A Newsletter of the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

(Summer 2002, Volume 20, Number 1)

Wisconsin Regional Library Unveils New OPAC

What is an OPAC? An OPAC is an online public access catalog. Regional Library patrons with computer access may go to our website by typing in the URL http://wmbph.mpl.org/opac and get to the catalog. Once there, patrons may search the catalog to see if books they wish to read are in our collection, and place requests by entering an ID and passcode that may be obtained from the Regional Library.

The Regional Library staff appreciate your patience during our changeover to this computer new system in May and June. We hope you will find it enables us to serve you better and faster.


We'd like to remind everyone once more that the Wells Street entrance to the Regional Library will be closed for 6 months (July 1-December 31, 2002) while being remodelled. The closing of the Wells Street entrance will mean that visitors to the Regional Library or to Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped must use the 8th Street or Wisconsin Avenue entrances to the Milwaukee Public Library. Special signs will be posted to guide visitors to VSVH and to the Regional Library through the 8th St. entrance and connecting corridors.


Accessible cart for golfers--Parked behind a row of conventional golf carts, the single-rider cart looks like a jet ski on wheels--handle bars instead of a steering wheel, a rack to hold the clubs in front, a seat that rotates 360 degrees. Known as "1-PASS," it is available at places such as Pebble Beach, Disney, Doral and all 21 golf courses in the TPC Network, including Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. It's seldom used, but that's not how its value is measured. "If we get one person a year using it, then it's worth it for us to have," said Jim Poole, head professional at Sawgrass. "It gives handicapped people an opportunity to play." Built by SoloRider Industries in Colorado and distributed by Augusta, Ga.-based Club Car, the 1-PASS cart has become a vehicle for disabled golfers to enjoy a game they might not otherwise be able to play. For those without use of their legs, it allows them to play without leaving their seats. The 1-PASS cart has a 6-inch clearance for greater access around the course, and a low center of gravity and equal weight distribution for stability, even on hills. Perhaps its most important feature is the four-wheel suspension that allows the cart to be driven on greens without doing any damage to the putting surface. It transfers only six to seven pounds of pressure per square inch, half the pressure applied by an average man and significantly less than standard carts.

The Instructional Materials Accessibility Act of 2002 (IMAA) will dramatically improve access to textbooks for students who are blind or who have other print disabilities in elementary and secondary schools. It will ensure that instructional materials for blind or other people with print disabilities are received in an accessible medium at the same time as their non-disabled peers. The IMAA will harness advances in technology to create an efficient system for acquiring and distributing these materials in specialized formats, which include Braille, synthesized speech, digital text, digital audio, and large print. The IMAA mandates the adoption of a standardized, national electronic file format. Publishers of instructional materials will be required to submit an electronic file of all textbooks in this universal file format. These files will enable the instructional materials to be more easily converted into accessible formats according to an industry standard.

The IMAA also provides for a central depository for these files, so that state and local agencies, publishers, and other groups can more quickly acquire the materials. A provision in the bill describes how state and local education agencies will be responsible for developing and implementing a statewide plan to utilize these files to ensure that blind or visually impaired students and other print-disabled students may have quicker access to instructional materials. This national electronic file format and depository will have far-reaching benefits. "We are very committed to our work to ensure that all students, including those who are blind or print-disabled, have access to textbooks and materials that they need and can use," said former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers.

Fueled by volunteers, Bookshare is building an online library of books scanned into audio and Braille formats for the exclusive use of the blind and people with reading problems such as dyslexia, a target audience of about 5 million people nationwide. Bookshare takes advantage of a special exemption in the U.S. copyright law that permits the reproduction of publications into specialized formats for the disabled. Launched Feb. 21, Bookshare is starting out with more than 8,000 titles from an eclectic mix of authors ranging from Shakespeare to William Shatner. The organization's founder believes the library easily can expand to 40,000 digital books within the next two years by tapping into the collections stored on the computers of its users. Copyrighted digital books are available only to U.S. residents who submit proof of a disability that affects reading. About 3,000 of the titles on Bookshare's site can be downloaded by anyone because the copyrights on the works have expired.
Source: http://www.bookshare.org/web/Welcome.html

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Class Reunion Mysteries

Summer is a time for lolling back and reminiscing. Here are some titles set at class reunions for your enjoyment.

Rita Mae Brown, "Pawing Through the Past." As the twentieth reunion of the Crozet, Virginia, high school class of 1980 approaches, four members are ruthlessly murdered. Postmistress Mary "Harry" Haristeen searches among the survivors for someone with a grudge. Joining her are her cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her corgi, Tee Tucker. RC 53314.

Rona Jaffe, "After the Reunion: A Novel." Follows the lives of 4 women during the 25 years since they graduated from Radcliffe. Depicts their crises involving unfaithful husbands, cocaine addiction, suicide, and mental retardation, and tells how they finally learn to solve some of their problems. Sequel to "Class Reunion". RC 22960/BR 06248/FD 22960.

Rona Jaffe, "Class Reunion." A novel that spans 3 decades and follows the lives of 4 Radcliffe girls from their college days in the 1950s to New York, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, and Paris. RD 14930/BRA 16524.

John Phillips Marquand, "H.M. Pulham, Esq." Harry Pulham, in preparation for his 25th Harvard class reunion, is writing his autobiography, which provides a look at Boston's upper class in the early 1900s. It describes a time when sons of the elite attended the best schools, married the "right" women, and were guaranteed well-paid jobs but, nonetheless, often lived in quiet desperation. RC 46851.

Joyce Carol Oates, "Broke Heart Blues." In the small town of Willowsville, New York, a 16-year-old newcomer, John Reddy Heart, becomes the center of attention when he is tried for the shooting death of his mother's lover. He unintentionally attains a mythic status that still persists at a class reunion 30 years later. RC 48884.

Dorothy Sayers, "Gaudy Night." Harriet Vane attends the Oxford reunion known as the "Gaudy," but is soon upset by bizarre pranks, scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters. She finds herself involved in a nightmare with few clues, and Lord Peter Wimsey offers both his customary help, as well as his hand in marriage. RC 23491.

Janelle Taylor, "Anything for Love." Rachel Gaines has been a widow for 15 years and, at 47, is tired of doing charity work and attending ladies' luncheons. Her chance for change comes at a class reunion. There she again meets Quentin Rawls, whom she cut out of her life more than 12 years earlier. RC 42575.

Meredith Sue Willis, "Higher Ground." Gently humorous tale about Blair Ellen Morgan, a social worker in her mid-30s. When she attends her 10-year class reunion, Blair finds her friends changed yet unchanged, and comes to an understanding of life itself. RC 19182.

BULLETIN BOARD is published four times a year by the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped. It is available in large print, Braille, and audio-cassette editions. The Wisconsin Regional Library makes no recommendations or endorsements concerning any products or services which may appear in this publication.

Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
813 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1436
1-414-286-3045 (in Milwaukee)
1-800-242-8822 (in Wisconsin)
1-414-286-3548 (TDD)
1-414-286-3102 (FAX)
lbph@mpl.org (e-mail)
http://wmbph.mpl.org/opac (on-line public access catalog)

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