We were joined last night by Jenny Perry from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) who gave a presentation about the charity in general but particularly about their talking books service.
The talking books library has been operating for 80 years but has embraced modern technology. As you might expect users are able to borrow books, up to six at a time, but they arrive either on a USB stick or a CD compatible with Daisy Players. Talking books can also be downloaded directly to smart phones, tablets or computers and played through the RNIB Overdrive app.
Over 25,000 books are available to borrow and the library continues to grow by responding to the requests of it’s 38,000 users. Around 400 readers work with the service including some famous names like Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch. Each book costs around £2,500 to produce (though it was suggested some readers choose to donate their fee back to the charity) with the money provided by fund-raising and donations. If you can raise the £2,500 required to release a book you get to record your own person message which will be played before it begins.
The service is completely free to those eligible to join (even the return postage) so if you know someone who could benefit be sure to mention it to them.
If you would like to help the RNIB record more books you can donate to the talking books library here.