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That All May Read @ The Colorado Talking Book Library

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3D rendering of a forming puzzle with the word Community
Franck Boston

What do you do when reading becomes very difficult? Ask people to read your mail, newspaper or books? Hopefully, someone knows and shares with you, the best kept secret in Colorado. For over 85 years, the Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) in Denver has provided free library service to print disabled residents in Colorado.

Library service includes audio, Braille, and large print books, delivered directly to your residence postage paid. How great is that! It is awesome, especially when one cannot read a book or magazine due to a visual, physical or learning disability. Books are sent automatically based on reading interests.

Who is eligible for CTBL services? Anyone who cannot read standard print which can be caused by blindness or low vision, such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, cataracts, or glaucoma. Physical disabilities, such as diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, traumatic brain injury, as well as learning disabilities. Persons eligible for CTBL services must register with CTBL by completing an application before service can begin. CTBL applications must be signed certifying authority such as a service provider, your support group leader or a doctor. Applications are available by calling CTBL or online on the website  Just click on the “Getting Started” button.

A player for the books is provided as part of the service at no charge. Additionally, books can be downloaded from BARD with the use of BARD Mobile for iOS or Android. More information can be provided on request.

CTBL has an in-house recording studio to record books of local interest, by local authors, and patrons’ requests. It produces about 60 books and 3 magazines per year. They are read and recorded by some 45 volunteers. CTBL uses about 200 volunteers to assist with every aspect of the library, as in the studios, mailroom, machine repair shop, and in processing the library’s mailings. Many volunteers have been with CTBL for 15, 25, and even 30 years.

CTBL is part of the Colorado State Library, a division of the Colorado Department of Education. CTBL partners with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) at the Library of Congress. Every state has a similar library which creates a national network of libraries. If a patron moves to another state, their patron record is transferred to that state so they will not be without service. If you know friends or family in another state who needs the service, CTBL can provide the contact information.

For more information or to donate to the library, please contact CTBL at 800-685-2136 toll free or at

Reading is truly for all! …even for those who cannot read the printed word.

* This is not an AARP event. Any information you provide to the host organization will be governed by its privacy policy.

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