Boston Public Library
Accessibility Resources and Services
Central Library

The Boston Public Library strives to make our resources accessible to all users through a variety of collections, services, and specialized equipment. The following collections, services, and equipment are available for use at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Please note that the Central Library is currently under construction; call ahead before making a special trip if you have specific questions about these resources.


The Boston Public Library owns Braille books for adults and children, as well as subscriptions to The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, and Science News in Braille. The library also holds a number of collections that may assist patrons with disabilities, including books on CD and downloadable audiobooks, ebooks, DVDs with subtitles and closed-captioning capabilities, language learning materials, and Large Print collections.


To assist patrons when they visit, the Boston Public Library has several tools for public use. A wheelchair is available; please ask a security guard or check at an Information Desk if you need to use it during your stay. In addition, every public service desk has a handheld magnifier for use in the library. Many of our program rooms are equipped with assistive listening devices. Contact Tech Central at (617) 859-2255 for information on this service.

A sensory wall in the Children's Library on the second floor of the Johnson building is designed to engage kids with sensory processing disorders, and the department holds sensory story times and programs with therapy dogs. Special adapted tours of the Children's Library can be developed for various groups. For more information, please contact the Children's Library at (617) 859-2476.


One adaptive computer station is available for use in Tech Central, in the Washington Room on the second floor of the McKim Building.

Adaptive Computer Station Software and accessories:

Windows 7 with Microsoft Word 2010 and Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome browsers, including a Large Screen PC, Large Print keyboard, and Magnifier with the following additional tools:

  • Jaws 15
  • Narrator
  • Zoomtext for Windows
  • Duxbury Braille Translator Pro 60
  • Braille Printer Juliet
  • Braille Pen USB
  • Kurzweil 1000 and 3000

Additional adaptive software is available on other computers. Computer use is limited to two hours per day, but it may be extended. Customers must have a Boston Public Library card or a visitor pass to sign up for computer time. Telephone reservations are permitted. Please call (617) 859-2255 to make reservations or for more information about the adaptive computer station.

Other computers in Tech Central have proprietary software for screen reading and magnification. Staff at the desk can assist patrons with any of the computers.