Want to read a book that is not in the Library’s collection? We will attempt to obtain the book you want from other sources throughout the country. If the book cannot be found in alternative media, it can be transcribed for you.

Searching for a Book

Library staff will search other collections for the book you want. 

Please provide:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • copyright date
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN), if possible

If the search is successful, the library will arrange to borrow a copy and will send it to you as soon as possible.

If the book you want is not available anywhere in the medium you need, the library can arrange to have a volunteer record or Braille it for you. You must provide the library with a print copy of the book you want transcribed. Your project will be assigned to a volunteer to complete.

Transcription Priority

Production priority is as follows:

  1. Career materials
  2. Educational needs
  3. Patron requests for leisure reading or personal use
  4. Collection-only items

The library will transcribe almost all types of books. Some of the projects the library has completed in the past include instruction manuals, recipe books, employee handbooks, and books on specific topics ranging from architecture to zoo management. The library can also transcribe specialty items such as brochures, bus schedules, restaurant menus, informational pamphlets, and itineraries.

Music, Math, and Computer Transcription

Music, math, and computer books can be transcribed into Braille; however, the number of volunteers qualified to transcribe these highly specialized codes is limited. Therefore, these requests will generally take longer to fill than standard literary Braille requests.

Maps or Diagrams

Maps and diagrams can also be transcribed into Braille. There are waiting lists for these types of projects, and priority is given to professional and educational requests.

Buying Personal Copies

If the library transcribes a book for you, you can obtain a personal copy at no cost.

Because of copyright laws, you cannot buy NLS-produced library books. You can buy some books through other agencies, however. Ask the library for a list of publishers.

If you want to obtain a personal copy of a specific book, ask the library about it.