Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library
The Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library (MBTBL), located in Faribault, Minnesota, provides direct library service to preschool age children to seniors with visual, physical and reading disabilities for whom conventional print is a barrier to reading.
The library is funded through Minnesota state general funds and Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant money from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Library materials are sent free of charge by the U.S. Postal Service. Patrons can request library materials through the online library catalog, as well as by telephone, email, and/or postal mail. A large number of books and magazines are also available to download from Minnesota Braille and Audio Reading Download (MN BARD), commonly referred to as just “BARD.”
Because the MBTBL is located on the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind (MSAB) campus, MBTBL also provides school library services to the Academy’s students and its staff. The Library also serves deaf-blind students attending either MSAB and/or the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD).
News: NLS Changes Its Name
The Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which provides braille and audio materials to the MBTBL has changed its name. As of October 1, 2019, it will be known as "National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled" but will still go by the abbreviation NLS.
"We’ve been considering a change for some time, so we’re happy to see this day arrive," NLS Director Karen Keninger said. "We are very pleased to share our new name and graphic identity with our NLS community and feel that the new name, as with all of NLS’s work, puts the emphasis on the people we serve."
To learn more about the name change, please visit www.loc.gov/nls.
Eligibility and Applying for ServiceFor complete eligibility requirements, visit the National Library Service (NLS)'s Eligibility webpage. To apply for service, download and complete an NLS Application for Free Library Service.
Hours of Operation
The library’s telephone hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Voicemail is available while the library is closed.
Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For a tour of the library, please contact us in advance.
The library will be closed for the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents' Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans' Day
- Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday
- Christmas Day
Since 1933, MBTBL has worked in partnership with the NLS, which administers a free national library program--sponsored by the Library of Congress--for visually and physically disabled persons. The program was established by an act of Congress in 1931. Over time, federal mandates have expanded the definition of people eligible for service. The current federal regulations for this program are outlined in the Federal Register for June 7, 1974, as amended October 2, 1981.
The NLS selects and produces full-length books and magazines in both audio and braille formats. Such library materials are distributed to a network of designated libraries throughout the United States which, in turn, circulate them to eligible customers within their respective states.
Offers a snapshot of the services provided by the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library for the year 2018.