About Us

About Library for the Blind and Print Disabled – “That All May Read.”

The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) administers a free national library program that provides recorded and braille materials to people who cannot use standard print materials. Beginning with 19 libraries in 1931, the network has expanded to 55 regional libraries, 26 subregional libraries, and 16 advisory and outreach centers serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam.

The New Mexico Library for the Blind and Print Disabled was established in 1967 and is administered by the New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The library offers online service through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) website and mobile apps, and free cartridge delivery that is customizable to each patron’s preference! The collection of digital audio books focuses mainly on recreational reading in a variety of genres and contains over 100,000 titles. Digital audio magazines such as The New Yorker are also available. Through our partnership with the Utah State Library for the Blind, braille books are provided through the United States Postal Service. Nearly 3000 New Mexicans who are blind or visually impaired or have a physical or reading disability are registered with the LBPD program.

Timeline

1931 – NLS established by an Act of congress to serve blind adults
1952 – Program expanded to include children
1962 – Music materials made available to patrons
1966 – Program expanded to include individuals with other physical disabilities
1967 – New Mexico program established
2016 – Refreshable braille displays made available
2019 – The United States joins the Marrakesh Treaty as its 50th member, allowing access to materials in a wide range of languages from other Marrakesh Treaty libraries from around the world
2021 – Expanded the list of certifying authorities for individuals with print or reading disabilities