Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library
The Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) lends audio and braille books to Michigan residents unable to use standard print materials due to a visual, physical, or reading disability. Apply for service to access to over 100,000 books that can be downloaded directly through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download), or delivered through the regular U.S. postal service.
Currently, over 7,000 Michiganders are registered for and use BTBL services. Institutions like schools, libraries, and community service providers may also register for service.
The BTBL is located in Lansing, Michigan, but serves the entire state with the support of our Advisory and Outreach Centers. The BTBL is a state agency operated by the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) as a part of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). It is also a part of the network of regional libraries operated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS)
- Audio and braille books, similar in collection to a public library (both fiction and non-fiction titles, but not textbook type materials)
- Subscription to over 100 audio and braille magazines
- Free BARD mobile App, used to download books directly
- Free audio book equipment with book cartridges mailed to the patron's home, if unable to download books
- Book catalogs listing new releases by genre
- Music materials, such as scores, available through the NLS Music Section
- Described video DVD collection
- 1931: Pratt-Smoot Act establishes the national free library service for blind persons. Two regional libraries established in Michigan as a part of the Library of Congress's national program.
- 1952: Extended library services to blind children.
- 1966: Extended library services to all persons unable to read standard print, including those with physical or reading disabilities.
- 1970-1980's: Subregional Libraries (now referred to as Advisory and Outreach Centers) were established in Michigan.
- 2010: Name changed from Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (SBPH) to Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL)