Louis is a database of accessible educational materials from agencies and organizations across the U.S. It is designed to help educators and parents quickly locate the accessible materials students need, while reducing duplication of effort by sharing information from over 75 organizations in one place. The Louis search also allows users to search the NIMAC, Bookshare, and Learning Ally databases.
Check out the Louis training video for helpful information on searching the new website.
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is the most accurate and reliable way to search for a title. It is a unique book identifier assigned to each separate edition of a publication. An ISBN may be 10- or 13-digits and is generally found on the copyright page or the back cover. A 13-digit ISBN will begin with either 978 or 979.
To search by ISBN, type the ISBN code from the textbook in the Louis search bar without dashes. Only exact matches will appear. You can quickly convert between the 10- and 13-digit ISBNs, as well as verify a viable ISBN, through an ISBN converter. We recommend using the Library of Congress’s ISBN Converter.
Please note that teacher editions have a different ISBN than student editions. Take care to identify which edition you require and find the right number before searching Louis.
Example ISBN Search (Without Dashes):
Louis will automatically search several data fields when using the main search bar.
- Copyright/Publication year
- Accessible media format
- Catalog number
To search for an exact string of terms, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. For example, searching “middle school math” in quotation marks will return only results including the exact string.
Use the advanced search function or the filters on the left to refine your search.
Important Note: The Advanced Search and Search Results Filters are currently only available for Louis items. If you need to perform an advanced search for NIMAC, Bookshare, or Learning Ally materials, please use the search pages for those individual providers.
Louis advanced search lets users combine Boolean expressions to narrow or expand search results. You can search for combinations of words or phrases by using connector words (AND, OR, NOT) from the drop-down menu to establish a relationship between the search terms. Advanced search rows can be added or removed by the user. Advanced search allows users to find resources in more targeted bibliographic fields than standard search.
Examples using the terms Mathematics and Algebra.
- AND narrows your search results by limiting to results containing both words, Mathematics AND Algebra. Using AND, this search would retrieve results including both terms Mathematics and Algebra.
- OR expands your search results by including results containing either or both words, Mathematics OR Algebra. This search would retrieve results with Mathematics, with Algebra, and with both Mathematics and Algebra.
- NOT narrows your search results by limiting results to a specified word, Mathematics NOT Algebra. Using NOT, this search would retrieve results with Mathematics, and exclude all results with the word Algebra.
Series: Goosebumps OR Series: Harry Potter
Title: Adaptation and Survival AND Publisher: Perfection Learning
Subject: Mathematics NOT Subject: Algebra
To search by book subject, use the advanced search feature and the dropdown of “Subject” to search for the book subject you are looking for (For example: Civics). Additional information can be provided in the main search box and the advanced search to narrow your results further. You can also filter by Recreational Reading or Locations with the filters on the left side of the screen.
Subject: Chemistry AND Title: Chemical Interactions
Subject: Historical Fiction AND Author: Dan Gutman
To determine if a title is available in a specific braille code use the Format Detail filter to limit your search results. First, use the main search box and/or the advanced search to begin your search. Once you have conducted the search, filter the results by the braille code type by checking or unchecking the boxes listed under “Format Detail” on the left side of the screen. Below is a list of braille code formats that are currently used on Louis.
Available Braille Code Formats:
UEB with Nemeth
EBAE with Nemeth
The Collections filters allows you to narrow and customize your search results to find exactly the title you need.
- APH filter limits results to accessible materials produced by APH.
- Louis collections filter textbooks and tactile graphics produced by APH as well as over 75 small and large agencies nationwide.
- All – includes Louis results, as well as results from NIMAC, Bookshare, and Learning Ally
- NIMAC, Bookshare, Learning Ally filter narrows results to items specifically from NIMAC, Bookshare, or Learning Ally
- Recreational Reading filter creates listings of recreational reading titles in accessible formats
Results can be added or removed by checking or unchecking the filter boxes on the left side of the screen.
If you do not get the results you are looking for while doing a search, here are a few search tips that may help:
- Double check your ISBN. It is quite common to find you are searching a teacher’s edition ISBN when a student text is needed. Be sure to also search the ISBN without dashes.
- Check the punctuation, spelling, and grammar of the string of words being searched. A misspelled or incorrect word can derail your search.
- If searching using words including diacritical marks, type the letter without the mark—so for “première,” you would type “premiere.”
- If you get no results, use fewer search terms. Try starting off broader and then slowly narrow down your results. Change some of your search terms to similar or related words if applicable.
- If you get too many results, use more refined search terms. In addition to this, use the advanced search and the filters to narrow down your results.
- If you are running multiple searches, be sure to clear your previous search by pressing the “Reset Search” button (the x located in the main search box)
If the textbook you are seeking does not appear in the Louis Database, just fill out this handy APH textbook order request form.
Feel free to contact us using the Ask a Librarian form for further assistance.
Louis contains electronic files for APH produced braille and large print textbooks that can be downloaded and provided to the student. Current file formats include the following:
- Braille files (produced in BrailleBlaster, Duxbury, Edit-PC, Microbraille, et al.)
- PDF files
- Text files (produced in ASCII, RTF, Word and other tagged formats such as ICADD-22)
Braille files have been submitted by APH and other accessible media producing agencies. APH files in .BRF format can be read by any of the standard Braille translating programs (Duxbury, Ed-It PC, etc.). Files sent by other agencies are specifically for a certain Braille translator, such as Ed-It PC.
The braille files can be used to assist APH and others in braille production as source files. They can also be used directly by students with refreshable braille devices or other assistive technology.
The large print files, saved as PDF documents, can be used on iPads or iPods, laptops, and various accessible devices. The same great features are available: 18 point font, colors and images eliminated from behind text materials, clearer images, page or key word searching, and more.
Also included are older textbook files obtained from braille producers and publishers that are available in a variety of text and braille formats.
Anyone searching Louis will be able to see if a file is available for download. But, only Ex Officio Trustees and “authorized entities” (as defined under the 1996 Chafee Amendment) are entitled to download files.
If you wish to add your titles to the Louis database, please send a letter or email to Resource Services including the following information:
- name/agency name
- phone and fax number
- e-mail address
- name of contact person
- whether you will exchange, sell, or lend your materials nationwide.
Please send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org or:
Resource Services Department
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
Once we receive your letter, we will send account confirmation, a submission form, and provide complete directions for listing your materials. If you have any questions, please reach us by email or by phone: 800-223-1839, ext. 705 or email@example.com
Requirements for Listing on Louis
- You must have copyright clearance for reproducing the titles in the accessible format before listing them in Louis.
- If your titles are already listed with the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), please do not submit them to be listed on Louis.
- You must be willing to distribute your materials nationwide.