Services for the Blind and Print Disabled
For the 2023 Talking Books newsletter with clickable links to NLS services, please click here.
The Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library services for blind and print disabled individuals are provided free to anyone meeting the eligibility requirements. We provide these for people with special needs in Wood , Pleasants, Ritchie, Calhoun, Wirt, Roane, Jackson, and Tyler counties.
If you or someone you know is unable to use standard printed materials because of a visual, physical, or reading disability, you may be qualified for free library services through the Talking Books Library. This service is offered by the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
What is a Talking Books Library and What Do We Offer?
Books on Digital Cartridge are the most frequently requested service, and they are provided through the postal mail free of charge.
These recorded books are played on a special machine that is furnished to eligible patrons by the West Virginia Library Commission.
Choose from current best sellers, mysteries, romances westerns, classics, children’s books, biographies, and historical novels, as well as books about history, science, psychology, inspirational materials, and The Bible.
Individuals who qualify for the program also have access to over 40 popular and special interest magazines including People, Money, Sports Illustrated and Consumer Reports. These magazines are produced on digital cartridge and delivered through the mail.
Who is Eligible for Service?
+ People of all ages who are unable to read regular print due to blindness or a visual disability.
+ People of all ages who are unable to hold books or turn pages due to a physical disability.
+ People of all ages who have cognitive or reading disability.
These disabilities do not have to be permanent for you to qualify for the service. Persons with a temporary disability, such as impairment due to accident or surgery, are also eligible. Residents of nursing or personal care homes are also eligible for this service.
To qualify, individuals must submit an application to the Talking Books department at the library that includes a referral from a medical specialist, teacher, or the librarian to attest to that person’s impairment. After enrollment and approval, cartridges are delivered free of charge through the postal mail.
How do I Apply for Myself or Someone Else?
Simply fill out the application here at the Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library, request one to be mailed to you by calling 304-420-4587, ext 23, or click below to download a copy.
Download Application (PDF)
Other NLS Services
Once you’ve been approved as an NLS patron, there are other services for which you’re eligible. You can find more information about them by visiting the links below or by reading the latest newsletter.
BARD: · https://nlsbard.loc.gov/
Braille on Demand program (requires BARD account): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLSbrailleondemand.
NLS Patron Engagement Section Zoom Calls and Email List: https://www.loc.gov/nls/about/services/
iBill Currency Reader: https://www.bep.gov/services/currency-accessibility
National Federation for the Blind Newsline: https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline
Helpful Resource Links
National Library Services for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
American Council for the Blind
National Federation of the Blind
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services
Mountain State Centers for Independent Living
(Based in Huntington, WV, the MSCIL is a nonprofit volunteer organization serving as the nation’s educational library and offering textbooks to patrons.)
American Foundation for the Blind
(AFB also offers a Braille Bug Site for children and young adults as well as games.)
Location and Hours
The Blind/Physically Handicapped Services Department is located on the bottom floor of the Emerson Library at 3100 Emerson Ave., Parkersburg, and is open to patrons Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. until noon.
You can contact the Talking Books Department directly at
Phone (304) 420-4587 ext.23
Fax (304) 420-4589
Email Form below: