Finding Books, Magazines and Other Materials
in Alternative Formats

If you do not find the books or other materials that you want in the TBBL catalog, you might want to try some of the resources listed below. Unless otherwise noted, links on this page go to external web sites.


  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS): A division of the Library of Congress, NLS administers a free library program of braille and recorded materials, which are circulated to eligible borrowers through a network of cooperating libraries such as the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library.
    • BARD: Download braille or audio digital books and magazines.
    • NLS catalog: Search for all NLS recorded and braille books.
    • NLS Books/Kids Zone Catalog: Find audio, braille, and print/braille books for preschool through grade 8 in the NLS catalog.
    • Talking Book Topics: Browse lists of new audio books and magazines (bimonthly).
    • Braille Book Review: Browse lists of new braille magazines and books (bimonthly)
    • Lists of Books by Topic or Genreexternal link - A series of book lists for reading interests such as westerns, classics, or science fiction and fantasy, as well as "minibibliographies" on more specific subjects or authors. Some lists focus on children's books.
  • Textbooks in Alternative Formats: A list, maintained by TBBL, of sources for textbooks in audio, braille or other alternative formats.
  • Electronic Texts: Selected Sites: A sampling of the e-text resources on the World Wide Web. This link is part of the New York State Library's Internet Bibliographies.
  • A web-based system that supplies accessible books in digital formats (NISO/DAISY XML-based format for the next generation of talking books, and the BRF format for Braille devices and printers). Access is limited to people with bona fide print disabilities and the schools and nonprofit organizations serving them.

    Note: All New Yorkers, including members of the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library, may obtain a New York Public Library card and thus gain free access to Bookshare.
  • Audio Bibles
  • Louis Database of Accessible Materials: Louis, from the American Printing House for the Blind, is a centralized source of information about accessible media materials, including more than 145,000 titles of books, music, and educational materials for people who are blind or visually impaired. It includes a streamlined search option for speech users.
  • Free Braille Books Program: from the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults.
  • The Poetry Archive: A searchable collection of recordings of poets reading their work. There are links to educational resources, including those for teachers seeking to utilize the contents of the site in their classroom and for those looking for a brief introduction to reading poetry.
  • World Book Encyclopedia Articles in Braille - Available through the Rose Project from Seedlings Braille Books for Children, the encyclopedia articles service is offered free of charge for blind students in grades 1-12.
  • Find Your Public Library - Many public libraries have collections of audio books, both on CD and, increasingly, in downloadable digital formats. This site, maintained by the NYS Library, links to all public libraries in New York State, organized by county, community, or library name.


  • Audio Magazines on Digital Cartridge (TBBL page)
  • BARD: Download braille or audio digital books and magazines.
  • Magazines from NLS - Information from the National Library Service, including a list of available titles.
  • Newsline: A free audio service for those who cannot read regular newsprint, Newsline offers subscribers access to a variety of newspapers, magazines and other news resources.


  • Radio Reading Services: Special radio stations throughout New York State broadcast programs for blind and print-disabled people. Programs generally include readings of local and national newspapers, magazines, and sometimes books.
  • Newsline: A free audio service for those who cannot read regular newsprint, Newsline offers subscribers access to a variety of newspapers, magazines and other news resources.

Other Materials

  • Calendars in braille, print/braille, or large print: This factsheet from NLS lists various companies that produce calendars in braille, print/braille or large print. Some are free and some must be purchased.
  • Currency Reader (TBBL page): The National Library Service has partnered with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to provide currency reader devices, called the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, free of charge to eligible individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Described TV and Movies (TBBL page)
  • Federal Tax Forms - Many federal tax forms or publications are available from the IRS in accessible formats such as braille, text, or large print.
  • Blind Voter's Guide - The National Federation for the Blind has produced a voter's guide for blind users under a grant authorized by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The purpose of the nonpartisan guide is to promote the full participation of blind people in the election process by providing materials in accessible formats. The guide also discusses why it is important to vote, and how to register to vote. The guide may be downloaded in Word, formatted braille or MP3 format. The Word and braille versions are also available in Spanish.
Last Updated: October 16, 2019
October 16, 2019