Services - Visually Impaired

Digital talking book player

Do you know someone who cannot read due to a visual or physical disability?
The Talking Book Center provides free access to recorded, large-print and Braille books to people of all ages who cannot read due to a visual or physical disability.

The Homer Library is the place for Talking Book needs!

  1. Stop by the front desk to pick up a Talking Book application.
  2. Take the application to a healthcare provider, to certify eligibility.
  3. Mail your completed application to the Talking Book Center.

How is the Talking Book Center possible?
The Talking Book Center is a joint effort between the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Alaska State Library.

Who is eligible?
The Talking Book Center serves individuals of all ages who have a visual or physical disability that limits use of standard print.  The application must be approved before joining this program.  Please feel free to contact the library with questions.

How is service started?
Application forms are available online at the Talking Book Center or upon request at the Homer Public Library.  Fill out the application and take it to a healthcare professional, to certify your eligibility.  Mail your completed application to The Talking Book Center.  After receiving your application they will loan you a digital player for your use.  The Talking Book Center then works with you to determine your reading preferences and how often you want to receive shipments of books.

How do you find books to borrow?
The National Library Service provides a complete listing of titles in its catalog on the World Wide Web.  You can receive paper or recorded catalogs and bibliographies in the mail to help you select books.

You may also receive Talking Book Topics, an NLS newsletter that describes the newest cassette books.  This publication includes and easy order form to request titles.  Braille Book Review, which tells about the newest books produced in both Braille and cassette formats.

Specific books
If there is a specific book you want but cannot identify in a catalog or newsletter, you can contact the Center to see if it is available through interlibrary loan.

The Library of Congress Website

National Library Services for the Blind and Handicapped
Individual patrons who have high-speed internet access may also sign up for Braille & Audio Downloads (BARD) from the National Library Services for the Blind and Handicapped website.  Please contact the Talking Book Center or your local library for more information.

How does this service work?

  • Books are automatically sent according to the frequency you marked on your reader profile.
  • Books are mailed to you.
  • Postage is free.
  • The loan period is one month.
  • No fines are charged for overdue books.  You can always request a title again.
  • Turn-around service is a popular choice with many readers.  When your returned books arrive at the Center, staff select and ship the same number of books to you, so a fresh supply is always on hand or in the mail to you.