Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)

Link to talking book services

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3) Watch a YouTube tutorial at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZXTUz602cU

The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) provides Braille and recorded books and digital players for those Wisconsin residents who for any physical reason cannot read normal print.

As part of the Talking Book Program of the Library of Congress, the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) circulates audio books, Brailled materials, and playback equipment provided by the federal government. In addition, the WTBBL circulates audio books and Brailled materials about Wisconsin or by Wisconsin authors, as well as audio-described videotapes and DVDs.

The WTBBL provides service to nearly 5,500 individuals and 500 schools, libraries and hospitals from its location in Milwaukee Public Library's Central headquarters. 2013 circulation was over 360,000 items. To handle this workflow, process new applicants and publicize the program, the Library employs a staff of 15. WTBBL reached over 10,200 people with 176 exhibits and presentations in 2013.

 

Contact the WTBBL at:

Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library
813 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1436

Phone: (414) 286-3045
Toll-free within Wisconsin: (800) 242-8822
Fax: (414) 286-3102
Email: wtbbl@milwaukee.gov

 

Search the Online Catalog

Use the WTBBL Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to search for books in the collection and order them online. To order books you will need a special user name and password, which you can obtain by calling the Library at 414-286-3045 (Milwaukee area) or 1-800-242-8822 (toll-free within Wisconsin) or by sending an email to wtbbl@milwaukee.gov. A user name or password is not required just to search the OPAC. Registered users who wish to place their requests directly on the OPAC should contact WTBBL for their login and password.

 

Who is Eligible for Services?

Wisconsin residents, who have one or more of the following reading disabilities, as certified by a competent authority, are eligible for free library services from the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library:

  • Visual Handicap: Inability to read standard print materials without special aids or devices other than regular glasses.
  • Legal Blindness: Legal blindness is defined as having no more than 10% of normal vision in the better eye with maximum correction.
  • Physical Handicap: Inability to read standard print materials as a result of physical limitations, e.g., paralysis, missing arms or hands, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, etc.
  • Reading Disability: Organic dysfunction of sufficient severity as to prevent reading in a normal manner, as certified by a physician.

Services are also available to schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions which serve people with qualifying handicaps.

 

What Services are Provided?

Reading Material: The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library provides books and magazines in two formats: Braille and audio recorded books. The collection numbers about 200,000 items and over 40,000 different titles. Bestsellers, romances, mysteries, classics, sports and travel are just a few of the many subject areas to choose from. Materials are available for adults, young adults and children. The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library also lends audio-described DVDs and videos.

Equipment and Accessories: The library provides playback machines as well as accessories for the machines to include headphones, extension lever, amplifier, breath switch.

Selection: Catalogs and announcements of new books are mailed to readers in a variety of formats (large print, audio and Braille). "Talking Book Topics" and "Braille Book Review" are bimonthly publications that inform patrons of new acquisitions and related library services. The majority of patrons choose to have the library "autoselect" their reading materials, based on a profile they set up.

Reaching Out: Patrons of the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library receive a newsletter, "The Bulletin Board," which provides features, announcements, resources and updates. If you would like a WTBBL representative to make a presentation about the Talking Books program or to exhibit at a low vision, adaptive technology or other related fair or show, please call the Outreach Librarian at 414-286-6918 (Milwaukee area) or 1-800-242-8822 (toll-free within Wisconsin) or by sending an email to wtbbl@milwaukee.gov.

 

What is the Cost of the Service?

All books, equipment and services, including the mailing of materials, are free to people who cannot see or handle printed materials. Telephone service in the state of Wisconsin is also free, using the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library's toll-free number (1-800-242-8822). Reading materials, machines and accessories are all sent via United States Postal System at no cost to people in the program.

 

How can a person sign up for this Service?

Download and send the completed application to the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library by mail, email, fax or delivered in person to the WTBBL.

For additional information, contact:

Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library
813 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

In Milwaukee call: 414-286-3045

Elsewhere in Wisconsin call: 1-800-242-8822

E-mail to: wtbbl@milwaukee.gov

Fax to: 414-286-3102

Download an Application (English version) or Download an Application (Spanish version) for the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library.

Download an Institution Application for free library service from the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

 

Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library closures: 

 

January 1, 2014

Wednesday

Post Office & Library Closed (New Year’s Day)

January 20, 2014

Monday

Post Office & Library Closed

(Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

February 17, 2014

Monday

Post Office Closed (Washington’s Birthday)

April 18, 2014

Friday

Library Closed (Good Friday)

May 23, 2014

Friday

Library Closed (Furlough Day)

May 26, 2014

Monday

Post Office & Library Closed (Memorial Day)

July 3, 2014

Thursday

Library Closed (Furlough Day)

July 4, 2014

Friday

Post Office & Library Closed

(Independence Day)

August 29, 2014

Friday

Library Closed (Furlough Day)

September 1, 2014

Monday

Post Office & Library Closed (Labor Day)

October 13, 2014

Monday

Post Office Closed (Columbus Day)

November 11, 2014

Tuesday

Post Office Closed (Veterans Day)

November 27, 2014

Thursday

Post Office & Library Closed (Thanksgiving)

November 28, 2014

Friday

Library Closed (Thanksgiving)

December 24, 2014

Wednesday

Library Closed (Christmas Eve)

December 25, 2014

Thursday

Post Office & Library Closed (Christmas)

December 31, 2014

Wednesday

Library Closed (New Year’s Eve)

January 1, 2015

Thursday

Library Closed (New Year’s Day)

 

For questions about this information, contact Linda Vincent (414) 286-3010