September 6: National Read a Book Day

The Talking Book Program (TBP) always advocates reading. Our motto is: That All May Read. National Read a Book Day, celebrated on September 6 of every year, is a day that invites everyone to read. So TBP and National Read a Book Day just naturally go together. There are so many ways to celebrate:

  1. Read a book!
  2. Share your passion for books and reading with someone.
  3.  Read a book from a new or different genre.
  4. Read a favorite book from childhood or a book that is a friend or family member’s favorite.
  5. Share the stories you are reading using #ReadABookDay to post on social media.

ProTip: Don’t have time to read entire book? Try reading a magazine issue, a book of poetry, or a story from an essay or short story collection.

Facts from the Texas Talking Book Program

  • Texas has over 17,000 TBP patrons.
  • In 2021, TBP circulated 688,186 braille, large print, and audio cartridges via mail to our patrons.
  • Texas patrons downloaded 302,789 books via the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) in 2021.
  • We added 345 large print and 125 braille titles to our physical collection in 2021.
  • In 2021, 292 books were recorded and uploaded to BARD from our Texas recording studio.

There are many more books to choose from for National Reading Day!

Books about Books, Librarians, and Bookstores

  • Do you like cozy mysteries? Try the Booktown Mystery Series by Lorna Barrett or the Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series by V. M. Burns
  • Is romance more your style? Try the Librarians in Love Series by Sarah Title or BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL (DB 95745, LB 12621)
  • Does Science Fiction make you want to snuggle up with a good book? Try the Borrowed Man Series by Gene Wolfe
  • Or do you want the facts, and nothing but the facts? Here are some nonfiction books about books you may enjoy. Try SHELF LIFE: ROMANCE, MYSTERY, DRAMA, AND OTHER PAGE-TURNING ADVENTURES FROM A YEAR IN A BOOKSTORE (DB 60048) by Suzanne Strempek Shea or if you prefer more of a true crime twist, try LIBRARY BOOK (DB 92869, LB 11432) BY Susan Orleans.

Not sure what you want to read? Contact the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605 (if in Austin, call our local number at 512-463-5458) and one of our readers consultants or readers’ advisory librarians can help you choose your next favorite book.


June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month

Image of a book with a volume signifying an audiobook.

Not only is June the start of summer, but it is also National Audiobook Appreciation Month. With numerous literacy benefits and high entertainment value, audiobooks are heating up headphones and speakers across the state. Everyone is unique when it comes to how they read, and patrons of the Talking Book Program can enjoy the art of storytelling this June by joining the more than 19,000 other patrons meet their reading needs. Whether you need to read in a different way or you open up a book — new TBP patron listeners and audiophiles alike will want to join in the fun. For more information about Texans’ other library visit,

Check out some of the most downloaded books from the collection.

RUN, ROSE, RUN by Dolly Parton (DB 107053)
AnnieLee Keyes is hitchhiking her way to Nashville, determined to make it in the music industry. But she’s fleeing her past, and her rise as a country music star is dogged by the dark secrets trying to destroy her. Violence and strong language. Suspense Fiction. Commercial audiobook. 2022

STEAL by James Patterson (DB 106928)

College sophomore Carter von Oehson posts on his Instagram that he plans to kill himself. When no one sees him for 24hours, a search begins. Fears seem to be confirmed when his abandoned sailboat is found. His professor of abnormal psychology, Dylan Reinhart, tries to help Carter’s father find the truth. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2022.

HIGH STAKES by Danielle Steel (DB 107263)

Jane Addison has big dreams of owning her own company someday. At 28, she arrives in New York to start a job at Fletcher and Benson, a prestigious talent agency. There she joins a group of women all facing the challenges of balancing their families, their personal lives, and the high stakes of ambition. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

BEYOND A DOUBT by Colleen Coble (DB 107278)

Bree Nicholls has made a name for herself finding missing persons in the untamed wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her search-and-rescue dog, Samson. When a basement remodeling project at her lighthouse home uncovers evidence from a cold case, Bree’s family comes under attack. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2004.


Hosts of the podcast of the same title present a collection of new items of interest. Topics include facial hair, Mr. Potato Head, Murphy beds, how to get lost, mezcal liquor, aging, income tax, pet rocks, cyanide pills, donuts, and the Jersey Devil. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.


