United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 26, 2022

§ 135a.
National library service for the blind and print disabled
Accessible materials and reproducers
In general
The Librarian of Congress is authorized to provide to eligible persons who are residents of the United States (including residents of the several States, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia) and to eligible persons who are United States citizens residing outside the United States the following items:
Literary works published in raised characters, on sound-reproduction recordings, or in any other accessible format.
Musical scores, instructional texts, and other specialized materials used in furthering educational, vocational, and cultural opportunities in the field of music published in any accessible format.
Reproducers for such formats.

Any item provided under paragraph (1) shall be provided on a loan basis and shall remain the property of the Library of Congress.

Lending preference
In the lending of items under subsection (a), the Librarian shall at all times give preference to—
the needs of the blind and visually disabled; and
the needs of eligible persons who have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States.

The Librarian of Congress may contract or otherwise arrange with such public or other nonprofit libraries, agencies, or organizations as the Librarian may determine appropriate to serve as local or regional centers for the circulation of items described in subsection (a)(1).

International service

The Librarian of Congress is authorized to provide items described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (a)(1) to authorized entities located in a country that is a party to the Marrakesh Treaty, if any such items are delivered to authorized entities through online, not physical, means. The Librarian may contract or otherwise arrange with such authorized entities to deliver such items to eligible persons located in their countries in any accessible format and consistent with section 121A of title 17.

Contracting preference

In the purchase and maintenance of items described in subsection (a), the Librarian of Congress, without regard to section 6101 of title 41, shall give preference to nonprofit institutions or agencies whose activities are primarily concerned with the blind and with other physically disabled persons, in all cases where, considering all the circumstances and needs involved, the Librarian determines that the prices submitted are fair and reasonable.


The Librarian of Congress shall prescribe regulations for services under this section, in consultation with eligible persons and authorized entities. Such regulations shall include procedures that shall be used by an individual to establish that the individual is an eligible person.

In this section—
the terms “accessible format”, “authorized entity”, and “eligible person” have the meanings given those terms in section 121 of title 17; and
the term “Marrakesh Treaty” has the meaning given in section 121A of such title 17.
Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.

(Mar. 3, 1931, ch. 400, § 1, 46 Stat. 1487; Mar. 4, 1933, ch. 279, 47 Stat. 1570; June 14, 1935, ch. 242, § 1, 49 Stat. 374; Apr. 23, 1937, ch. 125, § 1, 50 Stat. 72; June 7, 1939, ch. 191, 53 Stat. 812; June 6, 1940, ch. 255, 54 Stat. 245; Oct. 1, 1942, ch. 575, § 1, 56 Stat. 764; June 13, 1944, ch. 246, § 1, 58 Stat. 276; Aug. 8, 1946, ch. 868, § 1, 60 Stat. 908; July 3, 1952, ch. 566, 66 Stat. 326; Pub. L. 85–308, § 1, Sept. 7, 1957,
cite as: 2 USC 135a