Library Collection Policies

The policies below guide WTBBL in producing accessible materials, the acceptance of donations, and the process for requesting a book be produced either in audio or braille. For information about the collection policies of the National Library Service visit the Collection Building Policy page on the NLS website.

Collection Development Policy

This policy guides how WTBBL chooses books to produce:

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) adheres to the Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (American Library Association, 2017) which states: "Network libraries will acquire or produce reading materials to supplement the national collection as appropriate to their capacity and the needs of their service communities” and “materials produced in specialized formats will be in accordance with appropriate copyright laws” (p. 9). To this end, WTBBL will emphasize titles of regional and local importance. NLS and WTBBL support intellectual freedom and subscribe to the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.

Local Audio and Braille Production Overview:

WTBBL strives to produce books that will be of enduring or broad interest to a diverse group of patrons. We welcome requests to add books to the collection, in addition to our staff selections. WTBBL’s Collection Development Committee makes the final selection of books for production. Books relevant to the Pacific Northwest are most strongly considered, including but not limited to: authors closely identified with the region, novels set in the region, and histories of the cities, towns, industry, and Native peoples of the region. Northwest fiction and non-fiction, poetry, adult or juvenile materials, will all be given equal consideration. General interest titles may also be considered, if they enrich the national collection.

Selection Guidelines:

  1. WTBBL will not duplicate the efforts of NLS or other Network Libraries by knowingly producing books available from these sources. WTBBL will, however, consider producing books available only as commercial audiobooks, or only available from fee-based services, if they would make a significant contribution to the collection.
  2. General fiction materials from an established publisher with favorable reviews in professional reviewing sources (i.e., Booklist, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal) are given precedence over un-reviewed or negatively reviewed books; self-published books will be considered, with a preference to professionally edited works, positive reviews, PNW relevance, and demonstrated general interest that would benefit the national collection. Manuscripts will not be considered.
  3. General interest, non-fiction books will be evaluated on the qualification of the author, as well as the clarity, logic, and accuracy of the information being presented. While no book will be denied production based on individual or controversial viewpoints, a book may be denied production if the information being presented is out of date, has been disproven, or is not accepted as valid by the subject matter’s professional community members during professional review. Manuscripts will not be considered.
  4. Authors already produced by NLS or WTBBL that have been popular with our patrons in the past will be favorably considered, even without reviews.
  5. Washington State Book Award nominees and winners, Seattle Reads titles, and other award winners and award nominees are given priority for consideration.
  6. WTBBL may decline to produce an otherwise worthwhile book if producing it is beyond the capabilities of a braille or audio medium, or the content is beyond the capabilities of our volunteer narrators and braille transcribers; i.e., if the book is chiefly illustrations, contains charts, graphs, or other material vital to the understanding of the text, is in a language of which no available volunteers are fluent, or is of a length that would be difficult to produce in a timely manner.
  7. WTBBL primarily circulates popular fiction and general interest nonfiction and will decline to produce textbooks, reference books, or other material of limited appeal. Examples of such books would be: genealogical reference materials, extremist political or religious texts with a narrow audience, and materials that will become outdated within 3 years.
  8. Materials that expound discrimination against any group of people, encourage violence against, or threaten the rights of others will not be considered for production.

To receive serious consideration for local production in either audio or braille, a title requested by an individual or patron must meet the above guidelines.


  • Collection Development Policy: PDFWord 
  • Request Form for Reconsideration of Library Materials: PDF, Word

Materials Donation Policy

Thank you for considering the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) for your donation. We are limited in what donations we can accept. Please read our donation policy before submitting anything to us.

Donation Policy

Please call us at 1-800-542-0866 or 206-615-0400 and talk to us about your donation before you ship or drop off anything to us. Our hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.

We are not able to accept the following materials:

  • Braille material in EBAE
  • Religious materials
  • Audiobooks on CD or cassette
  • Most print books

If you are donating a book because you’d like to see it produced in braille and/or audiobook format, please consult the following prior to contacting the library:

Upon receipt, all donations become the property of WTBBL.

We reserve the right to determine retention, production format, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to the use of donated materials.

Materials not selected for inclusion in our collection may be recycled or disposed. If we are unable to accept your gift, we strongly recommend that you consider your local library or other organizations that might benefit from your donation.

Materials Donation Policy: PDF, Word

Request for Audio / Braille Production

As a Regional Network Library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), WTBBL is authorized under federal law to reproduce copyrighted materials in accessible formats for certified patrons of NLS libraries.

WTBBL adheres to a Collection Development Policy in determining which materials to produce in braille and audio formats. While the Librarians and staff of WTBBL are the primary selectors of materials for production, we also welcome suggestions of materials for production. To submit a suggestion, please review and submit the Request for production form to [email protected]