Hampshire libraries offer new audio service for visually impaired residents
Friday, 01 February 2013
Hampshire County Council has launched a new magazine and newspaper service for people who are blind, partially sighted or have difficulty reading print.
For the first time, anyone who is in this situation can now visit any Hampshire library or Discovery Centre and pick up the newspapers or magazines of their choice for free.
The National Talking Newspapers & Magazines now on offer from the Library Service give access to audio versions of over 150 national newspapers and magazines from popular editions, through to specialist interest titles.
Endorsing this new service, Councillor Keith Chapman, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said: "This is a wonderful service for people who have difficulty reading print due to sight loss or other conditions. With more than 150 national titles available, there is something for all tastes and interests.
"Accessing these titles is also very easy. People can simply bring a memory stick to any Hampshire library, choose their magazines and newspapers, and staff will download them. The whole process only takes a few minutes."
If the downloading cannot be done straight away, the memory stick can be left with library staff and customers can call back later to collect and listen to at their leisure, on any USB MP3 player.
This new audio newspaper and magazine provision sits alongside other library services for blind and partially sighted residents in Hampshire such as pioneering reading groups using audiobooks, and IT classes that teach people how to navigate computers using accessibility software.
The audio format also complements the successful 'magazines for loan' service that has been successfully piloted and is now available in 25 Hampshire libraries and Discovery Centres.