Borrowing Books from TBBL

Download Books

If you have access to a computer and internet connection, you can select and download the complete digital collection yourself through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). This service is easy to use and provides immediate access to every book in the digital audio book collection. For more information, along with downloading instructions, see our BARD web page. Downloading is the best way to obtain our books.

A BARD Mobile app for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is now available. (New September 2013!)

Receive Books through the Mail

If you are not able to download, you can choose how to select your books when you first set up your service through the Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL). These titles, about 1/3 of our total digital collection, arrive by mail in digital cartridge format. For these books there are two basic service options:

  1. Choose all your own books.

    We will set up a request list for you, and send you only books that you have put on that list. You can request books by title or author, and we can also send you catalogs to help you choose books. Our computer system will randomly select titles from your request list.

    Under this option, if there are no books on your list, or none of the books on your list are available, we will not be able to send you any books, so be sure to keep enough titles on your list.

    • You can use TBBL's online catalog to search for books and add them to your request list yourself.
    • Or you can contact TBBL to give us titles to add to your list at any time by e-mail, mail or phone (please limit titles given over the phone to about 10-15).
  2. Let TBBL choose books for you, based on your reading interests.

    With this option, you give us a list of your reading interests (mysteries, biographies, history, etc.) and our computer system will randomly select titles in this category for you. It will also keep track of what books we have already sent to you, so that you will not receive the same book twice.

    If you are having books selected for you, you can still set up a request list and we will send you books from that list first. But when there are no books on your list, or none of the books on your list are available, we will send you books the computer has selected based on your reading interests.

    If you are having books selected automatically, but are receiving a lot of books you don't want to read, please call our office. A staff member can help you fine-tune your selection profile to improve the books chosen for you.

For either type of service, you also choose your quota, or how many books you receive at a time.

Mailing Books

Your braille or audio books will be sent to you sent via the US Postal Service without cost, thanks to a Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped mailing privilegeexternal link to National Library Service (NLS) site, and you can return books to us the same way. If you are receiving audio books, we will also mail you a digital player.

When you first start the service, we will send you the number of books in your quota. After that, every time we receive a book back from you, we will send a new one, selected from your request list or based on your subject selections.

You can ask us to lower or raise your quota at any time, if you find you are receiving too many or too few books.

Last Updated: October 25, 2013