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Talking Books and Braille Library

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Talking Books and Braille Library

The Talking Books and Braille Library is a division of the State Library that provides both Braille and audio recordings of print materials to Louisianians who cannot read standard print. 

Do you know how Braille started? In 1821, Louis Braille developed the system of raised dots that allows the blind and visually impaired people to read and to write.

Braille helps the blind find their ways through touch. You might not realize it, but Braille is all around—in elevators, on restroom signs, on ATMs and at bus stops. 

Without Braille, many would never have the chance to lead independent lives. Sir Arthur Pearson, lost his sight late in life and founded St. Dunstan's Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors in London, said, "Learning to read by a new method undoubtedly helps a man to do many other things in unaccustomed ways. I would go so far as to say that it would well repay a man to learn Braille even if he were never to read a line of a Braille book, of so much value is the exercise and stimulus it gives to the mental faculties."

The TBBL provides free public library service to Louisiana residents of all ages who cannot easily read standard printed materials due to a visual impairment, physical disability or a reading disability.

Patrons served by the TBBL include individuals who have physical disabilities that prevent them from holding a book or turning its pages, who are legally blind or totally blind and who have reading disabilities certified by a medical doctor.

The Library collection consists of more than 50,000 titles in nonprint formats (Braille, digital cartridge and large print) on a broad range of fiction and nonfiction subjects for all ages. The Library loans playback machines to those using recorded materials. Recorded magazine subscriptions are also available.

To obtain library services, a person must first submit an application form physically or electronically with the signature of a certifying authority. Certifying authorities include, but are not limited to, medical doctors, optometrists, registered nurses, rehabilitation teachers or licensed social workers.

Applicationscan be mailed to the State Library of Louisiana, Talking Books and Braille Library, 701 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 or faxed to 225.342.6817.

Resources for learning more about Braille literacy:

Braille: Deciphering the Code

Nemeth Braille

Printable Braille Alphabet Key

Louisiana Center for the Blind

Louisiana Association for the Blind

Affiliated Blind of Louisiana

Lighthouse Louisiana


BRL: Braille through Remote Learning 

States with Braille Literacy Laws