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All Palm Beach County Library System locations will close at 5:00 pm, Wed, Nov 26 and remain closed on Thu, Nov 27 & Fri, Nov 28, for Thanksgiving. No materials are due on those days.
 

Talking Books for Visually Impaired

The Palm Beach County Library System’s Talking Books Service received the National Network Sub-regional Library of the Year Award last month at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. They received this award for outstanding service to blind and disabled readers in Palm Beach County. The annual award carries a $1,000 cash prize.
 

Talking Books is a free service for qualified applicants that provides Braille and recorded materials to Palm Beach County residents who are certified legally blind, visually impaired or physically handicapped and cannot hold a book. These visual or physical limitations do not have to be permanent to qualify for the service. Talking Books are on digital cartridges. Catalogs are in large print. Mailing of materials and equipment is free.

To register, mail a certified application to Talking Books. See the links below to download an application. For additional information, call Talking Books at 649-5486 or 1-888-780-5151.

Who can certify an application?

In cases of blindness, doctors of medicine; doctors of osteopathy; ophthalmologist, optometrists; registered nurses; therapists; and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies (e.g. social workers, caseworkers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents) may certify eligibility for visual impairment or physical handicap.

In cases of reading disability from organic dysfunction, doctors of medicine must certify eligibility.

The service is available to any resident of the United States or American citizen living abroad who is unable to read or use regular print materials because of a temporary or permanent visual or physical limitation.

Download a copy of the Talking Books application.

Download a Spanish version of the application.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For more information, just click on that topic.

  • Accessible Computer Center Open or Close

    You must have experience using the computer, and the assistive software. You can use the computers for 90 minutes. You can bring someone to assist you.

    The Accessible Computer Center is located at the Library Annex.

    Call to make an appointment.

    Monday-Friday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    (561) 649-5486 (West Palm Beach)
    (888) 780-5151 (Toll Free)

    The Accessible Computer Center contains computers with:

    • Zoomtext
    • JAWS
    • Word processing and other Microsoft Office Products
    **We do not offer Computer Classes**
  • BARD: Braille and Audio Reading Download Open or Close

    BARD is an audiobook download service of the Palm Beach County Library System’s Talking Books Division. BARD is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are over 20,000 titles and audio magazines available for downloading. The downloadable titles are available sooner than mailed copies.

    To use BARD, you will need:

    • A high-speed Internet connection
    • An email address
    • A digital machine provided by the National Library Service
    • A flash drive or digital cartridge. You can purchase digital cartridges from Talking Books for $12.00 each.
    • USB Extension cable
    • To know how to navigate the web, fill out online forms, download, and unzip large files.

    You or a family member must fill out an application at: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/

    • Click on Bard application instructions
    • Click on Bard application for individuals.
    • Use the drop down arrow to highlight Talking Books (in Lake Worth, FL) then click on it. Click Submit.
    • Type in your information and the click Submit.
    • You will receive an email confirming that your application has been approved from the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library.

    Contact Talking Books for assistance at 561-649-5486.

  • BARD: Downloading Audiobooks with Windows XP Open or Close
    Step 1: Download the audiobook from BARD
    • Log in to BARD.
    • Insert your flash drive or attach your blank cartridge with the USB cable to your computer.
    • Use the Tab key or the mouse to search or browse for an audiobook to read.
    • Click or press Enter on the blue Download link for the book you have chosen. Choose Save to download the book. Save to your computer’s desktop.
    • When the digital book has finished downloading, you will receive a "Download Complete" message on the screen. Choose Close. You do not have to open BARD books.
    • Your BARD book is in a Compressed (zipped) Folder with a .zip file extension.
    Step 2: Extract or "unzip" the downloaded book
    • You must extract or "unzip" a book before you can listen to it.
    • Right-click on your book folder.
    • Select the Extract All option.
    • The Extraction Wizard screen will open. If using the mouse, click Next to continue. Or press Enter if using keyboard.
    • Click Browse and then click My Computer. Click Removable Disk (E:). Then click Ok and then Next.
    • After getting the "Extraction Complete" message, uncheck the "Show extracted files" check box and select Finish.
    Step 3: Play the book
    • Safely remove the flash drive or cartridge from your computer.
    • Turn your digital player on.
    • Plug your flash drive into the USB port on your digital player. (Note: The USB port, which has a removable plastic cover, is on the right side of the player, next to the audio jack.) If using a digital cartridge, insert it in the front of the player, just like a regular digital book.
    • The digital player will announce the book that is on your flash drive or cartridge. Press Play to listen. Or, if there are multiple books, hold the Play button down until the player beeps to go into bookshelf mode. Then select the book you want.
    • Once you have finished a book, you can delete it from your flash drive or cartridge. If you want to read the book again, keep it in either its zipped or unzipped form.

    Contact Talking Books for assistance at 561-649-5486.

