BTBL Descriptive Video Service (DVS)
Descriptive videos are movies that have a second audio track with a narrator's voice describing the action on the screen during breaks in the dialog and sound effects.
You must be a current BTBL patron in good standing to be able to sign up for videos. Please contact BTBL to sign-up to borrow videos.
Once you have signed up, videos may be requested in the same way you request books: in person, by telephone, by mail, by email or through the online BTBL Catalog. There is no limit to the number of requests patrons may place on file for future loan. The first available descriptive video on a borrower's request list will be sent automatically each time a title is returned.
The loan period for videos is 5 weeks. There will be no renewals. Patrons may borrow a maximum of four descriptive video titles at a time.
Descriptive video titles should be mailed back to BTBL after viewing by turning over the mailing card so the library's address is facing up. Videos should be delivered into the hands of the U.S. Postal Service, do not leave videos on your doorstep.
You need a television with DVD player or a computer with a DVD player to watch descriptive videos on DVD. No other special equipment is required. BTBL does not loan televisions or DVD players; just the videos.
A portion of our DVD collection is fully accessible (the movie will play automatically with the descriptive track selected). The films that do not begin automatically with narration upon insertion are noted as such in our catalogs. To locate the DVS track on non-accessible DVDs, usually found under Languages or Set-up Menus, assistance from a sighted friend or family member may be helpful. Some patrons have found that for some DVDs, once the film has begun playing, pressing the "Audio" button repeatedly on their DVD player's remote control will help select the DVS track. We have also conducted limited testing of screen-reader software and found that the visual menus for DVDs are not accessible with JAWS (version 10) for Windows or WindowEyes (version 7.5) software. Later versions of these software programs *may* yield better results.
If a DVD is damaged, return it to us promptly and contact BTBL to let us know what happened.
The DVDs are exactly like CDs, they are small, round, fragile, thin plastic discs. Each disc fits tightly in its mailing container; either use your fingers on the edges of the DVD to gently dislodge it, or gently push with your thumb on the small circular center of the disc to pop it out of its container.
- Permanent damage occurs when the surface of a DVD is scratched
- Handle DVDs by the edges
- Avoid dropping them
- Avoid dust, dirt, food, liquids and condensation
We purchase new videos in the spring of each year using donated funds from the California State Library Foundation. So far, we have been able to purchase around 50 new DVD titles every year. We are restricted in which movie titles we can purchase by the limited number of commercial DVDs with audio description that are released each year by the movie studios. Read more about what DVD titles are commercially available with audio description at the Audio Description Project.
Videos from BTBL will never appear in Talking Book Topics (TBT) or Braille Book Review (BBR). The videos from BTBL are a local collection only available to BTBL patrons. TBT and BBR are bi-monthly magazines published by the National Library Service National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS). Since videos are a part of BTBL's collection, and not NLS's collection, you will never see our videos advertised in these publications.
Thanks to a special $10,000 grant from Sacramento's Kelly Foundation we have been able to purchase described movies and circulation accessories in order to create this inaugural collection. We are grateful to the Kelly Foundation and to the California State Library Foundation for their continuous support and management of BTBL funds. We hope this new service is successful and that we will find opportunities to purchase new descriptive video titles to add to the collection in future months and years.
- Borrowers must be registered and active patrons in good standing with the Braille and Talking Book Library.
- Patrons may borrow a maximum of four descriptive video titles at a time.
- The loan period is 5 weeks. There will be no renewals.
- Videos may be requested in the same way you request books: in person, by telephone, by email or through the online BTBL Catalog. There is no limit to the number of requests patrons may place on file for future loan. The first available descriptive video on a borrower's request list will be sent automatically each time a title is returned.
- Videos loaned to individuals are for personal use only, and are not intended for group viewing. Videos may be loaned to organizations or groups, including nursing homes, libraries, schools or teachers solely for viewing by individuals eligible for BTBL services. Patrons or institutions may not charge fees for anyone attending a showing of any descriptive videos loaned by the Braille and Talking Book Library.
- Due to high demand, descriptive video titles may not be reserved for special dates.
- Descriptive video titles should be mailed back to the Braille and Talking Book Library after viewing by turning over the mailing card so the Library's address is facing up. DVDs may be mailed free of charge when "Free Matter for the Blind" is imprinted on each container's mailing card.
- Abuse of the video lending service, including but not limited to, violation of these policies, repeated overdues, lost materials, or damaged discs may result in suspension of video service to a borrower.