Idaho Talking Book Service:
The Idaho Talking Book Service brings more than 100,000 titles of audio books and magazines to approximately 3,000 Idahoans who are unable to read standard print due to a visual or other physical disability. The service is completely free for users, who receive titles by downloading them and/or having the materials mailed directly to their residence. Users of the Idaho Talking Book Service have a wide variety of genres from which to choose their next great read, along with a selection of locally recorded books and magazines about Idaho and the Northwest.
If even large print is not big enough, there is help — and it’s free
If you or a loved one struggle to read even large print, or perhaps physically holding a book is difficult, there is help — and it’s free for Idahoans.
The Idaho Talking Book Service (TBS) is a free audiobook library service for those unable to read standard print due to a physical disability, which could even be a temporary disability.
Administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL), the TBS loans audio books and magazines, braille books, and provides an easy-to-use player for the audio cartridges. Materials are mailed to and from the user’s residence at no charge.
There are more than 1000,000 titles in the collection — everything from westerns and romance, to mysteries and biographies. Also available are titles with an Idaho theme or connection, which are recorded locally.
Each user’s service can be as automated or personalized as the user and/or their family member or caregiver would like. Whether it means having materials mailed to an alternate address when the family heads south for the winter or increasing the frequency of books, the TBS customer service representatives help ensure the service meets the user’s needs.
Another feature of the service is the Braille and Audio Recording Download, known as BARD, through which books and magazines can be downloaded directly to the user’s device.
To utilize the service, a person must have a qualifying condition, which can be certified by a medical professional, social worker, librarian, or activities director in a care facility.
For more information about the TBS, visit the ICfL’s website at: https://libraries.idaho.gov/tbs or call 800-458-3271.
10 Facts about the Idaho Talking Book Service (TBS)
- This library service is available to any Idaho resident unable to read standard print due to a physical disability. Physical disabilities include being legally blind, visually impaired, or unable to hold a book or turn the pages. The disability may be temporary or permanent.
- The audiobook library service is completely FREE — including the use of the player, the books and magazines, and the mailing of the materials.
- Materials are delivered directly to the user’s residence, which is ideal for anyone who is homebound. Returning the materials is as simple as turning over the mailing card and putting the cartridge in the mail. There is no cost to the user for mailing.
- The collection contains fiction in a variety of genres including westerns, romances, and mysteries and nonfiction in genres from astronomy to zoology. There are currently more than 100,000 titles available in the collection.
- Books and magazines are available in many languages, in addition to English.
- Users can use an online catalog to identify materials and request the materials be sent to them.
- Users with high-speed internet access can download titles for use on their personal devices.
- Users and their family members/caregivers can talk to knowledgeable TBS staff for help in the selection of materials.
- Potential users must be certified as eligible to use the service. Applications can be certified by medical personnel, library staff, and social workers.
- More information, including applications, are available at: https://libraries.idaho.gov/tbs or contact LeAnn Gelskey at Gelskey@libraries.idaho.gov or 800-458-3271.