National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled NLS is a free braille and talking-book library service for U.S. residents or U.S. citizens living abroad whose visual or print disabilities keep them from using standard print materials.
(113)

Materials are downloadable or sent via postage-free mail. The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) (formerly National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, provides braille and talking books and magazines to eligible readers, who live in the U.S. or its territories or are U.S. citizens living abroad. Individuals may be eligible for the program if they are blind, visually impaired, or have a physical disability that prevents them from reading regular print. Library materials are distributed through a network of cooperating libraries, where they are circulated by postage-free mail. Braille and talking books are also available for download through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website and the BARD Mobile app.

Mission: The mission of NLS is to ensure that individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have a physical disability that prevents reading print materials may enjoy reading.

Operating as usual

This holiday season, consider taking time to collect and save priceless intergenerational memories with StoryCorps or th...
11/27/2020

This holiday season, consider taking time to collect and save priceless intergenerational memories with StoryCorps or the Veterans History Project!
Since 2015, StoryCorps has encouraged people of all ages—especially young people—to record an interview with an elder, mentor, friend or someone they admire on the day after #Thanksgiving. The audio and a photo from each interview go into the StoryCorps archive at The Library of Congress's American Folklife Center. This year, with folks following health experts’ advice to avoid big get-togethers, StoryCorps has a new online platform to record interviews virtually. You can learn more about #TheGreatListen and find tools and tips for recording oral histories (which you can do any time of the year) at https://storycorps.org/participate/the-great-thanksgiving-listen.
This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP), which collects and preserves the stories of America’s war veterans. Stories can be told through personal narratives, correspondence and audiovisual materials like photos and scrapbooks. The VHP has materials—in braille and audio as well as print—to help you get started at www.loc.gov/vets.

[Images: Army E-4 Huey Adams of the 525th Quartermaster Company eating his favorite food, pound cake in a can, Quang Tri, Vietnam, c. 1970–71. From the Huey Nelson Adams Collection (AFC/2001/001/104364), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

11/23/2020
NLS BARD & BARD Mobile

As #Thanksgiving approaches, we at NLS are grateful that technology has made it so much easier to share books and magazines with our patrons. To learn more about BARD and the BARD Mobile app, which allow you to download almost anything from the NLS collection without waiting for the mail, watch a brief video at bit.ly/292nu30. And to learn more about the power of thankfulness, consider “Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks (DB98893)” by theologian Diana Butler Bass or “Gratitude (DB83149),” a collection of reflective essays by psychologist Oliver Sacks.

Patrons of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (formerly National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) in the ...

The spotlight didn’t shine as brightly on mid-century baseball star Stan Musial as it did on his more-flamboyant contemp...
11/21/2020

The spotlight didn’t shine as brightly on mid-century baseball star Stan Musial as it did on his more-flamboyant contemporaries Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. But the St. Louis Cardinals’ star outfielder and first baseman, born #OnThisDay in 1920, is every bit their equal in the record books. When he retired after the 1963 season, Stan the Man had a .331 career batting average, 475 career home runs and 3,630 hits—still fourth on the all-time list. He was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player three times. In 2011, two years before Musial died, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You can read more about him in sportswriter George Vecsey’s “Stan Musial: An American Life (DB75337)” and history professor James Giglio’s “Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man (DBC09685).” Younger readers might enjoy “Stan Musial: Baseball's Durable Man (BRA12763, DB10111) by Ray Robinson.
[Image: Stan Musial walks up a flight of stairs in 1963, the last year of his playing career. LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.]

