Hayes Research Library Policies

Shelves in the Research Library stacks, showing full shelves stretching toward the back of the room.




Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Please contact the Research Library staff with any questions about these policies, our practices, or specific requests. 

Collection development

The Samuel P. Hayes Research Library serves the Perkins community and the public by offering a comprehensive current and historical collection on the nonmedical aspects of visual impairment, blindness, deafblindness, and multiple disabilities which include visual impairment.

The Research Library collects books, journals, articles, dissertations, conference reports, pamphlets, clippings and news items, video recordings and other multimedia materials, along with internet-based information. All of these are cataloged in the Library’s online catalog. Perkins Archives policies, including their collection development policy, are available on the Archives website.


Most research library materials are in print. When possible, we are glad to share or arrange for alternate formats. Please contact Research Library staff for details. Due to technical limitations relating to ebooks in libraries, we do not currently collect electronic versions of texts.

Electronic resources:

The Research Library has a subscription to ERIC (an extensive database of academic journals dealing with education), as well as access to other electronic resources for our field and areas of interest. Please consult the Research Library staff for details.

Areas of interest:

We collect comprehensively in the following areas:

  • Education for children who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired (including with multiple disabilities) designed for teachers, parents, schools, and communities.
  • Material designed for teachers of the visually impaired, orientation and mobility instructors, and other professionals working in the fields we cover.
  • Perkins history and key figures in our fields, such as histories, biographies, and profiles.
  • Biographies, memoirs, or other published writings by Perkins alumni or staff.

We collect representative material in some areas:

  • Fictional works, biographies and memoirs, or juvenile materials with significant focus on people who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired.
  • Information about or resources for assistive technology or assistive devices.
  • News items dealing with contemporary views of blindness, deafblindness, visual impairment, multiple disabilities, or disabilities in general.
  • General educational materials (such as curriculum design, classroom management, behavior) of use to teachers at Perkins.
  • Local and regional history relevant to Perkins or individuals associated with Perkins.

We do not normally collect:

  • Kits or other physical educational tools.
  • Student textbooks, classroom aids, or teaching materials used directly by students.
  • Testing forms or kits for providing different assessments. (Guides or book materials related to these items are sometimes included in our collection.)


We are glad to consider donations of items relevant to our collection. Each donation is evaluated based on whether we have the item in our collection already, currency, frequency of use, and condition.

Those wishing to donate items should contact the Research Library in advance, so that we can arrange a time to consider the materials. We are not able to store items not accepted for our collection other than as described below.

We encourage donors to make items we do not accept available to the community through our free item shelf. These items include older editions of works in the field, related materials (such as biographies or memoirs) or duplicates of items already in our collection. We provide notices about the free items periodically to the Perkins community.


Research Library materials do not circulate outside of Perkins. People interested in using the materials who are not Perkins staff may make an appointment to visit the Research Library. 

Perkins staff can find details about circulation policies on AskHowe (the campus intranet) or by asking Research Library staff. We can mail materials to staff not based at the Watertown campus.


We are able to scan items from the Research Library collection on request. The amount of material we will scan is outlined on our Distance Services page. We are glad to consult in advance to make sure you are requesting the information that will be most useful to you.


  • We are glad to scan up to five articles or book chapters for free.
  • We then charge a $15 flat fee that includes scanning for up to 5 additional articles (total of ten) 
  • Additional articles after those 10 will be $3 per article.
  • The fee does not apply when we can provide an item electronically (i.e. we have access to a digital full-text copy.)
  • One fee per set of requests made at the same time. Later sets of requests will have a new fee.
  • Perkins staff should check out the Research Library policies page on AskHowe or ask Research Library staff for information. There is no charge for Perkins staff.

We can normally provide scans for up to five articles within 2-3 working days. We’ll discuss a timeline for larger requests at the time they’re made.

Research visit

Visits to the Research Library are by appointment only (for everyone except Perkins staff). The process for arranging an appointment is described on the Research Library website. Due to a small staff and limited workspace, we ask that appointments from researchers outside of Perkins be made at least 5 working days in advance.