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Using Talking Books

Audio Books

All users are set up with a certain number of books they can have checked out to them at any given time. When we receive a book back from you, a new one is mailed out the following business day. The usual turnaround time of 4 - 5 days.

All books are due back within 6 weeks from the day you receive them.

You may receive books automatically based on your reading preferences, by request-only, or both.

Books are mailed in plastic containers with an address card tucked into the bottom side. To return a book, just flip that card over and put the container in any USPS mailbox.

Postage is pre-paid so you never have to worry about paying to return items.

You can download any book in the collection from BARD, our download-on-demand service!  Click this link for more information.

All of our audio books are human narrated, and the player allows you to adjust the tone, speed, and volume of the voice.



Braille Books

Oregon Talking Books has a contract with the Utah State Library to provide Braille books to our users. No Braille is housed at our library.

The loan period for Braille is up to 8 weeks, and the turnaround time is generally about 5-7 days.

Braille accounts work the same way as audio - you may receive books automatically based on your reading preferences, by request-only, or both.

To request Braille, simply contact us at 800-452-0292 or talkingbooks.info@state.or.us.

How it Works

Once we receive a completed application, an account is set up and introductory materials (including the audio book player) are mailed out the following business day.

Our library generally has all the same kinds of books you would find at your local public library, with the exception of academic and reference materials like text-books and dictionaries.

Expand the options to the right for more information.


​Any and all users can submit requests for specific titles they would like to receive

To mail in your requests, please use the following address:

Talking Books

250 Winter St NE

Salem, OR 97301

 

To phone in your requests, please use either of the following numbers:

800-452-0292 (toll free)

503-378-5389

You can call anytime day or night, though we only answer calls from 9:00 AM – 12noon and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  Only one staff member is answering calls at a time, so you may have to leave a voicemail with your requests if we are on the phone with another user.

 

To email in your requests, please use the following address:

talkingbooks.info@state.or.us

Be sure to remember to include your name and phone number in your email so we know whose account to add the requests to.

 

You can make requests by book number or title and author.  Not all books published in print are available in audio from our library, but we will check for you to see if we have the titles you request.  We are usually 3-6 months behind print-publication dates for new-releases.

Please remember to keep your requests list at a reasonable level.  Requesting too many books means you will keep burying older requests under newer ones, and eventually the older requests will expire after 1 year.

USING SEARCH FILTERS

When searching for books using our online catalog, there may be times when you get a lot of results if your search term is fairly general.  Search filters will help you narrow down the results so they are more manageable.

The list of filters appears to the left of your results.  There are different categories for filters, including format, availability, recently added, subject, and language.  Depending on your results there will be different filters to choose from.

Filters can either keep titles on the list or remove them.  To keep titles that match a filter (i.e. Recently Added: within 1 month), click the words of the filter.  Books that do not match that filter will be removed.

Conversely, you can click the small circle with the minus sign to remove results that match the filter.

Clicking on multiple filters will further focus your results.  For example, you can search for mysteries, then select filters for books added over the last year that have copies immediately available.  These two filters alone reduce results by thousands of titles!

If you accidentally click on a filter, you can use your browser’s back button to get the removed books back on the list.  There are also links above your results list that allow you to remove filters you’ve selected.

 

REQUEST A BOOK

Each title on a results list has a box next to it.  To request a title, check this box, then click the Add Selected to Book Basket button at the top or bottom of the results list.  You can check multiple titles and add them all with one button click.

Clicking the Add Selected to Book Basket button will take you directly to your book basket.  You can choose to go back to your search results to add more books, or you can finalize your requests by clicking the Proceed to Checkout button.

If you are already logged in, once you proceed to checkout the titles in your book basket will be added to your request list.  If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to do so.  If you do not know your login information, you can click the Email Basket button to send us the list of books.

You can mark up to three requests per day as rush requests.  Marking a request as a rush means it will be favored ahead of other requests, and if we have an available copy of the book it will mail out in your next shipment.

You can have as many books on request as you want, but we recommend keeping your request list at a reasonable level.  Newer requests will be favored ahead of older requests, and requests expire after one year.  We purge expired requests once a year.

 

USE A BOOK’S FULL RECORD

Each book in our collection has a very short record that will appear in a search results list, as well as a much larger full record that provides much more information about the book.  You can also use these full records to find similar books or all the other books in a series.

To open a book’s full record, you just click on the book’s title.  Much of the information on the page functions as a link that will run a search for whatever you click on.  Here is how you can use these links:

  • Author name: clicking on the author’s name will help you find all the books by that author in our collection.
  • Series: if you know the book is part of a series, click the series name to quickly find all the other books in that series.
  • Narrator: say you like listening to a reader’s voice, and want to read whatever they’ve narrated.  Click on their name and you’ll get that list.
  • Local Subject: if you’ve just read a book you really like because of its subject, look that book up in our catalog then click on the local subject links to find other books that are coded with the same subject.  You can then use filters to refine the list even more.

