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 Institutions

Who can apply for an institutional account?

  • Social service agencies, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, disability and senior centers, public or private libraries, your institutional account allows you to provide the Talking Books Library services to your eligible patrons/students/residents through your active institutional account.

How does an institution apply for membership?

  • The staff person responsible for the account should monitor the loan of equipment and materials for demo and promotional purposes.

Are there any costs 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 or institutions.

How do we sign up our patrons, students, residents?

  • Please have each eligible patron/student/resident complete an individual application for services and submit that to the Talking Books Library. Eligible individuals will receive materials and equipment through the RI Talking Books Library. Please keep the equipment and materials you have at your library for demo.

Is there a BEST PRACTICE you can recommend?

  • Yes. A BEST PRACTICE is to create a Talking Books Library Kit which includes the talking book player machine, a digital book, headphones, brochure and individual application. You may find the catalog record in OSL to copy, which will allow you to circulate your Talking Books Library Kit. If you need additional materials, please contact TBL at (401)574-9310 or

Who can certify an individual's application?

  • You may certify member applications if you meet any one of the following criteria:

    • Doctors of medicine; doctors of osteopathy; ophthalmologists; 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). 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. For information on other professionals who may certify an application, please contact the Talking Books Library.

What will the institution receive?

  • All institutions will receive equipment and materials to demo the program.
  • You may print applicationsbrochures and other promotional materials from the Talking Books website.

When and how will I receive reading materials and equipment?

  • Demo books and equipment may take 7-10 days to arrive via U.S. mail.
  • Call the TBL if you would like a digital copy of the Talking Books Topics Catalog sent to you.
  • All materials and equipment are sent 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.

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 High Volume Player application 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; if you have mild or moderate hearing loss the use of standard headphones may be all you need with a player machine.

Can I download books?

  • Yes. Please select BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) on your membership application and provide an email address. You will receive your login information via email within 7 days.
  • Institutions are allowed 1 BARD account to download books.
  • You may download books for your eligible patrons, students and residents.
  • Institutions must purchase their own digital cartridge either by going to the Perkins Library Product Sale Program, or by purchasing another commercial flash drive which can be inserted into the side of the digital player machine, or they can download to the individual member's digital cartridge/flash drive or mobile device. Please login for the first time on a computer. Learn more about BARD and BARD Mobile

How are services provided to the individuals we sign up?

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

  • Lending policies can be found on the TBL Policies page.