Georgians have access to a free national library program that offers digital talking-book players and books and magazines in audio format or Braille through the Georgia Library for Accessible Services (GLASS), Georgia’s Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
These materials are provided by the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS) to eligible persons with a visual or physical disability. All reading material and playback equipment is sent to borrowers and returned by postage-free mail.
Who is eligible for the service?
- Anyone who is unable to read or handle standard printed materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical disability.
- Persons who are legally blind or cannot see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with glasses.
- Persons who are unable to hold or turn pages of print books.
- Persons who are certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability.
To apply for GLASS, please fill out this application for GLASS services and return it to 55 Park Place NE Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30303.
What is available?
- Books: Recorded and braille books from a national collection that includes a variety of popular interest writings such as bestsellers, classics, mysteries, biographies, westerns, children’s books, and foreign language materials.
Search the catalog for books
- Magazines: Library patrons can also subscribe to over seventy popular magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, and National Geographic.
Search the catalog for magazines
- Equipment and Accessories: Special playback equipment is needed to listen to the books and magazines produced by NLS. This equipment is lent to eligible users free of charge for as long as the individual is a user of the reading material provided by NLS and its cooperating libraries. Accessories are available which will help readers with limited mobility or hearing impairment use the equipment.
- Book Reviews and Catalogs: Registered borrowers learn about new books added to the collection through two bimonthly publications, Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review. These are available in large print, recorded, or braille format.
- Music: Recorded music is not available through the NLS library program. However, such material is often available from local public libraries. (Click here to see Cobb County Library’s music collection.) A collection of musical scores in braille and large print; textbooks and books about music in large print and braille; and elementary instruction for voice, piano, organ, guitar, recorder, accordion, banjo and harmonica are available in recorded form directly from NLS. If you’re a GLASS patron you can call NLS for music instruction materials at 1-800-424-8567
- BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download): BARD is a free library service of downloadable braille and audio reading material for those who are unable to read or use standard printed material because of visual or physical disabilities. BARD provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores. The site is password-protected. All files are downloadable as compressed audio or formatted eBraille files. To access BARD, you must first apply to GLASS. Once you’re a GLASS patron, you can apply for BARD.
Cobb County is served by GLASS Atlanta located at 55 Park Place NE Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30303. You can reach GLASS Atlanta at 404-657-1452 or 1-800-248-6701.