Talking Book Library3804 S. Manhattan Ave.
Tampa, FL 33611
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Talking Book Library Catalog
A resident of Florida who has any one of the following physical conditions is available for this special service:
- Blind persons whose visual acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
- Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, prevents the reading of standard material.
- Inability to hold a book, turn pages, or focus on printed material because of muscle or nerve deterioration, or paralysis. Examples of physical disabilities where these conditions are present are: cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, and poliomyelitis
- The condition qualifying a person for this free library service may be temporary, as in recuperation from eye surgery.
- Persons certified by competent authority* as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
* In cases of reading disability, competent authority is defined as D.M. (doctors of medicine) or D.O. (doctors of osteopathy).
What Is Available
Talking books recorded on digital cartridge, cassette tape and in braille. Downloadable audiobooks available via the NLS Bard site. Magazines recorded on cassette tape and in braille. Specially designed digital players, cassette players and other accessories are provided. Materials are loaned free, and are mailed "Free Matter for the Blind or Physically Handicapped". Service is also available to institutions serving eligible individuals.
Readers may choose bestsellers, westerns, romances, classics, mysteries, and a wide variety of non-fiction such as biographies, history, politics, and science. Among the many popular magazines are Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated.
How to Apply
- The application for Talking Book Library service, which can be obtained online (English :: Spanish) from the Talking Book Library, Division of Blind Services Offices, and public libraries, should be completed. The application must be signed by a professional familiar enough with the applicant to certify eligibility (See application for guidelines).
- The application should be sent to the Talking Book Library. After the application has been processed by the Library, the applicant will receive the following:
- A Talking Book digital and/or cassette player.
- A packet containing catalogs of magazines and books, and information about the procedure for ordering and returning material to the Library.
- A subscription to Talking Book Topics, a bi-monthly magazine which announces the latest library news and books. A person specifying an interest in braille material will receive a similar publication, Braille Book Review.
- What does service cost?
- What if my equipment stops working?
- Must I come to the library to check out Talking Books?
- Are services available online?
Talking Book Library service is free. All machines and materials are on loan. Machines are loaned for as long as needed, books are loaned for one month. Postage is not necessary.
Contact the Talking Book Library. Another machine will be mailed to you.
Talking Book service is provided directly to your home by mail, postage free. We also welcome your visit to the library!
Yes! You may order materials via the online catalog. Contact the Talking Book Library for your User ID and Password.
You may also download books and magazines via the NLS BARD program. A How to download from BARD YouTube video by the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services explains how the BARD program works. The first step would be to apply for a BARD account (available only to active Talking Book Library customers with accounts in good standing).
You may also e-mail book orders or ask general Talking Book Library questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Hillsborough County Talking Book Library
The Hillsborough County Talking Book Library is a subregional library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This free program provides recorded and braille books and magazines to people who are blind, visually impaired or physically handicapped. The service area is limited to Hillsborough County.
Eligible participants are loaned non-commercial, unabridged books on digital cartridges and cassette tapes, developed to play on specially designed playback machines, many of which have specific features for the physically challenged. Apart from partial or total blindness, or a physical disability making one unable to hold or use print materials, there is also the possibility of short term service for people undergoing eye surgery or those in traction.
While on the program, machine and materials are loaned free of charge. The machines and books are sent postage free through the regular mail. Readers select books from regularly delivered catalogs, which are sent every two months in either large print or braille format. Collections of books on specific topics (ie: mysteries, romances, science fiction, the classics, etc.) are also available, as are magazine subscriptions.
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