Resources and Services for Users with Disabilities

Accessibility Resources and Services

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.

Accessible entrance

The Boylston Street Building is the accessible entrance for the Central Library. Both the McKim and Boylston Street Buildings contain elevators that are available from the first floors to reach other floors in the buildings. Please contact a staff member or security guard if assistance is needed.


The Boston Public Library owns Braille books for adults and children; NBA, NFL, and MLB schedules; and 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. In addition, most books digitized by the BPL are turned into audio (DAISY) files that can be downloaded for play on certain devices and/or listened to directly in a web browser. If you need assistance turning a print item into an audio item for accessibility purposes, please email


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. Several of our program rooms are equipped with assistive listening devices. Contact our Events department at 617.859.2212 or for information on this service. Patrons who need interpretation services for any of the library’s programs should request them as early as possible through our Programs department at 617.859.2382 or

A sensory wall in the Children's Library on the second floor of the Boylston Street 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, on the first floor of the Boylston Street Building.

Adaptive Computer Station Software and accessories:

Windows 10 with Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft Edge and Chrome browsers, including a Large Screen monitor with the following additional tools:

  • Jaws Screen Reader
  • Windows Ease of Access capabilities
  • Duxbury Braille Translator
  • Braille Printer Juliet
  • Kurzweil 3000

Computer use is limited to two hours per day, with an automatic extension up to four hours if nobody is waiting. 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.

All patron computers in all locations have integrated Windows Ease of Access capabilities for text size, high contrast, magnification, and screen reading. Staff at the desk can assist patrons with basic computer questions. If advanced or extended one-on-one assistance is needed, please make an appointment by emailing or calling 617-859-2323.


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