California School for the Blind

Library Services


The California School for the Blind has an on-campus library that provides resources and services to students from pre-school age to adult. The library’s collection has over 15,000 titles in a variety formats, including regular print, large print, braille, audio, 4-track audio, and print/braille combination. In addition, over 100 descriptive videos are in the collection and are recorded with a narrative description of the visual setting. A separate parent/professional collection contains books, curricula, journals, and videos for parents, staff, and other professionals who work with visually impaired students.

Staff and students can search the collection by author, title, subject, series, and/or format, by using the library’s fully automated catalog/circulation system.

Students and staff may check-out equipment such as Perkins Braillers and 4-track tape recorders, as well as puzzles, games, manipulatives, and other educational aids, from the library.

Equipment available for use in the library includes a CCTV, Perkins Braillers, 4-track tape recorders, a TV with a VCR and five computers. Two of the computers are equipped with optical scanners and one is equipped with a Braille embosser. All five computers have access to the Internet, as well as the automated catalog.

Teachers from other public schools in California may also borrow materials for their students from CSB. Teachers interested in borrowing materials should contact Elizabeth Hart, Library Technical Assistant, at (510) 936-5575 or at

Library staff also assists in answering reference questions of parents and professionals working with visually impaired students throughout California.

We also have a have a library catalog online

Please see information below

To access the library catalog:

  • Go to CSB website at, click on “Resources,” then click on “Learning Resources,” then click on “Online Library Catalog” or

  • Go to, then click on “Display” or

  • Go to

Once you are in the library catalog

Clicking Visual tab will allow you to see general categories:

  • California Recommended Literature (for more info see

  • General interests includes fiction and the Don Johnston materials

  • Award winners includes Newbery, Caldecott, Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, California Young Reader Medal, California Eureka non-fiction children's book award, and Odyssey Audiobook Award books

Format is indicated by the following letters in front of the call number

  • LP = Large print LP

  • BRL = Braille Braille or uncontracted braille uncontracted braille

  • CAS = Cassette cassette (books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) require a special tape player)

  • CD = CD CD

  • PLA = Playaway Playaway (a type of audio book with a built in player)

  • PRT/BRL = Print and Braille together Print and braille together

  • DB = Digital talking book Digital talking book (digital talking books require a player from NLS, a BookPort DT from APH, or other reading device compatible with NLS digital books.

  • Print books do not have letters in front of the call number Print books

  • PROF = Books in the professional library

  • TE = Teacher's edition

A media search will allow you to search by keyword and type of media - audiocassette, braille, CD, large print, Playaway, digital talking book, print braille, and uncontracted braille.

For book reviews of titles, click on the cover of the book, then click on "Snapshot". This works for most of the print, cassette, CD, and large print titels published by commercial publishers. Snapshot is generated by ISBN number, so it doesn't work for braille, large print reproductions by APH or LRS, or cassettes by NLS. However, for most books there is a print copy that will have the information.

If you have questions about the library catalog, just ask! I will be happy to give you a demonstration.

There is even an app for the library catalog!

The “Atriuum on the go” app will let you search the CSB library from your smartphone. It’s available for both Android and iPhones (and the app does seem to work with VoiceOver on the iPhone.)

After you have downloaded the app, you will need to enter the following information under settings:

Port: default
Library: csb

Then click on “connect to library” and start searching!


Elizabeth Hart - Library Technician
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.



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