RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is celebrating a successful year for its Talking Books with over 11,000 new members subscribing since the service became free last November. Mark McCree, Senior Manager of Library and Heritage Services at RNIB said: “It is amazing that our Talking Books service has seen a 30 per cent growth in its membership at a time when library services across the country are struggling in the face of severe cuts."

“We know how important our accessible library service is for helping our customers maintain their independence, and the enjoyment that Talking Books can provide for people with sight loss.”

“The RNIB library can be used by anyone who has difficulty reading standard print books, including those with dyslexia as well as sight loss conditions.”

Over 25,000 Talking Books are available in a range of formats including USB, CD and MP3 download. RNIB’s accessible library provision also offers books in giant print and braille making it the largest of its kind in Europe with around 60,000 accessible items.

RNIB works tirelessly to ensure that the library is up-to-date with the latest titles. This year, it worked with Man Booker to ensure all the books shortlisted for the prestigious prize were available in accessible format on the same day as they were announced.

In addition, HarperCollins, which counts Hilary Mantel, Bernard Cornwell and David Walliams amongst its authors, has an agreement with RNIB that will see all their new titles added to the library following the date of general publication.

RNIB also records its own Talking Books at specialist studios in Camden, as it is not always possible to buy in the wide range of titles that members request in audio.

It costs RNIB around £2500 to record each adult’s audio book and around £1500 for a children’s book. For more information about sponsoring a book please visit: