· Audio Books
The books you have access to through our service are primarily for pleasure reading, meaning we do not have books like academic textbooks available. We do have materials from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction subjects, including Westerns, Mysteries, Biographies, Sciences, Classics, etc. A complete listing of our reading preferences is in the back of this handbook.
Users receive books a couple of different ways (you are welcome to choose one service method or use both):
1. Through the mail: you receive books directly to your mailing address.
o All books have a loan period of 6 weeks.
2. Download on Demand: you access books online and download copies for yourself.
1. Books Through the Mail
If you get books through the mail, you have a couple of service options:
- Automatic Selection: we start out our new patrons on this service method. Based on your reading preferences, our computer system will automatically choose books for you and send them out as you return books you have finished.
o This system observes a limit for the number of books you can have checked out at a time. Once you reach your limit, our system won’t send you new books until you send books back to us.
§ We start everyone at a limit of 4 books, but you can change your limit whenever you want.
§ No matter how many books you get, the service is always free.
§ DO NOT trade books with other users. Each book is barcoded and sent to a specific patron. Trading books can cause serious mix-ups.
o Our usual turn-around time is 3-4 days. Make sure you put books back in the mail as you finish them so you have a constant flow of books coming in and books going out.
o If you get a book you don’t like, send it right back and we’ll send you something different.
o You can still make specific requests, but if the books you want are not immediately available you’ll still receive something else while you wait.
o You are always welcome to change your reading preferences. Contact us and we’ll help update your preferences.
- Requests Only: we will only send you books you specifically request by title or author
o This system also obeys a limit.
§ You will need a user ID and password for our online catalog. Contact us to get this information.
o You can have as many requests as you want on file, but it is important to know a few things:
§ Newer requests go out first. If you request a lot of books periodically, you may bury older requests under newer ones.
§ Requests expire after 1 year. Every April we purge expired requests.
o If you don’t have any requests on file, you won’t receive any books. We may call you to see if you’re still interested in the program
Regardless of how you received the book in the mail, returning it works the same way.
- Each book has a mailing card that is attached to the book’s container.
- Your address is showing when you receive the book.
- To send it back, just flip the mailing card over and reattach it to the container.
- There is an easy way to know if our return address is showing: feel for a hole punch. If the hole punched in the card is in the top left corner, our return address is showing and the card is orientated correctly.
The process for requesting books is as follows:
- First, you’ll need to know what book you want to request.
o You can use our print or online catalogs to find books you’d like to read, or you can ask about any book you hear about from another source.
§ If you use the catalog, you’ll find that each book is assigned a number (i.e. DB 71234). Let us know the number(s) of the book(s) you want to request and we’ll add the request(s) to your account.
§ If you don’t see a book in our catalogs and want to know if we have it, contact us with the book’s title and author and we’ll check to see if it is in our collection.
- As mentioned above, requests can be made a variety of different ways.
o Over the phone: call us at 800-452-0292 with your book requests. If you have to leave a voicemail, leave the numbers or the titles and authors of the books you want as part of the voicemail.
o Via email: email us at email@example.com with either the numbers or the titles and authors of the books you’d like to request.
o Catalog request forms: mark the numbers of books you’re interested in, tear out the forms, and mail them back to us at 250 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301. DO NOT mail them to the return address on the back of the catalog; it is in Florida and will take several weeks to reroute to us.
o Online catalog: search for books by author, subject, or keyword; add books to your book basket, and checkout using your user ID and password. A link to our TBABS Catalog can be found on our website: www.TBABS.org.
o Letters: you can always write us a good old-fashioned letter with requests. Just be sure to include your name and address on the letter so we know who the requests are for.
2. BARD – Download on Demand
All of our patrons are welcome to sign up for our downloadable audio book service called BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). BARD allows patrons FREE access to download any NLS digital book they want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Downloading your own books means:
- No more wait lists. Every book is immediately available to every user.
- No more due dates. Files do not expire after a certain period of time.
- No more having to mail books back and forth.
- No more limits. You can download as many books as you want…for FREE!
Books you download are loaded onto a flash drive or blank cartridge and played on your NLS digital talking book machine we send you, or they can be loaded onto an authorized purchased player like the Victor Reader Stream or BookSense.
Users need to be able to perform a few computer skills in order to use BARD, including:
- Navigating a web page using a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc)
- Sending and receiving email
- Filling out online forms
- Downloading files
- Locating a downloaded file on your computer
- Extracting files from a zipped format
- Copying, pasting, and erasing files from a cartridge or USB flash drive
If you are interested in signing up for BARD, visit our website at www.TBABS.org to find the link to the online application. Patrons interested in using this service must have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. You can contact us if you have any issues. We also have a BARD information page where you can find detailed download instructions, FAQs, and links to where you can purchase blank cartridges.
