Community Spotlight: Books Aloud

outside the Books Aloud office on the Lower Level of King Library

Who They Are & What They Do

The Books Aloud "Reading by Listening" Program provides a wide variety of recorded reading literature to eligible individuals of all ages, improving the quality of life for people unable to benefit directly from the printed page. This is a FREE service.

  • Website:
  • Phone: 408-808-2616
  • Address (offices): 150 East San Fernando St., San Jose, CA 95112 (Lower Level of King Library)
  • Address (mailing): P.O. Box 5731, San Jose, CA 95150-573
  • Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed all major holidays)

How You Can Use Their Service

ELIGIBILITY: Blind, visually disabled, learning disabled or physically disabled individuals who are unable to read conventional print, hold a book or turn pages are eligible.

TO BEGIN: Both an Application and Verification of Disability form need to be completed before service can begin

What Is Available

  • Catalog of 8,000 plus recorded books on cassettes, for all ages, preschoolers through adults, mostly fiction, no technical works or textbooks, some religion and history. Recordings are not made on demand.
  • Most titles are recorded by auditioned volunteer voices, in the Books Aloud on-site recording studios
  • Recorded books are sent without charge through the mail, to people all over the United States and Canada.
  • Recorded books on cassette may be borrowed for 1 month. Tape recorders may be borrowed, if available, as well.
  • Sight and Sound Kits - Printed and audio books are lent together as a kit, enabling a sighted reader with a learning disability to follow along while listening
  • Nook books are loaned for teachers with special needs students (limited quantity available) A Special Education Teacher may also borrow 2 track tape players, headsets, splitters, and 10 to 40 audio books, some of which may be Sight and Sound Kits

Ways to Get Involved

  • Volunteer - at the moment Books Aloud does not need readers, but many other volunteer positions are available
  • Donations – financial

Resources from SJPL

San José Public Library offers the following:

Available with Your Library Card Membership

Below are links to items to help you, your child and your family. These items can be checked out with your free library card, or reviewed at the library:

About Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight is a blog series highlighting local services and resources that are available to our community for free.

Add new comment

Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.