Special Services

We want all Calgarians to benefit from the wealth of our resources and to be able to use the library. Therefore, we provide collections, programs, services and facilities to make it easy for Calgarians of all abilities to use our services.

Contact us to find out how we can serve you:

Central Library
Level 2
800 3 St SE
Calgary, Alberta,T2G 2E7

Phone: 403-260-2702
Email: special.services@calgarylibrary.ca

Special Services Library Card

Calgarians with a visual or hearing impairment, the homebound, and people with disabilities can access a range of specialized materials, facilities, services and programs with a Special Services library card.

Enjoy a growing and diverse collection that includes the latest bestsellers and adaptive technology resources. All materials can be checked out for six weeks, except DVDs.

Use your Special Services Library Card to access the following programs, tools and resources.


Homebound Readers’
Are you unable to visit the library because of health or mobility issues? The Homebound Readers’ Program is here to help. Trained volunteers will select, deliver and exchange materials on behalf of homebound readers.

Libraries in Residence
The Libraries in Residence program offers "mini libraries" at care centres, lodges, and seniors' residences throughout the city. Library staff rotate collections throughout the year.


Accessible Computers
Accessible computers make it easy for anyone to explore the Internet, send and receive email, write documents or prepare presentations.

The workstations include the following tools:

  • Screen Magnification Software that increases the size of text on the computer screen
  • Screen Reader Software that reads aloud whatever is on the screen
  • Tools to help read, write, and listen to documents
  • Wheelchair-friendly desk
  • Adjustable desk and monitor
  • Adaptive keyboards

Accessible computers are available at these locations:

  • Central
  • Fish Creek
  • Forest Lawn
  • Nose Hill
  • Shawnessy

Assistive Listening Devices
If you are attending programs in Central Library's Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, you can request an assistive listening device to amplify sound.

Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs)
CCTVs let you enlarge and enhance printed text or photos. Three CCTVs are available at the Central Library.

Electronic Hand-held Magnifiers
Magnifying glasses for in-library use are available at most library branches and departments.

Text-to-Speech Reader
This device can scan print and read it aloud. Visit Central Library to use this device.

Text Telephones (TTY)
If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can use a TTY phone system that allows you to type or read your messages over phone lines. A TTY is available at the Central Library.

Braille Tablet
A fully functioning tablet that is driven by KeySoft and includes a built-in braille display, as well as TouchBraille for typing.

Electronic Braille Display
Displays screen content in Electronic Braille.

Perkins Brailler
A durable Braille writing machine.


We have an extensive collection of materials that are available in the following formats:

Large Print Books
Available to all library patrons, large print books are complete, unabridged texts with clear type in at least 13-point font. Large print books can be found at all library branches and at continuing care centres and lodges served by the Calgary Public Library. Our collections include best-sellers, mysteries, and non-fiction. We also have some titles available in other languages.

Talking Books
Talking books are full-length recordings of popular fiction and non-fiction books featured on cassette tape or MP3. Our selection of over 14,000 titles includes fiction, history, and biographies. Some titles are available in other languages. These materials are only available to patrons with a Special Services Card.

Digital Books
The DAISY Standard is an audiobook on a CD designed to allow readers to move around the text efficiently and flexibly. Listeners can jump from page to page, bookmark specific pages, and also go directly to a specific page. One CD can contain up to 30 hours of material; however it cannot be played on a regular CD player.

Victor Readers
The Victor Reader is a simple, easy-to-use digital talking book player. All our VICTOR Readers can play audio CDs as well as MP3 formats and DAISY standard digital books.

Centre for Equitable Library Access

The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) provides collections in alternative formats to patrons with print disabilities.

Calgary Public Library Special Services cardholders qualify for access to the CELA library; contact us and we'll get you started. Once you're registered you can request items from the CELA library and have them delivered to your door or download them from the CELA website.

As a member of CELA, we offer:

  • Books, newspapers, magazines and movies for all ages and interests
  • Summer Reading Club for children
  • Accessible online services for web reading and research
  • Materials available in English or French, with expanding access to other languages

National Network for Equitable Library Service

The National Network for Equitable Library Serviceopens a new window (NNELS) makes copies of books in accessible formats available to readers in Canada who have print disabilities. NNELS is a repository of content owned and sustained by Canadian public libraries, working with international partners, libraries, readers, and publishers (particularly Canadian ones).

Through NNELS, Calgary Public Library patrons who have obtained a Special Services membership have access to thousands of titles in PDF, Daisy, MP3, EPUB, and e-text formats. You can access materials by signing upopens a new window for an account with your Special Services library card.