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Talking Books/Special Needs Library

Talking Books Librarian Jerry Reynolds and visitor

Do you or does someone you know have difficulty holding, handling or reading a regular print book because of a visual or physical disability? You or your friend may be eligible to receive free services from the Talking Books / Special Needs Library.

The library’s collection of books on cassette includes mysteries, westerns, romances, biographies, travel, current events, how-to, children's and young adult books, and even books in foreign languages. You can select your reading materials from a large print or recorded catalog at home.

Readers may subscribe to over 40 different popular magazines.

Talking Books materials are mailed to readers postage free and return postage is free. The special equipment needed for this service is lent to customers at no charge.

Customer Services

Online Catalog
The Online Catalog of the Florida Braille and Talking Book Libraries.
Closed Caption Movie Series
The Talking Book/Special Needs Library will be showing a movie in Closed Caption for the deaf, hearing impaired, their friends and family on the first Thursday of each month. Movies will start at 10:30 a.m. and be shown in the Auditorium on the Conference Level of the Main Library. To view our current schedule, click here.
Described Movie Series
The Talking Book/Special Needs Library will be showing a Described Movie program for the blind, visually impaired and senior citizens. This program is currently being held in the Main Library Auditorium on the third Friday of each month at 10:00 a.m. To view our current schedule, click here.
The Insight: The Talking Books Newsletter
Want to get the latest news from TBL? Click below:
News Updates
Adult, children's and association newsletters with local and national information and resources of interest to the visually and physically impaired. Available in large print and on cassette.

Jacksonville Talking Book Library &
Council on Elder Affairs blog

Image of blog logo

Descriptive Videos
Great movies in VHS or DVD format with narration during pauses in the dialogue for people with visual impairments. Click here to view a screen reader friendly catalog.
Disability Resource Collection
Print books, pamphlets, periodicals, videotapes and other materials related to disabilities.
Interlibrary Loan
We can borrow Braille and recorded materials not owned by our system from another library for your use.
Information and Referral Files
Information about community and national resources for people with disabilities.

For further information about our service, please consult the Florida Division of Blind Services website.

Technology for Customer Assistance

The Talking Books/Special Needs Library has many technologies available to assist the visually or hearing impaired.

For the visually impaired:
  • JAWS for Windows is available at the Talking Books/Special Needs Library and on the 2nd floor of the Main Library. Both locations provide Kurzweil 1000 and scanning technology for customers using JAWS. (To use this software, the customer should get trained at the Independent Living for Adult Blind or an equivalent school, as staff will be unable to train visitors.)

    Customers at a branch location where JAWS is not offered, may use the free, online, screen-reading program Satogo which features a lot of the same key commands and features as JAWS.

  • OpenBook is available at the Talking Books/Special Needs Library.

  • Kurzweil3000 is available at the Talking Books/Special Needs Library.

  • 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.

  • VideoEye substantially magnifies print or any object. It is available at the Talking Books/Special Needs Library and at the Highlands Branch Library.

  • 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.

How to Apply

Application forms and additional information are available by calling our office at (904) 630-1999. You may also stop by our location in the Main Library at 303 N. Laura St. Please call for walk-in service.

You may use this FILLABLE PDF APPLICATION to type your information and then print the form.

Jacksonville Public Library
Talking Books / Special Needs Library

303 North Laura St
(Conference Level of Main Library)
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Map Location and Driving Directions
Phone: (904) 630-1999
TDD: (904) 630-2740
Florida Relay: 711
Monday, Thursday, & Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat & Sun: CLOSED