Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

The OLBPH offers a free talking book and braille library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical, perceptual, or reading disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. The OLBPH is part of a national network of special library programs under the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.

The OLBPH offers books and magazines the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, instantly downloadable or mailed to your door for free. The OLBPH offers a wide variety of titles, including bestsellers, biographies, fictional works, how-to books, magazines, and music scores and instructional materials.

No. This program is tax-supported by federal, state, and (where appropriate) local government agencies. There is no direct cost to eligible readers.

The goal of network libraries is to send playback equipment and an initial shipment of books and catalogs within five working days of receiving a properly certified application.

A talking book is a digital audio book format that requires the use of a specialized mobile reading app or playback device. The talking book format renders the books unusable by the general public, a requirement under the U.S. copyright law to protect intellectual property while allowing patrons free use of the material. iOS and Android smart devices may be used to play the talking books. The OLBPH also has two types of digital players available for free: a standard model and an advanced model.

Registered patrons may download electronic files of braille books, magazines, and music materials, as well as digital talking books and magazines from the Internet through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) online site or using the BARD Mobile app, available for both iOS and Android. The app allows for direct playback from within the device. Materials downloaded to a computer using BARD can be transferred to a digital cartridge or USB drive and then played on the digital talking-book machine or one of several commercial players. Patrons must have access to a high-speed Internet connection to use BARD.

The standard digital talking-book machine has eight controls and provides basic functionality for the playback of talking books, including volume and tone control, rewind and fast forward, and variable speed. The advanced digital talking-book machine has additional controls for setting bookmarks and navigating through the structured levels (chapters, sections, etc.) of a book. Both machines can be operated on a built-in rechargeable battery and have an internal audio user guide, as well as a key describer mode.

Yes, in 2016 NLS was authorized to loan refreshable braille displays to eligible readers. The NLS Braille eReader allows NLS patrons to read electronic braille files (BRFs) as well as Word files, HTML files, DAISY files, and PDF files. NLS Braille eReaders are available to OLBPH patrons through an interlibrary loan program with another NLS network library.

Yes. An amplifier/headphone combination that produces sound up to 130 decibels is available for adults with severe hearing loss. A special application form is necessary and must be signed by a physician or licensed audiologist. The application has details about the need for a doctor’s certification and what precautions are necessary to prevent injury. This device is not intended for individuals with mild or moderate hearing loss; the use of standard headphones may sometimes help these individuals.

All books, magazines, catalogs, and equipment are sent to readers through the U.S. Postal Service as "Free Matter for the Blind" and may be returned the same way. Materials are sent by a network library with a removable address card that, when turned over and reinserted, will show the library’s name and address for return mailing.

The Accessible Instructional Materials Center, located within the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, helps meet the educational needs of Oklahoma students who are unable to make use of standard print by providing textbooks and other instructional materials in Braille, large print, and other accessible formats. Click here for more information about the AIM Center

Eligibility FAQs

Oklahoma residents of all ages who are unable to read or use regular print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations, including those who are blind or have a visual, physical, perceptual, or reading disability that prevents them from reading or handling print materials are eligible for OLBPH services.

In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical handicap, eligibility may be certified by 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. 

Yes. Eligible patrons may receive direct individual service in care of the facility. If the establishment has a deposit collection, they may use these materials without going through the process of signing up to receive individual service. Direct service is always available, and this option ensures that readers receive materials that they specifically want to read.

Last Modified on May 21, 2024