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Publications: Sight Impairment

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance his Department provides to public libraries on the proportion of books which should be made available for people with visual impairments; and if he will make a statement. (293057)

Decisions on stock purchasing remain with local library authorities and there are no national guidelines for the proportion of stock which should be held in accessible formats in individual libraries. However, public libraries recognise the special needs of visually impaired people in obtaining various suitable formats including large print books and spoken word material. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Public Library Statistics 2007-08 show 7,557,494 adult and 1,692,573 children’s talking books issued on loan. Public libraries will also often refer visually impaired people to the RNIB National Library Service where a wide variety of book formats are available, including Braille titles.