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Talking Books and Braille Library 

Through the New York State Library

The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) is a free library service for eligible residents of upstate New York who are unable to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability. Materials are mailed to and from library patrons at their homes at no charge. Currently, over 15,000 New Yorkers of all ages are registered for TBBL services.

The TBBL collection includes fiction and nonfiction audio and braille books, with over 70 magazine subscriptions available as well. The Library loans playback machines to those using audio books; books can also be downloaded directly to a tablet or smartphone.

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.

Contact the NYS Talking Book and Braille Library:

Phone and Fax Numbers:

Toll-free calls: (800) 342-3688

Local calls (Capital District area): (518) 474-5935

FAX: (518) 474-7041

E-mail Addresses:  tbbl@nysed.gov

Mailing Address:

Talking Book and Braille Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue

BARD Digital Downloads 

Braille and Audio Reading Download

Digital books and magazines from the National Library Service (NLS) in Washington, D.C. are available for download from the NLS BARD main pageexternal link.  You can listen to your downloaded books on the digital player that TBBL provides, or, for even more flexibility, you can get the free BARD Mobile app, for either iOS/Apple or Android devices, and listen to your books via your smart phone or tablet. BARD Express, a program that makes downloading easier, is also available to all BARD members.

There are more than 80,000 digital books and over 60 magazines available for download from this site, and new titles are constantly being added. Digital braille books can also be downloaded via BARD.