Text reading: "Books for visually impaired readers" over NLS logo. Two people hugging on the right.
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Community story, NLS: A world of reading at your fingertips

NLS: A world of reading at your fingertips

National Library Service, US, blind

Experience the joy of reading with our free audiobook and braille library! The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, or NLS, offers accessible reading materials to people who are blind or who have low vision. Read on for our top five reasons to sign up for NLS.  

NLS is free and there’s never a wait

No need to worry about expensive subscription fees or waiting lists. NLS provides free audio and braille reading material to people who have low vision or are blind. Once you qualify, there’s no wait list to get your books, and you can keep them for as long as you want. Learn more about eligibility.   

NLS is designed especially for you

Serving the blind and low vision communities is the foundation of our program. NLS began in 1931 to provide braille materials for blind adults. Our service has expanded since then, but NLS prides itself in our ability to produce truly accessible audio “talking books” that you won’t find anywhere else as well as a large collection of thoughtfully selected, high-quality braille.  

NLS offers a variety of formats and content

NLS provides books and other reading materials in a variety of formats including hard-copy braille, electronic braille, and audiobooks. Digital materials can be downloaded to your smart device via our free BARD Mobile app, which then can also connect to your personal refreshable braille display. Hard copy materials are mailed directly to your door at no cost to you. And it’s more than just books—NLS also offers magazines, musical scores, foreign language materials and more. 

Access to your favorite titles

The NLS catalog has tens of thousands of books in a range of genres including mystery, romance, adventure, history, westerns, children’s books, cookbooks and more. NLS patron Brian M. shares what he loves about the program: “It’s huge to be able to have access to the same books all your friends are reading. To be able to talk about the same books as others are reading, as a kid and as an adult, is about being part of the community, being able to engage. Imagination, adventure, reading! It’s all about that but also to make connections with others about what you’re reading, and even make friends through what you are reading. It is one of those things that brings us all together and it is hugely important.” Check out our catalog.   

Books are just a click away

With the BARD Mobile app, you can access audio and braille reading materials through your smart phone or tablet. NLS patron Peggy C. says, “Being able to download titles and manage my reading list independently has made an outstanding service so much better. The BARD Mobile app for the iPhone has also been so wonderful since it makes it so easy to take books with you anywhere. I truly cannot imagine my life without the NLS program.” Download the BARD Mobile app for free in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Sign up today!

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