The musical icon gives advice for generating hope from nothing, breaking through all limitations, and succeeding in life. She shows how the spiritual lessons of Buddhism help her transform from sorrow, adversity, and poverty into joy, stability, and prosperity. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Talking Book Program Team Attends NLS Conference

Posted on behalf of Jaclyn Owusu, Public Awareness Coordinator for TBP

Earlier this month, TBP hosted the National Library Service Southern/Western Libraries Serving the Blind & Physically Impaired Conference in San Antonio. The three-day conference featured TBP staffers Saidah Ochoa, Laura Jean Norris, John Berkeland and Todd Rusch presenting information to the 70 attendees from around the country about our outreach to Spanish speaking users, our YA books collections and our new Duplication on Demand service.

On Wednesday night, author and blogger Lisa Fain, known for her cookbooks and her blog, The Homesick Texan (link goes to The Homesick Texan website), was a featured speaker. She discussed how she used libraries to do research on her books. During the evening author reception, Craig York, who recorded her cookbook in our studio for the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), gave a brief reading from one of her cookbooks.

Enjoy some photos and a video from the conference!

Photograph of Author Lisas Fisa Fain and Talking Book Program Director Ava Smith
Author Lisa Fain and Talking Book Program Director Ava Smith
Cover Image of  the Lisa Fain book QUESO!
Cover Image of the Lisa Fain book QUESO!
Kathleen Walls Holding Up the Homesick Texan's Family Table book
Talking Book Program Reader Services Librarian Kathleen Walls Holding Up the Homesick Texan’s Family Table book
TBP Director Ava Smith, Karen Keninger, NLS, Lisa Fain, author and Mark Smith, Director and Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission
TBP Director Ava Smith, Karen Keninger, NLS, Lisa Fain, author and Mark Smith, Director and Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Craig York reading an excerpt from Lisa Fain’s cookbook.

Introducing Duplication on Demand–A New Service for TBP Patrons

The Talking Book Program is now serving patrons with a great new service called Duplication on Demand (DoD). It will allow you to get almost any book that is available on BARD right away. When you order books, or when automatic selection orders books for you, they are recorded on a cartridge and sent to you within a day or two (provided you don’t already have a full quota.) Of course, if you have other requests on your list, you’ll need to tell us if you want new requests first. Otherwise, the computer may send older requests before the new ones. There’s no waiting for other patrons to return a copy; all downloadable books are always available. DoD puts up to 8 books on one cartridge, but you don’t need to be able to use Bookshelf because new programming has simplified the way you move from book to book. You can also get a whole series put on one cartridge– in series order—just let us know if there’s one you would like.

We are starting the process of moving all of our established audio readers to DoD. This will take quite a while, as each reader must be set up individually. DoD settings will be based on your current account profile, but these settings can be changed at your request. We are working through our patron list diligently, but it may be some time before we get to you. If you would like to switch to DoD right away, please contact us, and we’ll set you up.

Here’s what to expect when you start getting DoD cartridges:

• Each reader can have up to three cartridges checked out at once*

• Each cartridge may have as many as 8 books on it* (or a whole series, at your request.)

• Each cartridge will be labeled “TX Talking Book Library: Audio Books.”

• The mailing container will have a folded book card listing the titles that are on the cartridge.

• To return cartridges, simply remove the book card. The container has TBP’s return address permanently on it.

• Once a cartridge gets back to us, we’ll send you another one. It’s very important to send cartridges back right away to prevent gaps in service.

• The loan period for cartridges is 60 days, with an option to renew for another 60 days, so you’ll have plenty of time to read all of the books on the cartridge.

• If you want to reread a book or cartridge, we can send it again.

Questions? Please contact us! We’ll be happy to answer them. You can email us at, or call us at 1-800-252-9605.

*Note to Institutions: Since institutions (schools, nursing homes, etc.) serve multiple readers, you will receive more cartridges, each containing one book. For more information, please contact us.

*Note to Demo Sites: Demo sites will receive 1 cartridge that contains a Spanish book and an English book.

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review / Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP

TBP’s Administrative Rules Review: All state agencies and their programs have administrative rules, which are reviewed every four years, amended as needed, and then readopted. The notice of the review of TBP’s 18 rules has been published in the July 27, 2018 edition of the Texas Register (

You may read the rules here: Comments about the rule review may be made by postal mail, email, or phone to Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program, at P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927,, or 512-463-5428. Comments must be received by August 27, 2018.

Revisión de las Reglas Administrativas de TBP: Todas las agencias estatales y sus programas correspondientes tienen reglas administrativas. Estas reglas son sometidas a una revisión cada cuatro años, se modifican como sea necesario, y después son re-adoptadas.

