Special Services

Special Services Library Card

Calgary Public Library offers a wide range of specialized materials, facilities, services and programs to Calgarians of any age with visual or hearing impairments, the homebound, and persons with disabilities. Special Services’ customers can enjoy a growing and diverse collection that includes the latest bestseller and adaptive technology resources. Your free Special Services Library Card gives you a six-week loan period for all library material, except DVDs.


Homebound Readers’ Program

The Homebound Readers’ Program provides library service to customers who are unable to visit the Library due to health or mobility issues. Volunteers will be matched with a customer to ensure their choice of material is delivered to their home. Volunteers help to select, deliver and exchange materials on behalf of homebound customers.


Adaptative Technology

ALEX (Accessible Library Experience)

Combines computer hardware and software features into a fully integrated workstation that allows anyone to explore the Internet, use e-mail, prepare business presentations or write term papers. Priority in using the ALEX workstation equipment is given to people who require the specialized technology.

  • Wheelchair friendly desk and wider chair
  • Adaptive keyboards
  • Adjustable desk and monitor
  • Screen Magnification Software: Increases the size of text on the computer screen.
  • Screen Reader Software: Reads aloud the content of the computer screen.
  • Optical Character Recognition Scanner: Information that is only available in print can be scanned into the computer, displayed and spoken aloud by the screen reader software, therefore, text becomes accessible to people with print disabilities.
  • Dictation Software (Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.0)
  • Tools to help read, write and listen to documents.
  • Audio player (DAISY, MP3, CD and DVD)


ALEX workstations are available at these branches:

  • Central, 5th floor (2 stations)
  • Country Hills
  • Nose Hill
  • Crowfoot
  • Shawnessy
  • Fish Creek
  • Village Square
  • Forest Lawn


In-home Computer Help

This one–on-one coaching session is offered at the customer’s home and is intended to help customers who are unable to visit the Library due to health or mobility concerns. The program offers training in the use of the internet, e-mail, and Microsoft Office Software in the luxury of your own home.


Assistive Listening Devices

Customers attending programs in the John Dutton theatre (2nd floor, Central Library) can request an assistive listening device to amplify sound.


Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs)

A CCTV permits readers to enlarge and enhance printed text or photos. It can be found in the Central Library, 5th floor.


Hand-held magnifiers

Magnifying glasses for in-library are available in most library branches and departments.


Reading Machine

A Kurzweil Reader scans print and reads it aloud. Available at the Central Library, 5th floor.


Text Telephones (TTYs)

This system provides persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing access to a phone system, by enabling them to type or read their messages over phone lines. TTYs are available at the Central Library (3rd and 5th floors), Fish Creek and Nose Hill.