Library Services in Alaska

Library Services in Alaska
Residents of Alaska who are blind and visually impaired or who cannot read print because of a physical disability can receive braille or audio books and magazines through the mail, free of charge.

People who cannot see to read a regular print book or who cannot manipulate a book because of arthritis, paralysis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or chronic fatigue syndrome, or who have a reading disability such as dyslexia qualify for services. They may borrow audio Talking Books or braille books through a special library that is part of a Library of Congress program called the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

All kinds of books are available, from mysteries to fantasies to biographies to cookbooks to children's books. Thousands of titles are in the collection for every reading taste. Magazines are also available in braille and on tape.

The patron can call his or her Talking Book Library and ask for books, or a reader advisor can select books for him. Books are sent through the mail free of charge, and when the patron is finished with them, they are returned, again postage-free. Magazines do not need to be returned.

The Talking Book libraries in some states use volunteers to record books and magazines about their state or books by authors from the state. Be sure to ask about special titles that might be recorded by Alaska volunteers and available for loan.

Some libraries have a collection of audio-described movies for children and adults. They may also use interlibrary loan to make audiobooks and other commercially-produced materials available to their patrons. Be sure to ask about these and other special services.

The Alaska Talking Book Center (see below) serves the entire state. Recorded books are distributed from the library in Anchorage, and braille books are mailed from Utah.

To find out more and request an application, call the Anchorage library (see contact information below). Request and complete the application and start reading today!

Alaska State Library
Talking Book Center
344 West Third Avenue, Suite 125
Anchorage, AK 99501
Telephone: (907)269-6575
Toll-free (In-state): (800)776-6566
FAX: (907)269-6580
Email the Anchorage library or visit their website

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