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.
- 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.
Order Audio and Braille Books
You can order audio and braille books from any of the Braille Institute Library’s branches. Click to learn how to become a patron, or view our online catalog now!
You can browse and download digital audio and digital refreshable braille books from the Braille Audio Reading Download (BARD) program, offered by the National Library Service and Braille Institute Library. To use BARD, you must be a Braille Institute Library patron. Click to learn how to become a patron, or learn more about BARD first!
To become a patron you must meet the following criteria, which must be documented by a competent authority such as a physician, nurse, optometrist, therapist, hospital or nursing-home professional, social worker or librarian. Family members are not eligible to certify as a competent authority.
- Persons who are “legally blind,” which means that your vision is 20/200 or less in your better eye with corrective lenses. People with 20/200 vision can only see at 20 feet letters that a healthy eye can see at 200 feet. You are also legally blind if the widest diameter of your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye. In other words, you are legally blind if you cannot read the big “E” on an eye chart at 20 feet.
- Persons with a visual disability who are unable to read standard print even with correction and despite optical measurement.
- Persons who cannot hold a book or handle standard printed materials because of physical limitations.
- Persons with a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction that is sufficiently severe to prevent them from reading standard printed material. Note: This condition must be documented by a doctor of medicine.
Download the application to become a Braille Library Patron at one of our locations.
Applications must be documented by a competent authority such as a physician, nurse, optometrist, therapist, hospital or nursing-home professional, social worker or librarian. Family members are not eligible to certify as a competent authority.
If you have trouble downloading this form, please call the Library’s toll-free line at 1(800) 808-2555 and we’ll be happy to send it to you by standard mail.
For more information call us at 1(800) 808-2555 or (323) 660-3880, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (PST).