Explore libraries celebrate accessible services for Hi VIS fortnight

Over the last 10 weeks Explore has rapidly adapted and developed its services to include a new way of working and this includes providing books in accessible formats.

In the period since lockdown we have added significantly to Explore’s e-library and our e-audio collection. Our 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.

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 we will be able to make the full range of our accessible formats available again to complement our e-audio offer. This includes large print, audio on CD and playaways.

All of our online library services are free to use with a normal library membership and people can sign up at http://exploreyork.org.uk/getting-a-library-card-or-yorkcard.

Information about the e-library

https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-books/

https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-audiobooks/

https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-magazines/

People with a visual and/or print impairment can also access alternative formats for free from the following specialist libraries in the UK.

Calibre http://www.calibre.org.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 http://www.clearvisionproject.org

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.

You can find out more via info@clearvisionproject.org or you can call on 020 8789 9575. Royal National Institute of Blind People http://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. Further information is available via the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.