· Audio Magazines
The NLS makes a variety of magazines available in audio you can subscribe to through our service. Titles include National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Asimov’s Science Fiction, True West, Money, and more. Like audio books, audio magazines are available either through the mail or for download on demand from BARD. For a complete list of available titles, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magazines Through the Mail
Audio Magazines you receive through the mail will come directly from the NLS. We here at Talking Books in Oregon simply help manage your subscriptions. Here is how the process will work:
- Magazine cartridges are light blue and will arrive in a bright red container.
- If you subscribe to several magazines, they will all be loaded onto the same cartridge.
- You must return the cartridge in order to receive further issues. Just flip the mailing card over like you do to return books you get from us and drop everything in your mailbox.
BARD Download on Demand
If you want to download audio magazines, the same requirements listed above for audio books you get from BARD apply. There is a separate section on the BARD main webpage for magazines. You can browse through recently added issues, or scroll through the complete list for current as well as back issues of each title. BARD is the one-stop-shop for downloadable audio books and magazines.
· Braille Books
Talking Book and Braille Services provides Braille books to users a couple of different ways. Embossed Braille books are available via the State Library in Utah. Electronic Braille books can be downloaded from BARD and transferred onto a Braille-aware device, Braille display, or printed using a Braille embosser.
Our contract with the Utah State Library enables us to create and manage accounts for our users in Oregon who would like to read copies of embossed Braille books.
- Accounts are created at no cost to our users (we cover the cost using our donation funds).
- Print Braille account holders can contact us with requests for books, which we then communicate to the Utah State Library.
- In order to be good stewards of our resources, we do ask that each print Braille user borrow at least a few books a year. There is also a general account for users who read Braille infrequently (once or twice a year).
- If a book is available, it usually arrives in about a week; otherwise, we add you to the waiting list. The same 6-week loan period that applies to all of our audio books also applies to print Braille books from the Utah State Library.
If you are interested in signing up for a print Braille account, please contact us at 800-452-0292 or email@example.com. You must be a registered Talking Book and Braille Services user before you can sign up for print Braille.
BARD – Download on Demand
BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) is a free online service where our users can download electronic copies of Braille books and magazines (along with audio books as well). These books are in contracted Braille ASCII format. Each file represents one volume of a Braille book or magazine. Electronic Braille books can be downloaded for reading off-line or for embossing. Reading electronic Braille files requires a Braille display, Braille-aware note taker, or Braille embosser. In addition, electronic Braille files may be listened to with a player that has text-to-speech capabilities such as a Victor Reader Stream.
If you are interested in signing up for BARD, visit our website at www.TBABS.org to find the link to the online application. Patrons interested in using this service must have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and an authorized Braille device. You can contact us if you have any issues. We also have a BARD information page where you can find detailed download instructions, FAQs, and a list of authorized devices.
· Braille Magazines
There are a variety of magazines in Braille our patrons can receive. Titles include ESPN: The Magazine, Harper’s, National Geographic, Ladies’ Home Journal, PC World, and Rolling Stone. You can either receive magazine issues through the mail, or download issues using BARD.
If you receive Braille magazines through the mail, we will manage your subscriptions for you. Contact us for a listing of available Braille magazines.
If you want to download electronic Braille magazines, the same requirements listed above for Braille books you get from BARD apply. BARD is the one-stop-shop for downloadable audio and Braille books and magazines.
Would you like a newspaper with your morning cup of coffee? Then sit back and enjoy the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) newspaper service called NFB-NEWSLINE. Users of NFB-NEWSLINE have access to over 230 newspapers (including several in the Spanish language). Of local interest are the Portland Oregonian, the Salem Statesman Journal, the Eugene Register Guard, and the Oregon Associated Press newswire.
NFB-NEWSLINE can be accessed several different ways:
- Over the phone using a special toll-free number
- iTunes App for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- Free software to download your selections in audio for your digital talking book player, purchased digital player, or MP3 device.
The user ID and pin number required to access NFB-NEWSLINE will be assigned to you when your account is created.
· Descriptive Videos
Are you a movie lover? Check out our collection of over 400 Descriptive Video titles. Descriptive videos have an extra sound track that describes on-screen action when there is no character dialog. We have both VHS tapes and DVDs available for three week loan periods. Descriptive videos play on any commercial VCR or DVD player. In order to use this service you must supply your own VHS or DVD player.
· Voter’s Guide
Vote independently! Together the Secretary of State, the League of Women Voters and Talking Books provide free, non-partisan voting guides to all interested patrons 18 years old and over. These guides are available in audio, Braille, large print, and online. During an election year, the guides are provided for both the primary and the general elections. If you’re interested in the voter’s guide, let us know what format will work best for you.