OTBS

Oakland Talking Books Service @ RHPL
Rochester Hills Public Library - 500 Olde Towne Rd, Rochester, MI 48307
Call us at (248) 650-7150 or (800) 774-4542

The majority of items available to OTBS@RHPL customers are made available by the National Library Service (NLS). Other items are also available directly from RHPL or from several outside providers. Click on a link below to view a list of the different items provided:

| OTBS Items | OTBS Equipment | RHPL Items |


OTBS Items

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

  • 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 way. In most cases, one cartridge holds an entire book with no need to turn it over.
  • Books on Recorded Cassette (RC): There are more than 360,000 titles available on recorded cassette for registered patrons of OTBS. These books are played on a cassette talking book machine, which is provided at no charge to all eligible patrons. Search for available books in the BTBL's Talking Book and Braille Catalog, and place requests online. Additional titles are available in the NLS catalog. The NLS catalog's most recent book titles can be viewed in Talking Book Topics in either large print or on recorded cassette.  Registered OTBS patrons automatically receive this publication in the mail every other month.
  • BARD ( Braille and Audio Reading Download): Library customers who want to read digital books not yet available on digital cartridge or who do not have an NLS-provided Digital Talking Book Machine (DTBM), but have their own NLS-compatible commercial player, 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 to provide Braille books to registered patrons.Search for available books in the BTBL's Talking Book and Braille Catalog. Additional titles are available in the NLS catalog. The NLS catalog's most recent book titles are available in the Braille Book Review publication. Registered OTBS patrons automatically receive Braille Book Review in the mail every other month..

OTBS Equipment

  • Digital Talking Book Machine (DTBM): The digital-talking book player is used to play audiobooks stored on USB flash-drive cartridges. The player is equipped with a battery which will provide approximately 35 hours of play time. There are two types of digital machines - standard and advanced. The standard model includes the following controls: power, play/stop, volume up/down, tone up/down, speed up/down, fast forward, rewind, and sleep.The advanced model is exactly the same size but has a second row of controls between the power, sleep and volume controls and the speaker. The advanced controls are for setting and retrieving bookmarks and for navigating through the structured levels of a book.
  • Cassette Player: The cassette player plays recordings at commercial speed and half commercial speed. NLS/BPH distributes its talking books on standard audio cassettes designed to play at half commercial speed and using four tracks.
  • Headphones: Headphones are available for both the cassette and the digital players. The headphones are not interchangeable; however, there is an adapter available to enable the larger cassette headphones to work with the digital player.
  • USB Adapters: If someone is having difficulty inserting or keeping a USB drive into the USB port on the side of a digital player, they may find an Assistive Technology Port Adapter helpful. The adapters allow patrons to insert the USB drive at a right angle and make the USB drive flush with the side of the player.
  • Blank Digital Cartridges: Blank digital cartridges are available for patrons to purchase for $8.00 through OTBS. Titles that are available in BARD can be downloaded on to the cartridges, which are larger and often easier to handle and label than a USB drive. Because the USB port on the cartridge is surrounded by the plastic that comprises the cartridge, it requires a USB-to-USB cable to connect it to a computer.

RHPL Items

Materials circulated RHPL that are not provided by the NLS require an RHPL card. Most RHPL Circulation policies apply. Please contact the Outreach & Bookmobile Service desk to request these and any other RHPL materials:

  • Large Print Books-by-Mail: RHPL owns over 10,000 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. To receive this service, an RHPL library account is required.
  • Descriptive Videos are available to borrow from the RHPL collection.Descriptive Videos include  commentary and narration which guides the listener through the presentation with concise, objective descriptions of new scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and "sight gags," all slipped in between portions of dialogue or songs. Please visit  the video description project  for a full description of what is available in various media.
  • Audiobooks: RHPL owns audiobooks on CD. Browse our full collections of Books on CD and downloadable audio and ebooks
  • Ebooks/Eaudio: RHPL participates in a consortium with other Michigan libraries to offer ebooks and eaudio to our customers. To learn more about these collections, take a look at our eBranch.
  • Research Databases: RHPL subscribes to over 60 databases. These databases cover a wide range of interests, from Genealogy to Literature to Health. To begin browsing our databases, visit our eBranch.