What is the Braille & Talking Book Library (BTBL)?

The Braille & Talking Book Library (BTBL) in Sacramento, CA is our local outpost of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS).  BTBL lends braille books, talking books (physical and digital audiobooks), audio magazines, and descriptive video DVDs to eligible readers in Alameda County by mail, for free!

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for BTBL service, a person must have a certified authority* confirm that she/he is permanently or temporarily:

• Legally blind, with vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less with corrective glasses, or
• Have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees in diameter, or
• Be unable to see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with corrective glasses, or
• Be unable to handle print books or turn pages because of a physical disability, or
• Be certified as having a perceptual or reading disability of sufficient severity to prevent reading printed material in the usual manner.

*As of February 2021, certification may be made by librarians.

Provided For FREE:

• Talking book players
• Audiobooks and magazines on digital cartridge (no late fees)
• Free delivery and mailing – no postage required
• Downloadable/streaming audiobooks and electronic braille
• Braille

Reading Material Available

• Over 100,000+ books
• 3,000 to 5,000+ new audiobooks and 600+ Braille books added each year
• 50 new locally recorded books on California interest added each year
• Popular magazines
• Foreign languages

Sign Up

• Downloadable application: btbl.ca.gov/apply
• Need an application mailed? Request one: btbl@library.ca.gov or 1-800-952-5666
• Need assistance completing and/or certifying a Braille & Talking Book Library application? Ask us! In-person or online