The Russian State Library for the Blind (RGBS) is the largest specialized library for the visually-impaired in the country.
The fund of the Library numbers more than 1000000 units including Braille books and periodical editions; «talking» books and magazines on cassettes, open reels and in electronic format; ordinary ink-print and enlarged books, magazines and newspapers. The Library has a unique stock of Literature on problems of a rehabilitation and social adaptation of physically-handicapped people. The Library publishes catalogues, typhlo-bibliographical editions, summary collections and scientific articles.
Information service is provided on a base of modern technologies and electronic databases on all kinds of documents. RGBS is connected with databases of the largest libraries all over the world. Every year the fund is replenished with 40000 units of different types of issues in traditional and alternative formats. The Library studio records «talking» books using modern technologies of the digitalization of information. The thematic talking collections expand the volume of the operative newspaper-magazine information. Print-handicapped readers are provided with ancillary technical aids, such as reading machines, Braille monitors and printers. The visually-impaired have free access to information resources by means of working places specially equipped with adapted technologies.
Every year the Library provides information services for more than 15000 print-handicapped people. There are many students, scientists, specialists in different fields of knowledge among them. Teachers, scientists and researchers can find literature on typhlology and ophtalmology, parents — books about upbringing of a blind child in a family. RGBS is planned for all users’ age categories, but especial attention is given to blind children and youth.
The club «Preodolenie»(«Overcoming») works in the Library. It integrates students of schools, colleges and universities. The tasks of the club are:
to help visually-impaired youth at the professional orientation, self-confirmation, self-service;
to provide a psychological protection and conditions for independent education and leisure activities.
The Library has organized a Center of Law Information allowing a free access to legal law information systems for the visually-impaired. The Center provides the fullness of information, the efficiency of service and accessibility of databases for the visually-impaired.
The Center of the art-aesthetic development was organized in the Library. Its task is to supply visually-impaired users an access to properties of the National and World Culture.
RGBS is a scientific and methodological center for 72 specialized libraries for the blind of the Russian Federation. The Library is a member of Russian and Moscow Library Associations, the Library Charitable Fund, IFLA, European-Asia Library Assembly. RGBS translates Newsletter of the Section Libraries for the Blind/ IFLA into Russian and distributes it among Russian libraries for the blind.