En Julio 27 de 2018, en la publicación Texas Register ( fue anunciada la revisión de las 18 reglas administrativas de TBP( Usted puede leer las reglas aqui:

Sus comentarios sobre la revisión de nuestras reglas pueden ser enviados por correo normal, por correo electrónico, o por teléfono a Ava Smith, Directora. Programa de Libros que Hablan. P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX, 78711-2927,, o llame al 512-463-5428. La fecha límite para recibir sus comentarios es August 27, 2018.


Talking Book Program to be Closed from 5 pm Friday, June 22 through 8 am Monday, July 2nd:: El Programa de Libros que Hablan estará cerrado de las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio hasta las 8 am el Lunes 2 de Julio.

Starting at 5 pm on Friday, June 22nd, we will be closed to the public while we upgrade our computer system. We will reopen on Monday, July 2nd at 8 am.  While we are closed, you may leave simple requests such as book orders or contact information changes on our voicemail, and they will be processed during our closure. We regret that we will not be able to call you back; if you need to speak to a staff member, please call back when normal hours resume on July 2nd.

Please do not visit the library between June 22nd and July 1st, as we cannot accommodate walk-in patrons during the closure.

You may also contact us via e-mail at  While we are closed, email requests will be processed, but no replies will be sent.

Thank you for your patience while we make this important transition.

Comenzando a las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio, estaremos cerrados al público mientras actualizamos nuestro sistema informático. Abriremos de nuevo el Lunes 22 de Julio a las 8:00 am. Durante nuestra clausura, usted puede dejar mensajes sencillos en nuestro correo de voz, como ordenes de libros o cambios en su información de contacto (teléfono, dirección, etc.) Esas solicitudes serán procesadas durante la clausura. Sentimos no poder regresar las llamadas durante ese tiempo; si necesita hablar con un miembro del personal, por favor llámenos cuando reanudemos nuestras horas hábiles el 2 de Julio.

No podremos admitir visitas en persona del 22 de Junio al 1ero de Julio, ya que no estaremos capacitados para ayudar usuarios durante nuestra clausura. Usted puede mandarnos mensajes por correo electrónico a  Durante nuestra clausura sí procesaremos solicitudes recibidas por correo electrónico, pero no mandaremos respuestas.

Gracias por su paciencia durante esta importante transición.

TBP Call Center Closed In the Morning on 9/13/16

TBP Reader Services staff will be attending an important training session off-site on the morning of Tuesday, September 13th, 2016. The call center will be closed until 12:30 that day.

While no one will be available to take your calls until 12:30, as always, you may leave a voice mail message at 1-800-252-9605 or contact us by email at We will respond to your messages promptly.

Thank you for your patience while we train to serve you better.

Governor’s Committee Top 10 for the ADA Anniversary

To celebrate the 26th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities has compiled a top 10 list of state agencies and the accessibility initiatives of each agency. Here is the Top 10, with links to learn more about the various programs. And by the way, check out who comes in at #4!

#10 Texas Secretary of State
Vote Texas:

#9 Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Rights Division:

#8 Texas Historical Commission
Providing access to historic properties:

#7 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Information on wheelchair-accessible parks and historic sites:

#6 Texas Department of Public Safety
State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR):

#5 Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services
Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP):
Note: On September 1st, the STAP program will move to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.

#4 The Texas State Library & Archives Commission
The Talking Book Program:

#3 Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
Architectural Barriers Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS):

#2 Texas Health & Human Services Commission
Accessibility Center for Electronic Information Resources:

#1 Office of the Governor – Committee on People with Disabilities
Texas Key Laws & Resources:

NLS Testimonial Videos Available Online

NLS has produced three short testimonial videos featuring patrons of the Braille and talking book program. These videos are posted on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. Links with a short description of each video are below.

NLS Braille and Talking Books and Magazines
NLS patrons speak about the benefits of receiving free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials in the mail: the freedom to read their way. (1:50)

NLS BARD and BARD Mobile
Patrons speak about the benefits of downloading free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and BARD Mobile. (1:55)

NLS Music Materials
Patrons speak about the benefits of receiving free audio, braille, and large-print music scores, texts, and other instructional materials and recordings in the mail or downloading them through BARD. (2:26)

TBP visits Rio Grande City Public Library

One of our TBP Readers Advisory Librarians recently visited the Rio Grande City Public Library to inform patrons of the services made available through our Talking Book Program. In this YouTube video, produced by Rio Grande City TV, we go step by step through the process of signing up for, receiving and returning the FREE materials offered through TBP.