Check Out the Music Notes Blog by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Image: Musical notes silhouetteHave you discovered the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Music Notes blog?

It’s for and about those who want, need or provide the special format music in braille, audio, and large print offered by the NLS Music Section.

Blog posts showcase NLS’s world-renowned Music collection with news about recent additions; articles about blind and low-vision musicians and music braille transcribers; and features about current music events and activities.

New posts appear every Thursday.

To read any of the more than 400 archived posts or to subscribe to future posts, visit  https://blogs.loc.gov/nls-music-notes.

Summer Reading Program Final Recap: Superhero Action-Adventure Week

Image of a blue dragon sniffing a flower.That is a wrap! In other words, our summer of adventure is ending, but not for long, there is always next year, and planning has already begin.

Let me introduce to you my superhero name of the week, “The Fire!” On Monday, each of our friends used codes to discover their official superhero name of the week! We welcomed Emily Wharton as she delivered the Story Prompt of the week. What fun visiting with Emily about writing and how important it is to find your writer hero within you. We also had the Cape Creator Hero stop by for a flash of a visit, Karen Eis. The inventor of our handmade superhero capes. What a day it was, and we also made our very own Super Roll Heroes by recycling toilet paper rolls.

On Tuesday, we had our third guest of the week from I-Smile Kim Brown, dental hygienist who taught us the 2-2-2 rules of healthy teeth. Did you know, you need to brush your teeth for two minutes a day and visit your friendly dentist twice a year? Thank you, Kim, for being our superhero of the day!

On Friday, Ellie, and Taryn with our final day of programming had a special superhero treat called, “Thank you, Superheroes Crime-Fighting Marshmallow Treat,” whew, now that is a mouth full! This day was thanking all the heroes that are closets to our hearts.

In closing, thank you for such a fantastic summer! Hope all of you stick around for other year-around youth programs that will be rolling out on September 13th called Makerspace Magic that Crafts Your Story! More information coming soon!

If missed any of our summer program called Ready, Set Adventures please visit our Summer Reading Program Page to access videos and activities featured in the 2022 programs.

Thank you again!
Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian
denise.bean@blind.state.ia.us

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena! 

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page

The Return by Rachel Harrison DB99780

Four college friends are spending the weekend at a hotel.  They are with their friend, Julie, who went missing for two years and has just returned with no memory of what happened to her during that time. Julie seems changed and strange things begin happening at the hotel like noises, shadows and unexplained coldness. The hotel seemed haunted. One of the friends becomes ill and doesn’t appear to be getting any better. This is a creepy, spooky and sometimes a gory page turner that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris DB93331

1931: Ellis is a reporter for a Philadelphia newspaper.  He takes a picture of several children with a sign that says “Children for Sale”. The editor is enthusiastic about the picture and thinks it maybe his big break.  The picture is ruined before it can be published and the editor demands Ellis get another picture. When Ellis returns to the home, the family is gone, so he poses two other children living nearby with the sign for his picture. Later, he learns these two children were sold and he feels he needs to make things right.  He locates the mother of the children, who thought she was dying, but has since recovered and wants her children back. Ellis and a woman, Lily, who works at the newspaper, set out to find the children. They suffer several setbacks and harrowing experiences. The story in this time period gives you a sense of the Great Depression, and how desperate people were to find work and hungry. A very touching story.

Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade  DBC02898

This is a well-written book and a lot is based on the author’s family history.
1919: Rachel and her brother, Sam are put in an orphanage. Rachel goes to an infant home where she is experimented on with X-rays and permanently loses all the hair on her body.  Once she is moved to the orphanage where Sam is, Rachel is bullied because she does not have hair.  As Rachel gets older, she works in the infirmary where nursing becomes her goal.  After an incident at the home, Sam runs away before graduation and Rachel soon follows. Rachel eventually returns to New York and works as a nurse in 1954. The woman doctor who subjected Rachel to all the X-rays becomes Rachel’s patient in the hospital where she is working.  Rachel is torn. Should she be compassionate, or should she seek revenge?

Summer Reading Program Recap: Tropical Beach Week (Week 7) and What’s Happening This Week

Image of a blue dragon sniffing a flower.Ready, Set, Adventure!

Last week our Summer Reading Program took us to the beach! 

       On Monday, we brought the beach home to Iowa with our Beach Terrarium Activity and our Ocean Sounds in a Bottle Activity. We learned about the fascinating parrotfish, which produces sand. Everyone sang a song together featuring our own sea creatures – complete with dance moves!

       On Wednesday our focus was on sea turtles. We learned fun facts about their life cycles and what we can do to protect them! We made our very own sea turtles in the Pom-Pom Sea Turtles Activity. Then, it was time to sail the open seas in our handmade Whatever Floats Your Boat Activity sailboats. We closed our eyes and listened to the sounds of a sailing ship to get our creative juices flowing for this week’s story prompt: “Imagine that your boat craft became life-sized. Now you can sail wherever you want! Describe your time as an ocean voyager. What kinds of things will you do at sea?”

       On Friday, we learned about jellyfish. Did you know that jellyfish don’t have a brain, a heart, or blood? We kicked off Food Frenzy Friday with our Jellyfish Fruit Loop Activity. Next, we spread our wings with the Beach Butterfly Activity snack. While eating these delicious treats, we listened to a story about the importance of recycling and keeping the oceans clean.

Coming up this week…

Superhero Action-Adventure Week!

July 25th Special Guest Emily Wharton

  • Superhero Cape
  • Super Rolls
  • Hulk Bears

July27th Story Prompt Wednesday with Guest Kim Brown

  • Flossing Activity with Kim
  • Bonus Toothbrush Craft

July 29th Food Frenzy Friday

  • “Thank you, Mom” Flower Craft
  • “Thank you, Superheroes” Crime-fighting Marshmallow Treat

BARD Foreign-Language Offerings Grow

Thanks to its participation in the Marrakesh Treaty and expanded book acquisition, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is adding more foreign language books to its catalog than ever before!


You can find a selection of the most popular foreign language titles recently added to the NLS collection in 
Foreign Language Quarterly (FLQ), an online publication found at www.loc.gov/nls/flq. The most recent issue—which features 148 books in sixteen languages—was posted in May; the next will come out toward the end of the summer.


As of this spring, the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website interface is available in French, as well as English and Spanish. Patrons who would prefer to use BARD in French or Spanish can do so by selecting their language of choice from the Language Interface Settings drop-down menu on the Account Settings page under the “My BARD” section on the main page.