Online resources for talking books

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library provides free library service to anyone in the state of Indiana who cannot use standard printed materials due to a visual or physical disability. While our service is primarily through the mail, there are some great online resources available that can help improve the service you are receiving. Here are a few of things to check out:

The BARD mobile app

BARD – Braille and Audio Reading Download
BARD is a free service through the Indiana State Library that gives patrons direct access to over 115,000 special format books, magazines and music scores. Audio books and magazines downloaded from BARD can be put on a flash drive and listened to using a library-provided talking book player. Patrons can also chose to utilize BARD Mobile for Apple, Android or Amazon Fire devices. There are never any wait lists or due dates for books downloaded from BARD. Whether you want the most popular book or you are looking for something a bit more obscure, it’s always available on BARD.

For more information, including instructions on signing up for BARD and for downloading books, please visit our website.

Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library Online Catalog
The library’s online catalog has many features patrons can use to enhance their library experience. Through the My Account page, patrons can see all of the items checked out to them now, as well as all items checked out to them in the past. If patrons have not been enjoying the books the library has been sending, they can view their reading preferences to make sure their preferred authors and subjects are still accurate. Patrons can also search or browse the catalog to find and request books by placing them in their book basket.

If you are a Talking Book patron and would like a username and password so you can access our online catalog, please contact us by phone at 1-800-622-4970 or by email.

Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review
Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review are the publications produced by the National Library Service containing the latest releases in audio and braille. Typically, these NLS publications are mailed to patrons’ homes, but they can also be viewed online. Issues of the catalogs are available back to 2014 and can be accessed in html, plain text or as an accessible PDF. The html version contains links that will take you directly to the book on BARD, where it can be downloaded or added to your wish list for later. Patrons can also order books out of any of the catalogs by calling or emailing the library and giving us the book number or title.

List of Books by Topic or Genre
NLS has also created broad bibliographies containing extensive lists of books in the categories of gentle romance and westerns, as well as mini-bibliographies, which contain lists of books on more narrow topics such as guide dogs and Booker Prize winners. These are a great resources if you are looking for some inspirations on what you might want to read next.

This blog post was written by Maggie Ansty of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. 

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