Do you enjoy a good book but are no longer able to read small print?
The Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library and network of Advisory and Outreach Centers serves Michigan residents that have visual, physical, or reading disabilities with books in audio and/or braille format. Sign up for the service for access to thousands of books that can be downloaded directly through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). Can't download books yourself? No problem! Request one of our digital talking book players and books can be delivered directly to you on cartridge through the regular U.S. postal service. And best of all, this service is FREE, there is not even a charge to mail materials to or from the library.
You do not need to be legally blind to use our services -- if standard print has become difficult for you, a friend, or a family member, please call.
Who can qualify?
BTBL provides service to Michigan residents who fall into any of the following categories:
An individual who is blind or has a visual impairment that makes them unable to comfortably read print books.
An individual who has a perceptual or reading disability.
An individual who has a physical disability that makes it hard to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes as needed to read a print book.
This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, individuals who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and individuals who become disabled as they age. Individuals who have a temporary disability may qualify for service on a temporary basis. Individuals who are blind or have a physical disability and who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive special priority.
Who is a "competent authority"?
Eligibility must be certified by one of the following: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, or professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).
In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.
The first step in beginning long- or short-term service is the submission of an Application. We are located on the first floor of the Michigan Library and Historical Center at 702 West Kalamazoo Street in Lansing. Come see what we have to offer!