Spring 2014

The Talking Book Center will be closed May 26 for Memorial Day and July 4 for Independence Day.

Upcoming Closures of Talking Book Centers in Georgia

Changes will be coming to Talking Book services across Georgia in the next year.  Georgia Public Library Service, the state library administrative agency, has decided to move forward with the proposed plan of consolidating all Talking Book services for the state in Atlanta. This means the Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center and all other Talking Book Centers across the state will close.

Currently, there are nine Talking Book Centers in Georgia. Centers in Dublin, Savannah, Macon, and Columbus will close June 2014.  Rome and Augusta centers are set to close in December 2014, and the centers in Athens and Bainbridge will close in June 2015. This will leave only the center at the Atlanta-Fulton County Library open.

Patrons will still receive all Talking Book services, including books by mail, BARD, BARD Mobile, and have access to Reader’s Advisors in Atlanta by toll-free phone.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the consolidation plan, we urge you to contact the Deputy State Librarian, Julie Walker, at 404-235-7140 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Resources of Interest - Five Downloadable Book Alternatives to BARD

If you have been using BARD, you may be interested in exploring these other sources of downloadable books. Some of them will provide audio books read by narrators while others will be "text-to-speech" audio read by a synthetic voice from text files. NLS equipment will play some of the audio narration files but does not support text-to-speech.

Your local Public Library
(Free) - Many public libraries subscribe to Overdrive, which offers MP3/WMA audio books and eBooks in various formats for loan. NLS digital players will play unprotectedMP3 files, but not WMA.

(Free) - Books with expired copyrights in various eBook formats including some narrated audio, but most in text.

Internet Archive
(Free) - Partnership of multiple online resources resulting in an impressive collection of audio books in various formats and full-text/html books.

($50 per year plus one time $25 membership fee) - Electronic braille in refreshable braille format and Daisy audio books in either text-to-speech or MP3 formats. NLS equipment will support only the MP3 format.

Learning Ally
($129 per year) - Mostly textbooks and reference materials in Daisy narrated audio. NLS players can play these books after a Learning Ally decryption key is installed.

Magazines on BARD

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) has an exciting new feature!  The same magazines Talking Book patrons can receive by mail are available for download through BARD, and now you can sign up for an automated subscription!

A new "Subscribe To" button has been added to each magazine summary page.  By clicking this, each new issue will automatically be added to your wish list.  You can unsubscribe at any time.

You may also select to receive an email as each new issue is published. Select the "Email Notification Options" link from the subscription confirmation page, then choose "Yes" from the drop-down menu labeled "Alert Me By Email When New Issues of Subscribed Magazines Are Available."

Changing your magazine preferences in BARD will not affect magazines you receive by mail. If you would like to make changes to magazines by mail, you must contact your Talking Book Library.

Tools for Life App Finder

Georgia Tools for Life is an organization that helps people with disabilities research, find, and use assistive technology. One exciting feature on their website is the App Finder, a tool for locating useful apps for your smart phone. Give it a try! www.gatfl.org/favorite-search.php

The Bradley Timepiece

The Bradley Timepiece, a new watch for the visually impaired named after Paralympian Brad Snyder, has been nominated for London's Design Museum Design of the Year.  The fashionable watch uses ball-bearings to mark the hours and minutes rather than speech or Braille. Read more about the Bradley Timepiece at www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26920782