Frequently Asked Questions
Who may use the service?
Persons who are unable to read or use standard printed materials due to blindness, low vision, lack of muscle coordination, prolonged weakness, or physically based reading disabilities (such as dyslexia) are eligible. An application signed by a certifying agent is required. Please send the original application. NLS guidelines dictate the original application be on file with your serving Talking Books library. Therefore, no copied or faxed applications can be accepted.
What types of materials are available?
Talking Books provides books, magazines, and descriptive videos for eligible Kansas residents. Books are available in cassette or digital format. A list of titles is available at http://webopac.klas.com/kstb At this time, magazines are only available on cassette or in Braille format.
How do I send in my requests?
Readers can make requests by mail (no special forms are necessary--any sheet of paper will do), in person, by phone, by fax or email. After hours, request lists can be left on our voice mail system.
In order to receive a Digital Player, do I need to return my cassette player?
No. Many patrons find it advantageous to keep both players, as many titles are not yet available in digital format. Keeping both players allows for the distribution of more books, more quickly.
How do I receive books from my library?
You should receive a starter book when you first begin the service and receive your playback equipment. To return books, simply turn the address card over, put back into the slot on the book, and drop into the mail. Generally, the library automatically mails replacement books back to readers, however this varies according to everyone's needs.
How are the books sent and how long may they be kept?
Books are sent postage free, through regular U.S. mail, and are returned in the same manner. All have pre-addressed postage free mailing cards for easy return. Books are checked out for three months; however, we ask that as a courtesy to other readers, patrons return books when they have finished with them.
What if I do not enjoy the books I am receiving?
Contact a library staff member. The Talking Books staff can help you make selections and give you ideas for other titles, authors or subjects you might like.
Are book catalogs available? How often will I receive catalogs?
You will receive a few catalogs when you begin service. Six to eight weeks later, you should receive an issue of Talking Books Topics / Talking Books Plus. This catalog is issued every two months and lists the newest books that have been recorded. Each year, you will have an option of receiving a large catalog summarizing the year's books. Catalogs are available either in print or cassette format.
Will my Talking Books play on my computer or on a regular tape player?
No. For security and copyright reasons, NLS Digital Audio Books will not play on a personal computer. Talking Books cassettes have a nonstandard cassette format that permits four tracks per cassette. A normal Talking Book tape can hold almost six hours of narration. Home stereo equipment is designed to play commercially produced 2- track tapes.
What happens if my playback machine or books stops working?
Do not attempt to repair library equipment. A replacement is sent in exchange for the inoperable player. Please contact your Talking Book Service center.
Are videotapes included in the collection?
Descriptive videos are available. Descriptive videos are movies and television programs enhanced with narration that describes the actions, settings, gestures, and other key visual elements. Titles range from the Nova Series to Disney Movies, and also include new releases such as Harry Potter and A Beautiful Mind. A current list of DVS is available in Microsoft Word format. To update your request list print the available order form and mail to the library.
Does Talking Books provide textbooks?
While some books teachers and professors may assign can be obtained at Talking Books, textbooks are not specifically provided by Talking Books. Students receive many textbooks from Learning Ally, located in Princeton, New Jersey. For more information on textbooks, contact Learning Ally at 1-800-221-4292 or via this link.
What if I want to make suggestions about titles or authors to be recorded on Talking Books?
If there are some books or authors you would like to suggest for production especially those about Kansas or by Kansas authors please contact the regional library. While we will consider your suggestion the library retains the final task of determining whether or not a book will be produced locally. Any books you send will remain the property of the library.
If I move out of the area or out of state, can I take my Talking Book player(s)?
Yes; simply contact your local Talking Book library with your new address and contact information. The staff will transfer the player serial number to your new serving library. There is no requirement to return the player if you plan to continue service at another library. Books and magazines, however, should be returned to their issuing library.