09 March 2021 Share
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is upgrading its Braille Library to offer library books on demand, a new personalised braille reading service designed to increase access to hardcopy braille books for readers across the UK from April 2021.
The new service means RNIB Braille Library members will be able to read an enlarged collection of books via home delivery, which will be smaller and slimmer in volume, making them easier to store or read on the go. Books will never be out of stock, allowing lots of readers to request the same book at the same time, which is ideal to meet library members’ shifting demand for best sellers.
Dave Williams, RNIB Customer Experience Manager said: “This is a significant investment to improve one of our flagship services for our readers, providing a wider choice of better-quality printed Braille books for them to keep or share with friends. Most importantly, where we have publishers' permission, new books will be available at the same time as the version read by sighted peers.
“The change will also substantially improve our provision of Braille children’s books, which is something we champion to improve braille literacy. As braille readers ourselves, we appreciate it is a vital literacy medium for tens of thousands of readers across the UK, combined with our electronic braille collection we will be providing a Braille Library service fit for years to come.
RNIB will be offering customers, including schools, the opportunity to keep books from its existing Braille Library. Those books that are not gifted to customers will be donated to overseas organisations that RNIB has sent books to over many years, with special items of cultural significance being preserved as part of RNIB’s Heritage collection.
Existing RNIB Braille Library members do not need to do anything as they will be automatically migrated across to the new service in April 2021. Members will be able to request Braille Library books in the usual way via RNIB’s Helpline and also have access to a new website for managing their individual book lists.
To sign up to the online library please visit the RNIB website, or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more.