Nothing should stop you from reading! Audiobooks and magazines can be loaned free to any Idaho resident who is unable to read standard print due to low-vision, blindness, or a physical, perceptual or reading disability.
This free service provides the following to registered users:
You must be registered for the Talking Book Service before registering for BARD
The Talking Book Service has more than 115,000 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
Keep current on the latest news with the quarterly newsletter. Receive in large print, audio format, via email or the Shelf Project. Listen to the newsletter podcast.
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,
- first submit an Application.
- Once approved, you can Register to use BARD.
- Here are additional Registration and Download Instructions.
How do I Apply
Idaho TBS provides service to individuals who fall under the following categories:
- Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
- Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material.
- Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
- Persons certified by competent authority as having a perceptual or reading disability of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
- Persons eligible for service (falling into any of the above categories) who are now living as residents of the United States (including its territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia), or are American citizens eligible for service who are now living abroad, or dependents of active military personnel or diplomats.
This includes individuals who have had a qualifying disability from birth, individuals who are disabled because of medical conditions or trauma, and individuals who become disabled as they age. Individuals who have a temporary disability may qualify for service on a temporary basis. Individuals who are blind or have a physical disability and who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States receive special priority.
- 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
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.
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 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.
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 for the wonderful service, in particular the indefinite checkout of her Bible.
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 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 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.
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 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.
SUBSCRIBE TO CONNECTIONS NEWSLETTER
Connections: TBS News is a quarterly newsletter of the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ Talking Book Service. Read the latest issue of Connections.