NLS Opens Doors
NLS Opens Doors

NLS Opens Doors

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, or NLS, offers free audio and braille reading materials to people who are blind or who have low vision.
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Artistic representation of a ship sailing to an island. Bottom text reads: "Books for visually impaired readers".

It’s free and easy to sign up. And with hundreds of thousands of titles, from classics to how-to books to the latest bestsellers, there is something for everyone. 

NLS users may have different tastes in books, different disabilities, and different reading format preferences, but we believe they all have something in common — NLS gives them the freedom to read without limitations. We think one of our patrons said it best: “NLS opens doors that were slammed shut by vision issues.” Read on to find out what other real NLS users have to say about the program.

Some patrons find NLS after being diagnosed with a medical or visual impairment that prevents them from reading regular printed materials. 

This program is amazing! I used this before I had my cataracts removed. The nicest people in customer service too!!!”

“I have been blind for 16 years. I am 83 years old and love to read. I used to get books from the public library and then found out about the NLS Talking Book program. I can’t say enough about the staff at the Braille and Talking book Library, they are wonderful. They helped me sign up for the NLS BARD program. I keep a spreadsheet of all the books I’ve read and I’m up to over 1,000.” 

“I have been with this program for five years after a stroke that stole my vision. It's a beautiful service.”

Others have been loyal NLS patrons for decades.

“I love NLS. I've been using their books since I was about 7 years old when I received cassettes to listen to books at home. Now I’m 57 and in the 21st century, I can listen to and enjoy digital books. It’s worth its weight in gold. Thank you.” 

“I have been blind since birth. I just want to say how grateful I am that this service is available to all blind people that want to read many different books. If it weren’t for you guys I wouldn’t be able to read/listen to my audiobooks. Thank you!” 

“I have been using this service for about 60 years; the digital content is very easy and convenient to use.”

Even family members of NLS patrons have positive things to say about the program.

“My Mom is 81 and has Macular Degenerative Disease and she is enrolled in this program and it is wonderful. She listens to a tape and mails it back – postage free – and gets another one. She receives a good quantity of them as to not run out.”

“My father recently passed but I wanted to let you know that he really enjoyed these books. He spent many hours just listening to the cassettes and looked forward to a new adventure with each tape. This has been a great service and I hope it continues for years to come.” 

“This is a wonderful program. My brother was blinded when he was 63. Our local [NLS] library set him up with books on tape. I believe this program saved his sanity.”

Are you ready to learn more? A world of reading is waiting for you—and it’s just a click away. Visit loc.gov/thatallmayread to get started.