Application for BTBL Service
Please make sure you live in our Service Area and meet the Eligibility Requirements listed below. After BTBL has received your application, a staff member will call within 5 business days to introduce you to our service before it begins.
We serve residents of the counties of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.
Residents of San Francisco should contact the Talking Books and Braille Center in San Francisco. Residents of Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare counties should contact the Fresno Talking Book Library for the Blind. Southern California residents should contact the Braille Institute Library in Los Angeles. Other U.S. residents should search for their network library using the NLS Find Your Library directory.
To be eligible for our service, a person must have a certified authority confirm that she/he is permanently or temporarily:
- Legally blind, with vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less with corrective glasses, or
- Have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees in diameter, or
- Be unable to see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with corrective glasses, or
- Be unable to handle print books or turn pages because of a physical disability, or
- Be certified by a medical doctor* as having a reading disability due to an organic dysfunction that is severe enough to prevent reading in the usual manner.
A certified authority includes doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g. social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.
*In case of reading disability from organic dysfunction, certified authority is defined by federal regulations as doctors of medicine or doctors of osteopathy who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines. For more information, see NLS Factsheet Talking Books and Reading Disabilities.