You can also add a book to your book basket directly from the book’s full record.

SEARCH FOR A BOOK

BARD has an easy-to-use search box on the main page.  Here you can type in any search term you want, including a title, author name (last, first), keyword, subject, or book number (i.e. 76543).  You do not need to specify which type of search you want to do; instead, BARD will look for your search term in every category.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you when using the search box:

  • To hone in on a specific book, it is best to use a search term unique to that book.  That can be an author or character’s name, a specific location like a city or town, or an uncommon word in the book’s title.
  • BARD’s search box is not as sophisticated as Google, so if you spell your search term wrong you won’t get the results you’re looking for.  Be sure to enter the correct spelling of an author’s name or the exact title of a book.
  • One of the best ways to find a specific book is to search by its book number.  Just type in the 5 digit number, but leave off the DB part.  Sometimes you might find a couple of results, especially if the book is part of a series, but for the most part you should only get one result.
  • Depending on what type of search term you use, you can skip to the results in a specific category by clicking the link for that category at the top of the results page.  For example, if you know your search term is a word that will appear in the book’s description, then you can click the link for results in the annotation to more quickly locate the book you want.

 

DOWNLOAD A BOOK

The following instructions are a shortened version of the more detailed step-by-step download instructions on our BARD information page.  If you are familiar with downloading files from the internet, you will be comfortable using these instructions.

  • Log into BARD.
  • Find the book you want to download.
  • Click the download link below the book’s description to initiate the download.
  • When the download is complete, locate the book on your computer.
  • Depending on whether you have a PC or a Mac, extract or unarchive the zipped folder.
  • Plug your flash drive or blank cartridge into your computer and copy/paste or drag-and-drop the unzipped book folder onto it.
  • Repeat the above process if you want to put multiple books on your flash drive or blank cartridge.
  • Safely eject your flash drive or blank cartridge from your computer.
  • Plug your flash drive or blank cartridge into your player when the player is OFF.
  • Turn the player on.  Depending on how many books are on your flash drive or blank cartridge, it may take your player a few seconds to recognize them all.
  • To switch between books, use the bookshelf feature.  Press and hold the play button down for 2 seconds until you hear the player beep and say “bookshelf.”  Use the fast forward or rewind buttons to toggle through the books, then press the play button to make your selection.

 

UPDATE YOUR EMAIL

If you want to change the email address you use as your BARD username, first log into BARD then click on the link on the BARD main page called “Update account settings” (it’s down towards the bottom under the Additional Links header).

Several options will appear.  Click on the second option to “change your e-mail address”.  Follow the instructions on the page to complete the process.

NOTE: changing your email address will automatically reset your password as well.  You’ll get a temporary password in an email to the new address.  Just log in using your new email address and the temporary password, then follow the prompts to re-establish your permanent password.

SEARCH FOR A BOOK

First, select the Browse BARD feature on the Get Books tab.  The layout of this page looks exactly like the BARD main page when you log into BARD on your computer.

Here you’ll find a search box where you can type in any search term you want, including a title, author name (last, first), keyword, subject, or book number (i.e. 76543).  You do not need to specify which type of search you want to do; instead, BARD will look for your search term in every category.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you when using the search box:

  • To hone in on a specific book, it is best to use a search term unique to that book.  That can be an author or character’s name, a specific location like a city or town, or an uncommon word in the book’s title.
  • BARD’s search box is not as sophisticated as Google, so if you spell your search term wrong you won’t get the results you’re looking for.  Be sure to enter the correct spelling of an author’s name or the exact title of a book.
  • One of the best ways to find a specific book is to search by its book number.  Just type in the 5 digit number, but leave off the DB part.  Sometimes you might find a couple of results, especially if the book is part of a series, but for the most part you should only get one result.
  • Depending on what type of search term you use, you can skip to the results in a specific category by clicking the link for that category at the top of the results page.  For example, if you know your search term is a word that will appear in the book’s description, then you can click the link for results in the annotation to more quickly locate the book you want.

 

DOWNLOAD A BOOK

The download process for BARD Mobile is a little different than the download process for the BARD website.  You can only download a book using the BARD Mobile app if you have added the book to your wish list.

If you are searching for books from within the BARD Mobile app, on a results page the link below each book’s description will say “add (book’s title) to my wish list.”  Click the link to add the book to your wish list.

You can find your wish list at the top of the Get Books tab within the BARD Mobile app.  To start downloading a book, tap on the book you want.  Confirm your decision, and the book will start downloading.  When the download is complete, you can find the book on the Bookshelf tab under the appropriate category.

 

DELETE A BOOK

For iOS users, go to the Bookshelf tab, then select the category that the book you want to delete appears in.  Next, select the edit button near the top-right of the list.  Little red circles with minus signs will appear next to all the books on the list.  Select the circle to the immediate-left of the book you want to delete.  A red button with the word “delete” will appear to the right of the title.  Select this button to confirm your decision to delete the book.  When you have deleted all the books you want, select the edit button again to make the red minus circles disappear.

