New York State Library
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Guidelines for Using Talking and Braille Books in Your School or Classroom

As a new school year is well underway, here are some important reminders about the services you receive from our library.


  • Please submit new applications for any eligible students in your school who have not previously used our audio or Braille books. Individual applications for home library service are available for download. Once a student has been registered, they will receive a digital player for home use, and they will also be able to sign up for downloadable books through the Braille and Audio Reading Download service (BARD).
  • When sending in an application to register a student for home library service, please indicate specific titles needed for English or Literature classes if you have that information. Those titles will be sent out as soon as the application is processed and the registration set up. Students can also sign up for BARD once they are registered, and download titles needed for required reading. Registration of new patrons takes about two weeks.
  • Make sure all applications are properly certified. If the student has a reading/learning disability, a medical doctor must sign the application per NLS guidelines.  The original signature must be included with the application documents that are sent to us. Contact us if you have any questions on eligibility, or on the application process.


  • Overdue Books: Please remind your students to return all audio or Braille books that were borrowed during the previous school year, so that these titles are available for all eligible students who need them. If you would like a list of the books that are currently checked out to your school, call us to request one. We want to be able to provide prompt service to the 1,700 plus schools and thousands of students who use our services, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
  • Downloadable Books through BARD: Your school can now sign up for an institutional account through BARD, in order to download books for students who are receiving Talking Book Services.  Students who register for home service can also apply for their own BARD account, and download books as individuals. For complete information or to access BARD applications, please see our BARD page.
  • Summer Reading: Our library has thousands of titles that are appropriate for required or recreational summer reading. If students who are registered for home library service need specific titles, please let us know (or send a list home with the student) before the end of the school year, so that we can assure availability. More information about the NYS Summer Reading Program can be obtained on our website.
  • Textbooks: Textbook and curriculum-based material is not part of our library collection. Learning Allyexternal link, formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), is the main source of recorded textbooks in the U.S. For information about braille or large print textbooks for students, please contact the Resource Center at the New York State School for the Blind.

Contact Us

  • You may reach our library by calling 1-800-342-3688 or by sending an e-mail to If you e-mail us, please include the name of your school or indicate "TBBL request" in the subject line, so that we can distinguish it from any SPAM e-mail that we might receive.
  • We also have a direct FAX line in our portion of the library that may be used for submitting book requests. Our fax number is (518) 486-2142. Please keep in mind that applications may not be faxed to us because of the original signature requirement for certification.
  • Our library is closed on all state holidays, but you may call our 800# at any time during a holiday, evening, or weekend and leave us a message. Please leave a complete phone number where we can reach you, including area code and extension, if applicable. We will call you back as soon as possible.
  • If your school has had a recent change in address, phone, or contact information, please call to let us know so that library materials sent out to your school will not be delayed.  If you have an e-mail address, please let us know so that we can keep you informed of changes and updates.

Please call us with any questions or concerns about our program or services.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021