  • BARD: Downloading Audiobooks with a Mac Computer Open or Close
    Step 1: Downloading a Book
    • Log in to BARD.
    • Find the book you want to read.
    • Click or press Enter on the blue Download link.
    • A dialog box will ask if you want to Open or Save the book. Select Save.

    Most Macs default and save to the Downloads folder on your hard drive. The download process will begin automatically when you click Save, and may take several minutes, depending on the size of the book and the speed of your connection to the Internet.

    Step 2: Unzipping BARD Books The downloaded book is a zipped file. You need to unzip the file in order to read the book. To unzip a file:
    • Double click on the file (or press Enter). It may take a few seconds; during this time, the Archive Utility window will appear on screen, showing the progress of the unzip process.
    • The files inside will automatically be unzipped into a new folder with the same name as the original zipped file (but without the .zip extension). The new folder will be in the same directory as the original zipped book folder.
    • Once a book has been unzipped, you can delete the original zipped file.
    Step 3: Moving the Unzipped Books to your Flash Drive or Cartridge
    • Open Finder.
    • Open the Downloads folder. Your USB flash drive or blank digital cartridge will be listed under Devices.
    • Move, copy or drag-and-drop the unzipped book from the Downloads folder to your flash drive or blank digital cartridge. Note: You can put multiple books on a flash drive or cartridge. A 2-gigbyte flash drive or cartridge can hold about 25 to 30 books.
    Step 4: Listening to the Book
    • Safely remove the flash drive or cartridge from your Mac.
    • Turn your digital player on.
    • Plug your flash drive into the USB port on your digital player. (Note: The USB port, which has a removable plastic cover, is on the right side of the player, next to the audio jack.) If using a digital cartridge, insert it in the front of the player, just like a regular digital book.
    • The digital player will announce the book that is on your flash drive or cartridge. Press Play to listen. Or, if there are multiple books, hold the Play button down until the player beeps to go into bookshelf mode. Then select the book you want.
    • Once you have finished a book, you can delete it from your flash drive or cartridge. If you want to read the book again, keep it in either its zipped or unzipped form.

    Contact Talking Books for assistance at 561-649-5486.

  • Bookshelf Instructions for Digital Player Open or Close

    The digital Talking Books machine can store and read more than one book on a flash drive or digital cartridge using the Bookshelf mode.

    To enter Bookshelf mode, hold down the green, square Play/Stop button at the front of your digital machine.

    After about five seconds, you will hear a beep and the machine will announce "Bookshelf."

    The player will say the title of the most recently played book.

    To select another book, press either the rewind (RW) or fast-forward (FF) buttons. (These are the triangular white buttons on either side of the Play/Stop button.)

    For example, if there are five books stored on the flash drive or cartridge, and the last book played was in the second position:

    • press FF to move forward to the third book, or
    • press RW to move back to the first book.
    • The player always announces the titles of the books
  • Frequently Asked Questions Open or Close
    Is there a charge for the Talking Books Service?

    No. The services of Talking Books are FREE to all qualifying applicants. Mailing of equipment and materials is free.

    How to Apply for the Talking Books Service?

    To register, mail a certified application to Talking Books. Call Talking Books at 649-5486 or 1-888-780-5151.

    Who is eligible for the program?

    Any resident of the United States or American citizen living abroad who is unable to read or use regular print materials because of a temporary or permanent visual or physical limitation.

    Who can certify people as eligible?
    • In cases of blindness, doctors of medicine; doctors of osteopathy; ophthalmologist, optometrists; registered nurses; therapists; and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies (e.g. social workers, caseworkers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents) may certify eligibility for visual impairment or physical handicap.
    • In cases of reading disability from organic dysfunction, doctors of medicine must certify eligibility.
    How long does it take to begin receiving service after submitting an application?

    After we receive your certified application, you will receive the equipment, books, and large print catalogs within 7-10 business days.

    What is the difference between the Standard Digital Player Machine and the Advanced Digital Player Machine?

    The Advanced Digital Player Machine features an additional button, the Bookmark button. This button marks passages in books (i.e. recipes, citations, etc).

    Can Digital Talking Books equipment be used in Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facilities?

    Yes. Currently, we have many patrons utilizing our services in these facilities.

    What is the loan period for the Digital Talking Books?

    There is no loan period for the Digital Talking Books, but there is a limit to the number of books checked out on an account. To allow future book requests on an account, return books in a timely manner. There is no charge for keeping materials for an extended period.

    Would you like to become a Talking Books Volunteer?

    Download the Volunteer Application (Both pages must be printed and filled out)

  • Ordering Books Online Open or Close
    **You must be registered with Talking Books before you are able to order books online.**

    Once you are registered; please call Talking Books, for your User ID and Password.

    Monday-Friday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    (561) 649-5486 (West Palm Beach)
    1-888-780-5151 (Toll Free)

    To order your books and search for authors, titles and subject: http://webopac.klas.com/flbtbl
  • Links for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Open or Close
  • Newsletters Open or Close