National Library Service!

For the Blind and Physically Handicapped!


Sponsored by the Library of Congress, The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), administers the free program that loans recorded and braille books and magazines, music scores in braille and large print, and specially designed playback equipment to residents of the United States who are unable to read or use standard print materials because of visual or physical impairment.


Web Braille!

What is Web-Braille?

Web-Braille is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of braille books, magazines, and music scores produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress. The service also includes a growing collection of titles transcribed locally for cooperating network libraries. The Web-Braille site is password-protected, and all files are in an electronic form of contracted braille that requires the use of special equipment for access.

Books. Nearly ten thousand press-braille books produced by NLS since 1992 are downloadable from Web-Braille or may be read online. More than one thousand older titles are also available. Uncontracted braille, foreign-language, and print/braille books are not included. NLS adds new titles to Web-Braille upon shipment of the press-braille books to libraries serving blind and physically handicapped readers.

Magazines. NLS-produced braille magazines are available on Web-Braille. Magazine files are normally available on the download site within one working day after the hard-copy braille magazine is shipped to readers. A few magazine issues are available from as far back as early 2000, and every issue of the music publication Popular Music Lead Sheets since 1978 can be accessed.

Music Scores. Several thousand braille music scores are available on Web-Braille, and NLS adds more every month. The scores are for a range of instruments, from voice to violin, with levels of difficulty from beginning methods to advanced works, especially for the piano. The styles of music range from popular songs to standard repertoires for each instrument, with particular strength in the eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early-twentieth-century masters.

We are the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped!

f you or someone you know is interested in receiving talking book or braille service, please take the following steps:

  1. Carefully read the description of eligibility to determine if the interested individual is eligible for service.
  2. Browse the library address list to locate the regional or subregional library closest to the eligible individual.
  3. Contact that library by email, telephone, fax, or in writing and request an application for service; or, visit our PDF (portable document file) index to find a form you can complete online, print, and send to a cooperating library.
  4. If you are unable to locate a library or wish additional assistance, please send us a message via e-mail, call (202) 707-5100, toll-free 1-800-424-8567, or request an application packet be mailed to you