Getting lost in a good book is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, for the blind and print disabled, it may be more challenging to access accessible literature. Thankfully, the Braille on Demand program addresses that divide and makes reading an enjoyable experience for all.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) introduced the Braille on Demand program. This initiative allows braille readers to request up to five titles per month in paper braille format that patrons can keep as their copies. In addition, patrons can access any Braille title in the BARD database, which offers over 15,000 titles. Members of the Talking Book program can fill out the linked request form, which will go directly to the NLS: Braille on Demand – Form. Once the form is completed, the braille books will be mailed directly to the recipient within a few weeks.

Regarding the guidelines, the requested literature must already be available on BARD. The request must be for a whole body of work, and recommendations for partial titles will not be honored. Patrons can request up to five titles per month. To fill out the request form, you will need to know the title of the book you want to request, the BR numbers of the title from BARD, and the name of your network library: New Jersey State Library – Talking Book and Braille Center (NJ1A). If you have questions or want assistance filling out the request form, staff can assist you at (800) 792-8322.

Serving as a host site for the Braille on Demand program is one of the many ways the New Jersey State Library aids children, teens, and adults in New Jersey who have difficulty reading standard print or trouble holding a book. In 1967, the New Jersey State Library opened the Talking Book and Braille Center to offer no-cost, home-delivered services on behalf of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. The center provides a variety of literature, including audiobooks, magazines, braille books, large-print books, Braille and Audio Reading Downloads (BARD), and more. The center has over 60,000 book titles and 42 periodicals available. Machines for playing recorded materials are also available on loan from the TBBC.

If you or a loved one could benefit from these services, applications are available here or by calling 1-800-792-8322. Once your application has been certified for eligibility, you can access these services. In addition, anything shipped between you and the center will be postage-free as “Free Matter for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.” Patrons of the service are also invited to join TBBC’s Virtual Book Club. The club meets on the first Thursday of every month to discuss the book the club chose the month prior. The upcoming election is “Beautiful Country: A Memoir” by Qian Julie Wang.

As the center continues to transform lives, services like the Braille on Demand program help to make crucial steps towards a truly equitable and accessible society for all. Additional details and services from the TBBC can be found here: TBBC – Home. Further information can be found here if you’re interested in supporting the center and its work: TBBC – Support.

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