Applications for Talking Book Services Illinois State Library

That All May Read! The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) and the Illinois State Library's Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) strive to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons access to NLS materials regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise. Watch a promotional video from NLS »


To apply for the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service, please complete an application form (provided below) and mail to:

Illinois State Library
Gwendolyn Brooks Building
300 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1796


The following persons are eligible for service:

Certifying Authority

In cases of blindness, visual impairment, or physical limitations, "competent authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine; doctors of osteopathy; ophthalmologists; optometrists; registered nurses; therapists; and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or private welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any person whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress.

In the case of reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines. Additional information regarding "Competent Authority" is provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the following URL:

Lending of Materials and Classes of Borrowers

In the lending of books, recordings, playback equipment, musical scores, instructional texts, and other specialized materials, preference shall be given at all times to the needs of the blind and other physically handicapped persons who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States.

The reading materials and playback equipment for the use of blind and physically handicapped persons may be loaned to individuals who qualify, to institutions such as nursing homes and hospitals, and to schools for the blind or physically handicapped for the use by such persons only. The reading materials and playback equipment may also be used in public or private schools where handicapped students are enrolled; however, the students in public or private schools must be certified as eligible on an individual basis and must be the direct and only recipients of the materials and equipment.