What Can Be Borrowed

A smiling woman reading a braille book.


Our book collection contains thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles, including classics, biographies, romances, mysteries, westerns, science fiction, cookbooks, politics, history, and much more! Books are on digital cartridge (DB), and in braille (BR). The loan period for books is 5 weeks for individuals and 3 months for institutions. Use the online resources listed below to find books:


Our magazine collection contains many popular titles such as National Geographic, The Week, Health & Nutrition Newsletters, and many more! Magazines are on digital (DB), in braille (BR), and for download from BARD. Use the online resources listed below to find magazines:

  • Talking Book Topics / Braille Book Review: Bi-monthly catalog from NLS lists current magazines available
  • Search BARD: Free download of audio and braille magazines
  • Other Magazines Additional magazine titles may be available through other organizations and may include publications from specific locales. Some of these magazine titles charge a subscription fee.

Contact BTBL to manage magazine subscriptions. Magazines subscriptions usually take 6-8 weeks to initiate, cancel or change the address. Magazines subscriptions cannot be placed on hold temporarily. If a magazine is returned by the post office as undeliverable, your subscription will automatically be cancelled.

Descriptive Videos

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. BTBL offers a DVD collection of descriptive videos that patron may borrow for a five-week checkout. Please visit our Descriptive Video Service page for more information.


BTBL offers access to NFB-NEWSLINE, a touch-tone telephone service for patrons who cannot read a printed newspaper. NFB-NEWSLINE converts text from newspapers across the country to synthetic speech. This service is available through local phone numbers statewide and now features online and email options. Please contact BTBL for further information or assistance with newspaper service.

Some local newspapers and magazines, narrated by volunteers, are available to our patrons through the Access News service run by the Society for the Blind in Sacramento. These publications will be of most interest to residents of the Sacramento and Central Valleys. Please contact Society for the Blind to sign up for this free service.

Print Collection on Blindness and Disability

A small print collection of books about blindness and other disabilities is available for checkout by State of California employees and other holders of a California State Library card. BTBL customers can borrow print books on blindness, visual disabilities, and other physical disabilities through interlibrary loan from their public and/or academic libraries.


The library does not have recordings of music. Musical scores and instructional materials are available in special formats, including braille or audio music instruction, and braille, audio, or large print sheet music. Some music instruction materials are also available for download from BARD. For more information on music materials, please contact the Music Section of NLS at (800) 424-8567 or online at the NLS Music Section.


BTBL loans digital book machines and accessories free of charge to patrons for the duration of their service. Any loaned equipment must be returned to BTBL for repairs, or if service is cancelled.