The following materials are available from the library, either onsite or via mail service, or from other agencies. To borrow Talking Books, Playback Machines, Large Print Books, Descriptive Videos, and/or Braille Books, you must meet eligibility requirements, submit an application and provide proper certification, and be registered with the St. Clair County Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

  • Digital Talking Books: Digital Playback machines are the newest in Talking Book technology. There is a basic model and an advanced model. The machine weighs about two pounds. It is smaller than the cassette player. The Advance Digital Player has more navigation buttons that includes Bookmarks. The machines play cartridges, which look like cassettes. The cartridges are beveled and have a USB connection.
  • Talking books on cassette: These include magazines and older titles offered through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS); titles recorded at regional libraries of the National Library Service, are available through interlibrary loan from cooperating libraries.
  • Magazine from the Talking Book Program: Magazines on cassette and Braille are offered through the National Library Service's magazine program.
  • NLS Voyager Catalog: This is a searchable catalog using simple language to find available Talking Books.
  • BARD: Patrons can download books for themselves. You must have a digital player, high speed internet connection, active email account and must be comfortable with the computer.
  • Source for purchase of cartridges for digital machines: Blank cartridges may be purchased for your own downloads if you are using the NLS BARD website or you may also use a USB or thumb drive for downloading.
  • Foreign Language Materials: Although the primary languages in the collection are English and Spanish, materials in French, German, and other languages are also available.
  • Braille books: These titles are offered through NLS and include grade 3 and grade 1 Braille. In addition, patrons who have refreshable Braille displays or Braille printers may register for Web-Braille, the National Library Service's online web Braille service. Interested patrons should contact the library to set up their Web-Braille subscription.
  • Descriptive Videos: These are commercial videocassettes that have added audio narration of the onscreen action. They may be played on standard VHS machines. Patrons registered with the library for talking book and/or Braille service may receive these videos via postage-free mail.
  • Large Print books and magazines: The large print collection is available to the Public Library patrons of St. Clair County as well as registered users of the LBPH service.
  • Music Services: Scores and music instruction on cassette, Braille and large print are available from the National Library Service's Music Services division.
  • National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Newsline: Hundreds of newspapers are available in synthetic speech for eligible readers using a touch-tone telephone. People receiving Braille or talking books from the library may register for this service through the library or directly from NFB.
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