Are you a child or adult who can't read materials printed by conventional methods? If so, you may qualify for a free national library program that offers books and magazines in audio format and in Braille. These materials are provided by the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS), to eligible persons with a visual or physical disability. All reading material and playback equipment is sent to borrowers and returned by postage-free mail.
CLASS is one of the 12 subregional talking book centers located throughout Georgia which operates through the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) and cooperating local public libraries.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE SERVICE?
- Anyone who is unable to read or handle standard printed materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical disability.
- Persons who are legally blind or cannot see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with glasses.
- Persons who are unable to hold or turn pages of print books.
- Persons who are certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability.
WHAT IS AVAILABLE?
- Books: Recorded and Braille books from a national collection that include a variety of popular interest writings such as bestsellers, classics, mysteries, biographies, westerns, children's books and foreign language materials.
- Magazines: Library patrons can also subscribe to over seventy popular magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic.
- Equipment and Accessories: Special playback equipment is needed to listen to the books and magazines produced by NLS. This equipment is lent to eligible users free of charge for as long as the individual is a user of the reading material provided by NLS and its cooperating libraries. Accessories are available which may help readers with limited mobility or hearing impairment use the equipment.
- Book Reviews and Catalogs: Registered borrowers learn about new books added to the collection through two bi-monthly publications, Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review. These are available in large print, recorded or Braille format.
- Music: Recorded music is not available through the NLS library program. However, such material is often available from local public libraries. A collection of musical scores in Braille and large print; textbooks and books about music in large print and Braille; and elementary instruction for voice, piano, organ, guitar, recorder, accordion, banjo and harmonica are available in recorded form directly from NLS.
- BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download):
Once you have been accepted as a talking book patron, you can download books and magazines directly to your computer from the NLS BARD website and store them on a flash drive that will play in your digital book machine. Access to the BARD website is restricted to eligible readers. You will need a login ID and password. If you do not have them, review the criteria for participation in the BARD application instructions on the BARD website and request an account if you qualify.
The link to BARD is https://nlsbard.loc.gov
Columbus Library for Accessible Services
3000 Macon Road
Columbus, Georgia 31906
Office Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday
(call for special appointments)
706-243-2686 or 1-800-652-0782