About the Ohio Library for the Blind & Print Disabled

OLBPD Reader’s Handbook

For new and current readers that offers a descriptive and detailed orientation to all of the services provided to readers of the Ohio Library for the Blind and Print Disabled. Audio and print copies of the handbook are available to OLBPD patrons upon request. Access the OLBPD Reader’s Handbook (DOCX) and the braille format of our OLBPD Reader’s Handbook.


OLBPD patrons can expect to borrow audio and braille books and magazines such as they might find in print at a local public library. OLBPD also lends described DVD’s and Blu-Ray titles, as well as Playaway pre-loaded digital audio books. OLBPD does not lend large print books. Cleveland Public Library houses a large print collection. Check with your local public library for books in large print.

Equipment and Accessories

OLBPD works in partnership with the State Library of Ohio Talking Book Program. The State Library of Ohio Talking Book Program acts as the machine lending agency loaning equipment and accessories to eligible participants for the State of Ohio. Equipment available includes digital talking book players in standard and advanced models, as well as player accessories such as headphones, flash drive elbow adapters, pillow speaker, breath switch, and a specialized high-volume player and headphones for patrons with significant hearing loss.

Downloading Books

BARD, the Braille and Audio Recordings Download service, offers downloadable books and magazines for patrons who are unable to read regular print due to a visual, print, or physical disability. BARD is a service offered by OLBPD and the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress. New titles are added regularly, including a growing number of locally produced materials.

The BARD Mobile app for Apple is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It allows users to download and listen to talking books and to read braille books using a braille display. The BARD Mobile app for Android (including Amazon Kindle Fire devices) is also available that allows users access to audio materials on their Android devices. BARD Mobile can be downloaded through the App Store, Google Play store, and Amazon Appstore. BARD Express is a free Windows-based application that simplifies searching for, downloading, and transferring audio materials from BARD to a cartridge or a USB flash drive for playback on a digital player. An active BARD account is required to download, install, and use BARD Express.

Selecting Materials

Catalogs and special booklists, updated regularly, keep readers informed about new books. “Talking Book Topics” and “Braille Book Review” are bimonthly publications that inform patrons of new acquisitions and related library services. Patrons who do not wish to select books can have the library select for them based on subject interests. Messages and requests are taken 24 hours a day on a toll-free telephone line: 1-800-362-1262 or by emailing olbpd@cpl.org.

The OLBPD online public access catalog (OPAC) allows readers who have a computer with Internet access to search OLBPD’s collection of books, place reserves, make service requests, update their reading interest and patron information, and much more. In order to make requests and service changes, patrons will need a user name and password provided by OLBPD. Simply contact OLBPD for your user name and password that can be used immediately.

Reference Services

OLBPD has information resources related to blindness and disabilities. Residents throughout the state are encouraged to contact OLBPD for reference assistance on these topics.

Outreach Services

OLBPD patrons receive the “OLBPD Dimensions” newsletter that features announcements, resources, and service updates. OLBPD also hosts a yearly program called Family Fun and Learning Day, where patrons and friends are invited to visit OLBPD for a full day of programs of interest, learn and try adaptive technology, and speak to staff about their service. OLBPD also offers small deposit collections of braille and talking books for loan or demonstrations for public libraries and schools. OLBPD is also available to provide talks about our library service to public service agencies or other groups who serve people that could benefit from OLBPD library service. OLBPD provides applications and display posters about our service upon request.


OLBPD currently has a need for volunteers to help us inspect returned books. Volunteers are also needed throughout the year to help with addressing newsletters and special mailings to patrons, and narrating locally produced materials. Training is provided. For more information about volunteering, please contact OLBPD.