The Talking Books Library loans audiobooks and magazines, along with a player, FREE by mail to persons who have difficulty reading or using printed books and other materials because of blindness, or visual, physical or reading disabilities. Customers can also request Braille books for free.
Talking Books are full length, unabridged books on digital cartridges or in Braille available for loan to eligible readers of all ages and interests, beginning with pre‑school. The Talking Books collection includes current bestsellers, romance and mystery novels, literary fiction, non‑fiction such as science and history, print/Braille books for young readers and over 70 current magazine subscriptions.
Any United States resident of any age who meets one of the following criteria is eligible for Talking Books services. The eligibility criterion is established by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress .
- Legal blindness.
- Visual disability that makes it difficult to read or use standard printed materials; large print readers are also eligible for Talking Books services.
- Physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or turn pages.
- Reading disability.
- Institutions that serve eligible individuals.
For persons who are blind or have a visual or physical disability, a doctor, nurse, social worker or other authority must certify eligibility. For persons with a reading disability, only doctors of medicine or osteopathy can certify eligibility.
All Talking Books services are free—including the loan of books, magazines, a special digital player and all postage.
To register with Talking Books, you must fill out the application form and have it certified for eligibility.
To get an application form:
- Call Talking Books
- Visit the library
- Print out the Talking Books Application. Mail or bring the completed application to the Talking Books Library (303 Laura St. N, Jacksonville, FL 32202). For alternative formats of the application form, please contact the Talking Books Manager at 630-BOOK.
The Talking Books catalog is available online at the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library and in large print, audio and Braille format. Staff is available to discuss reading preferences and assist with book selections.
Registered Talking Books patron can request books and magazines:
- Through the Online Catalog with their ID and password
- By mailing, calling, faxing or e‑mailing the Talking Books Library
Patrons can register for BARD to access digital downloads of books and magazines. Contact Talking Books for more information.
Florida Relay: 711
Special Needs Library
Technology for Customer Assistance
The Special Needs Services has many technologies available to assist the visually or hearing impaired located in the Center for Adult Learning.
For the visually impaired:
- JAWS for Windows  is available at the Center for Adult Learning. To use this software, the customer should get trained at the Vision Education and Rehabilitation Center or an equivalent school, as staff will be unable to train visitors.
- Zoomtext is available at Main and all branches at the ADT compatible workstations. Windows has accessibility features on all the other computers. Call your nearest location for more information.
- A Closed Circuit Television Magnifier is available at the Beaches Branch Library.
- Hand-held magnifying glasses are available throughout the Jacksonville Public Library system.
For the hearing impaired:
Sorenson Video Relay System  is available at Main and all branches for people who want to use American Sign Language. The Florida Relay Service (711) is available on all standard telephones.