The Talking Book Program

Exhibit case with the Talking Book Program display of various play-back machines plus large-print and Braille books available for Texans who are unable to read regular books.The Talking Book Program is a free library service providing books and magazines to people who are unable to read standard print because of a visual, physical, or reading disability.

Talking Book Program (TBP) has offered this library service for more than 80 years. In March 1931, TBP joined the National Library Service, a division of the Library of Congress.

Readers can download books and magazines online and play them on a TBP player. Books and magazines in Braille, audio, and large print format are also available by mail.

All of TBP’s services are free. TBP loans books and players at no cost and TBP’s readers do not pay for return postage.
Eligible veterans receive priority service.

This player reads a digitally recorded audio book on an electronic chip inside the white plastic cartridge. Beginning 2012, all new audiobooks are on a digital flash memory cartridge like the one shown in the blue container. Any book will fit onto just one cartridge. These books are played in the machine shown on the left.

TBP puts an average of 4,500 books in the mail every weekday. serving 18,000 readers who live all across the state of Texas.
In the fiscal year ending August 2010, TBP circulated 917,816 books and magazines.

For more information, please click on  You may also call us at 463-5458 in Austin, or call us on the toll-free number in Texas 1-800-252-9605.

Please Visit

This page offers only a sampling of what you will find in this exhibit. To learn more and to view the play-back machines used now and in the program's history please visit our lobby in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Library and Archives Building located just east of the Texas State Capitol at 1201 Brazos Street in Austin. The lobby is open from Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Page last modified: May 20, 2016