Talking Books

Talking Books Blog

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.

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:00pm
Descriptive Video symbol

Did you know that the Central Rappahannock Regional Library has a large collection of popular descriptive videos? These are movies with audio descriptions of the actions taking place on the screen in addition to the standard audio tracks. We think you’ll be very pleased with the size and scope of this growing collection, most of which are on DVD.

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 8:26am
Currency Reader

The U.S. currency reader is on the way! The U. S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has developed a currency reader for the blind and is partnering with the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind in order to distribute the free device to people who are already certified for Talking Books. The distribution will begin in January and you should let your librarian know that you are anxious to receive one.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 3:51pm
The Witness cover

In The Witness, Elizabeth Fitch is the daughter of a controlling and cold mother who is a famous surgeon.  When her mother is away at a medical conference, Elizabeth changes her appearance, makes fake IDs for herself and her friend and they go out to one of the hottest night clubs in the area.  They drink too much and meet two Russian men who take them back to their house.  However, when they get there two other Russian men come and murder her friend and one of the Russian men that brought her there.  Elizabeth escapes and goes into a witness protection program. 

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 1:43pm
One Thousand White Women: the Journals of May Dodd

One of my patrons called me to discuss One Thousand White Women: the Journal of May Dodd by Jim Fergus. (RC 47157) This is a fictionalized account of a true incident in which an Indian delegation traveled to Washington, D.C. to negotiate a treaty.

One of the Indians was a Cheyenne leader named Little Wolf. As part of the negotiations, Little Wolf requested that his tribe be supplied with 1,000 white women, in an effort to assist in the assimilation of the Cheyenne peoples with the white man. Predictably, the request was met with derision and horror. 

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.