The Hawai‘i Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) is part of the Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS) and the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

In 1931, the Trustees of the Library of Hawai‘i made a request through Gov. Judd to have the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped serve as a depository of Braille books produced under the national program. This was made possible by the signing of the Pratt-Smoot Act by President Herbert Hoover on March 3, 1931. In July 1931, Hawai‘i became one of the original 19 libraries established.

LBPH provides free services to eligible residents in the State of Hawai‘i and U.S. territories and possessions in the Pacific area. Patrons must be unable to read or use regular print materials due to a visual or physical disability. Certification by a competent authority is required. Books, magazines and special equipment are made available for borrowing.

LBPH provides books and magazines in audio, Braille and large type formats, as well as trans-cribing and radio reading services.

The audio book program has seen many changes over the years, from long playing records to cassette tapes to digital technology. Patrons, both adults and children, have been able to enjoy their favorite books and magazines.

Now, registered patrons can also borrow Digital Talking Book Machines and Digital Books. The smaller lightweight machine has improved digital sound quality and a rechargeable battery.

Technology has also made it easier for patrons to enjoy the thousands of books available through NLS. Registered patrons can now download books through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). Contact LBPH for more information.

Large type books are also available to those who have a HSPLS library card. You can apply for a library card at LBPH or any public library.

The Transcribing Services Section at LBPH produces materials not already available into accessible formats.

The Radio Reading Service Hawai‘i program allows patrons on Oahu and Maui to listen to selected articles from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, articles from local publications like Midweek, Longs ads, food ads from the local grocery stores and other programs of interest to our local com-munity. The library can provide patrons with a special radio receiver to enjoy the broadcast over a sub-channel of KHPR, Hawai‘i Public Radio.


For more information and/or application form, contact the Hawai‘i Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped:

  • Phone: 808-733-8444
 / Toll-free: 1-800-559-4096 (Neighbor Islands only)
  • Email: olbcirc@librarieshawaii.org
  • Library Hours: 
Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.: 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Tues.: 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.
  • Address: 
402 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815

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