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NLS: Governing Legislation
36 CFR 701.10
Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations
Sec 701.10 Loans of library materials for blind and other physically handicapped
- Program. In connection with the Library's program of
the act of March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1487), as amended, its National Library
Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides books in raised
characters (braille), on sound reproduction recordings, or in any other form,
under regulations established by the Librarian of Congress. The National Library
Service also provides and maintains reproducers for such sound reproduction
recordings for the use of blind and other physically handicapped residents
of the United States, including the several States, Territories, Insular Possessions,
and the District of Columbia, and American citizens temporarily domiciled
- Eligibility Criteria.
- The following persons are eligible for such service:
- Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent
authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or
whose widest diameter if visual field subtends an angular distance no greater
than 20 degrees.
- Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless
of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing
the reading of standard printed material.
- Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable
to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
- Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading
resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent
their reading printed material in a normal manner.
- In connection with eligibility for loan services
is defined as follows:
- In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations
"competent authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine,
doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered
nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions,
and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers,
counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). In the
absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional
librarians or by any persons whose competence under specific circumstances
is acceptable to the Library of Congress.
- In the case of reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent
authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues
in associated disciplines.
- Loans through regional libraries. Sound
reproducers are lent to individuals and appropriate centers through agencies,
libraries, and other organizations designated by the Librarian of Congress to
service specific geographic areas, to certify eligibility of prospective readers,
and to arrange for maintenance and repair of reproducers. Libraries designated by
the Librarian of Congress serve as local or regional centers for the direct loan of
such books, reproducers, or other specialized material to eligible readers in
specific geographic areas. They share in the certification of prospective readers,
and utilize all available channels of communication to acquaint the public within
their jurisdiction with all aspects of the program.
- National collections. The Librarian of Congress,
through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped,
defines regions and determines the need for new regional libraries in cooperation
with other libraries or agencies whose activities are primarily concerned with the
blind and physically handicapped. It serves as the center from which books, recordings,
sound reproducers, and other specialized materials are lent to eligible blind
and physically handicapped readers who may be temporarily domiciled outside
the jurisdictions enumerated by the act. It maintains a special collection
of books in raised characters and on sound reproduction recordings not housed
in regional libraries and makes these materials available to eligible borrowers
on interlibrary loan.
- Institutions. The reading materials and sound
reproducers for the use of blind and physically handicapped persons may be loaned to
individuals who qualify, to institutions such as nursing homes and hospitals, and to
schools for the blind or physically handicapped for the use of such persons only.
The reading materials and sound reproducers may also be used in public or
private schools where handicapped students are enrolled; however, the students
in public or private schools must be certified as eligible on an individual
basis and must be the direct and only recipients of the materials and equipment.
- Musical scores. The National Library Service also
maintains a library of musical scores, instructional texts, and other specialized
materials for the use of the blind and other physically handicapped residents of the
United States and its possessions in furthering their educational, vocational, and
cultural opportunities in the field of music. Such scores, texts, and materials
are made available on a loan basis under regulations developed by the Librarian
of Congress in consultation with persons, organizations, and agencies engaged
in work for the blind and for other physically handicapped persons.
- Veterans. In the lending of such books,
recordings, reproducers, musical scores, instructional texts, and other specialized
materials, preference shall be at all times given to the needs of the blind and other
physically handicapped persons who have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces
of the United States.
- Inquiries for information relative to the prescribed procedures and
regulations governing such loans and requests for loans should be addressed to:
Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library
of Congress, Washington, DC 20542.
[39 Federal Register 20203, June 7, 1974, as amended at 46 Federal Register
48661, Oct. 2, 1981]