Don’t let a physical limitation stop you from reading! Audio books and magazines can be lent free to any Idaho resident who is unable to read standard print, hold a book, or turn pages due to a temporary or permanent physical limitation.
This free service provides the following to registered users:
Books, magazines, and playback equipment
Materials mailed directly to and from the user via Free Matter for the Blind
Toll free number to contact the Talking Book Service (800-458-3271)
Resources to help select titles of interest
Online catalog for direct ordering
Download digital titles to a personal device
You must be registered for the Talking Book Service before registering for BARD
TBS has improved the quality of life for my 88 year old mother. She never stops talking about the recent books she’s listened to and I can’t thank you enough for this service!
Thank you for the wonderful service, in particular the indefinite checkout of her Bible.
Thank you so much; I enjoy these books. When I found out I was going blind I thought my life was over. With all the things available it isn’t so bad.
Thank you for the beautiful calendar, and all the special things you do for us.
I’m not sure which person to thank for all the kindness and help you have been to me!! I certainly appreciate all of you there. Such a blessing for me and others.
Thank you everyone who participated in providing mother with such a wonderful service. She would sit by the hour and listen to her books and laugh and cry and loved every one! Much thanks from the heart of a grateful daughter! Your service brought light to her darkened world!
Thank you for keeping me entertained and educated.
The Talking Book Service enriched my father’s life from his late 80s to the time of his death at age 96. My dad was legally blind with dry macular degeneration during that time. He mostly wanted to listen to non-fiction books, history and biographies, but we would occasionally surprise him with a book of fiction. With little sight to watch television, talking books was his gateway into a lifelong interest in the world and news around him. I can’t imagine how empty his life would have been without the Talking Book Service.
Thank you for your service-it’s truly a life saver for me. I love the selections you’ve sent. Wish I had more time to “read” I love having the world opened to me again. Can’t say enough good about you. Blessings.
I really appreciate your kindness in sending me extra calendars. It is so very helpful to me! Each and every one of you working at “talking books” have always been extra helpful. I thank you for your expertise and the service you provide to so many.
My aunt received her player and books yesterday. I want to thank you for how quickly you sent them to her. She was so excited to receive them. I helped her set it up and she was happily listening when I left. I think these little adventures will bring some needed joy into her life.
Thank you so much for your update. You and your staff go above and beyond . The time I have spent talking to you guys is priceless to me. Now more than ever sometimes you guys are the [only] human voice I’ve heard in days. So thank you, and keep up the good work.
You are making a difference in peoples’ lives.
The Talking Book Service has more than 90,000 audio books and 70 magazine titles from which to choose. The collection contains fiction and nonfiction topics ranging from astronomy to westerns. Reading levels range from very easy to adult. Books are available in many languages in addition to English. Plus, users can receive books and magazines in braille, enjoy books about Idaho’s history and lifestyle, and listen to more than 200 daily newspapers!
Registered users can request books via the online library catalog, by supplying their reading interests and having books automatically selected from those topics, by downloading from an online database, or by scanning paper or audio catalogs for recently recorded books.
Locally Recorded Materials
The Talking Book Service records audio books and magazines about Idaho and the Pacific Northwest and currently has more than 800 books and several magazines available. Contact the Talking Book Service to receive a login and password to download via the Shelf Project database.
More than 70 titles on a variety of topics! Select magazines from the following lists:
Download from these online databases and never have to wait for a title again! Requires a computer, high speed Internet access, and ability to manipulate files.
- More than 65,000 audio magazine and book titles professionally recorded by the National Library Service.
- Audio titles on topics of local interest recorded by regional libraries
- More than 15,000 braille titles
Shelf Project: Hundreds of books about Idaho and the Pacific Northwest history, geography, and other topics recorded by volunteers at the Talking Book Service. Contact the Talking Book Service to sign up.
Braille books and magazines
Braille readers receive paper braille books and magazines from Utah via the USPS. Contact the Talking Book Service at 800.458.3271 to register for this free service.
Audio, braille, and print/braille books in the NLS collection for preschool through grade 8.
Listen to more than 300 daily newspapers from across the U.S., including 3 titles with Idaho news: The Idaho Statesman (southwest Idaho), Post Register (eastern Idaho), and The Spokesman-Review (northern Idaho) Users also can listen to magazines, local TV listings, job listings and more! Contact the Talking Book Service for more information or to receive your password to use Newsline free of charge.
Connections – TBS News
Enjoy audio, braille, and large-print music scores, texts, and other instructional music materials. Listen to an overview of the free service.
Access to these fee-based resources is not part of the Talking Book Service, but these resources provide additional sources and types of reading materials. Titles from these resources will play on the Talking Book Digital player with a free User Authorization Key (UAK) provided by the vendor.
Bookshare: More than 150,000 digital books, textbooks, newspapers and magazines available for download and accessible in multiple formats. No access fees for students of all ages.
Learning Ally: 75,000 audio textbooks and literature titles downloadable and accessible on mainstream as well as specialized assistive technology devices.
Louis Catalog: Maintained by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the Louis Database of Accessible Materials contains information on accessible print materials produced by about 160 organizations throughout the United States. Materials are available in braille, large print, audio, and electronic file format. To purchase materials developed by APH, visit ShopAPH.
Louis Plus: This database locates accessible instructional materials in Louis, the National Instructional Materials Acess Center, and Bookshare.
Access the Catalogs
Idaho Talking Book Service Catalog (KLAS)
This Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) allows users to order books from the Idaho Talking Book Service directly from their computers and download digital titles from BARD or the Shelf Project. Anyone may search the catalog, but only those eligible to use the Idaho Talking Book Service can order from it. Additional information and search tips.
A list of digital titles currently available for download. Users must be registered to use the Talking Book Service and must register to use BARD.
How do I sign up to download from BARD?
If you haven’t done so,
How do I Apply
To be eligible for the Talking Book Service, a person must:
- Be legally blind, with vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less with corrective glasses, or
- Have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees in diameter, or
- Be unable to see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with corrective glasses, or
- Be unable to handle print books or turn pages because of a physical disability, or
- Be certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability due to an organic dysfunction that is severe enough to prevent reading in the usual manner.
The disability may be permanent or temporary.
- Individual application (English) Note: This fillable form can be completed online but cannot be submitted. Please print and submit the signed application by mail, fax, or email.
- Individual application (Spanish) Note: This fillable form can be completed online but cannot be submitted. Please print and submit the signed application by mail, fax, or email.
- Institutional Application
- School Application
Loan Guidelines: conditions for using the Talking Book Service