Library quick guide
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 email@example.com 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
• 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?
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, or to renew loans, you will need to login to your library account. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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 many books can I borrow?
For children we recommend a maximum of 10 books at any one time, however we are happy to exceed that number in certain circumstances should the need occur. For our adult members, our standard procedure is to borrow one at a time due to the packs taking a little longer to get through, however adults are welcome to borrow more should they wish to.
You can borrow as often as you like. If we don’t have the book in stock, we will add you to the waiting list and it will dispatched as soon as a copy is available.
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. You can renew your books through our online or telephone 01635 299771, or email firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to keep them for longer.
Please note if your book is already overdue you will not be able to renew online yourself, in this instance please contact us and we can do so for you.
How do I return the books?
When you are ready to return books to us, simply affix the “Articles for the Blind” label enclosed with your order to the brown postal box your books/s arrived in and take it to the Post Office. There is no postal charge for “Articles for the Blind”. If you need a replacement box and/or returns label please let us know and we can send you one. Please do not use any sellotape 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.
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 and digital audio files on a USB stick. 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 or CD. 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.