The Talking Book Program Helps Children with Reading Disabilities

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Austin, TX

Having a child struggle with reading can be a daunting task. Parents often look for ways to help students achieve success through tutors or extra long study days, but frustration often sets in when success stalls—destroying the joy of reading. The Talking Book Program (TBP) can give students and parents the extra tools to regain that joy of reading, free of charge.

TBP provides digital audio, large print and Braille books and magazines to Texans who cannot read standard print due to a qualifying visual, physical or reading disability. Services for students are available both at home and in the classroom. TBP is a division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and has served Texans with disabilities since 1931. Texas was one of the first states to join the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress.

The collection includes titles for all ages, including literary classics, fairy tales, poetry, mysteries, sports, science fiction and biographies. Books are available on digital cartridge, in Braille and in large print. TBP cartridges are made for use only with special playback equipment (available for loan from TBP) in order to protect copyright and provide more listening time. Many Newbery, Caldecott, Bluebonnet and Lone Star award-winning titles are also available. Most of our materials are provided by NLS, a program administered by the Library of Congress. To supplement the national collection, volunteers have recorded hundreds of books about Texas and the Southwest, along with Spanish-language titles and children's books.

Books may also be downloaded online via the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service and through iOS and Android mobile apps. The downloadable collection contains more than 110,000 books and more than 80 magazines in Braille and audio formats, and it is growing rapidly. TBP loans playback equipment free of charge for use with our recorded books.

In addition to providing books, TBP also offers many national magazines that students can use in school and recreation. These include National Geographic Kids, Seventeen, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Spider, Conundrum and others. Not all magazines are available in all formats. A list of available magazines is provided upon registration. For more information, visit or call 1-800-252-9605.


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit

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Susan Floyd
Communications Officer
Page last modified: September 16, 2019