For Android users, go to the bookshelf tab as well, then select the appropriate category.  Next, select the menu button (three vertical dots) in the top-right of the tab.  Select the delete option, then check the box next to the book(s) you want to delete.  Confirm your decision to delete the book(s) and you are good to go.

 

SIDELOAD A BOOK

Sideloading books is the process of manually loading a BARD book onto your device, instead of downloading them through the BARD Mobile app.  Some users find sideloading easier or more convenient than downloading a book through the BARD Mobile app because you can skip the wish list process, avoid using mobile data on your device, and download books faster using a computer.

For iOS users, you can sideload books you’ve downloaded from BARD using iTunes file transfer, or some other cloud-based storage program like Dropbox.  You MUST transfer the zip file you download from BARD; you cannot sideload unzipped books.  As long as the zip file is loaded to the internal memory of your iOS device, the BARD Mobile app should be able to recognize, unzip, and play the book.

For Android users, you can sideload books you’ve downloaded from BARD by loading them onto the internal memory of your device, either by connecting your device to your computer and accessing the internal memory manually, or by exporting the book from a cloud-based storage program like Dropbox or Google Drive.  The book must be placed in the specified storage location for the BARD Mobile app, which you can find by following the folder path identified under Settings.  You can sideload zipped or unzipped folders; though most cloud-based storage apps do not let you upload and download unzipped folders.

The following policies govern the circulation of books, magazines and equipment to eligible print-disabled readers registered with the Talking Book and Braille Library at the State Library of Oregon.

Eligible readers who borrow materials from the Talking Books accept responsibility for using materials with reasonable care, returning them to Talking Books according to the policies stated below, and not losing or damaging library materials or equipment through negligence. Violation of this policy can result in suspension of some or all library services.

Policy

Braille books, audio books, and specialized playback equipment will be loaned by this library to eligible registered readers without charge, and this library will keep records of all such loans.  The borrower should notify the library of temporary or permanent changes of address or a desire to discontinue the service.

Borrowers may not lend library books, magazines, or equipment to other persons.  The borrower will ensure that books, magazines, and equipment being returned to the library by free matter are delivered into the hands of the United States Postal Service by being placed in a mailbox or delivered to the post office.  No postage is needed to return any Talking Books materials or equipment.  All preprinted Talking Books mailing cards and labels used to return materials are marked Free Matter for the Blind or Physically Handicapped to allow free mailing.

Equipment

Equipment necessary to read the audio materials is borrowed on extended loan for as long as the borrower meets National Library Service eligibility requirements, and the borrower reads at least one book or NLS magazine per year provided by the library.  If either of these two conditions is not met, the equipment must be returned to Talking Books.

It is the borrower's responsibility to ensure equipment is properly cared for and kept free of damaging substances or infestation.  In the event that a machine stops working properly or needs repair, it should be returned to Talking Books for repair and/or replacement.  Under NO circumstances should a borrower attempt to repair the playback equipment or accessories.

Books

The loan period for all books is six weeks.  Borrowers are encouraged to return each book as they finish reading it, to ensure a smooth flow of books to the reader.   To return a book, flip the mailing card over and reinsert it into the slot on the corresponding container.  No fines for overdue books will be levied; however, borrowers are urged to observe the six-week loan period so books can be available for other readers.

A maximum number of books in each format (Braille or audio) to be checked out to the borrower at one time is determined by the library, based on the borrower's reading record and as desired by the borrower.  The library reserves the right to limit readers' maximum number of books to ensure adequate service and collection availability for all patrons.

The library may lower a borrower’s maximum number of books if books are not returned on time.  Once a borrower reaches their maximum number of books, no additional books will be sent until books are returned. Borrowers should call Talking Books to adjust their maximum number of books to meet the borrower's individual reading needs.  Unless otherwise requested by the borrower, for each book returned in each format, a replacement book will be sent to the borrower.  Borrowers may choose to receive only specific books they request.

Borrowers are expected to return each container with its original contents.  Damaged items should be marked as Defective on the return-mailing card prior to mailing the item back so our inspectors are adequately notified. Patrons should call Talking Books if they would like to receive a replacement copy for a damaged book.

In the event that any of these policies are violated repeatedly, the borrower's service may be suspended for a period of time after being given a written warning and an opportunity to reply.  If after reinstatement of service abuse continues, service may be suspended again.

Any questions regarding Talking Books or policies may be answered by contacting Talking Books at 800-452-0292 or talkingbooks.info@state.or.us.  The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, has approved this loan policy.
 

Equipment and Accessories

Our library provides a free player to everyone who registers with our library, as well as several accessories that help improve the listening experience.  Click this link for more information about our equipment and accessories.

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