Jan Morris, who died today in Wales at age 94, had already made a name for herself as a newspaper reporter before becomi...
11/20/2020

Jan Morris, who died today in Wales at age 94, had already made a name for herself as a newspaper reporter before becoming a renowned travel writer—or, as she preferred to say, “a writer who travels.” She broke the news of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s conquest of Everest in 1953 and France’s collusion with Israel in the 1956 Suez war. She also was a pioneering trans woman who underwent gender confirmation surgery when she was 46. A sampling of her many books in the NLS collection: “The World: Travels 1950–2000 (DB58758)” is a collection of essays on historic events including the trial of Adolf Eichmann and the end of British colonial rule in Hong Kong. “Manhattan ’45 (DB26784)” is a look back at postwar New York City, a place Morris called “as truly romantic a city as Venice itself.” “Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (BR13892)” recounts her long fascination with the Adriatic city. And “Last Letters from Hav (DB23748),” a novel written as travel literature, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1985.
[Image: The cover of “The World: Travels 1950–2000.”]

Asked in 1917 which invention he had enjoyed working on the most, Thomas Edison (1847–1931) answered promptly, “The phon...
11/20/2020

Asked in 1917 which invention he had enjoyed working on the most, Thomas Edison (1847–1931) answered promptly, “The phonograph; I had a lot of fun with that.” Announced on November 21, 1877, the phonograph was the first device to both record and replay sound. The invention of the phonograph led to the creation of talking books. Edison went on in the 1917 interview to explain, “rather wistfully,” “that there is not much more to be done with the phonograph. It seems to be about perfected. We have eliminated all the sounds of the machinery, we have reproduced the overtones of music, and when the voice of an instrument cannot be distinguished from the voice of the singer who made the record when they stand side by side, there seems to be little more left to work for.”
Today, the art and science of recorded sound has advanced in ways Edison never could have imagined. To revisit the heady early days of recorded sound and listen to early twentieth-century recordings, visit https://go.usa.gov/xPPhv. #ThatAllMayRead
[Image: Photo of a man standing beside shelves full of wax cylinder recordings in the Library of Congress, circa 1930. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.]

It’s been a big week for books, with two major award announcements and the publication of a former president’s memoir.La...
11/19/2020

It’s been a big week for books, with two major award announcements and the publication of a former president’s memoir.
Last night, the National Book Foundation announced this year’s National Book Award winners, several of which are available now from NLS. “Interior Chinatown (DB98416),” which satirizes Asian stereotypes in Hollywood, won the fiction category as author Charles Yu’s “most moving, daring and masterly novel yet.” Kacen Callender navigates the intersection of toxic masculinity, racism and self-discovery in “King and the Dragonflies (DB98682),” the winner for young people’s literature. And in the translated literature category, Yu Miri’s “Tokyo Ueno Station (DB99908)” confronts inequalities and loss in shifting eras in Japan. You can watch the #NBAwards ceremony and learn more about this year’s winners at www.nationalbook.org/national-book-awards.
Meanwhile, the #2020BookerPrize went to “Shuggie Bain” (coming soon to the NLS collection in braille and audio). Its Scottish author, Douglas Stuart, described it at today’s announcement as a novel with autobiographical elements about “what it’s like to grow up queer in Glasgow, to grow up with a parent who you loved but you couldn’t save.”
Lastly, former president Barack Obama’s memoir “The Promised Land”—the first of two planned volumes about his political career—will be available for download from BARD, in audio, next week. A braille version will soon be in production as well.
[Images: (1) Covers of the National Book Award winners (2) “Shuggie Bain” author Douglas Stuart (Martyn Pickersgill/Grove Atlantic)]

If you want to join the #GreatAmericanSmokeout today, here are some NLS titles that might help you kick the habit: Suzan...
11/19/2020

If you want to join the #GreatAmericanSmokeout today, here are some NLS titles that might help you kick the habit: Suzanne Schlosberg's "Quit Smoking for Life: A Simple, Proven 5-Step Plan (DB78467)," Walter Sanford Ross's "You Can Quit Smoking in 14 Days (DB 08849)," Laurence Pringle's "Smoking: A Risky Business (DB45323)” and Charles Herrick's "100 Questions & Answers about How to Quit Smoking (DB69566).” For the lighter side of trying to stop smoking, try humorist David Sedaris's essay on his attempt to quit smoking in Tokyo in "When You Are Engulfed in Flames (DB67035)."
[Image: “Hallo, Partner,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division]

