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Application and Suspension

How to Apply

Eligible American citizens or dependents of active military personnel and diplomats interested in receiving service should complete the NLS application. Send a signed copy of the application and citizenship documentation to the overseas librarian via fax to (202) 707-0712, email to [email protected] , or postal mail to:

Overseas Librarian
Library of Congress
National Library Service for the
Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, DC 20542
USA   If you are currently receiving braille and talking book service through your local library, ask them to transfer your information to the NLS overseas librarian.

What Proofs of Citizenship Are Acceptable?

A U.S. passport number or a copy of a birth certificate showing the place of birth is acceptable proof of citizenship. A Social Security number is not acceptable for this purpose. Eligible non-U.S. citizens who are dependents of active-duty military or diplomatic personnel readers should send a photocopy of the service member’s orders posting him or her abroad and listing the applicant as a dependent.

What Happens After Registration?

As soon as the application and the required documents are accepted, NLS will initiate service by sending appropriate materials, including playback equipment. Readers who request talking books receive a free subscription to the bimonthly large-print or audio publication Talking Book Topics (TBT), which lists new audio titles added to the collection. Readers who requested braille service receive a free subscription to the bimonthly braille or large-print publication Braille Book Review (BBR), which lists new braille titles added to the collection. The braille version of BBR also includes an abridged version of TBT, which provides a one-line description of talking book titles listed in the full publication. These bimonthly publications include order forms, which can be filled out and sent to the overseas librarian as noted above.

Overseas patrons will also automatically receive a large-print subscription to Overseas Outlook, a newsletter specifically compiled for patrons living outside the United States. Back issues of Overseas Outlook are available online.

Suspension of Service

If you no longer need braille and/or talking book service, please contact the overseas librarian. In addition, if you move back to the United States, please notify the overseas librarian immediately and send your new address. Your service will be transferred to the library that serves your new address. You may reach the overseas librarian via fax to (202) 707-0712, email to [email protected] , or postal mail to:

Overseas Librarian
Library of Congress
National Library Service for the
Blind and Physically Handicapped
Washington, DC 20542
USA When service is suspended, we cancel all magazines subscriptions, stop mailing books, and send you labels for returning equipment. Some additional issues of magazines and copies of books may still reach your address; please return them.