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Talking Book Library

Talking Book Library
3804 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa, Florida 33611

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Talking Book Library Catalog

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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).

How to Apply

  1. 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).
  2. 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:
    1. A Talking Book digital player.
    2. A packet containing catalogs of magazines and books, and information about the procedure for ordering and returning material to the Library.
    3. A subscription to Talking Book Topics, a bimonthly 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.


  1. What does this service cost?
  2. 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.

  3. Who can apply?
  4. All residents of Hillsborough County who meet the eligibility requirements. Service is also available to institutions serving eligible individuals.

  5. What if my equipment stops working?
  6. Contact the Talking Book Library. Another machine will be mailed to you.

  7. Must I come to the library to check out Talking Books?
  8. Talking Book service is provided directly to your home by mail, postage free.

  9. Are services available online?
  10. 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. 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 to talkingbooks@hillsboroughcounty.org.

  11. What is available?
  12. Books recorded on digital cartridge, and in braille. Downloadable audiobooks available via the NLS Bard site. Magazines recorded on digital cartridge and in braille. Specially designed digital players and accessories are provided. Readers select books from regularly delivered catalogs, which are sent every two months in either large print or audio format.

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, a service of the Library of Congress