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Braille Institute Library Services: Free Books in Braille and Audio

Many who are blind or visually impaired—or who have reading or other physical disabilities—often cannot use printed materials, depriving them of reading materials that most take for granted.

Braille Institute's Library Services—the Southern California branch of the National Library Service (NLS), a network coordinated by the Library of Congress—has solved this problem for more than six decades by providing free books, periodicals and other texts in braille and recorded formats. With a Reader Advisor's help, choosing books is easy; patrons select from more than 100,000 titles and 1.2 million volumes accessible from the Library's collection.

As a result, tens of thousands each year use the Library to fill all of their reading needs, ranging from serious books for school or work to recreation and leisure. We offer a wide-range of free programs for our patrons, including magazines and periodicals in braille and audio formats, a Telephone Reader Program both online and on the phone, a book-of-the-month club, descriptive videos and more.

In 2009 Braille Institute Library Services was named one of 10 recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental, or economic contributions to their communities.


Visit Your Library Today

The Braille Institute Library has numerous services that can benefit everyone. We encourage you to visit us today and see how you can take advantage of the following services:

Browsing Area – Check out up to 2 digital books, 5 recorded cassettes and 2 braille books from a large selection of genres and authors.

Patron Computer - Reserve our patron computer for online job resources and more.

Wi-Fi Connection – Bring in your personal laptop and access the internet for free in one of our quiet reading areas.

Mini Café – Read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

Expert Reader Advisors – Meet one of our friendly and knowledgeable Reader Advisors at the Library front counter to select a book just for you! 

CCTV – There are three CCTV magnification stations available for patrons to read print.

BARD Station - Not signed up for our Braille and Audio Reading Download yet? You can complete our online application in just a few easy steps at the BARD station.

Scheduled BARD Sessions – BARD sessions are available every month, to help you learn the process of downloading digital books. Sign up today!

SHELF Project – Beside having access to books from NLS, you can now download locally produced books.

For more information call us at 1(800) 808-2555 or (323) 660-3880, Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (PST).

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Braille Institute of America
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029 
Phone: (323) 663-1111
Fax: (323) 663-0867
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web (english): brailleinstitute.org
Web (español): institutobraille.org


Hours of Operation 
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553)

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