "wrong way" sign on a South Dakota exit ramp. It seems to be an open and shut case until the pathologist rules the gunshot wasn't self-inflicted. Sheriff Karen Mehaffey and Detective Marek Okerlund are called on to investigate yet another murder. Some strong language and some violence.

Dregs by Barri L. Bumgarner DBC09731

Benson Schmidt is tired of being a dreg, low man on the social totem pole. But when he and his best friend Ryan develop a project for their 7th grade publications class to show the popular kids the fragile nature of social expectations, it backfires in the worst way possible. Strong language and violence. For junior and senior high.

The Homefront in Civil War Missouri by James W. Erwin DBC16282

Missouri was a hotly contested border state with both Union and Confederate sympathizers. It sent armies, generals, and supplies to both sides, was represented with a star on both flags, maintained dual governments, and endured a bloody neighbor-against-neighbor intrastate war within the larger national war. The homefront was the battleground. Some violence.

Jim the Wonder Dog by Clarence Dewey Mitchell DBC09730

Written as an autobiography by Jim himself, this is the story of the world's smartest dog, who predicted seven Kentucky Derby winners and understood both foreign languages, shorthand and Morse Code.

Missouri Mayhem by Jon Sharpe DBC16273

The Missouri & Illinois Central Railroad hires trailsman Skye Fargo to investigate a string of robberies resulting in several deaths, and it is up to Fargo to discover why bandits are willing to kill for registered mail and how to stop them. Sexually explicit, violence and strong language.

The People of the River's Mouth: In Search of the Missouria Indians by Michael Dickey DBC09769

A history of the Missouria, the Native American people from which the state of Missouri, and the river, took their names. Their history has been largely unknown until this book, which offers insight into their traditions and their fate.

A Price Beyond Rubies: a Novel of the Civil War by Louise McCants Barry DBC09660

Pleasant Houston Spears was an independent Arkansas pioneer who fought for the Union against his own brothers and neighbors in the Civil War. His wife Sarah was a strong independent woman who had to run their plantation alone for much of their married life. Their granddaughter has written this fictionalized story of their lives, based on her grandfather’s autobiography, but told from her grandmother’s point of view. Some explicit descriptions of sex, some strong language, and violence.

Redemption: a Story of Sisterhood, Survival, and Finding Freedom Behind Bars by Stacey Lannert DBC09756

As her parent's marriage crumbles, Stacey finds comfort in her loving father, Tom. Until, at age eight, Tom initiates Stacey to a game they must keep between themselves. For the next ten years, Stacey's life is ripped apart by physical and sexual abuse. Feeling hopeless, she takes matters into her own hands by ending the life of her abuser. Redemption takes a dark, disturbing look into a life destroyed before ever having a chance to live. Will an act of clemency get Stacey a new start at life? Explicit descriptions of sex, strong language, and violence.

Simple Gifts by Kathleen Korbel DBC16270

Wyoming-born, Chicago playwright Lee Kendall is in danger. Chicago Police Detective Rock O'Connor is a man on the edge. As he tries to keep Lee alive, he seems destined to break her heart. His own is long dead. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language.

For Younger Readers

Book Covers of Recent Wolfner Recording for Younger Readers

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee DBC16283

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the real world of middle school. The hospital social worker warns her the transition back may be tricky, but Norah isn’t worried. Compared with battling cancer, how tricky can seventh grade be? Mark Twain award nominee, 2019-2020. Grades 4-7.

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown DBC16292

Inspired by a true story. Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old, but when a CT scan reveals she has a brain tumor, it will take all her imagination, courage, and support from her friends and family to meet this new challenge. Mark Twain Award nominee, 2019-2020. Grades 4-7.

The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale DBC16271

Twelve-year-old Sadie promises that she will always be Wilma's best friend when their families leave drought-stricken Missouri in 1933, but once in Texas, Sadie learns that she must try to make a new home--and new friends, too. Mark Twain Award nominee, 2006-2007. For grades 5-8.

Trail of Fate (The Youngest Templar, bk 2) by Michael P. Spradlin DBC09767

In the Middle Ages, young squire Tristan of the Knights Templar, King's Archer Robard, and Muslim assassin Maryam work together to protect the Holy Grail as they travel across France toward England, a journey that takes them to the Cathar fortress of Montsegur. The Youngest Templar series, book 2. Grades 6-9.

Twenty Gold Falcons by Amy Gordon DBC06090

Twelve-year-old Aiden is very unhappy when, after her father's death, her mother moves them from the family farm, but soon she and new friends are caught up in the search for long-lost coins in the historic Ingle building that towers over the city of Gloria. Mark Twain Award nominee, 2012-2013. Grades 5-8.

Wintering Well by Lea Wait DBC09746

Fifteen-year-old Will Ames and his sister Cassie go to stay with their sister in nearby Wiscasset, Maine, after a disabling accident ruins Will's plans for a career in farming. Mark Twain Award nominee, 2006-2007. For grades 5-8.

Zigzag by Ellen Wittlinger DBC09761

A high-school junior makes a trip with her aunt and two cousins, discovering places she did not know existed and strengths she did not know she had. Gateway Award nominee, 2005-2006. For grades 6-9. 

Children’s Books

 Book Covers for Wolfner Recordings for Children

Arrr, Mustache Baby! by Bridget Heos DBC16310

Mustache Baby and his first mate, Beard Baby, set out to be heroes on the high seas, but soon the lure of pirate treasure takes hold. Mustache Baby series, book 3. For preschool through grade 2.

Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings DBC16314

A dog looking for a home sends letters to prospective owners on Butternut Street, with surprising results. Building Block Award nominee, 2019. For preschool-grade 2.

Dogosaurus Rex by Anna Staniszewski DBC16313

Ben selects from the shelter a most unusual "dog" that wreaks havoc in town until she has a chance to prove her worth. Show Me Award nominee, 2019-2020. For preschool - grade 2.

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg DBC09681

During the last week of school, the students in Mrs. Hartwell's class try to come up with the perfect present for their teacher. Show Me Award nominee, 2008 - 2009. For grades K-3.

Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos DBC16309

Stegothesaurus has little in common with his fellow dinosaurs until he meets an allosaurus that seems as hungry for synonyms as he is. For preschool through grade 2.


NFB-Newsline Available through Amazon Alexa

Picture of an Amazon EchoNFB Newsline is now compatible with Amazon’s Alexa on its Echo and Echo Dot products. Once set up, users can logon and issue commands using their voice to operate Newsline.

To enable the skill say “Alexa ask National Federation to give me instructions.” Then say “Alexa ask National Federation to log in.” Be sure to clearly state “log in.” Then provide your identification number and security code.

Once logged in, commands can be used to read and navigate the various publications. Users can also alter the reading voice and speed of reading. A full list of these commands is available at https://nfb.org/accessing-nfb-newsline-through-amazon-alexa.


Public Outreach Events

Visit with Wolfner Library staff at the following events:

Aug. 6, 2019, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Assistive Technology Fest at the Boone Electric Cooperative in Columbia

Aug. 13, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Baue Senior Fair at the St. Charles Convention Center, St. Charles

Sept. 12, 2019, from 3 to 7 p.m.: Assistive Technology Fest at the Zona Rosa in Kansas City

Oct. 14, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m.: Senior Savvy Expo, St. Louis County Library Headquarters, St. Louis


Upcoming Holidays

Just a reminder to patrons, Wolfner Library will be closed on the following holidays:

Sept. 2, 2019  Labor Day

Oct. 14, 2019  Columbus Day