Talking Book and Braille Library

Download electronic braille and audio books and magazines through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download; offered through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled).

Borrow physical braille books and magazines and physical talking book cartridges (and players!) from TBBL (New York State Talking Book & Braille Library). These will be mailed directly to your home for free and are also free to mail back.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible for this library service if you are a resident of upstate New York, of any age, and you can’t see well enough to read conventional print. Specifically, you must: be legally blind, with vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less with correcting lenses, or have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees in diameter, or: be unable to see well enough to focus long enough to read standard print, even with corrective lenses.

OR: You have a permanent or temporary physical limitation which prevents you from holding a book or turning its pages. Physical disabilities which may prevent the ability to read include: multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, severe arthritis, paralysis, a missing arm or hand, lack of muscle coordination, and prolonged weakness.

OR: You have a perceptual or reading disability: Persons certified by competent authority as having a perceptual or reading disability severe enough to prevent reading in the usual manner. For more information about eligible learning disabilities, see the NLS Factsheet Talking Books and Reading Disabilities.

How do I sign up?

Cortland Free Library staff can help you sign up for both of these programs. Please note that when you are filling out the applications, you need to have a “certifying authority” complete it. Conveniently, any Cortland Free Library staff member can act as this authority. 

Call us at (607) 753-1042 or email reference@cortlandfreelibrary.org to set up a time to complete the application(s).