Oakland Talking Book Service @ RHPL

Rochester Hills Public Library - 500 Olde Towne Rd, Rochester, MI 48307

Call us at (248) 650-7150 or (800) 774-4542

Materials and Equipment

The majority of items available to OTBS@RHPL customers are made available by the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Impaired. Other items are available directly from RHPL. Click on a link below to view a list of available materials:

OTBS Books and Magazines | OTBS Equipment | RHPL Items 

OTBS Books and Magazines

The following materials are available to OTBS customers through the NLS. OTBS staff are happy to help select digital books for you based on your favorite reading categories. If you would like to change your reading category selections or add new ones, or adjust the frequency of your book delivery please give us a call at 248-650-7150 or 800-774-4542.

  • Books in Digital Format: Talking book cartridges (referred to as digital books or DBs) are about the size of a cassette and are beveled on one end so they fit into the digital machine in only one direction. One cartridge may hold one book or multiple books. The most recent additions to the NLS collection of book titles can be viewed in the current issue of Talking Book Topics. You can view this catalog online, or request delivery of it in either large print or on recorded cartridge. Registered OTBS patrons automatically receive this publication in the mail every other month. You can search the complete catalog of available books using the NLS Voyager catalog. Please note that requests cannot be placed directly from this catalog. Digital Book cartridges are loaned for a period or six months. Although no fines will be assessed for overdue cartridges, we ask that you return them in a timely manner as a courtesy to other patrons. For instructions on using cartridges with multiple books, please click here
  • BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download): Library customers who want to read digital books using their own NLS-compatible commercial player or a tablet or smartphone are encouraged to download books and magazines from BARD. In order to download books from BARD you must first apply for a login and password. Only patrons actively registered for service through OTBS, or through another library within the National Library Service network are eligible to download from BARD. For questions about BARD, or to make an appointment for one-on-one training on how to download from BARD, please call 248-650-7150. You may also watch a BARD tutorial video. 
  • Books in Braille: OTBS works in conjunction with the Braille and Talking Book Library in Lansing to provide Braille books to registered patrons. For a listing of the most recent books available, browse the Braille Book Review publication. Registered OTBS patrons automatically receive Braille Book Review in the mail every other month. Braille books for electronic Braille devices are also available through BARD.
  • Audio and Braille Magazines: NLS provides a variety of magazines in audio and Braille format. A list of available titles is available here. To add or change your subscriptions, please call 248-650-7150. Please note that although Braille magazines do not need to be returned, audio magazine cartridges must be returned to continue receiving service.

OTBS Equipment

  • Digital Talking Book Machine (DTBM): The digital talking book machine is used to play audiobooks stored on USB flash-drive cartridges. The player is equipped with a battery which will provide approximately 29 hours of play time when fully charged. The power cord can be wrapped up and conveniently stored at the back of the machine. The DTBM can be kept for as long as a patron continues to actively borrow books from OTBS, but must be returned when it is no longer being used.
  • Headphones: Headphones are available for the digital players upon request. Most commercially available headphones will work with the player. 
  • USB Adapters: If you are using BARD Express to download cartridges onto commercial USB drives and are having difficulty inserting or keeping a USB drive into the USB port on the side of a digital player, you may request an adapter that will allow you to insert the USB drive at a right angle. Contact us for details.  

RHPL Items

Materials circulated through RHPL that are not provided by the NLS require an RHPL card. Most RHPL Circulation policies apply. Please contact us by phone or e-mail to request these and any other RHPL materials.

The following RHPL materials may be mailed to patrons’ homes free of charge:

  • Large Print Books-by-Mail: RHPL owns thousands of Large Print books in all areas of fiction and non-fiction. All OTBS patrons are also eligible to receive Large Print Books-by-Mail sent to them from the RHPL collection. Check our catalog to search for a specific title in Large Print or to view all of our Large Print titles. Large print books are mailed via USPS using Free Matter for the Blind, and no postage is required to return the items. Large print books are loaned for a period of 6 weeks. 
  • Audio-Described Videos:  Audio-Described Videos are movies in which the visual elements are audibly described – the action, characters, locations, costumes, and sets – without interfering with the movie’s dialogue or sound effects. For a list of audio-described videos available from RHPL, please click here. Described DVDs are loaned for a period of 3 weeks. *Please note that not all of the DVDs and Blu-ray discs in the RHPL collection are audio described. While OTBS customers may check out non-audio-described videos from the library in-person, only items that are specifically adapted for use by people with visual impairments are eligible for mail service.

Although there are no fines for late returns of items owned by RHPL, we ask that you return items in a timely manner as a courtesy to other patrons. Abuse of borrowing privileges may result in suspension of service. OTBS patrons will be billed for lost RHPL materials. 

The following items may be accessed online:

  • E-books, E-audiobooks, and Magazines: RHPL participates in a consortium with other Michigan libraries to offer e-books and e-audiobooks to our customers. 
  • Research Databases: RHPL subscribes to over 60 databases. These databases cover a wide range of interests, from Genealogy to Literature, to Health. 

For a complete listing of online resources, please visit our website.

All OTBS patrons are eligible for an RHPL card which will allow you to check out a wide variety of materials including print books, Books on CD, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, board games, video games, puzzles and more! A selection of handheld and stand magnifiers are also available for checkout. You can search for magnifiers in the library catalog by typing the words ‘low vision aid’ in the search box.