Don’t miss tonight’s Patron Corner by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Tonight (Monday, June 13) at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time (6:00pm Central Time), the Patron Engagement Section at the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress will hold the first event as part of their Patron Corner programming. Each quarterly program will provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about various services directly from NLS staff. The program will be interactive, last for one hour, and have a designated topic of discussion.

The topic for the June 13 session is Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Collection Selection, but Did Not Have the Vehicle to Ask. Our guests will be members of the Collections Division at NLS who are responsible for selecting the books in the NLS collection. Bring your questions and your thoughts about the NLS collection

For information on how to join NLS’s online Patron Corner Zoom event check out our Events Calendar.

Patron Corner June Virtual Program by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Logo Image National Library Service for the Blind and Print DisabledOn June 13, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time (6:00pm Central Time), the Patron Engagement Section at the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress will hold the first event as part of their Patron Corner programming. Each quarterly program will provide an opportunity for patrons to learn more about various services directly from NLS staff. The program will be interactive, last for one hour, and have a designated topic of discussion.

The topic for the June 13 session is Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Collection Selection, but Did Not Have the Vehicle to Ask. Our guests will be members of the Collections Division at NLS who are responsible for selecting the books in the NLS collection. Bring your questions and your thoughts about the NLS collection

For information on how to join NLS’s online Patron Corner Zoom event check out our Events Calendar.

Talking Book Topics

A set of books with headphonesThe National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled provides Talking Book Topics (TBT) as a way for patrons to review what new titles have been added to the NLS collection. TBT is a bi-monthly publication that highlights the new titles that have been added to the NLS collection.  Patrons can browse the list and request the titles they would like to read.  Our library is excited to announce the addition of Tiny TBTs. 

Tiny TBTs 

Patrons can contact the library and customize a Talking Book Topic list of new titles based on the subjects and genres that they are interested it.  The Library can send you a large print version of your customized Tiny TBT.  Contact the library at 515-281-1323 or library@blind.state.ia.us  

NLS Statement from January 25, 2022: 

“Patrons who subscribe to Talking Book Topics (TBT) in large print will not receive the January–February 2022 issue in paper format due to ongoing supply-chain issues and worldwide paper shortages. Patrons can access TBT January–February 2022 online in HTML and PDF right now at http://www.loc.gov/nls/tbt. TBT in HTML contains direct links to BARD for downloading or adding books to wish lists, and TBT in PDF contains printable order forms for mailing. TBT January–February 2022 in audio will be available on cartridge and on BARD and BARD Mobile the first week in February. Additionally, TBT Abridged will be available through Braille Book Review in hardcopy braille and BRF on www.loc.gov/nls/bbr.” 

We know how important Talking Book Topics are to our patrons, so we are excited to provide Tiny TBTs and other options to our patrons. 

Ways to access the full Talking Book Topics: 

  • HTML, www.loc.gov/nls/tbt, linking to BARD for downloading or adding books to wish lists 
  • PDF, www.loc.gov/nls/tbt, containing a printable order form 
  • Audio cartridge, which comes with a print order form 
  • BARD audio magazine, downloadable to cartridge or to BARD Mobile wish list 
  • Braille Book Review’s TBT Abridged section in hardcopy braille 
  • Braille Book Review’s TBT Abridged section as a BRF downloadable through BARD or from www.loc.gov/nls/bbr 
  • NFB-NEWSLINE

Music Services from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

Patrons often ask if we have music materials as part of our collection.  The Music Section of the National Library Service for Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) was established in 1962 and has expanded to be the largest music collection of its kind in the world. These music materials are circulated to patrons directly from the NLS headquarters in Washington, DC.  Meaning they do not come from our library here in Iowa.  Any patron of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled is eligible to receive music services.  The collection consists of more than 25,000 audio, braille, large print music scores, texts, and other instructional materials.  Musical recordings intended solely for listening pleasure are not included in the music collection, as they are readily available commercially and from public libraries. Please contact the NLS Music Section directly at 1-800-424-8567 ext 2 or by email at nlsm@loc.gov for more information or to request music materials.

More Resources:

  • Visit the Music Materials on the NLS website for updates and to access music publications available on the Internet
  • Check out NLS Music Notes Blog.  The NLS Music Section has a blog on the Library of Congress website called NLS Music Notes. The blog posts highlight the music collection, present newly added titles, profiles of musicians who are blind or visually impaired, and feature braille music transcribers and their work, along with a variety of related music topics and activities.

Resources to Help You Find the Latest Books in Audio and Braille

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) offers great resources to help you find the latest audio and braille titles added to our collections.

Talking Book Topics (TBT) lists the audio books and magazines recently added to the NLS collection and available through our library. It also carries news of developments in services. NLS publishes Talking Book Topics bimonthly in digital audio, large print, HTML, and accessible PDF formats and distributes it free of charage to partons. TBT is also available in downloadable audio files and as a subscription through BARD.

Braille Book Review lists braille books and magazines recently added to the NLS collection and available through our library. It also carries news of developments in services. NLS publishes Braille Book Review bimonthly in braille, large print and HTML and distributes it free of charge to patrons. Braille Book Review is also available on BARD in ebraille by searching magazines by title, with individual issues available for download or for subscription.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Celebrates 90 Years

Help us wish the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) a happy 90th anniversary!  Our library is a regional library in the NLS network and we are excited to celebrate this year with them.

NLS is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2021 with curated digital content and features throughout the year and a kick-off concert that took place on March 3, marking the day in 1931 that President Herbert Hoover signed legislation creating a national library service to provide “books for the adult blind.”

The online concert featured jazz pianist and NLS patron Matthew Whitaker and his quartet. The selection of Whitaker, an innovative performer, composer and arranger, was an apt choice at such an important time in NLS’s history, as the organization continues to find new ways to meet the needs of Americans with disabilities.

Whitaker became interested in music as a toddler, taking immediately to the toy piano he was given by his grandfather. At age five, he began training in classical piano and in reading braille music with Dalia Sakas from the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School in New York City, the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the United States. In the fall of 2019 Whitaker became the first blind undergraduate student to join Juilliard’s Jazz Studies program.

In an interview with Whitaker, NLS Director Karen Keninger mentioned NLS’s ongoing project to expand its already impressive music catalog by converting rare hard-copy braille scores to digital. “I’m glad that you guys are always finding ways for us as blind individuals to have access,” Whitaker said. “I feel that everybody should have a way of accessing music, whether visually impaired or not.” The interview and concert can be found on the NLS’s YouTube channel.

Beyond the Whitaker concert, NLS will share historical content and celebrations from across its nationwide network of libraries on its various digital channels through the rest of the year.

In 1930, Rep. Ruth Pratt of New York and Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah introduced identical bills to provide service to blind readers on a national scale through the Library of Congress. That led to passage of the Pratt-Smoot Act, which created what we now know as NLS, the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. The law has been amended several times, extending the service beyond adults who are blind to include children and people with physical and reading disabilities. In addition, in 1962 Congress authorized NLS to collect and maintain a library of musical scores and instructional texts. That collection is now the largest of its kind in the world.