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Talking Books

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

  1. The Online Catalog of the Florida Braille and Talking Book Libraries.

  2. Talking Books Movies Series - Described and Closed Caption

    The Talking Books/Special Needs Library is hosting a free movie in described format in the Main Library Hicks Auditorium.



    Friday, July 14 @ 10:30 a.m.

    Strange Magic, a Described Movie Presentation

    Strange Magic (Comedy, Adventure, Animation)

    Goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

    Printable Flier



    Friday, August 18 @ 10:30 a.m.

    The Good Dinosaur, a Described Movie Presentation

    The Good Dinosaur (Comedy, Adventure, Animation)

    In a world where dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

    Printable Flier

  3. The Insight: The Talking Books Newsletter

    Printer-friendly version

    Text-only version

  4. Archived The Insight: Talking Books Newsletter

  5. Jacksonville Talking Book Library & Council on Elder Affairs blog

  6. Disability Resource Collection
    Print books, pamphlets, periodicals, videotapes and other materials related to disabilities.

  7. Interlibrary Loan
    We can borrow Braille and recorded materials not owned by our system from another library for your use.

  8. 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.

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 4th floor of the Main Library.  (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.)

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

  • 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

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

Jacksonville Public Library