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Betsie Valley District Library

Talking Book Library

The Traverse Area District Library has a branch known as The Talking Book Library which represents a free federal program for blind and handicapped persons. This library covers eight counties in northern Michigan, and Benzie County is one of them. The service includes a specific player, which a patron may use for as long as he/she wishes. Books are digitally recorded on cartridges or printed in Braille and mailed to patrons’ homes through the regular U. S. postal service. Best of all, this service is FREE - there is no charge to mail materials to or from the library. Call the Betsie Valley District Library for more information or come in to pick up an application!

Betsie Valley District Library has applications for this wonderful service offered by TADL (Traverse Area District Library). You not need to be legally blind to use the services. If you or someone you know is unable to read standard type print, unable to hold a book in your hands, or has a learning disability like dyslexia that prevents reading, you qualify for this free audio and Braille book service. Please contact TADL by calling their toll free number (877) 931-8558, or their local number (231) 932-8558, or send them an email at

TADL is providing free audio and Braille materials to visually, physically and reading impaired patrons in Grand Traverse, Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties.

In order to remain an active patron, one book or magazine is required to be checked out per year. The other request is that patrons return a book within 4 – 6 weeks. If a book is needed longer, there is a renewal process just like other libraries. As always, it’s best to return a book as soon as finished for others to read, and for the patron to receive more as well. Pick up an application at the Betsie Valley District Library.
Visit TADL Talking Book Library website at

Open for walk-in visitors Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at TADL. 

Curbside service is available by appointment, please call or email to schedule at TADL.

About the Talking Book Library, from the Traverse Area District Library:

If you or someone you know is unable to read standard type print, unable to hold a book in your hands, or has a learning disability like dyslexia that prevents reading, you qualify for this free audio and Braille book service. Administered by the National Library Service, this program is available for people of all ages with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, reading disability or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page.

TADL Talking Book Library supports our patrons who qualify and are interested in checking out audiobooks and magazines on cartridge or for download, Braille books and magazines, and descriptive video. Materials are delivered directly to your home through the U.S. Postal Service, postage free. If required, special equipment is provided to you at no charge.

To get started, fill out a Talking Book Library application, which you can download by clicking on the following link: Download Application. This application is not the same as a Traverse Area District Library card application. Fill out the application and have it certified by a Talking Book Library librarian, or a doctor, nurse, therapist, teacher, social worker or other individual who is qualified to sign (see application for details). Then, either mail, email or hand-deliver your application to:

Traverse Area District Library
Talking Book Library
610 Woodmere Ave.
Traverse City, MI 49686

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

BARD is a direct access downloadable book service specifically for Talking Book Library patrons. Access requires a separate application which you will fill out online. On the application, select either “Individual” or “Institution,” then on the next screen, select “MI – The Grand Traverse Area Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped” from the pull down menu. Please click on the following link to be taken to the website where you will fill out that application: Link to BARD Application. 

Downloading from BARD requires an internet connection, an active email account, and a compatible device equipped with the BARD app or ebraille capabilities.  The BARD app may be used with an Android or iOS device, just download the app from your device’s respective store. Alternatively, you can download books to a USB/flash/thumb drive, for use with an NLS-issued or NLS-compatible Digital Talking Book Machine.

To be taken to the website for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about BARD, please click on the following link: BARD Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any further questions, or need help using BARD, please email us at, or call us at (231) 932-8558 or (877) 931-8558.

Upcoming Events
Betsie Valley District Library 2024 “Adventure Begins at Your Library" Teen Summer Reading Program! Jun 06, 2024 02:00 PM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
“Adventure Begins at Your Library” Children's Summer Reading Program! Jun 21, 2024 02:00 AM (US/Eastern) — Betsie Valley District Library
Digging the Past: Exploring Archeology with the BVDL Jun 22, 2024 01:00 PM (US/Eastern) — Thompsonville Fire Hall and Community Center Park Pavilion
Adventures with Critters! Story Hour Jun 26, 2024 11:00 AM (US/Eastern) — 14744 Thompson Ave., Thompsonville, MI 49683
Adventures with Creepy Crawlies! Story Hour Jul 03, 2024 11:00 AM (US/Eastern) — 14744 Thompson Ave., Thompsonville, MI 49683
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