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). The application cannot be submitted online. Please print and mail, fax or scan and mail to:

Illinois State Library
Gwendolyn Brooks Building
300 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1796
Fax: 217−782−9995

Eligibility of blind and other print-disabled persons for loan of library materials

The following people are eligible for service: residents of the United States, including territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia, and American citizens living abroad, provided they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. An individual who is blind or has a visual impairment that makes them unable to comfortably read print books.
  2. An individual who has a perceptual or reading disability.
  3. An individual who has a physical disability that makes it hard to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes as needed to read a print book.

Please see for the full eligibility terminology.

Certifying Authority

Eligibility must be certified by one of the following: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, or professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).

Lending of Materials and Classes of Borrowers

Veterans: Persons who are blind or have a print disability who have been honorably discharged from the United States military receive preference in the lending of books, recordings, playback equipment, musical scores, instructional texts, and specialized materials (Public Law 89-522).

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.