Replacing the Giant Print library - FAQs


Following recent media coverage of our plans to update the Giant Print Library to a new service of digital books and Print On Demand, we have received several questions we answer below. 

Will the service be free? 

Yes. Our users will not be charged for using it.

Why won’t RNIB commit to lending unlimited books? 

Because we are funding this service so that it is entirely free to our readers, we cannot commit to allowing unlimited titles. 

Our most active library users borrowed an average of 12 books per year. With that in mind, we have committed to: either matching a library user’s previous borrowing, or one book per month, whichever is highest. 

For example, if you have been a member for three months and borrowed six books during that time, we would match that rate at two books per month. If you have been a long-term member, we will match the usage in your most active year. 

Our aim is to ensure nobody misses out. No one should be denied a print on demand book that they want, or need, to read. We will review the policy if we find that our readers are reaching their limits. 

How will the books be bound? 

This is based purely on size. Larger books will be spiral-bound, so they can lie flat on a table. We expect – due to their length – most of our children’s books will be staple-bound, just like other classroom books.

How are you creating the books and how will you ensure the best print quality?

We will print direct from our ePub library, allowing us to vary the text and image sizes to deliver clear, crisp, high contrast text and graphics. 

We have invested in this new printing technology to ensure it’s a real improvement for our readers; our Gateshead printing facility is state of the art. The print quality for the words and pictures is stunning compared to other solutions. 

Will the books have front covers?

Sadly, no. Not at this stage. Book front covers do not fall within our copyright and hence we are legally not allowed to reproduce them. We are talking with publishers to see if we can change this position.

Is this service only available through schools?

No. The new Online Reading Service, from which Print on Demand will be drawn, will be available directly to families through accounts set up in their child’s name. 

RNIB Bookshare continues to be managed through schools, although we have always been happy for schools to allow parents access to the Bookshare service too. You can browse the RNIB Bookshare collection, without membership to find the print on demand book of your choice.

Can I still sign-up to the Giant Print Library?

Sorry, no. As part of the transfer, we cannot accept new applications for library membership. In January, current readers will be shown how to transfer to the Online Reading Service. The Online Reading Service is already available for new users and the Print On Demand service launches on 1 February 2021. 

How does this new service improve on the current Giant Print library?

Through this service, we can now offer:

  • Giant print books the same week that regular print books are published. Readers will no longer have to wait to read the next book in a series while your friends read ahead. 

  • Brand new print books every time, delivered by post.

  • A choice of 20,000 children’s fiction titles, compared with 3,000 in the old library.

  • Sharper, high-contrast modern printing. 

  • A choice of large and giant print sizes.