New York State Library
New York State Talking Book and Braille Library logo

Services for Schools and Children

Children of all ages who cannot read standard print may receive NYS Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) services at home and/or through their school.

Library Service for Schools

Schools in the 55 counties of upstate New York may register to borrow books and magazines in braille and audio format, along with talking book players, if they have eligible students enrolled. Students are eligible for service if they have difficulty reading standard print due to:

  • Visual impairment
  • Physical disability
  • Reading disability

Schools may borrow materials on behalf of eligible students for use in the school building. Materials can be delivered through the US mail, or downloaded through our free service, Braille and Audio Reading Download, BARD. Each school building within a district must register separately with the Talking Book and Braille Library to enable us to keep track of materials on loan.

Books which may be borrowed include fiction and nonfiction, required school reading for literature or other courses (excluding textbooks), and recreational or summer reading.

Schools may apply for TBBL service by completing our Institution Application. When TBBL staff receive an application for service, a librarian will reach out to answer any questions. Schools will receive welcome materials which includes brochures, flyers, applications, login credentials for borrowing books through the mail, and information about downloading.

If your school is already registered and you have additional students who are eligible and need talking book library service, please download our individual application for each student by using the link in the 'Application for Individual Service' section below.

Application For Individual Service

To borrow audio or braille books, individuals must register with the Talking Book and Braille Library. Please fill out one of the applications below and return it to us.

Applications may be completed entirely online and submitted by email. Printed applications can be submitted by fax or mail. We do accept electronic certification instead of a handwritten signature. The certifier must include their full legal name; title/position; organization name; complete mailing address; email address; telephone number; and date.

Phone: (800) 342-3688 or 518-474-5935

How to Order Materials

Schools and individuals may choose to access books using the following methods:

  • Request materials by email,
  • Send requests by mail:
    Talking Book and Braille Library
    Cultural Education Center
    222 Madison Avenue
    Albany, NY 12230-0001

  • Call our toll-free number, 1-800-342-3688
  • Request through our online catalog. Materials will be delivered through the US mail.
  • Download materials from BARD.
Last Updated: December 1, 2021