HiVis 2024: 1-14 June 2024

Taking place across the first two weeks of June, HiVis fortnight 2024 gives libraries across the UK the opportunity to highlight services and support for those with a vision impairment. As in previous years, Share the Vision, the library charity that organises HiVis, will be asking colleagues across all sectors to concentrate on two core things:

To help libraries and library workers join in with HiVis 2024, we will be producing a range of high quality digital promotional assets and supporting resources; all freely available to download from our website: www.readingsight.org.uk nearer to time.

Background

Last year went very well, with lots going on across libraries and a much-improved profile for the programme. Our evaluation report found that HiVis 2023 achieved 9.3 million impressions on social media, in comparison to 2022’s 5.8 million (1.4 million in 2021). The event’s total reach was 3.2 million people, compared to 2.2 million in 2022 (900,000 in 2021). We are really hoping that we can improve on those figures this time around.

Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind; and around 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, and estimates suggest that this number could double by 2050. Therefore, it is very important that we reach out to those in the community who could benefit from libraries’ range of content and activities.

Resources

As noted above, a range of digital assets will be produced in English and Welsh language; and for use on X/Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Content will be provided in formats that will allow local libraries to adapt. There will also be a checklist to help you with your planning. Further information and guidelines on running events etc. are provided on the website: www.readingsight.org.uk

If you want to get ahead of the game, we will be using Share the Vision’s X/Twitter account: @ReadingSight and the hashtag #HiVis2024 to help spread the word and feature activities that are going on. 

Alerts will also be sent out via the Reading Sight mailing list – and you might like to share information there about what you are doing too. Heads of Service will be made aware through Libraries Connected; and key supporting stakeholders such as CILIP, The Reading Agency, National Literacy Trust will also be encouraged to participate and promote this annual event.

Suggested theme

This year we want libraries to ‘ACT’… We want you to celebrate ‘Accessibility’ in reading, in library buildings, in engagement activities… We want you to emphasise ‘Connection’ – blind and partially sighted people can feel isolated, or that their opportunities to get involved are limited, and HiVis fortnight is a perfect opportunity to show that libraries have a lot to 

offer and is an ideal time for connections to be made… And, we want you to highlight the ‘Tactile’ – be it Braille, or other tactile books (Clearvision Project: Making tactile books); be it guiding maps or signage, or an activity that is focused on touch rather than vision… just ACT!

What can libraries do?

We want libraries across the UK to highlight and celebrate all that you do to help people with vision and/or print impairments to access and connect to the reading services and formats that suit them best. We want you to put on events and activities across the fortnight that bring this into focus; and, most of all, raise awareness of all of this on social media.

Ideas for activities

Please engage with HiVis2024 via Twitter: @readingsight using the tag #HiVis2024

Please remember, if you are featuring images/photos of your activities on social media, please make sure that these images are accessible by providing an accompanying image/’Alt text’ description. There is a handy Twitter account that you can follow (@AltTxtReminder), which can send you DM reminders when you post images without #AltText; and there is advice online to help you (https://www.rnib.org.uk/accessibility-guidelines-alt-text-what-you-need-know ). For example, we use HiVis to make it easier for screen reader users.

Wider context

The availability of alternative formats and cultural engagement through libraries is critical to ensuring that people in the UK who are blind, or who have sight loss or anything that stops them from using standard print, can access, enjoy and share a diverse range of reading and experiences. HiVis (formerly Make A Noise in Libraries) fortnight seeks each year to focus on the importance of accessible libraries and reading; and encourages local and national services to increase the profile of provision, collections and engagement in this area. 

Thank you!