‘Blind library’ in Xmas offensive

The National Library for the Blind (NLB) has teamed up with National Book Tokens (NBT) for a Christmas campaign targeting bookworms.

NBT has produced three limited-edition gift cards, each containing information about the NLB, contact details and how interested parties can help.

Although the Manchester-based NLB houses over 350,000 books in formats for the visually impaired, only five per cent of titles published in the UK come out in Braille, audio or large-print formats – a statistic the charity hopes will stick in the minds of sighted readers.

NLB head of press Claire Briscoe said sighted people were usually 'shocked' to hear the visually impaired only have a fraction of books to choose from, and 'cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to have someone take away 95 per cent of the books on their shelves'.

Partnering with NBT gave the charity access to people with a strong interest in books, said Briscoe. A media relations campaign will promote the initiative to the book trade and publishing press, and to consumers.

'After the Library of Congress in Washington DC, we are the largest collection for the visually impaired in the world, but our size means we are tucked away on an industrial estate and have no public presence,' said Briscoe.

'This campaign will help us raise our profile and reach new donors,' she added.

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