Contact Talking Books Staff at (401) 574-9310 or email us at

You can also contact:

Alicia Waters
Library Services Coordinator

Neshmayda Calderon
Information Services Technician: Talking Books

Kelley Lima
Information Services Technician: LORI Services

Frequently Asked Questions - Services For Individuals

How do I become a member?

  • TBL staff will review the application. If determined eligible for services, your application is processed within 1 business day.

Who can certify people as eligible?

  • In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations, “competent authority” is defined to include: Doctors of medicine, Doctors of osteopathy, Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Registered nurses, Therapists, Professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies, such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian.
  • In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.

When and how will I receive reading materials and equipment?

  • Books and equipment may take 7-10 days to arrive at your place of residence via U.S. mail.
  • Members may also search the TBL Catalog to browse for books or call TBL at (401)574-9310 if they need assistance.
  • New members begin with weekly delivery of 3 books. For new members the maximum number out is 15 books. Please contact us if you require more or less books.
  • All materials and equipment are sent to a reader through the U.S. Postal Service as "Free Matter for the Blind" and may be returned the same way. There is no postage fee for returning the materials.

Are there any costs to the borrower associated with using the program?

  • No, this program is funded by the Library of Congress, National Library Service. There is no cost to eligible readers.

Is there a special device to help people who are hearing impaired?

  • Yes, an amplifier/headphone combination that will produce sounds up to 130 decibels is available for adults with severe hearing loss. A special application form is necessary and must be signed by a physician or licensed audiologist. This device is not intended for people with mild or moderate hearing loss; the use of standard headphones may sometimes help these people.

How do I use the services?

  • If you choose to receive "Only the Specific Titles I Request," you may search the online TBLCatalog for books titles/DB numbers or provide TBL staff with the information/request. If you do not provide this information, no books will be sent to you.
  • You may also email the Talking Books Library at with your book numbers or titles. Please do not submit more than 10 numbers at a time, only 10 will be entered.
  • You may have books sent via "Auto Select" service and this will select titles for you based on the subjects you selected and information your provided on your application.

Can I download books?

  • Yes. Once we have received and processed your general membership application where, you may sign up to download books by using BARD the Braille and Audio Reading Download program.
  • If you have chosen BARD on your membership application, please be sure to provide an email address. You will receive your login information once your application is processed, via email usually within 2-3 days..
  • Individual members who request BARD will receive 1 blank, 4gb digital cartridge and a cable from the Talking Books Library to use to download books from a computer.
  • If you plan to download directly to a mobile device, you will not need the digital cartridge from the Talking Books Library or the digital book machine. (Please be sure to login the first time on a computer.)
  • Learn more about BARD.

What happens if I move to another state?

  • When you move out of state, your TBL membership can be transferred to a TBL program in that state. There is a talking books program in every state in the U.S.
  • You will need to call us to let us know that you are moving and when.
  • We will electronically transfer all of the information in your TBL account as well as the hard copy of your application to the new Talking Book Library.

What happens if I move to another location temporarily?

  • Please provide the TBL staff with the date that you will be moving, date when you will be returning to RI and the temporary address.
  • You will remain a member of the RI TBL and may take the talking book player and any materials you have with you to the temporary location.
  • We will update your account with the temporary address, so that all materials will be mailed to you there until your return.
  • Please be sure to bring everything back with you when you return to RI and call the TBL to confirm that you have returned so that we may change your mailing address back to your RI residence.

Members will be contacted if they are inactive for more than 1 year. If we cannot make contact with the member, accounts will be suspended.

Other Questions??? Email the TBL staff at or call (401)574-9310.

Lending Policies and Other Information