News & Events


Technology Club - 2nd Saturday of every month, 10:30am-12:30pm

Break for summer - No Technology Club July or August

September 8: Gmaill using Jaws presented by Scott Norris

Book Club - 2nd Saturday of every month, 1:30-3pm

Break for summer - No Book Club July or August

September 8: Breath: A Lifetime in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung: A Memoir by Martha Mason (DB72767).

**If you cannot attend in person, you may join either computer or book club by dialing 888-278-0296 and entering the access code 5836578.

Knitting and Support Group - 1st Friday of every month, 12-2pm. Drop in any time, or attend via phone by calling 888-278-0296 and entering access code 5836578!

*NEW* Hands-On Club - 4th Saturday of every month (except for holidays- call to confirm), 10:30am-12:30pm. Next meeting will be held on June 2nd about Identity Theft Scams presented by Michigan Attorney General Consumer Education. Rotating topics and experiences. Call for more information.


Submission for the Youth Summer Reading Program

Posted 7/13/2018

The Youth Summer Reading Program at BTBL is well underway, and we've already seen some amazing submissions from the participants! We wanted to share one inspiring submission from a young man that went above and beyond the challenge instructions. Listen to this MP3 submission "It's Summer Time" by James for the This is your Jam lyric writing contest. James not only wrote his own lyrics, but he also composed music, performed it on a midi controller, and recorded it. Enjoy and happy summer!

In Focus, Summer 2018

Posted 6/28/2018

This issue includes information about a recently awarded grant for children's print-braille, the MOCA pilot, phone number changes coming soon to BTBL, and more!

Click here for the PDF version

Click here for the Word version

Or listen to the MP3 version in parts 1-5:

Part 1 (Featured Article, Inside this Issue, BTBL Calendar, Technology Corner)

Part 2 (Local Recordings, Youth Services)

Part 3 (News, Around the State)

Part 4 (Around the State- continued)

Part 5 (Michigan Talking Book Library Directory, Library of Michigan Foundation, BTBL Contact Information)

New Phone Numbers for BTBL

Posted 6/14/2018

Please be aware that the local phone and fax numbers for BTBL, as well as direct staff phone numbers, are being updated in late July when the State of Michigan transitions to a new system. The new local number for the BTBL Main Line will be 517-284-2880. The 1-800-992-9012 toll-free number will not change. Once the update has occurred, calls to the old phone numbers will temporarily be forwarded to the new line. We will attempt to keep you updated throughout this process. If you are in doubt whether you are calling the correct number, please defer to the toll-free number and speak to a librarian.

Author Visit at BTBL

Posted 5/14/2018

Stephen Mack Jones visited the BTBL Book Club last Saturday for a wonderful talk about his book, August Snow. We had an excellent visit with thoughtful discussion from all participants. Thank you to everyone that attended for making this a special event. We can't wait for more books by this author to add to the BTBL collection!

(Below left to right: Scott Norris (BTBL), Stephen Mack Jones (Author), and Randy Riley (Library of Michigan) pose after the event).

Tactile Tour of Henry Ford Museum

Posted 4/23/2018

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is once again offering a tactile tour on Thursday, June 7. They also offer tactile tours upon request throughout the year if this date doesn't work.  More information can be found here.  

Tigers Baseball Schedule in Audio format

Posted 4/13/2018

Thanks to the BTBL recording studio, the Tigers Baseball Schedule is now in audio format! Click below to listen to the schedule by months interested, or visit the MLB website for a print version.

March - May (1 of 3)

June - July (2 of 3) 

August - September (3 of 3)

In Focus, Spring 2018

Posted 3/30/2018

This issue includes information about our upcoming Michigan Notable Author Visit, instructions for accessing multiple books on one cartridge, details on the Summer Reading Program, and more!

