Talking Book Services (TBS) maintains an extensive collection of book and assistive devices for individuals with qualifying visual, physical, or print disabilities listed below. All materials and services are provided free of charge to certified, registered patrons.
Digital Audio Books
TBS maintains a collection of over 100,000 general fiction and non-fiction audio books. Titles are available for adults, young adults, and children. TBS provides the loan of specialized playback equipment designed for use by blind, visually impaired, and other readers with qualifying disabilities. Textbooks are not available from Talking Book Services.
BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)
BARD is a national program through which registered TBS patrons can download books and magazines in audio and braille formats. A separate online application must be completed and approved in order to use BARD. Users must use their own personal devices like tablets or smart phones to use the BARD Mobile app for audio. Grade 2 braille books are available for download by eligible individuals and institutions with their own braille embossers, refreshable braille displays, and other braille-aware devices. Users must have access to internet or Wi-Fi to use BARD.
BARD Application and Instructions
Print braille is available to qualified patrons through interlibrary loan from a cooperating braille library. Patrons can order braille via TBS staff or be set up with a personal braille account through the cooperating library.
Contact Talking Book Services Staff for an Account and Available Titles
Audio Descriptive DVDs
Audio Descriptive DVDs are available for patrons who are blind or have low vision. A narrator describes action, characters, locations, costumes and sets without interfering with the dialogue or sound effects. Described Video lists are available by request. Patrons must have their own DVD player to use these. DVDs are searchable in the online catalog.
Assistive devices are available for in-house use only at the State Library to aid readers who cannot use conventional text. These devices are located within our Inclusive Services Center and include:
- Closed Circuit Television magnifies text up to 60 times its original size.
- Zoomtext® magnifies computer screen images up to 16 times their original size.
- JAWS® for Windows, reads aloud information on a computer screen.
- OpenBook® scans a printed page and reads the text aloud. Adaptive Devices, including a larger, more easily-managed mouse; keyboard guards to guide hands in typing; touch screen computer monitor; and wheelchair accessible desks are available.
- Optelec ClearReader + translates text to speech.
- Perkins Brailler
For questions about the TBS Collections, please call (800) 922-7818 or email TBSBooks@statelibrary.sc.gov.