From 1 to 14 June libraries across the UK will be marking Hi VIS fortnight. Hi VIS is about celebrating accessible library services and reading in alternative formats. It is promoted by Share the Vision’s Reading Sight website which works with library services to support them in delivering accessible services and books in accessible formats as well as researching new developments in the world of accessible reading and reading technology.
When Explore libraries re-open they will be able to make the full range of their accessible formats available again to complement their e-audio offer. This includes large print, audio on CD and playaways.
In the period since lockdown they have added significantly to their e-library and e-audio collection. E-audio usage has increased by 52% since the period just before lockdown, and has more than doubled, up 108% since the same period last year. The provision and availability of alternative formats is critical to visually and print impaired people being able to access reading and literature.
All of their online library services are free to use with a normal library membership and people can sign up at exploreyork.org.uk/getting-a-library-card-or-yorkcard.
Information about the e-library
People with a visual and/or print impairment can also access alternative formats for free from the following specialist libraries in the UK:
Calibre Audio Library is a national charity providing a subscription-free service of unabridged audiobooks for adults and children who are unable to access standard print. They have over 11,000 audio books to choose from, and available titles can be searched for online.
ClearVision is a postal lending library of children’s books designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults. All their books have braille, print and pictures, and there are over 14,000 books in the collection, catering for children from birth until they’re independent readers.
Royal National Institute of Blind People (www.rniblibrary.com)
RNIB Library has over 60,000 items for people to borrow, including audiobooks, braille and giant print (24pt) and accessible music. It is the largest library of its kind in the UK and the full catalogue of titles can be searched online.