About the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled
The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) serves as Maryland’s branch of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print-disabled. In addition, LBPD provides a wealth of other resources and services for its patrons in Maryland.
“Any resident of Maryland who cannot read or use regular print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations may receive service through LBPD. This includes those who are blind, have a visual disability, or have a physical disability that prevents reading.” From LBPD Frequently Asked Questions web page.
If you are eligible for LBPD services, you will receive them at no cost. There is NO CHARGE for materials, tools, and services from the Maryland LBPD.
LBPD As the Maryland Branch of NLS
Hard copy reading materials
NLS provides accessible reading materials to qualifying individuals in the United States. These materials include braille, enlarged print, and audio materials. LBPD patrons can request hard copies of these items, and LBPD will ship them to the patron’s home for free – and will provide the means to ship the materials back to LBPD at no cost to the patron.
Reading materials for download
NLS also offers digital downloads of accessible materials through its BARD program. Like hard copy materials, BARD’s digital materials are available at no cost to patrons.
Find out more in the Bridges Resource Library’s NLS and BARD entry.
Braille On Demand Service
Through NLS, LBPD patrons may also take advantage of the NLS Braille On Demand program which provides patrons the opportunity to order up to one hard-copy braille title per month. This title must already be in the NLS or BARD collection, but, when requested, NLS will emboss and send the full volume to the requester at no cost. Please reach out to the Free Bridges Helpdesk for more information.
About the Ebraille reader
The LBPD can loan a 20-cell refreshable braille display at no cost to any LBPD patron. While it is technically a loaner device, you are in charge of it, and you do not need to return it over holiday breaks, the summer, or upon graduation.
Please note that the device is a READING device; it is not a full notetaker. Nevertheless, LBPD patrons may directly download both BARD and NFB-Newsline resources to the device. Ebraille readers users may also pair the device to a computer or iOS device and, in combination with screen reading software (JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver), use it as both a refreshable braille display and as a braille keyboard.
Requesting an Ebraille reader
The LBPD can loan a 20-cell refreshable braille display at no cost to any LBPD patron. so you can make the request right away because it will take me a bit of time to get everything else together.
If you are already a patron of the Maryland Library for the Blind and Print Disabled, all you need to do is reach out to the LBPD Reference Desk by calling 410-230-2443 or via email at email@example.com.
LBPD will then send a 20-cell refreshable braille display at no cost to you. While it is technically a loaner device, you are in charge of it.
If you are not yet an LBPD patron and are eligible to be one, please join now!
Free Bookshare Accounts
LBPD offers its patrons free Bookshare accounts. Find out more about Bookshare in the Bridges Resource Library About Bookshare entry.
Maryland Accessible Textbook Program (MAT Program)
LBPD offers a terrific resource for students taking college courses (including college courses taken in dual enrollment programs). The MAT program will convert your college textbooks into your choice of files. Find out more in the Bridges Resource Library’s Accessible College Textbook Program for Maryland Students entry.
Youth Services @ LBPD
LBPD has a dedicated Youth Services Librarian, LaShawn Myles. She is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and educators access the tools and information they need to engage in a lifetime of reading and learning.
Additionally, throughout the year, the LBPD offers periodic in-person and online programs. Check the current offerings on the Youth Services @ LBPD website.
LBPD offers “Homework Help” for students. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 3-5 p.m., the LBPD Youth Librarian responds to questions submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Library Program
Every summer, LBPD offers a fun and engaging Summer Library Program to help patrons take advantage of reading opportunities throughout the summer months.
Contact the Youth Services Librarian
Via email at: email@example.com
Via phone at: (410) 230-2455
Other services from the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled
In addition to free access to hard copy and accessible digital books and magazines, the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) offers other great services.
The LBPD offers in-person braille instruction in Baltimore. Volunteer instructors provide these free courses. Contact the Library for details on dates and times of current courses.
Braille embossing in Baltimore
The Library in Baltimore has a braille embosser available for use. LBPD patrons may emboss up to twenty (20) pages using this service.
How Do I Become an LBPD Patron?
Apply! Note: The application includes a portion where a “certifying authority” confirms that you are eligible to become an LBPD patron. Download, complete, and submit an application using:
Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@imagemd.org
- Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546
- Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.
Updated as of September 29, 2023.