It’s GIS Day! That’s an acronym for Geographic Information System, referring to any computer system that analyzes and di...
11/18/2020

It’s GIS Day! That’s an acronym for Geographic Information System, referring to any computer system that analyzes and displays geographically referenced data. Or, to say it more simply, GIS is a software program that helps people use the information that's collected from GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites. NLS has a “GPS and Wayfinding” reference guide, https://go.usa.gov/x7UT6, that describes tools that help people with visual disabilities navigate their environment and get from one location to another. Also, check out The Library of Congress celebration of GIS Day from 1-4 p.m. EST, with engaging talks and discussions on the theme of “Mapping the Pandemic: Cases, Traces, and Mutations.” Learn more at https://go.usa.gov/x7UbT.
[Image: World map and graph displaying data related to the COVID-19 pandemic.]

Your #Thanksgiving table might not be crowded this year, but you can still have a delicious dinner even if it’s just for...
11/17/2020

Your #Thanksgiving table might not be crowded this year, but you can still have a delicious dinner even if it’s just for two! Now is a good time to find recipes perfectly sized for your scaled-back celebrations. Check out small servings of traditional favorites in “'Woman’s Day' Cooking for Two (DB11842)” or impressive mainstays in “Eating In: The Official Single Man’s Cookbook (DB29487)” by Rich Lippman and Jose Maldonado. Anne Casale’s “The Long Life Cookbook: Delectable Recipes for Two (DB28052)” gives new options for nutritious and delicious plates. For quick dishes you can make without firing up the stove, “Betty Crocker’s Microwaving for One or Two (BR06292)” has nearly 200 recipes to choose from. And don’t forget dessert! Find sweet treats in “Small-batch Baking: When Just Enough for 1 or 2 … Is Just Enough! (DB71542)” by Debby Maugans Nakos.
[Image: Photo of a plate filled with delicious Thanksgiving food.]

American Education Week is perhaps more important this year than ever before. Libraries remain at the heart of education...
11/16/2020

American Education Week is perhaps more important this year than ever before. Libraries remain at the heart of education, and NLS reference guides and magazines can help. “Disability Awareness for Children Pre-K through Sixth Grade” (https://go.usa.gov/x7KSE) lists books, games and activities that educate children with and without disabilities, and “Transition from School to Independent Living” (https://go.usa.gov/x7KSn) shares resources to help students with disabilities move from one educational setting to another or prepare for independent living and the workforce. Among the educational magazines available by subscription through NLS’s BARD online service are "Cricket: The Realm of Imagination" for ages nine through 14; "Jack and Jill" for ages six through 12; and "National Geographic" for ages nine through 14. Of course, NLS has hundreds of books on education. You can begin your search in BARD or in our catalog with the subject keyword “Education,” or you can ask your local library to assist you. #aew2020
[Image: A 1940 Works Project Administration poster with the text "For greater knowledge on more subjects use your library often!" Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.]

Taha Hussein, a leading light in the Egyptian Renaissance, was born #OnThisDay in 1889. Hussein, who lost his sight at t...
11/15/2020

Taha Hussein, a leading light in the Egyptian Renaissance, was born #OnThisDay in 1889. Hussein, who lost his sight at the age of two, successfully fought for a place at university despite his poverty. He went on to become a professor of literature, the author of more than sixty books and, eventually, the Minister of Knowledge under whose leadership Egypt began to implement free, universal education. You can find one of his novels, “A Man of Letters” (also published as “Adib”), in “The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction (DB73075).”
[Image: Taha Hussein, photographed by Van Leo. Public domain.]

