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Welcome

Welcome to the Web Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) for the Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH). Please feel free to browse our collection and view the wealth of materials available by author, title or subject. You must have an account with BPH to reserve books and place them in your cart. If you need an application, or have other questions, contact the library by email at bph@apls.state.al.us or call us TOLL FREE in Alabama at 800-392-5671 or at 334-213-3906. Applications can be downloaded directly from this link: http://www.loc.gov/nls/pdf/application.pdf>http://www.loc.gov/nls/pdf/application.pdf

History

The Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) has been serving the state’s visually impaired residents for more than a century. Initially, Alabama patrons were served through a facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. E.H. Gentry, former State Supervisor of Vocational Rehabilitation and later President of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, was instrumental in moving the library services for the blind from Atlanta to Talladega in 1964. In 1978, the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) in Montgomery, Alabama, added an addition to its existing structure. Today, the Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) is located on the ground floor of the APLS building. In 2018, BPH reached its 40th year of operation as a division of APLS.

In its early years, BPH had five subregional libraries located in Talladega at Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), and in public libraries in Anniston, Dothan, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa. Those libraries, along with the regional office, first provided audio books to residents. They later included titles in Braille.

With the responsibility of providing services to residents of the state who are blind, visually impaired, or have a physical disability which prevents them from holding printed material, BPH serves more than 7,200 active patrons. The remaining subregional libraries in Huntsville and Talladega service their own patrons. Together, the libraries give at least 8,000 (as of October 30, 2019) eligible residents in Alabama an opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of reading.

BPH provides digital recordings of books on cartridges—along with the equipment on which to play them—to patrons who meet the criteria for service. Once an application is received and approved, the patron does not have to come to BPH—all materials are mailed to them and they are allowed to keep the cartridges for three months. No fines are assessed for overdue or lost materials. All circulating material and equipment is free and provided through the National Library Service (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress.

BPH also has an extensive collection of Braille materials. For example, The Bible is available in at least 15 to 25 large bound volumes and all are mailed directly to eligible patrons upon request at no charge.

BPH staff have fully adopted the motto of the National Library Service (NLS) --- That All May Read!

The marker from our building. The main entrance for our building.

BPH Consumer Advisory Committee: To Grow and to Serve

BPH Volunteer Recognition 2019.

The Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) Consumer Advisory Committee has a solid purpose. It was organized to give advice and make recommendations to BPH, the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), and, when appropriate, to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The Committee also serves as an advocate for the promotion and further growth of library services for all blind and physically handicapped individuals in conjunction with APLS and BPH. Pictured above are Committee members surrounded by BPH volunteers and staff during the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Program.

Donations made to the BPH Consumer Advisory Committee go a long way in providing promotional materials about library services, as well as new products for library patrons. As you make plans throughout the year for giving to various causes, please remember the work of the Consumer Advisory Committee of the Alabama Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH). For additional information about the BPH Consumer Advisory Committee, contact the BPH regional librarian at 334-213-3906.

Useful Links

Application for Service
BARD login
Browse BPH catalog
Other Resources Available from BPH