Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

library_name = Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library----
location = Watertown, Massachusetts
num_branches = 1
pop_served = 18,000 - 20,000 (2007 estimate)
director = Kim Charlson
website =

The Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library is located in Watertown, Massachusetts on the campus of the Perkins School for the Blind. Services are provided free of charge to eligible users. The library is a branch of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress. The library provides materials in alternate format to those who have difficulty reading books in standard print format.


The original library collection was begun in the early 19th century. Perkins maintained a collection of braille books as well as braille music for the use of the students. In 1931 the Pratt-Smoot Act was passed and 18 Braille and Talking Book Libraries were set up across the country (19 including the Library of Congress).


The library offers braille books to the residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The library provides Talking Books for Massachusetts and Rhode Island patrons. Although the library offers these services to the residents of other states, the residents must sign up for services through each state's individual regional library. The library also offers the use of the Newsline service (a service run by the National Federation of the Blind) as well as downloadable audio books to its Massachusetts patrons only.

The library offers several museum passes to several local and regional museums. The museum passes are only available to Massachusetts residents as they are provided through funding by the Friends of Braille and Talking Book Library and not through federal funds.

The library advocates for braille literacy in part through its Braille Awareness Kits. These are kits of information including braille alphabet cards and braille books and are lent out for the purpose of helping to spread the knowledge of braille.


The library is a branch library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and as such its title is the Massachusetts Regional Library. The library is subject to the rules and regulations governing all such bodies. The library resides on the campus of the Perkins School for the Blind which administers most capital and personnel concerns.

External links

* [ Perkins Library homepage]
* [ National Library Service]

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