This November we join the nonprofit Caregiver Action Network in recognizing Family Caregivers Month. Family caregivers m...
11/13/2020

This November we join the nonprofit Caregiver Action Network in recognizing Family Caregivers Month. Family caregivers manage health emergencies, juggle priorities and battle stress—and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made those challenges greater. The NLS publication “Resources for Senior Citizens and Their Families” (https://go.usa.gov/x7N59) lists resources to help older adults with disabilities, as well as their caregivers, handle new physical, psychological, and financial challenges. Many of the organizations listed in our publication “Blindness and Visual Impairments: Information and Assistance Organizations” (https://go.usa.gov/x7N9u) offer advice and support to families of people with visual impairments. And at www.usa.gov/disability-caregiver, you can find links to resources offered by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies, as well as resources in your state. #CaregivingInCrisis
[Image: Caregiver Action Network poster with text: "Caregiving in Crisis / During National Family Caregivers Month we address the new realities family caregivers face with their loved ones during these uncertain times."]

On this #VeteransDay, NLS salutes our active and retired military service members. Veterans have always received prefere...
11/11/2020

On this #VeteransDay, NLS salutes our active and retired military service members. Veterans have always received preference for materials and assistance in the NLS program. Service members with or without disabilities can learn more about veterans benefits in this NLS minibibliography: https://go.usa.gov/xnj3P. This is also the 20th anniversary of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Concerts and lectures are taking place online throughout the month; visit https://go.usa.gov/x7RmR for a list of upcoming and archived #VHP20 events.
[Image: Photo of two veterans]

Finally published #OnThisDay in 1920, D.H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love (BR03918, DB61435)” was the second book in a trilog...
11/09/2020

Finally published #OnThisDay in 1920, D.H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love (BR03918, DB61435)” was the second book in a trilogy that began with “The Rainbow (BR18418, DB68161),” which had also run the gauntlet of censorship and controversy five years earlier. Lawrence might be considered tame by today’s standards, but his reputation in the early 20th century, with titles such as "Love Among the Haystacks and Other Stories (DB42986)," was that of a pornographer with a pen. Modern Library includes “Women in Love” in the top 50 novels of the 20th century. And today, Lawrence’s large and varied body of work, which includes essays and poetry, has established him as one of the world’s most important writers. Other books by Lawrence in the NLS collection include multi-volume sets of his stories and poetry, "Lady Chatterley's Lover (DB14901)” and "The Bad Side of Books: Selected Essays (DB97808)."
[Image: “Women in Love” hardback edition, New York: Thomas Seltzer (Publisher), first U.S. trade edition.]

Alex Trebek wasn’t “Jeopardy!’s” first host—that was Art Fleming, back in the ’60s and ’70s when the show aired on NBC. ...
11/08/2020
Alex Trebek, long-running 'Jeopardy!' host, dead at 80

Alex Trebek wasn’t “Jeopardy!’s” first host—that was Art Fleming, back in the ’60s and ’70s when the show aired on NBC. But over the past 36 years Trebek and “Jeopardy!” became synonymous. The dapper, low-key host—a five-night-a-week after-dinner guest in millions of households—died Sunday at age 80. Trebek continued to host “Jeopardy!” even after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, and this summer, his memoir “The Answer Is … (BR23274, in progress; DB99678)” became a best seller. In 1999, Eddie Timanus became the first blind contestant to compete on the show and—in accordance with the rules in effect at that time—retired undefeated after five consecutive games. Trebek and “Jeopardy!” received an Access Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for making categories and answers available to Timanus in braille. (In case you're unfamiliar with "Jeopardy!", contestants are given the answers and must respond with the correct questions.) www.cnn.com/2020/11/08/entertainment/alex-trebek-jeopardy-host-death-trnd/index.html

Alex Trebek, the genial "Jeopardy!" host with all the answers and a reassuring presence in the TV game-show landscape for five decades, has died. He was 80 years old.

