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Talking Book Library - General Information


The Pinellas Talking Book Library's mission is to encourage and support reading by providing free library services to residents for whom conventional print is a barrier.

Eligibility for Service

The following persons are eligible for service:

  1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
  2. Other physically handicapped persons are eligible as follows:
    1. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material
    2. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
    3. Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

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.

For a full description of eligibility, equipment, and materials, visit the NLS website.


Pinellas Public Library Cooperative | 1330 Cleveland Street | Clearwater, FL 33755-5103 | Phone: (727) 441-8408 | Fax: (727) 441-8938