Talking Books

Talking Books Blog

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 12:54pm
Good Books, Good Friends

With summer coming and schools being out, remember that you do not want your child to be without books. Students who do not have books to read over vacation often suffer a downhill slide in skills. Without keeping up with their reading, they may spend that first month back at school trying to catch up on skills they haven't practiced. 

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 2:09pm
Blind walkers

The 9th Annual Walk with the Blind will be Saturday, April 16, at 10:00 at the City Dock in Fredericksburg. The Walk begins at City Dock and ends at Headquarters Library.

Sponsored by the Fredericksburg Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind,  this events offers the chance to get exercise, make friends, and raise money for the local chapter of the Federation of the Blind. Their chapter has grown and includes members of all ages. Come and join in the fun!

If you cannot come and wish to make a donation, please write a check payable to "NFB," and mail to Michael Kasey, 606 Lewis Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. The funds are used to help the Blind become independent.  

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 2:59pm
The Soul of the Octopus

Years ago, I became fascinated by the writings of a young naturalist named Dian Fossey. Her writings were so intriguing because they were not just dryly scientific journalism. Dian Fossey’s background was in education instead of zoology, and she used her observational abilities to describe the world around her. She had the ability to immerse the reader in her world of gorillas.

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 11:27am
A Head Full of Ghosts

I really enjoy books that disturb me.  I know that is strange.  That being said, Head Full of Ghosts was one of the most disturbing novels I have read in a long time.  I just loved it!  The person telling the story is the youngest daughter in the family.  As an adult she is meeting with a writer to tell the story of her infamous family for a biography.  The older daughter, Marjorie, is having some troubling issues as a teenager that eventually prompts the father into calling the local priest for an exorcism. 

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 5:17pm
The Tragic Treasury by The Gothic Archies

We've all seen movie adaptations of our favorite books, but pop music album adaptations are far rarer. The Tragic Treasury is based on Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and I would go as far to say that it far surpasses the movie in terms of both quality and matching Snicket's indelible tone.

About Talking Books Services @ CRRL

The Assistive Services Department in the Central Rappahannock Regional Library Headquarters houses the Fredericksburg Area Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Subregional Library with its Talking Books collection is a component of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), maintained by the Library of Congress. The NLS provides free reading materials to anyone who qualifies for this service so That All May Read.

Anyone in the Subregional Library's service area (City of Fredericksburg, and Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, King George, Orange, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland counties) who is unable to read or use standard print materials due to temporary or permanent visual impairment, physical disability, or dyslexia may be eligible for the Talking Books service. Individuals and institutions who are eligible may borrow a free player as long as it is needed and receive free talking books.

To apply, simply print off the application above, fill it out, and have a professional fill out the certification section. Then mail it back to the Subregional Library using the address on the form.

Phone: 540-372-1144, ext. 234, email:

You can also read our newsletter, Sightlines, for book recommendations and news of specific interest to our Assistive Services patrons. 

Braille Audio and Reading Download (BARD)

BARD is a program offered by the National Library Service. This free program allows patrons to download talking books from an extensive collection of titles.

To obtain a BARD account, you must first be a member of the Subregional Library for the Blind housed in the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

New to BARD? Apply now!

Already have an account? Log in.

Once you have a digital talking book player and a BARD account, along with a computer and high speed Internet access you may download free books. The zip file of the book can be saved to the computer, unzipped, and the files can be moved to a simple thumb drive which fits into the right side of the digital player.  You can also purchase a blank talking book cartridge. A connector cable is needed to move the unzipped files from the computer to the talking book cartridge. You will then be able to play them on your digital talking book player and keep them as long as you want.

A Talking Books customer has access to:

  • The Subregional Library local collection of over 10,000 titles
  • The NLS nationwide collection of digital, cassette, and Braille titles
  • The  NLS nationwide downloadable collection of over 56,000 books
  • Descriptive videos in VHS and DVD format.
  • Braille by request. If you need a document Brailled for school, church, or business use, we are happy to perform this service, but please call Assistive Services to arrange for printing two weeks in advance of your deadline.