Accessible Libraries

The Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise

The Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise sets out the experience that people with blindness, sight loss and other print disabilities should have through public library services.

We think that everyone visiting a public library should be:

  • Inspired by an exciting accessible environment which makes reading and seeking information a pleasure.
  • Have the opportunity to engage with libraries and reading through imaginative digital opportunities with support to build their skills, knowledge and creativity.
  • Have access to a range of inclusive and diverse books and other information resources in accessible formats that allow them to engage with reading both for pleasure and for daily living.
  • Able to take part in a wide range of reading and cultural experiences, including book-based and digital activities, which are accessible to all.
  • Actively involved in decisions about service developments.
  • Supported through library services and activities taking place both in library buildings and in the community to improve their independence, health and wellbeing

You can download the Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise and view more about the Promise and the work behind it on the Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise page on the Libraries Connected website.

Share the Vision have developed a training course on the promise in partnership with Libraries Connected which is available to all library staff in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Accessible Library Services

We want to ensure that the almost two million blind and partially sighted people in the UK can visit a fully accessible library service, that has a local collection of accessible reading materials and information in physical or digital forms.

People with a visual and/or print impairment can access alternative formats for free from the following libraries in the UK (in alphabetical order):


Calibre Audio Library is a national charity providing a subscription-free service of unabridged audiobooks for adults and children who are unable to access standard print. They have over 11,000 audio books to choose from, and available titles can be searched for online.

Clearvision (

ClearVision is a postal lending library of children’s books designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults. All their books have braille, print and pictures, and there are over 14,000 books in the collection, catering for children from birth until they’re independent readers. You can find out more via [email protected] or you can call on 020 8789 9575.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (

RNIB Library has over 60,000 items for people to borrow, including audiobooks, braille and giant print (24pt) and accessible music. It is the largest library of its kind in the UK and the full catalogue of titles can be searched online. Further information is available via the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

Listening Books (

Listening Books is a UK charitable audiobook lending service for people of all ages whose illness, mental health condition, disability or learning difficulty affects being able to read print or hold a book. They have over 10,000 professionally-recorded audiobooks available to stream and download online or through a free app, and borrow through a postal MP3 CD service. Membership costs just £20-45 a year, and is completely free to those eligible for the service who would find this fee a barrier to joining. To learn more, please visit, email [email protected], or call 0207 407 9417.

Living Paintings (

Living Paintings is a charity who design, create and publish tactile books, with audio for blind and partially sighted people, i.e. ‘Touch to See’ books. They have titles suitable for anyone from pre-school to adults, and distribute these through their FREE postal library. To register as a library member, please visit or speak to the Library team on 01635 299771. You can contact them via email [email protected].