The Library of Congress' National Library Service (NLS) provides free, specially recorded, unabridged books and listening equipment to persons who are visually or physically impaired and have difficulty reading printed material.
How Does This Service Work?
- The Library lends a free digital player and digital books to registered patrons.
- Digital books are mailed to patrons in special cases with prepaid return postage.
- Patrons can also download digital books directly to smart phone or tablet via Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).
- Patrons can request specific titles or ask staff to select titles for them.
- Borrowing period is 6 weeks.
- No late fines.
New from the NLS: Braille eReaders
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) is providing Humanware braille eReaders to Talking Book Service patrons who use braille reading materials.
This eReader has a 20-cell braille display, eight-key Perkins-style keyboard, and can download electronic braille through BARD or transfer from cartridges sent through the mail.
If you are a braille reader and interested in receiving a NLS braille eReader, please contact Talking Book Service for more information.
Contact Talking Book Services
- Phone: 703-228-6333
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We respond to phone calls and email within 3 business days.
- Patrons must be Arlington residents.
- Patrons must be unable to read print books due to visual or physical impairment.
- Application must be certified by a competent authority.
Not an Arlington resident? Find your service library.
How to Register
Download and print an application, or request an application be mailed to you.
- Application in English (pdf)
- Application in Spanish (pdf) - NLS en la Biblioteca del Congreso
- Application for Institutions (pdf)
Return completed and signed application to the Talking Books Service at Arlington Central Library:
Mail: Talking Book Service, Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington VA 22201
Available to Talking Book Services Patrons via the NLS
Titles mailed via USPS at no charge to you:
- Talking books – Audiobook cartridges are delivered to your door at no cost via USPS. You return them the same way, through postage-free mail.
- Magazines in Special Media – Periodicals are produced in a variety of formats, including digital audio, digital download, digital text, eBraille, large print, and press braille. Not all periodicals are offered in all formats. Magazines are prepared off-site and mailed to you directly.
- Braille– Braille books and magazines on paper are delivered directly to your door at no cost.
- Music— NLS provides music appreciation materials, music scores, and music instruction in braille, audio, and large print.
Download titles 24/7:
- Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of braille and talking books, magazines, and music scores.
- BARD Mobile app is a free app for IOS and Android devices.
Players and Equipment:
- Digital Audiobook Player
- Braille eReader
- High-Volume Players
- See application for high volume player
- Light-weight headphones
- Pillow speakers
- Breath switch
Additional NLS Resources
Arlington Public Library Also Lends
- Audiobooks on CD - Available for borrowing with your Arlington Public Library card.
- eAudiobooks and eBooks can be downloaded to your home computer or portable device from our eCollection.