Napoleon Hill, one of America’s top-selling self-help authors, died 50 years ago #OnThisDay. He’s best-known for his 193...
11/08/2020

Napoleon Hill, one of America’s top-selling self-help authors, died 50 years ago #OnThisDay. He’s best-known for his 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich (BR07680, DB28876),” which remains a seminal book and launched a string of related books on wealth achievement. Other titles by Hill in the NLS collection include "Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind (DB16356),” “Success: Discovering the Path to Riches (DB97350)," "Napoleon Hill's Keys to Positive Thinking: 10 Steps to Health, Wealth, and Success (BR11769, DB46705)," and "Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: 17 Principles of Personal Achievement (DB47975)," edited by Matthew Sartwell.
[Image: Napoleon Hill holding his book "Think and Grow Rich." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.]

November is #DiabetesAwarenessMonth! Diabetes can cause vision loss and eye disorders and is the primary cause of blindn...
11/06/2020

November is #DiabetesAwarenessMonth! Diabetes can cause vision loss and eye disorders and is the primary cause of blindness in people ages 20-74. The good news is the National Eye Institute says you can reduce the risk of blindness due to diabetes by 95 percent with early detection and treatment. Along with regular eye exams and visits to your doctor, you can find helpful tips for healthy living with diabetes in the “American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes (DB61586)” and the “American Medical Association Guide to Living with Diabetes: Preventing and Treating Type 2 Diabetes—Essential Information You and Your Family Need to Know (BR16922, DB63411).” Find these among other guide books and cookbooks in the NLS catalog at https://go.usa.gov/x79Qn.

[Photo: an older couple enjoying time outdoors.]

Address

1291 Taylor St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20542

By Subway (Metro) Closest Metro Stop: Georgia Ave.─ Petworth (green line) Exit station main exit on Georgia Street NW, walk north approximately 4 blocks; turn left at Taylor Street NW and walk one block and about three quarters. Destination is on the right.

General information

If you are looking for the official source of information about the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (formerly National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped), please visit http://www.loc.gov/ThatAllMayRead To read our comment and posting policy, visit https://www.loc.gov/legal/comment-and-posting-policy/

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:00
Thursday 08:30 - 16:00
Friday 08:30 - 16:00

Website

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled:

Videos

Nearby government services


Comments

I would like to get in touch with this National Library Service- I want to know more information.I dont have a car but i’ll try to walk- sometimes it’s too hot to walk here in Sarasota, Florida
Wow, another website for audio books. Life is good
The plastic containers that the book cartridges come in are so large that they will not fit into the outgoing mail slot at my apartment complex. This means I have to get someone to drive me to the post office in order to return them. This could be very inconvenient this winter when there’s snow and ice. 
Thk you
We live in a world where a computer can drive a car at 70 mph without human assistance, but there is not yet any comparable capability to help a blind person walk down a sidewalk at 3 mph. Today’s powerful technologies, many of them grounded in AI, have yet to be milled into next-generation tools that are truly useful, happily embraced and widely affordable. Fortunately, that’s changing. Sight Tech Global is the first-of-its-kind global conference dedicated to advanced technology and the experts focused on improving the lives of the blind and visually impaired from companies like Amazon, Waymo, OrCam, Microsoft, and Humanware. Don’t miss this remarkable event. REGISTER HERE (https://sighttechglobal.com/conference-registration/) to book your FREE virtual seat, and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have by emailing us at [email protected].
How do I download a book to read??
I have age related macular degenerative disease. My left eye just has the very edge. My right eye is 20/300 and quite blurry in the middle. Plus I have a hole in my left rretina due to a mishap during a laser procedure. I also have Intraocular lenses from cataract surgery. Do I qualify for your service when you resume?
Moving boldly into the future. It seems like only yesterday that the NLS took the big step to digitize the Talking Book Library. This was done at significant expense and done successfully as a sign that big federal projects can be done right! Now however, i think it is time to contemplate the next step. Moving the library onto Streaming Devices. No doubt there are obstacles to overcome in this transition, but it should be not only far lower in cost to transition, but it will both save the expense of the "players" for many, and will simplify the downloading process for many seniors who are computer wary, but have learned to love their "Alexa" or other streaming device at home. I urge you to begin planning for the "future" if you have not already begun the process.
I have PPMS I love to read! :)
How does one gain access to the audio book's