Special Services

Collections, programs, services, and facilities for Calgarians of all abilities

Calgarians with a visual or hearing impairment, disabilities, or health or mobility limitations can access a range of specialized materials, facilities, services, and programs with a Special Services library card. These cards allow for more flexibility in return times, fees, and items that may be taken out.

Special Services cards are given based on self-assessed need. To complete an application, please call 403-260-2702, or visit Level 2 of Central Library.


The Library comes to you with the Homebound Readers Program

If you are unable to visit the Library because of health or mobility issues, trained volunteers will select, deliver, and exchange materials on your behalf. Email or call 403-260-2702 to request this service.

Access a mini Library with Libraries in Residence

Library staff rotate collections throughout the year at care centres, lodges, and seniors’ residences throughout the city with this free service. If you are a wellness or recreation coordinator interested in starting a Library in Residence at your facility, please contact

Making reading accessible to all

Read and Write Gold 

This software is available on all of our accessible computers, and allows you to input text and have it read back to you, with the spoken phrases highlighted. This is helpful for patrons who are learning English, or have difficulty reading due to dyslexia or other learning disabilities.


Most eBook titles available on Libby are screen reader compatible, making this a favourite resource for digital access. Audiobooks are also available on this app. Ebooks and audiobooks on Libby have a maximum loan period of 21 days.


All Special Services card holders get access to CELA, a large catalogue of audiobooks and e-texts titles. The e-text titles are used with the accessibility software Dolphin Easy Reader. This software is specifically designed for individuals with low vision or dyslexia. 

Extended Loan Periods

Your Special Services Library card also gives you access to books for 6 weeks, as opposed to 3 weeks. This extended loan period is helpful for patrons who read more slowly.

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Accessible computer workstations include:

  • Screen Magnification Software
  • Screen Reader Software
  • Tools to help read, write, and listen to documents
  • Wheelchair-friendly desk
  • Adjustable desk and monitor
  • Adaptive keyboards
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Large Print and Talking Books

Large print book collections include best sellers, mysteries, non-fiction, and some languages other than English.

These books are complete, unabridged texts with clear type in at least 13-point font. All Library locations and Libraries in Residence have some of these books as part of their collection.

A selection of over 14,000 titles available as talking books, including fiction, history, and biographies.

Full-length recordings of fiction and non-fiction titles are available on MP3. These materials are only available to patrons with a Special Services card.

Tools for an accessible Library experience

  • Assistive listening devices in the Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall

  • Closed Circuit Televisions at Central Library

  • Electronic Hand-held Magnifiers

  • Text-to-Speech Reader at Central Library

  • Text Telephones (TTY) at Central Library

  • Electronic Braille Display

  • Perkins Brailler

The DAISY Standard

Audiobooks on CD are available as the DAISY Standard, allowing 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.

The Daisy Reader is a simple, easy-to-use digital talking book player.

Digital readers can play Daisy, MP3 and CD formats. iPads are also available for your use.

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