The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends audio and braille books and magazines, and the necessary playback equipment, to residents of the 55 upstate counties of New York State who are unable to use standard printed materials because of a visual or physical disability.
Currently, over 14,700 New Yorkers are registered for and use Talking Book services. Institutions like schools, libraries, and community service providers may also register for service.
TBBL is one of the Regional Libraries in the nationwide program coordinated by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress, in Washington DC. TBBL is also a unit of the New York State Library, and part of the New York State Education Department.
The Talking Book and Braille Library is located in the Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York.
- 1896: Established as the New York State Library for the Blind, providing embossed books to blind adults.
- 1931: Became one of the original Regional Libraries in the Library of Congress' national program. "Talking" books on long-playing record were introduced.
- 1952: Extended Library services to blind children.
- 1966: Extended Library services to physically disabled and reading disabled individuals.
- 1974: Renamed the New York State Library for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
- 1995: Renamed the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library.