The overseas program serves US citizens living outside of the United States who are unable to use regular print materials because of a visual impairment or a physical or reading disability. Eligible non-US citizens who are dependents of active-duty military or diplomatic personnel may also apply for NLS service. Overseas patrons have full access to the NLS collection of books and magazines.
Overseas patrons must meet basic NLS eligibility requirements and complete the NLS Overseas Services application. In addition, they must supply proof of citizenship or service member’s orders listing them as a dependent.
Patrons already registered with a cooperating network library who are planning to live abroad for six months or longer may transfer their service to the overseas library service. They do not need to complete an additional service application but will still need to contact the overseas librarian and supply proof of citizenship or service member’s orders listing them as a dependent.
An email to [email protected] is the most efficient means of submitting a signed copy of the application and citizenship documentation to the overseas librarian. However, the overseas librarian may also be contacted by mail:
Library of Congress
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
Washington, DC 20542
What Proofs of Citizenship Are Acceptable?
A US 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 proof. Eligible non-US citizens who are dependents of active-duty military or diplomatic personnel should send a photocopy of the service member's orders posting them abroad and listing the applicant as a dependent.
What Happens after I Enroll?
You will be contacted by the overseas librarian, who will work with you to supply any equipment you requested. Once enrolled, you will have full access to the NLS collection, including recreational and informational reading for adults and children at all grade levels, in audio and in braille. All overseas patrons will also automatically receive an electronic subscription to Overseas Outlook via email. Learn more on the Overseas Services page.