First SHELF Library Announced

Perkins SHELF Project Offers Free Book Downloads


August 31, 2011 | Source:

Audio books from Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library are now online.

Watertown, MA - The Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library (the Library) is the first in the nation to offer patrons The SHELF Project, a new download service for digital audio books like those produced at the Library's own recording studio on the Perkins School for the Blind campus in Watertown, MA.

The SHELF Project (SHared ELectronic Files) provides an online catalog of locally-recorded digital audio books, plus the capacity to download and play them on a variety of devices available to eligible Library patrons. Individuals who are unable to read standard print materials may be eligible to use Perkins SHELF and other free services from the Library. Eligibility details are online at

Massachusetts is the first state to make its locally-produced audio books available on the national SHELF Project developed by Keystone Systems. Other libraries' content will soon come onboard and users will have access to that content in addition to Massachusetts titles. Talking book versions of national best-sellers and other high-demand books are available through the Library's affiliation with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Books by local authors and titles of particular interest to Massachusetts readers are recorded by volunteer narrators at Perkins' Watertown recording studios.

Interested borrowers can access Perkins SHELF Project through the Library's online catalog Using the Perkins SHELF Project, patrons can browse the collection and download a desired title immediately. "We at Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library are very excited that this is the first library to make locally-recorded titles available to borrowers for download through Perkins SHELF," says Kim Charlson, Library Director. "We worked with Keystone Systems, the provider for our Library's automation system, to incorporate this functionality into our already existing online catalog for user convenience."

Keystone Systems, Inc., in Raleigh, N.C. is a leading provider of software and services for libraries with distinctive needs. "The SHELF Project will be a repository for sharing locally recorded titles from across the country. The fact that Perkins has taken the lead on the SHELF Project will be instrumental to its success. Without their expertise, feedback, input and support, it would not have been possible to launch such an ambitious program," says James Burts, Executive Vice President, Keystone Systems. States that have already committed to putting their titles on SHELF include Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, Vermont, Maryland, plus the Braille Institute of America in southern California. Several other states will soon add their locally-produced titles to the SHELF Project. More than one thousand titles will be available for Perkins and other states' libraries on the service.

Patrons can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (617) 972-7240 for details about Perkins SHELF Project.

Perkins School for the Blind, the nation's first school for students who are blind or visually disabled, provides education and services to help build productive, meaningful lives for 145,000 children and adults who are blind or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities in the U.S. and 65 countries worldwide. Founded in 1829, Perkins pursues this mission around the world, in the community, and on campus. Learn more online at

Keystone Systems, Inc., a leading provider of accessible library software since 1983, provides software and service solutions to libraries with complex demands. Keystone developers have created a powerful, yet elegant library automation system, which has the flexibility to meet the specific needs of special, academic, and public libraries. For more information about Keystone Systems or KLAS, visit