New York State Library
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Services Available from TBBL

Audio and Braille Books and Magazines

Eligible adults and children may borrow books in audio format and/or in braille.

Our book collection is similar to that found in a large public library. It consists of popular fiction and nonfiction, as well as general informational and recreational materials for all ages and tastes. There are also many magazines availableexternal link in braille and digital formats.

Free Mailing: Playback machines are sent and returned via the US Postal Service without cost, as Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped. Books and magazines may also be sent that way, although we highly recommend that you take advantage of the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service to download your TBBL books directly. The complete digital collection is only available via download.

Wondering if this service for you?  In this brief video, NLS Braille and Talking Books and Magazinesexternal link, NLS patrons speak about how receiving free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials in the mail has given them the freedom to read their way. 

Special Playback Equipment

TBBL loans special equipment for use with its recorded books. See the digital player page for more information.

Reader Advisory Services

The library offers borrowers a variety of reader advisory services, including:

  • help choosing books,
  • subject bibliographies,
  • investigation and correction of book supply and other service problems,
  • locating and obtaining books through interlibrary loan,
  • referral to alternative resources,
  • reference services, and
  • technical support for downloading books.

Online Catalog of TBBL Books

We offer an online catalog giving Internet access to outside users and registered library borrowers to search for braille and audio books in our collection. The catalog provides information about books, including author, title, book number, narrator, publication date, reading level, a short description of the contents, and how many copies are currently available.

While anyone can access TBBL's online catalog and search it, you must be a registered TBBL user to submit requests or view your patron record. To do this, you must first contact us to set up your user ID and password.

National Library Service (NLS) Catalogs

The NLS Online catalogexternal link includes books held in all Talking Book libraries in the United States. NLS provides two bimonthly magazines (Talking Book Topicsexternal link and Braille Book Reviewexternal link), annual book cumulations, and lists of books by topic or genreexternal link to help library users choose books. TBBL can obtain materials for users through interlibrary loan.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021