Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Special Needs Services & Collections

Special Needs Services & Collections

Check it Out - Items

Here's what's available at your Library.

  • Audio Books - We have a wide collection of audio books on CD. Just search the Catalog under format type CD to find thousands of results - you can target your results by keyword, title, author or age (juvenile, young adult or adult). These items can be placed on hold for pickup at any branch. We have Downloadables, which will allow you to download audio and visual materials to your portable device or PC from home.
  • Books - A broad collection of large type books is available. We also have Braille books for adults, young adults and juvenile readers at the Central Library. These items can be placed on hold for pickup at any location.
  • Close Captioned DVDs - Nearly half of our DVD collection has the close captioned feature. Some Blu-ray discs also have this feature. We also have DVDs and Blu-ray discs with DVS where the plot is narrated. These items can be placed on hold for pickup at any location.
  • Materials by Mail - Materials are available through the mail for homebound individuals. Call 210.207.2500 for this service or to ask a reference question.
  • Monomouse - This video magnifier, shaped and handled like an oversized computer mouse, enlarges printed text and images when plugged into a television's video jack. Read newspapers, magazines, books, prescription bottles, cooking instructions, food labels, bills, statements, and more.
  • Vision and Hearing Loss - The library offers a number of resources for recommended reading about the loss of vision and health.

Equipment to Assist People with Vision Disabilities

  • CCTV - Closed circuit televisions are available at our Bazan, Brook Hollow, Central, Collins Garden, Great Northwest, Guerra, Johnston, Las Palmas, Memorial, Pan American, Semmes locations. These devices allow materials to be greatly magnified onto a monitor. Books, letters and pictures are much clearer to view using these devices.
  • Monomouse - Monomouse is a portable CCTV device that looks like a mouse. It plugs into a RCA digital input on your TV. Roll the mouse over your text - and see it magnified. Like our books, Monomouse checks out for a 3 week period. Find one at our Carver, Central, Great Northwest, Las Palmas, and Semmes locations. Visit the catalog to check availability.
  • Hand held Magnifying Glasses - Magnifiers are available on request. Please speak to a staff person to use one in the library.
  • Windows Navigator and Magnifier - All library computers have Windows Navigator and Magnifier installed. Please ask a library staff person to show you how to use the accessibility features of the computers.
  • Databases With Accessibility Features - Many of our databases, such as, have built in accessibility features. Ask a librarian to assist you in finding them.

State and Federal Services

  • Bookshare - Bookshare is an online library of accessible e-books and educational materials for people with print disabilities. Access more than 325,000 textbooks, best sellers, children's books, newspapers, magazines, and more!
  • Texas Talking Book Program - The Texas Talking Book Program is a free service for anyone residing in the state. There are thousands of titles in several formats to offer accessibility to various resources. Audio recordings, large print, Braille, and more. Visit the program's website to see qualifications for subscription.

Telephone Services

Easily accessible audio information is available through the phone.

  • Reference and information. Please call to speak to a librarian 210.207.2500.
  • Renew materials by phone. Please call 210.207.6121.
  • Dial-a-Story. A story, a story – read me a story! For young children, there is always time for a story. Our children's librarians have a new story in English and Spanish every week; just call 210.207.4466. Dial-a-Story is sponsored by the San Antonio Express-News.

Children's Low Vision Reading Room

The Low Vision Reading Room is located on the third floor of the Central Library in the Children's Department. The reading room houses the library's collection of children's Braille books and kits with a book and audio combination. Children can use the equipment in the room to enjoy the recorded materials available at the library. Materials from the room can be mailed from the library's own Books by mail service.


  • Disability Access Office- The mission of the City of San Antonio's Disability Access Office (DAO) is to work towards a universally designed environment that makes it easy for all people, regardless of disability, to participate fully in community life.
  • OWL Radio - Owl Radio is a free service of the Low Vision Resource Center and is co-sponsored by Texas Public Radio and the San Antonio Express-News. Receive daily radio broadcasts of newspapers and other sources on your own radio. Call 829-4223 for more information.
  • Relay Texas - Relay Texas provides telephone interpreting service between individuals who can hear and those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled. This service is available for Texans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dial 711 for more information.
  • Talking Books Program - The Texas State Library provides this service for visually impaired and disabled patrons. Books and magazines are available in different formats and are delivered to your door. Check out the website FAQs or call 1-800-252-9605 for more information.
  • NFB-NEWSLINE® - This is a free service provided by the National Federation of the Blind to those who cannot read regular newsprint. Over 300 publications are available, including 4 Spanish-language newspapers and over 40 magazines. Check out the website for more information.