For Arlington Residents who are Unable to Read Print or Hold a Book
The National Library Service provides free, specially recorded, unabridged books and listening equipment to qualified blind and physically handicapped recipients.
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday: By Appointment
Please Note: During Central Library's Renovation, there may be delays in Talking Books Service due to limited access to the Talking Books collection. Please send your requests 2 days before visiting the library to pick up your books.
How Does it Work?
- The Library lends registered patrons a free digital player and digital books.
- Digital books are mailed to patrons in special cases, and include prepaid return postage.
- Patrons can request specific titles or ask staff to select titles for them.
- Borrowing period is 6 weeks.
- No late fines.
- Patrons must be Arlington residents.
- Patrons must be unable to read print books due to visual or physical disability.
- Application must be signed by a certifying authority.
How to Register
Download and print application, or request application be mailed to you.
Return completed and signed application to Central Library's Talking Books Service Office:
Mail: Talking Books Service, Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington VA 22201
What Books Are Available?
The National Library Service (NLS) also provides Braille and Audio Books
- Braille – Braille books and magazines on paper are delivered directly to your door at no cost.
- Talking books and magazines – Audiobooks and audio magazines are delivered to your door at no cost. You return them the same way, through postage-free mail. Digital talking-book players are also provided for free to patrons.
- Music — NLS provides music appreciation materials, music scores, and music instruction in braille, audio, and large print.
A free downloadable program for eligible Talking Books customers which allows you to download books directly to your computer, smart phone or other digital device. Application and instructions.
Patrons may download braille and talking books through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), a web-based service that provides access to thousands of braille and talking books, magazines, and music scores available. Braille and talking books and magazines may be also downloaded through the BARD Mobile app, which requires connection to a refreshable braille display via a Bluetooth connection.
Learn about free Digital Audiobook Players from the National Library Service.
Arlington Public Library also provides:
- Audiobooks on CD are available for borrowing from most Library locations.
- eAudiobooks can be downloaded to your home computer or portable device from our eCollection.