The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) selects, transcribes (converts print text into braille) and produces braille books and magazines. For information about available braille magazines, visit the Magazines page.
The braille book collection includes fiction and nonfiction titles for adults, young adults and children. The collection includes contracted braille, print/braille, uncontracted braille and Spanish language titles.
Contracted Braille Collection
The majority of the braille collection contains books produced in contracted braille. Contracted braille uses contractions to shorten commonly used letter combinations into fewer braille characters.
Print/braille titles combine a print picture book with the brailled text. Most titles are selected for preschool through third-grade reading levels. Print/braille titles are often shared in family or school settings.
Uncontracted Braille Collection
The uncontracted braille collection is limited in scope and size. This collection benefits individuals who have experienced vision loss as a young adult or as an adult. Braille helps with daily living needs: lists, labeling, or personal notes. Titles in this collection provide an opportunity to improve braille letter recognition.
Foreign Language Braille
NLS produces a limited number of Spanish language titles in braille. All foreign language titles are produced in uncontracted braille. NLS purchases limited quantities of Spanish language and other foreign languages titles from other countries. Foreign language braille titles are listed in the NLS catalog
. The prefix letters for foreign language braille are “BRF”. These titles are available through interlibrary loan. Please contact the library for this service.
Web-Braille (or Electronic Braille)
Recently, the NLS added its Web-Braille collection to the Minnesota Braille and Reading Download (MN BARD). Web-Braille is termed electronic braille on MN BARD. Most contracted braille books and magazine titles are available directly through MN BARD. Previous Web-Braille users must have a MN BARD account. For more information about MN BARD and the online application process visit the MN BARD page.