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New Hampshire State Library’s Talking Books Program

October 13th, 2023 · No Comments · Audiobooks, Books, City Library

The Talking Books Program exists to meet the reading needs and interests of New Hampshire residents who are physically unable to see, handle or process printed material comfortably.

The Talking Books program is one of many across the country that connects adults, teens, and children who cannot read traditional print materials to resources like braille books, digital audiobooks, descriptive videos, and Playaway Books. This program began in 1969 in New Hampshire circulating 500 books. As of today the program circulates more than 70,000 items to more than 2,000 residents of NH.

NH residents are eligible for this service if they experience temporary or long-term conditions which lead to low vision or blindness, or any disability which makes reading regular printed material difficult. Examples include: arthritis of hands & wrists, cataracts not ready for surgery, dyslexia, epilepsy, full body cast, head injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other physical problems.

The program works by sending patrons audio cartridges and the equipment needed to listen to them through the mail postage free. Patrons can request multiple books or magazines at once. Materials are then downloaded onto the audio cartridges and mailed out.

For those eligible for the Talking Books Program, there is also a mobile app which allows for instant download of these materials. The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) is a web-based service that provides access to braille and talking books, magazines, and music scores you can access from your computer or smart device. There is no waiting for books to come in the mail and no due dates to return books.

Applications can be filled out or downloaded online through the NH State Library website. Click the link for the application and more information:

More information on BARD can be found here:

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