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Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

The Andrew Heiskell Library provides talking books and magazines and braille for people who are blind, visually impaired, or are otherwise physically unable to read standard print. The library serves residents who live in New York City and Long Island.

  • Find braille and audio books: PAWS catalog
  • Check Find it Fast for links to programs and services at the library and from other agencies.<--break->



The library has two public floors, with a children's room and a young adult section, large circulating collections of talking book and braille materials that mirror collections in traditional neighborhood public libraries, specialized audio playback equipment for listening to recorded books and magazines, and assistive technologies.

Fiction and nonfiction selections range from classics to bestsellers in many subject areas. There is also a meeting room for concerts, lectures, and other special events. Public programs are barrier-free and are open to the general public, free of charge. Staff at the Andrew Heiskell Library also conduct one-on-one computer classes using assistive technology. If you are interested, contact the library to schedule an appointment.

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library opened in its current location on West 20 Street in 1991. Formerly the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the facility was renamed in honor of the former chairman of The New York Public Library's Board of Trustees who served from 1981 to 1990. The library is a Regional Library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress, serving New York City for Braille and Talking Books and Long Island, NY for Braille Books.

Read our Annual Report.

Find It Fast

40 West 20th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)New York, NY 10011-4211

Telephone: 212-206-5400; TDD: 212-206-5458;24-hour voice mail: 212-206-5425; Fax: 212-206-5418;Email:

Onsite Hours

Monday 10 to 5; Tuesday 12 to 7; Wednesday 10 to 5; Thursday 12 to 7; Friday 10 to 5; Saturday 10 to 5; Sunday closed

Telephone Service Hours

Monday 10 to 5; Tuesday 10 to 7; Wednesday 10 to 5; Thursday 10 to 7; Friday 10 to 5; Saturday 10 to 5; Sunday closed

Reserve a PC

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Short History

Thomas Alva Edison at age thirty with his rotating cylinder phonograph.1995, the centennial year of The New York Public Library, also marked the 100th anniversary of the Andrew Heiskell Library. This brief history is from the brochure the library produced to commemorate the event.

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Citizen's Advisory Council

The Citizen's Advisory Council of the Andrew Heiskell Library

The Citizen's Advisory Council meets periodically to discuss issues of importance to the library and its users. If you are a patron of the library, and its services and programs are important to you, you should consider attending future meetings.

All individuals registered for services from the Andrew Heiskell Library are eligible to be members of the Citizen's Advisory Council. In addition, the parents or guardians of children under the age of sixteen may be members.

All meetings are held at the library at 40 

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Services to Institutions

Registering for Service

Do you work in a nursing home, a school or other institution that services persons who can no longer read standard print, or have difficulty holding a book? Institutions can register individual patrons for talking book and/or braille service by using the Adult Application. You may also register to receive a deposit collection in your agency using the Application for Institutions, for use by eligible patrons. Deposit collections are typically 30 to 50 books loaned to an agency and rotated quarterly, so your patrons will always have a new batch of books to choose 

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Disability Information: Links by Category

Contact Us

By Mail

Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library40 West 20th StreetNew York, NY 10011-4211

If you plan to visit, the library is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, on the south side of West 20th Street.Map & Directions

Onsite HoursMonday: 10 – 5Tuesday: 12 –7Wednesday: 10-5Thursday: 12 – 7Friday: 10 – 5Saturday: 10 – 5By Phone(212) 206-5400 – General information(212) 206-5425 – 24-hour voicemail

Our General Information phone line is answered directly during the 

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