Talking Book and Braille Service FAQ

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Where do I send my application?

Applications can be mailed to this address:
Talking Book and Braille Service
The Atrium, 1200 N St, Ste 120
Lincoln, NE 68508

Applications can also be emailed to or faxed to 1-402-471-6244.

What happens after I send in my application?

When your application reaches the library, we will give you a call to give you more information about the player, our collection, and how the service works overall. The application will get you thinking about the general types of books we have, but if you have anything specific you are looking for, feel free to ask when we call.

How do I get books that I enjoy?

You are welcome to choose your own books, or you can tell us your favorite authors or the general types of books that you like to read. Be sure to order enough books so that you have some to read while new selections are on their way to you. We do not automatically notify you when you are out of books.

How do I request books?

We have several options: a) If you have a favorite book, or have heard about a book that you would like to read, please contact us and we will see if it is available for you. b) Talking Book Topics is a bi-monthly catalog of the most recently available audio books. An order form is in the back. c) The entire collection is listed in the NLS online catalog. Select books and let us know the associated book numbers. Please use the method of communication that is most convenient for you:
Phone: 402-471-4038 or 800-742-7691
Mail: Nebraska Library Commission, Talking Book and Braille Service, 1200 N St, Ste 120, Lincoln, NE 68508

I don't like the books I'm getting. What should I do?

Please reach out to us! This is your service, and we want to do our best to make sure that you are getting books that you enjoy. Talk to us about changing the types of books you’re getting, putting a filter on your books to exclude explicit content, or even trying out a magazine or two. We can even filter out that one narrator you don’t like listening to! There’s something for everyone in our library.

How does my WebREADS OPAC account work?

WebREADS OPAC is our local online catalog. Your WebREADS OPAC account allows you to search for books and add them directly to your request list. These selections will be mailed to you when you return your current books. Please contact the library for your login information.

How does the NLS online catalog work?

You can use the NLS online catalogs found at to search for books. You cannot add these books directly to your account yourself using this method, but you can ask your Reader’s Advisor to do so for you. This is a great option for those who do not want to manage another set of passwords.

What does my player do?

Use the Talking Book Player to listen to audio books and magazines. Press the small round Power button to turn the player on. Without a book inserted, each button on the player announces its purpose when you press it. A USB port and a place to plug in headphones are on the side. More detailed large print instructions are included in the box with the player.

How do I play books?

Press the Power button to turn the player on and insert the cartridge with the label facing up and the circular hole facing towards you. Slide the cartridge into the front of the player until you hear a click. You can also listen to audiobooks downloaded from BARD to your smartphone or tablet.

What is the "bookshelf"?

The bookshelf allows you to choose a book among the collection of books on the cartridge. Press and hold the green Play/Stop button until you hear a beep. Use the fast forward and the rewind buttons to navigate between titles. When you hear the title you want to listen to, press Play. The bookshelf feature works in the same way for multiple magazines on a cartridge.

What are audio magazines?

Audio magazines are delivered to you on cartridges through the mail as new issues become available. The magazines are played in the talking book player in the same way as your books. Magazines are also available through BARD for subscription and download.

How do I request magazines?

Call, email, or send us a note through the mail. A list of magazines distributed by TBBS is in the informational packet and on our website. A list of national magazines is listed in the back of the Talking Book Topics catalogs.

How do books get to me?

Books and magazines from TBBS are delivered to you through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Postage has already been paid. There is no cost for you to receive or return these library materials.

How do I return books and magazines?

Books and magazines will arrive in hard, plastic cases. On the outside of the case there will be a mailcard. To return books and national magazines, you need to remove the mailcard from the case, then place the case in outgoing mail. To return local magazines, you will need to flip the mailcard over, rather than removing it, before putting it in outgoing mail.

What do I do if I returned a case without the book cartridge?

The next time you mail back a book, put both cartridges in the same case with the smooth sides of the cartridges together.

It says I have multiple books or magazine issues on this cartridge but it only plays one. How do I get the rest of them to play?

Many of our cartridges will have multiple books uploaded on them. The audio instructions should say how many books are on the cartridge when it is inserted into the player after it is turned on. To access the books, you can follow the instructions given in the audio statement at the beginning of the cartridge and use the bookshelf feature; or you can use the sequential-play feature:

  1. To use the bookshelf feature, you press and hold down the rectangular green play button at the top lower edge of your player. Let go when the voice announcement says "bookshelf". Then use the fast-forward and rewind arrow-shaped keys on either side of the play button to move between titles. When the title of the book that you would like to listen to is announced, press the play button again to listen to that book.
  2. To use the sequential-play feature, you must wait until the audio instructions at the beginning of the cartridge have concluded and the player tells you "End of Book". Then press the play button to continue on to the first title. Repeat to listen to all of the books on the cartridge.

What do I do if my player has stopped working?

If your player stops working or has battery issues, please Contact TBBS and we will send out a new player. When you receive the new player in the mail, please send us back your old one. The machine the box comes in will have a white slip of paper in a clear, plastic envelope on the outside of the box. You can flip this piece of paper over and use it as a return address label. Shipping is free to send the machine back and forth. We do not charge for replacement players.

What is BARD?

The National Library Service books are stored on the internet site called BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). If you have high-speed internet access, you can download books to your smartphone or tablet, or onto a flashdrive for use with your player. You can use BARD by itself or use BARD and order books delivered by mail.

How do I get access to BARD?

Fill out the short application for BARD here. We allow both facilities and individuals to apply for BARD accounts, so choose the appropriate application on the first screen. Hitting submit on the final screen of the application will send an email to the readers’ advisors here in Nebraska. We will double check to make sure you are already signed up for regular Talking Book service. If you are, we will approve your application and you will receive login information at the email address you provided.

Where is the library located?

We are located in downtown Lincoln in the Atrium Building. TBBS is a department within the Nebraska Library Commission. When you walk through the Library Commission doors, the TBBS desk is on your left. Here is our address: Nebraska Library Commission, Talking Book and Braille Service, The Atrium, 1200 N St, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508

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