Currency Readers Are Coming!

The National Library Service (NLS) is partnering with the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing to provide free currency readers to individuals with vision impairments. These electronic devices operate on one triple A battery, and will recognize all U.S. bills from one to one hundred dollars. The device can announce the bill denomination by voice, tone, or vibration.

Interested patrons with vision impairments may call the Talking Book Program at 800-252-9605, and their names will be added to the waiting list. A tentative timetable for distribution is currently around the end of this year, subject to change.

Persons who are visually impaired, but not patrons of an NLS library, can also receive a free money reader through this program. An application is required, and must be signed by a certified authority. NLS patrons will receive the money readers first. This application is not yet available, but TBP is keeping a list of interested parties.

For people who do not want to wait, money readers are available for purchase from low vision catalog companies. Independent Living Aids ( and LS&S ( are two companies that sell the iBill money reader. The Talking Book Program can provide more information on purchasing a money reader. Neither NLS nor the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will reimburse individuals who have already purchased a money reader, or choose to purchase one in the future.

In addition, free money identifier apps are available for smartphones. The EyeNote can be downloaded from the Apple store, and the IDEAL Currency Identifier from the Google Play store. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was involved in the creation of both apps.

For more information, including access to the application for non-NLS patrons, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing web site at: