Post date: 
Monday, 2 November 2020

RNIB is dedicated to providing books in a variety of accessible formats.  From February 2021, our Giant Print lending library facility will be closing to be replaced with new systems that offer our readers a better service.

Over time the impact of accessible books and devices in digital formats has continued to change the way many customers read. The majority of our giant print readers have already voted with their feet, moving across to our digital services which offer a far greater choice of books, in a wide variety of digital formats suiting Braille and print users.

For those readers who have a continued need for giant printed books, from February our new print on demand service will offer those readers a much better free book delivery service at a significantly lower cost to RNIB.

We are no longer registering new Giant Print Library customers and will cease lending giant print books after 31 January 2021.

David Clarke, RNIB's director of services explains the decisions behind the change: “This move represents a significant upgrade for our library readers. At present the Giant Print Library stocks only 3,000 children’s books and only offers them in 24pt text.

“From 1 February 2021, the Giant Print Library will be replaced. Our customer feedback suggests that the majority of readers will favour the convenience of eBooks, supplied through our Bookshare platform, giving our young readers instant access to over 20,000 children’s titles. However, we are aware that some readers will prefer, or require, a paper book. From February, our free Personal Transcription Service will incorporate Print On Demand books from the Bookshare collection."

For those readers choosing to switch to eBooks, we recognise that not every family has access to a tablet or a Kindle, so we can offer technology grants and supplies. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this transition, please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected].

How can I continue to read my books?

If you have a smartphone or a tablet and are familiar with the settings, you will be able to use your device as a magnifier to read any print source. If you need help to find out how, our Techology for Life team can give you support. The RNIB Online Shop also has a wide range of regular handheld magnifiers and electronic video magnifiers.

Your local library may also offer large print titles. These may not be as large font as you require, but may be suitable when using a magnifier.

If you have an eReader, such as an Amazon Kindle or Fire tablet, you can still enjoy books with large print. An increasing number of local authority libraries offer the facility to download books onto Kindle. You can then adjust the font size to suit your requirements. With Amazon Prime, members can borrow one book from Kindle Owners' Lending Library each calendar month, downloaded to compatible devices.

There are also other devices that you can use such as a PC, Mac, Kobo eReader, apps for smartphones and tablets. Many apps will also have text-to-speech alongside the large print size function.

Alternatively, you may like to try our Talking Books, which has over 32,000 titles professionally narrated and in a wide range of genres and styles.

However, we are aware that some readers will prefer, or require, a paper book. From February 2021, our free Personal Transcription Service will incorporate Print On Demand books from the Bookshare collection.

We’re here to support you. Call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more and explore the different ways you can access our reading services.

Lending for children

Our current catalogue will not be going to waste as we will be donating books to school libraries and Local Authority sensory support services next year. If you run a library, get in touch with our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected] if you would like to receive a small collection for your library/service.

We will also continue to provide braille books and our online school book service, RNIB Bookshare, which has more than half a million digital books and titles available to download for free.

Guide Dogs offer books for various children’s reading ages through Custom Eyes. With this service, font type, size, spacing, line spacing, paper colour can be specified, and you can even choose from two types of binding. Books are priced at the same as the original print book recommended retail price (RRP).