About the Library

Lending Books and More

Photo of the front of the Library building in Raleigh.

The North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, or NCLBPH, is a special public library established in 1958 to provide books for people who can’t use regular print because of a visual or physical disability. Materials are provided in Braille, large print and digital recordings delivered on memory cartridges. The audio material is played on equipment loaned to library patrons. The core services are free since the federal and state governments fund them.

The Library also circulates special movies designed for visually impaired or blind patrons on video cassette or DVD. There is a small charge for the movie program and the Library does not loan video playback equipment.

Where Is the Library?

The Library is located in Raleigh, but it sends materials throughout the state. The NCLBPH is a state agency operated by the State Library of North Carolina as a part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The Library is part of the network of regional libraries operated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The NCLBPH is located at 1841 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27635. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Raleigh area residents can call 919-733-4376 to speak with a Reader Advisor. The national toll-free number is 888-388-2460.

How Does the Library Work?

If you or someone you know needs the services of the NCLBPH, a Reader Advisor can Photo of Braille Books on a shelf at the Libraryprovide you with the appropriate application and get you set up for book delivery to your home. Library materials are delivered directly to patrons via the U.S. Postal Service using the federally funded “free matter for the blind” program. Patrons pay nothing for the core services.

Once you are finished with an item, you simply turn over the address label, insert it back in the original carton and mail it back to the Library at no charge.

The Library continually updates its collection as new materials become available through various sources. Reader Advisors can send you materials of your choosing or set you up on a schedule of materials within a certain genre. Patrons may also order or download new materials directly online from either the library’s Online Public Access Catalog or from NLS’s Braille and Audio Recorded Download Books (BARD), after being signed up for the service through the Raleigh Library.