Library Services

The California School for the Blind has an on-campus library that provides resources and services for students with visual impairments, as well as parents, staff, and professionals.

The library offers a variety of fiction and nonfiction reading materials for students ranging in age from kindergarten through high school in a number of different formats:

  • Regular and large print books
  • Print/braille books (books that combine print, illustrations, and braille, usually picture books)
  • Braille books (while most are in EBAE, there are over 250 books in UEB)
  • Uncontracted braille books (either EBAE or UEB)
  • Audio books, including books on cassette, CD, Playaway, or Digital Talking Books
  • Descriptive DVDs that are recorded with a narrative description of the visual setting.

The separate parent/professional collection contains books, curricula, journals, and videos for parents, staff, and other professionals who work with visually impaired students.

Teachers from other public schools in California may 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

The library collection can be searched by author, title, subject, series, and/or format by using the library's fully automated catalog/circulation system.

To access the library catalog:

Once you are in the library catalog, clicking on the "Visual" tab will allow you to see general categories:

  • California Recommended Literature (for more info see the Recommended Literature List External link opens in new window or tab.)
  • General interests, such as fiction and the Don Johnston high interest/low vocabulary materials
  • Award winners, including Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, California Young Reader Medal, California Eureka Nonfiction Children's Book Award, and Odyssey Audiobook Award books

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

Call Number Prefix Description Catalog Icon
No call number prefix Regular print Icon displays a stack of book cover with the text - Book.
LP Large print Icon displays a book cover with the text - Large Print.
BRL Braille Icon displays an open braille book with the text - Braille book.
BRL Uncontracted braille Icon displays the alpha and braille letter A with the text - Braille.
CAS Cassette (cassette titles from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) require a tape player compatible with NLS cassette books) Icon displays audio cassette.
CD CD Icon displays a CD with the text - Audio.
PLA Playaway (a type of audio book with a built in player) Icon displays Playaway.
PRT/BRL Print and braille together Icon displays a book cover with the text - Twin Vision.
DB Digital talking book (digital talking books require a reading device compatible with NLS digital books) Icon displays headphones and an open book with the text - Audio Books.

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, Playaway, and large print titles published by commercial publishers. Snapshot is generated by ISBN number, so it doesn't work for braille, large print reproductions, or cassettes and digital talking books recorded by NLS. However, for most books there is a print copy that will have the information.

There is even an app for the library catalog! The "Atriuum on the go" app, available for both Android and iPhones, will allow you to search the CSB library from your smartphone.

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

  • Server:
  • Port: default
  • Library: csb

Then click on "connect to library" and start searching!

Elizabeth Hart - Library Technical Assistant
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Fridays, 7:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.