LBPH: Available Materials and Equipment
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Available Materials and Equipment
The following materials are available for use for free by eligible LBPH patrons. Contact the KDL LBPH by phone, mail, email, or in person to request any of the following materials:
Books on Cassette Tape:
There are more than 50,000 titles available on recorded cassette for LBPH patrons. Books are recorded on four tracks, 15/16 inches per second (ips) by National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. These books are designed to be played on specialize cassette players that are provided upon registration with the LBPH program.
The NLS catalog's most recent book titles can be viewed in Talking Book Topics. LBPH patrons will automatically receive this publication in the mail every two months. Talking Book Topics is available in large print, on recorded cassette, or online.
The Kent District Library LBPH staff can select recorded books for patrons based on favorite subjects or authors. Patrons are welcome to change their reading preferences at any time by contacting the library.
Cassette Book Machine:
The cassette book machine is specially designed to play books on cassette produces by the NLS. Written and audio instructions are provided with the player. Specialized adaptive equipment is available for the machine, including:
- Amplified Headphones
- Extension levers
- Breath switch
- Remote control
With the exception of the extension levers, a separate application is required for use of any of this specialized equipment. Please contact the Kent District LBPH to request an application or receive more information.
Books in Braille:
Kent District LBPH works in conjunction with the Library of Michigan Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to provide Braille books to registered patrons.
The NLS catalog's most recent book titles are available in the Braille Book Review publication. LBPH patrons that receive Braille will automatically receive this publication in the mail every two months. The Braille Book Review is available in large print, in Braille, or online.
Described Videos / DVDs:
Described Videos and DVDs are movies in which the visual elements are described — the action, characters, locations, costumes, and sets — without interfering with the movie's dialogue or sound effects. KDL offers over 300 described videos and 40 described DVDs in a variety of genres to LBPH patrons.
Described videos / DVDs are available by request only. Please contact the Kent District LBPH for more information. Click here to see a list of available titles or contact the library to receive this list by mail.
Several magazines are available to LBPH patrons in large print, Braille, and audio format. To request magazines, print, fill out, and return the Magazine Request Form to the KDL LBPH or contact the library to have a form mailed.
Digital Books and Machines:
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is converting from talking books in a cassette format to a digital format. Digital talking book cartridges are about the size of a cassette and are beveled on one end so they will fit into the machine in only one way. In most cases, one cartridge will hold an entire book with no need to turn it over or flip switches. The Digital Talking Book (DTB) machine is roughly 6x9x2 inches and weighs slightly more than 2 pounds.
The DTB machine is available in two models: a standard player and an advanced model. In most cases, a standard player will be sufficient for most users. Those patrons that read mostly non-fiction or would like more navigational features may prefer the advanced player.
The current cassette player will be needed for magazines and for older books that have not yet been converted to the digital format for the next few years. Contact the Kent District LBPH to request a digital player.
BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download):
The NLS also provides a means for patrons to download audio books through the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) program. Any current LBPH patron in good standing is eligible for this service and can access over 20,000 books and 40 magazine titles. Patrons can download books from BARD to their computer and transfer them to a flash drive or blank digital cartridge. The books can then be played on a Digital Talking Book machine or other third party digital book players.
Users must have access to a high speed internet connection, a USB drive, and have the necessary computer skills to download and unzip computer files, as well as the ability to transfer files from a computer to a separate device. To enroll in BARD, patrons can fill out an online application on the BARD website.