Click here for the PDF version

Click here for the Text version

Or listen to the MP3 version in parts 1-5:

Part 1 (Featured Article, Inside this Issue, BTBL Calendar, Technology Corner)

Part 2 (Local Recordings, Youth Services)

Part 3 (Around the State)

Part 4 (Around the State continued)

Part 5 (Michigan Talking Book Library Directory, Library of Michigan Foundation, BTBL Contact Information)

Marrakesh Treaty Bill Introduced

Posted 3/22/2018

Big news may be on the horizon for our patrons with the introduction of the Marrakesh Treaty. According to an article by Library Journal, "Adoption of this copyright exception will greatly increase access for English speakers around the world with print disabilities, which include dyslexia and physical disabilities that make turning the page of a print book impossible. It will also enable American libraries to provide foreign-language content to non–English speakers in the United States." Read the full article

Tactile Tour of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Posted 3/15/2018

For guests who are blind or visually impaired, a Tactile Tour of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation offers an opportunity to experience the museum through touch and detailed description. Your tour guide will provide background and context on our collections, while making stops to touch artifacts such as the Rosa Parks Bus, Allegheny Locomotive, Build a Model T and Dymaxion House. Each tour is unique and may include additional stops. This tour is being offered on Saturday, March 31st at 10am and 1 pm. Registration for the tours can be found on the Henry Ford Museum website.

Michigan Notable Author to Visit BTBL patrons!

Posted 2/16/2018

BTBL is honored to have Michigan Notable Author Stephen Mack Jones with us for our book discussion on May 12th. Mark your calendars and come out for an exciting opportunity to meet and speak with this local author about his new mystery book, August Snow (DB87398). 

Skate to See - All Ages Ice Skating Event

Posted 2/6/2018

This free event is sponsored by high school student Austin Clarke. All donations will support research to develop a cure for blindness caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa through the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. Come out and support a great cause!

When: 2/10/2018 at 7:30pm
Where: 4645 S. Lake Leelanau Dr., Traverse City MI 49684

Action Art Exhibit call for entries!

Posted 1/30/2018

Action Art is an exhibit that is uniquely designed to assist adult artists with disabilities to show their art in a professional gallery format, and to market and sell their work in the larger community. Cash prizes available! To register for Action Art, you must complete and submit the artist registration form by 5pm on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. For more information, visit their website:


Posted 1/22/2018

For the past couple of years, OPTICAL ILLUSIONS - the Blind Skiers’ Association has concentrated on training more guides for visually impaired skiers.  Mission accomplished! They are now able to add additional blind skiers to their membership. They ski Sunday mornings at Pine Knob (8:30 am to 1pm).  Lift tickets and ski rentals generously provided by Pine Knob ( Guides provided by Optical Illusions.

Please email or call for further information!  Email: (with subject: Optical Illusions), or phone 248-790-8065 (leave voice message, if i don’t answer).

Skywarn Training

Posted 01/22/2018

As you may know, in May of 2017, the Grand Rapids National Weather Service office prepared and delivered a specialized severe weather Skywarn training class dedicated to meeting the needs and interests of the blind and visually impaired.  Approximately 15 individuals from the Grand Rapids area attended the class, and the class was felt to be a success by everyone involved. The Grand Rapids National Weather Service office forecaster who gave last year’s training is very willing to offer the training class again, if there is a sufficient level of interest. This year’s training is scheduled for Monday:  April 23 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.  The training will be held at a convenient location in the Grand Rapids area to accommodate those who use public transportation.

If you think you might be interested in attending the Skywarn training session for the visually-impaired on Monday:  April 23 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., please let Dr. Thomas Behler know by Thursday: February 15, so he can pass your interest along to the National Weather Service.  If interest is sufficient, an e-mail will follow, shortly after the February 15 deadline with a registration form and other more specific details.

He can be reached by e-mail, or by phone:    E-mail:,  Phone:   (303)  775-1199

Accessible Airports

Posted 01/05/2018

Louisville International Airport is the “first fully accessible airport” in the nation (and possibly in the world), according to Craig Meador, president of the American Printing House for the Blind. Read the full article here.

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