Free Library For Blind Children and Adults - Living Paintings

Living Paintings

A Quick Guide To The Library


Lisa the librarian on the phone chatting to a library member, smiling.

Call us or complete our join form today to start borrowing our beautiful tactile books accompanied with descriptive audio. Our library (library for the blind) is completely free for blind and partially sighted people.

Receive your introductory pack

key stage 1 introduction

Within a few days you’ll receive your first introductory pack direct to your door. This includes everything you need to know about your library membership and introduces you to our unique books.

Return books free of charge

Library member Danni feeling a tactile picture on the sofa, there are two boxes of Living Paintings books on one side.

Return free of charge using the returns label included.


Young boy smiling while sitting on a sofa and exploring a tactile image of Elmer the elephant with his fingers

Choose the books you’d like to receive or leave it to us to select for you. That’s it, continue to enjoy a world of accessible pictures, books, reading and learning experiences.

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about our library in our FAQs below. If you don’t find the answer to the question you were looking for please get in touch by emailing or calling 01635 299 771.

Can anyone borrow?


We lend to anyone in the UK who is blind or partially sighted including:
• Organisations such as schools, health authorities and care homes
• Individuals such as teachers, carers and support workers
• Children at home
• Teenagers
• Adults
• Parents
• Groups such as societies and book clubs

Children and teenagers will need an adult to join the library on their behalf.

Is there a charge to use the library?


Our completely FREE postal and online library operates throughout the UK. All books are dispatched ‘Articles for the Blind’ through Royal Mail. An ‘Articles for the Blind’ label is also enclosed for free return. There are no overdue charges.

Although the library is completely free we do appreciate any contributions to support our service. You can donate online here or telephone 01635 299771.

How do I become a library member?

Click here to become a library member and join via the online form or give us a call on 01635 299771 and we will be happy to sign you up over the phone.

How do I borrow?

Through using our online library you can browse and choose the books that you would like to borrow. To order books you will need to login to your library account. You can also email to place an order or call us on 01635 299771. When you join you can choose to automatically be sent a new selection of books on return of your current loans, you can also request this at any time by editing your details online or getting in touch with us.

What do I do if I forget my online log in details?

If you forget your username please contact us on  01635 299771 or email Your username is sometimes your library membership number if you joined some time ago, for more recent members your username will be the username you chose when you joined.

If you forget your password you can reset it from the login page here or get in touch and we can reset it for you.

How long can I keep the books for?

The standard loan period for adults is three months. The standard loan period for children is eight weeks, this is to fit in with school term times and to avoid waiting lists for popular books.

How do I return the books?

Simply put all the books / images / CDs / USBs / guidance notes (where applicable) back into the brown postal box in which they arrived. Attach the “Articles for the Blind” label (addressed to Living Paintings) enclosed with your order to the box. If you need a replacement box and / or label please let us know and we can send you one.

Please do not use any tape on the boxes, doing so damages them and prevents us being able to re-use them again. The postman also requests that boxes are not taped down so they can check the contents are eligible for using the free postal service.

Then either:

  • Take the box to the Post Office.  There is no postal charge for “Articles for the Blind”.
  • If you are unable to get to a Post Office, you can arrange for Royal Mail to collect your loans. Please call 0345 607 6140 and mention that you have an Articles for the Blind parcel to be collected.

Our postal library service is COMPLETELY FREE to all UK members.

What does a Touch to See book contain?

Our Touch to See books contain raised tactile images accompanied by atmospheric audio guides. In addition some book ranges come with guidance notes or activity packs and a colour photograph booklet.

Our children’s picture books are the original published book, comb bound with braille on clear plastic sheets and raised tactile pictures.

All the audio guides are available on CD, digital audio files on a USB stick, and streaming via your login . You can find out more about what is included in a particular book on the listing in our online library

What digital formats do you offer?

The audio guides which accompany the tactile images are available on a USB stick, CD, or you can stream it from your My Account section. You can set your preference for audio format on your online account or by getting in touch, you can also select your preferred audio format when you order.

What is a USB stick?

A USB stick is a small device about the size of a thumb which can hold a large amount of digital information such as audio files, word documents and pictures. It plugs into a computer or USB stick player. The Boom Box Plus Memory Stick Player and Kings Audio Sovereign or Sonic Players are designed with visually impaired people in mind and are easy to use. You can purchase these players from our friends at Calibre Audio Library or Kings Access Technology.

Can I buy Touch to See books?

No. unfortunately not. To enable access to all our Touch to See books, they can only be borrowed via our free, UK postal library. Our books are very expensive to produce and so we just don’t have the resources to be able to offer a purchase option.

Is Living Paintings environmentally friendly?

Our books and resources are not single-use, they are borrowed and enjoyed over and again by our library members. In-between borrowing the books are cleaned, repaired and refreshed when necessary to extend their longevity. All of our box and paper packaging is reusable and recyclable, which is why we always ask members not to use tape on the boxes when returning their loans, no matter how tempting it might be, as doing so prevents us being able to reuse the box.

My child needs large print books – is this something you offer?

We do not change the font size in any of our books, all font is the standard original size set by the book publisher. We then adapt them in our own special way by adding in the braille pages and raised images.

I keep receiving an overdue reminder for a book I no longer have, how can I stop this?

If you receive a reminder for an overdue book that you have already returned, please get in touch to let us know. Unfortunately, occasionally our books have been known to go missing in the post, but if you let us know you have already returned it we can remove the book from your account. We issue no fines for overdue loans, or books that go missing in your possession.

I am a teacher and due to leave the school I am working at, what should I do about my library membership with you?

If you have borrowed on behalf of a school or an organisation please let us know if you leave. We spend a great deal of time and money trying to locate packs after people have left their current jobs. If someone is taking over from you, we would be grateful to hear from them as soon as possible so that we can update the contact details accordingly.

I work for an organisation that works closely with blind and partially sighted people and I would love to borrow some resources to demonstrate to them what you offer – is this possible?

Yes absolutely! Please do get in touch with us via phone or email and we would be happy to send you out some leaflets about our service, as well as a couple of books and resources to demonstrate what we do.

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.


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