Revised: April 2014
Answer: Yes, the library has many braille titles for loan.
Answer: Braille titles are mailed through the U.S. Postal Service in reusable black containers. Some titles may require several containers and delivered over several days.
Answer: Each container includes a reversible pre-addressed paper mailing label. Each mailing label includes a round punch-hole located along its shorter edge. Your mailing address appears when the punch hole is on the label’s right-hand edge and the label color is white. Slide the mailing label out from the braille container’s label holder. Turn the mailing label so the he library’s address is visible. The punch-hole will be located on the label’s left side. The label color will be yellow. Return the mailing container to U.S. Postal Service mailbox or post office. You will not have any postal charges to return library materials.
Answer: Patrons with Internet access may search two catalogs:
Both catalogs include links for braille titles with electronic files.
NLS regularly produces two publications listing braille titles: Braille Book Review and Braille Books.
• Braille Book Review (BBR) is published six times a year and includes recently produced braille titles available for loan. BBR is available in braille or large print. The braille format of BBR includes an order form to request audio books announced in Talking Book Topics. Electronic braille issues are available via MN BARD.
• Braille Books catalogs. Every two years, the NLS compiles a list of braille books added to the collection during that period. Titles are sorted into several subject categories.
A comprehensive catalog of braille titles does not exist in braille or large print. The MBTBL loans braille copies of the catalogs. Large print copies may be kept. Electronic braille files for catalogs produced after 1992 are available via MN BARD.
The MBTBL staff helps patrons locate authors, titles and titles by subject. Contact MBTBL by telephone: 1-800-722-0550, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or send your inquiries to the library at 388 SE 6th Avenue, Faribault, MN 55021-6340.
Answer: Titles are loaned for six weeks. Upon request, titles may be renewed.
Answer: If library materials are not returned, no additional titles will be sent. The MBTBL collection includes one copy of most titles. We ask everyone to be considerate of others and return titles promptly. MBTBL does not charge overdue fines.
Answer: Yes, NLS produces braille magazines. Visit our Magazines webpage for information about braille magazines.
Answer: The Communication Center, State Services for the Blind, Braille and Audio Transcription section transcribes print texts into braille. Transcription services are available to the library patrons and to the public. Transcriptions provided to non-braille users are provided for a fee.
The National Federation of the Blind website includes a list of braille transcription providers throughout the United States.
Answer: Learning braille requires some study and practice. Not every braille user chooses to read braille books. Some use braille as a daily living aid to braille lists of addresses and telephone numbers; reminder notes, and labels replace printed lists. The American Foundation for the Blind discusses the possibilities of braille for adults on their webpage titled “All About Braille.” (See the section titled “Learning Braille as an Adult.”)
Answer: Several Minnesota organizations provide braille instruction and other independent living skills. Visit the following websites for information about the services they provide:
Answer: In Minnesota, Volunteer Braille Services provides training to prospective transcriptionists at their Golden Valley office.
Answer: Yes. The NLS Braille Literacy circular provides information on transcription training and certification requirements for literary, math/scientific notation and music. Individuals who wish to transcribe print into braille should take an NLS transcription course. Braille transcription requires accuracy and knowledge of braille rules. Braille cells may be used in different contexts and have different meanings. Transcription errors may cause the reader to misinterpret the text.
To learn more about receiving a proof reader’s certificate, visit the National Federation of the Blind’s “Literary Braille Proofreading Course Information” webpage.
Answer: Louis Braille (1809-1852), blinded in childhood, invented the tactile reading and writing system now known as braille. While a student at the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, Braille heard a soldier discuss a tactile night writing system; then devised his own tactile system and taught schoolmates. More information about Louis Braille and his invention is located on the Duxbury Systems and American Foundation for the Blind Braille Bug webpages.
For more general information about the history of braille, visit the NLS Factsheet “About Braille”.
Answer: Braille is a tactile or touch-based reading and writing system which uses combinations of raised dots to represent letters and punctuation, as well as, math, science and music symbols. A braille cell resembles the number six on a domino.
Answer: If you refer to Louis Braille, the inventor, Braille is capitalized because it is a proper name. When referring to the tactile reading and writing system, the word braille is not capitalized. For further information on this topic, open BANA’s PDF titled “Capitalization Style for the Word ‘braille’” (requires Adobe Reader).
Answer: Uncontracted and contracted braille refers to the rules used to transcribe print text into braille. Uncontracted or alphabetic braille text is brailled letter-by-letter from the print into braille. In addition to letters it also includes the braille characters for numbers, monetary denominations and letter capitalization.
Contracted braille or literary braille may be compared to shorthand used by sighted individuals. 189 braille characters are used to represent words and common letter combinations to save space and increase reading speed.
More information about uncontracted braille is provided in BANA’s PDF titled “Braille Codes Update 2007”.
Answer: In addition to literary braille, braille codes have been developed to accurately denote computer programming, math and science, and music notations. Literary braille is used in combination with these specialized codes. In the United States braille guidelines, codes and rules are established by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).
Answer: Yes, the braille alphabet is used worldwide. Contractions that represent the common letter combinations found in each language have been developed. For more information, visit the Perkins Library’s “World Braille Usage” webpage.
The NLS publication, ”Braille Literacy: Resources for Instruction, Writing Equipment, and Supplies” lists additional resources.
Answer: The Perkins School for the Blind provides a list of braille and print/braille producers on their Perkins Scout webpage. Several of the listed sources sell titles; others loan items.