Posted: Monday 1st June 2020
The first two weeks in June are known as HiVIS fortnight. This is a nationwide promotion which aims to celebrate all the different formats of stock and services that libraries provide for visually and print impaired readers. In previous years it was called "Make a Noise in Libraries" or MANIL, and we held events in libraries across the county. Unfortunately, we cannot do that this year but, we at Hertfordshire Libraries, are still celebrating the word in all its forms and doing all we can to help everyone in the Hertfordshire community to feel connected to libraries, reading and other readers. Maybe you or a friend, neighbour or family member would benefit from one of these services....
Our eLibrary has thousands of books in eBook and eAudiobook formats available via BorrowBox. There are a number of features designed to make eBooks as accessible as possible: options to increase text size; change the font; and alter the background to white, sepia and even white text on a black background. If using the BorrowBox app on an Apple device, you can use the VoiceOver facility to hear eBooks read to you
We have recently added a second catalogue of eAudiobooks available via RBDigital to provide even more choice and variety. Download the free app on your iOS or Android device and search for Hertfordshire Libraries. Here you will also find our collection of digital magazines. On any device it is possible to select articles and vary the background colour and brightness and increase text size. Apple device users can again enable voiceover functionality to listen to articles when in text view.
Don't forget there is also PressReader. Sign in with you library membership number for free access to thousands of newspapers and magazines both from the UK and around the world. Choose a publication and select an article to increase font size and enjoy the option of articles being read aloud.
Unfortunately, some talking newspaper services in the county have had to pause their operation due to Coronavirus, but there are a number still operating, providing local news and information for those with visual and print impairments.
Bishop's Stortford & District Talking Newspaper - you can listen online, and they will post out the weekly newspaper in USB memory stick format. Call Richard on 01279 651270 for more information or email email@example.com
St Albans Talking Newspaper - covering St Albans, Harpenden and surrounding villages in the district. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stevenage & North Herts Talking Newsletter - covering Baldock, Hitchin, Royston, Stevenage and surrounding villages in north Hertfordshire and south-east Bedfordshire. You can listen for free via the British Wireless for the Blind fund talking news app and recordings are made on USB flash drives and posted free of charge to listeners each week. For more information contact email@example.com or call Ian on 07981 442341
Watford and District Talking Newspaper - news reports from "The Watford Observer" in addition to articles on gardening, cookery and information from the local council's "About Watford" publication. You can listen online, via the British Wireless for the Blind player or via USB memory stick posted to you. For more information call 01923 248006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHATnews! is produced by the volunteers of the Welwyn Hatfield Talking Newspaper Association. We are continuing to publish our TN editions, with our readers recording their articles remotely for the moment. Contact Robert on 07708 468 708 or email email@example.com, to receive WHATnews weekly, for free as a CD, or listen on-line at www.whatnews.org.uk
Herts Vision Loss
Herts Vision Loss is a charity working across the county to provide a wide range of help and support to people with a visual impairment. From practical help and advice on equipment and services to social and support groups, Herts Vision Loss can provide information and support to blind and partially sighted people, their family and carers. You can call their dedicated Sight Line on 01707 324680
National Book Lending Services
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to our libraries to borrow from our range of large print, talking books, giant print and braille picture books as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, if you know someone who cannot access our eLibrary and is missing their books, perhaps one of these charities could help:
Calibre Audio - postal service for books in CD/MP3 or USB memory stick format as well as having digital titles available to stream - call 01296 432339
Clearvision - postal service for children's books in print, braille and tactile books. Call 020 8789 9575
RNIB Library - over 31,000 fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children available as DAISY CD or USB stick as well as digital titles available to stream. Call 030 123 9999