Braille and Talking Book Library
As of September 6, 2016, we will no longer be circulating cassettes (RCs). The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) announced a four-year process to withdraw and convert RC titles to digital format at all of the talking book state libraries, which began in 2012. Thousands of titles have been converted. Feel free to contact us if you discover a title is missing from a series or other inconsistency. This remains an evolving project, as some older books are unsuitable for conversion and must be re-recorded or, in some cases, removed from the conversion list. We hope you continue to enjoy our digital books on cartridges as well as books in downloadable format from the Braille and Audio Reading Download service of NLS (BARD).
The Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library provides information and reading materials in Braille and recorded audio format to Florida residents who are unable to use standard print as the result of visual, physical, or reading disabilities.
Since 1950, the bureau has been designated by the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), as the regional library for Florida. In addition, ten subregional libraries provide local services to residents of metropolitan areas. Reading materials are sent to and from customers via postage-free mail and all services are provided free.
The Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library is the largest library of its kind in the U.S. with a collection of more than 2.4 million items in Braille and audio format. The Library serves more than 31,647 Florida residents with annual loans exceeding 1.99 million items.
The Braille and Talking Books Library offers a wide range of services:
- Books are offered in Braille and recorded formats for all ages and include bestsellers, classics, mysteries, biographies, westerns, poetry, history, and other subject areas commonly represented in public library collections. Materials are available in English and many other languages.
- Magazines are sent to customers on a subscription basis and include more than 100 popular titles such as "Southern Living" and "Sports Illustrated."
- Equipment needed for the service is loaned to customers by the Library. Special cassette and digital players are required since books and magazines are recorded at slow speeds that will not play on standard commercial equipment.
- Catalogs are mailed bimonthly to inform customers about new books and magazines added to the collection. Recorded book customers usually receive Talking Book Topics, while Braille readers most often subscribe to Braille Book Review. These catalogs are used to select and order reading materials. A complete book catalog is also available at the NLS Web site.
- Bibliographies listing books available in recorded or Braille formats covering specific topics, such as Humor or Fishing, are produced to assist customers in selecting books of interest.
- Music materials, such as scores and musical textbooks in Braille and large print, are available directly from NLS.
- Print and audiovisual materials on the subjects of blindness, disability, and rehabilitation are available for research and public education.
Subregional Libraries and Recording Studios
There are currently nine subregional libraries located in:
- Cocoa (serves Brevard)
- Ft. Myers (serves Lee)
- Ft. Lauderdale (serves Broward)
- Jacksonville (serves Duval)
- Clearwater (serves Pinellas and Sarasota)
- Miami (serves Dade and Monroe)
- Orlando (serves Orange)
- Pensacola (serves Escambia)
- Lake Worth (serves Palm Beach)
The Daytona Regional Library serves patrons in all counties not listed above. You may call the Daytona Regional Library at: 1-800-226-6075.
There are five recording studios located at:
- The Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services in Daytona Beach
- Insight for the Blind in Ft. Lauderdale
- Second Sight in Stuart
- Brevard Association for the Advancement of the Blind in Satellite Beach
- Pinellas Recording Group in the Pinellas Talking book Library