Services for visually impaired people

Services for visually impaired people


eAudiobooks and eBooks 

Download eAudiobooks and eBooks for free using Borrowbox. eBook font size can be adjusted. Visit the Borrowbox app or access a help sheet for instructions

Large print books 

You can access large print books in fiction and non-fiction for adults at all Newcastle libraries. Magnifying sheets are available on request 


All libraries also have talking books available for adults on CD and Playaway. 

Children’s Braille Library from Clearvision 

At City Library we now have a small Braille library of children’s books to borrow from Level 3. The library is refreshed every two months.  

Computer facilities  

City Library has a dedicated area on Level 3 for use by people with visual impairment or others with additional needs. The computer has a height adjustable desk and the following features:  

Windows accessibility software 

This is magnifying and reading software for use with Windows applications, the internet and email. It recognises and reads text and graphics including icons, buttons and menus. It can magnify the computer display and it can alter contrast. 

Large keyboard 

This keyboard has a large simple layout that is easy to use and can be used with an overlay featuring rounded holes and hand support. Keys are 4 times normal size and lettering is 10 times normal size.  

Trackball mouse 

This can be useful for people who find a mouse difficult or painful to use. 

Electronic book and document magnifier 

The magnifier can increase the size of print. 

If you need assistance with any of this equipment, please ask library staff. 


Groups and Events

VIP Reading Group 

The VIP reading group meet on the first Monday in the month at 1pm in City Library.  If you'd like to come along please email or speak to a member of staff 

We aim to make all of our events and activities as accessible as possible. Follow our accounts on Eventbrite, Facebook and Twitter for more information on upcoming events.

Other resources you can access 

British Wireless for the Blind Fund 

Newcastle Libraries is an agent for the BWBF who provide adapted audio equipment for listeners living with sight loss. Equipment is available on free loan to blind and partially sighted people who meet the following criteria: 

  • resident in the UK 

  • registered blind or partially sighted 

  • over the age of 8 

  • in receipt of a means tested benefit 

Speak to staff for more information 

RNIB Braille Library 

Library staff will assist you in joining RNIB Braille Library. Once joined, you can get either braille or audio on CD or USB sent out in a few days. All items are produced on demand and do not need to be returned although the library will accept donations 

Calibre Audio Library lend free audiobooks to anyone who is print disabled on CD or USB. Library staff can request items on your behalf. 

Home Delivery Service 

This service is available to anyone living in Newcastle who is unable to visit their local library due to either permanent or temporary ill health or has a permanent disability. 

To apply please email Kenton Library or ask library staff. 

Newcastle Vision Support formerly Newcastle Society for Blind People, help visually impaired people to become and to remain independent through information and learning activities. 

Reading Sight provides support to anyone with an interest in helping people with sight loss to access reading and reading services. 

Talking News Federation exists to support and assist over 300 local Talking Newspapers to deliver local news and information in audio to blind, partially sighted and print disabled people. 

Talking Newspapers more than 200 popular and best-selling publications are available from RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind). 

Is this page useful?
Is this page useful?