Montana residents who are unable to use standard print materials due to visual, physical, and/or reading disabilities can apply to the Montana Talking Book Library (MTBL). Services focus on free loan of braille and digital audio library books and magazines delivered two ways: 1) free mail loan of braille and digital audio books (with playback equipment) and/or 2) downloadable braille and audio books and magazines for patrons who have high-speed internet. Eligibility is determined based on NLS (National Library Service) standards.
MTBL employs five staff and receives support from many volunteers. Readers' Advisors advise and assist library patrons by researching desired audio books and magazines. Staff also offer one-on-one support to patrons who download from the NLS online BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. We offer inter-library loan services between participating talking book libraries. Braille embossed books are also available free to active patrons of MTBL.
Schools, public libraries, nursing homes and other institutions (such as independent or assisted living facilities) can participate in talking book and magazine services as a direct link to eligible individuals they serve.
MTBL receives the majority of its digital audio book collection from NLS, a division of the Library of Congress. MTBL has in-house recording studios where volunteer teams record Montana-interest books and magazines (e.g. books by Montana authors, Montana history, Montana The Magazine of Western History, published by the Montana Historical Society, and Montana Outdoors, published by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks). MTBL is also in the process of converting hundreds of locally-recorded Montana cassette books to digital audio format.
To apply for this service, contact the Montana Talking Book Library at 1-800-332-3400 (toll free in-Montana), 406-444-2064, 406-444-4799 (TTY/TTD), email@example.com, or open the following links to download a copy of the INDIVIDUAL or INSTITUTION PDF application form(s).