Overview

Where reading is accessible.

Perkins Library circulates more than half a million accessible books, newspapers and publications in braille, large print and digital audio formats annually to thousands of registered patrons with print disabilities in New England and beyond.

Programs & services

Learn about all the ways the Perkins Library works to make information accessible.

A visually impaired girl using an iPhone with a talking braille book.

Apply for access

Members can borrow books and magazines in a variety of formats and foreign languages while accessing free services like Newsline.

A woman reaching onto the library shelf.

Online catalog

Browse the entire Perkins Library collection and order materials online – all with the click of a button.

A sample of Harry Potter in the form of a braille book.

Library store

Buy blank cartridges for your Talking Book Player and other accessories to augment your free library services through the Amazon Marketplace!

An older man sitting in a tan, leather chair with headphones on.

Recommended reads

Browse our curated lists and discover your next great read. These titles — with genres spanning fiction, memoir, classic literature, and everything in between — are selected for their ability to transport and spark conversations.

A little girl wearing pink glasses reading from a braille book alongside her teacher.

For kids

Children’s materials, including audiobooks, braille books, large print books, and DVDs are available. Sign up for our PerKIDS email newsletter for ideas to get your children excited about reading through fun activities including accessible games, recipes and more!

Library services

Online catalog

The Perkins Library offers over 75,000 books, newspapers and other publications. Accessible formats include braille, large print and audiobooks.

Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD)

A website where users can download audio and braille titles and magazines, as well as music scores and music theory books.

Newsline

Listen to newspapers and magazines through synthetic voice output via your internet browser or any touch-tone telephone. It is free of charge to registered users.

A woman wearing headphones in the library.

Hear from library patrons.

Linda Perkins Library patron

“The Perkins Library works beautifully for me. I look up a book in the Library catalog and if it’s available in the format I need, I put it in my book basket and sign in with my Perkins code and password. I go back to my book basket and check “Rush” which allows me to get up to three books in the mail in two to three days. It’s fantastic!”

Library resources

Perkins Library statistics

150,000 titlesPerkins Library has over 150,000 titles in circulation.

190 yearsPerkins Library has been in service for over 190 years.

22,500 patronsThere are over 22,5000 patrons enrolled for Library services.

FAQ’s

Frequently asked questions – we’re here to help!

In addition to over 75,000 digital and cassette titles, 20,000 braille titles, 100 audio and braille magazines and 12,000 large print books, the Perkins Library offers audio-described Blu-Ray and DVD movies, downloadable books and magazines, a braille awareness kit, museum passes and instructional music materials.

We have a reference librarian available to answer your research questions. Materials are also available in over 60 languages.

Through Newsline™, you can listen to newspapers, magazines, TV listings and job announcements over the telephone, online, downloaded to an approved portable device or via email.

Contact us to access these materials and services.

Library services are available free to Massachusetts residents who meet one or more of the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Are legally blind with vision of 20/200 or worse, or have a visual field no greater than 20 degrees
  • Have corrected vision, but cannot see well enough to read with comfort for extended periods of time
  • Have a physical condition that makes holding a book difficult
  • Have been certified by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy as having a reading disability that has a physical basis that prevents one from reading standard print

Institutions including schools, libraries, nursing homes, hospitals and organizations that provide services to people with visual or physical disabilities are also eligible to receive Perkins Library services.

To apply for free Perkins Library services, please review the following service eligibility guidelines and download the appropriate forms below. All applications must be signed and certified by a professional such as a doctor, ophthalmologist, registered nurse, librarian or social worker. These service forms can also be requested by contacting Perkins Library at 617-972-7240, 1-800-852-3133 or Library@Perkins.org

Library service is free of charge to registered patrons.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Perkins School for the Blind provide funding. Books and equipment are provided to us through our partnership with the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled of the Library of Congress.

Funds are also appropriated by Congress for “Free Matter for the Blind” mailing classification.

Perkins Library

Get our newsletter

Discover new books in your inbox! Every month, we gather a collection of new and trending titles along with some you might not find anywhere else in our Recommended Reads newsletter!

An old man with a big smile that is sitting at a table in the library with a braille book open.

We’re here to help

Interested in learning more about our services for yourself or a loved one? We’re happy to assist you.