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Books and Materials
Books and Materials
The BTBL has over 135,000 books in audio and braille formats, similar in collection to a public library. Most of these materials are provided through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), although BTBL does supplement that collection. Patrons of BTBL will have access to the following types of materials:
- Audio books- Available by download or on cartridge through the mail
- Braille books- Available by download or in hard copy through the mail
- Print-Braille - Traditional picture books with braille overlay
- Magazines - Selections available in both audio and braille formats
- Described DVDs - Turn on the built-in accessibility feature to hear descriptive audio during the DVD
- NLS Music Materials - Music scores available in Large Print and braille directly from NLS by phone at 800-424-8567 ext. 2
- International Language collection- Multiple languages available in audio and braille
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you decide what books to send me?
When you sign up with BTBL, we create a profile of your preferences including subjects and favorite authors. If you choose to receive books through the mail (rather than by download), we use those preferences to select books for you. Alternatively, you can select your own books and contact us with those requests using a number of methods that are listed in the 'How to Order Books' section below. Account preferences can be changed at any time by contacting the library. Materials sent in the mail use the Free Matter for the Blind designation.
How often will I receive books?
Each account is set up based on the individual's account preferences. Generally, patrons will have a maximum of three digital book (DB) cartridges checked out at a time, with each cartridge containing multiple books. As we receive a cartridge back in the mail from a patron, we automatically send them a new one downloaded with books based on their profile (requests, favorite authors and favorite subjects). This automatic exchange of cartridges is called Turnaround service, and it is our most popular method. Some patrons prefer to receive books only when they call to request a new cartridge. This is called On-Demand. In this case, patrons must receive at least 1 book per year to remain active with the service.
Please call the library to request braille books. The number of braille books that can be checked out on an account depends on the availability of our braille cases.
If you would like to discuss these options further, please contact the library for more information.
How long can I keep the books?
A digital book (DB) cartridge is due 6 months from the check-out date. A braille book is due 2 months from the check-out date. A magazine cartridge is due 5 weeks from the check-out date. Downloaded books from BARD do not have due dates. There are no late fees charged for overdue books. Please contact the library to renew material.
How do I return books?
When you have completed listening to your audio book cartridges, remove the index card on the outside of the case. The library's address is permanently affixed to the container. Then place the container back in the mail.
When you have completed reading your hard copy braille books, remove the index card on the outside of the case and flip it over. The library's address is pre-printed on the back. Re-insert the card back into the slot and place the container in the mail.
Braille books are shipped in large box containers. Digital cartridges are shipped in thin blue, gray and clear plastic containers with snap closures. Magazines are shipped in burgundy plastic containers, but are returned to a distribution center using the same manner described above.
Downloaded BARD books do not have to be returned. Simply delete the book from your device when you are finished reading to free up space.
How do I order books?
Call the library with a request list, or to perform a title, author, or subject search on your behalf. We are happy to help you select books over the phone. Phone lines are open Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Calling the library by phone is the quickest way to make changes to your patron account, including adding new books to your request list.
Contact BTBL with book requests via email: email@example.com. Everything mentioned in the phone request section above can also be accomplished by e-mail. If you will need an item shipped immediately, please make a note within your email.
Patrons are welcome to mail in written requests to BTBL at our mailing address:
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48909
Postage is not necessary when BTBL patrons mail envelopes and boxes to BTBL. Write "FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND" where stamps would normally be placed.
By Order Form
To place a book request, utilize the form link below. Requests are usually processed in 2-3 business days. You need to be an active patron of BTBL to order books. All information provided is kept strictly confidential.