Category Archives: Library

Stay up to date

Stay up to date with the latest library news and events with our email newsletters and quarterly magazine.

Bookmarks newsletters

Our email newsletters, collectively titled Bookmarks, keep you up to date with the latest books that have been added to our collection, as well as other library news. There are a range of newsletters to choose from:


  • Library news: the latest Library news and book reviews.
  • Youth Library news: the latest Youth Library news and featured young adult and children’s titles.


  • Armchair travel: travel from around New Zealand and the world.
  • Back in time: historical novels, historical romance, New Zealand history, fiction and true life war stories, war memories and world history and travel.
  • Biographies: biographies and autobiographies.
  • Chills and spills: fiction and true life adventure and crime, disasters, mystery and detective stories, sea and spy stories, thrillers and westerns.
  • Cosy reads: cosy mysteries, fiction and true life country life stories; family novels, fiction and true life nature and animals and Christian fiction.
  • In the mood for love: historical romance, light romance, modern women’s fiction, paranormal romance, romance, and romantic suspense.
  • Lifestyle: non-fiction books covering all aspects of living including health and wellbeing, the arts, cuisine, the environment, languages and works on society.
  • Literary reads: general fiction, classics, plays, poetry and short stories and essays.
  • Out of this world: fairy stories and fables, fantasy, horror and supernatural, myths and legends and science fiction.
  • New braille titles: newly added braille titles.
  • New e-text titles: newly added e-text titles.

Subscribe to Bookmarks

Subscribe to your choice of newsletters.

Back issues of Bookmarks

Read recent back issues of Bookmarks.

Sound and Touch magazine

Sound and Touch is the Library’s quarterly magazine, featuring recent additions to our collections and library news.

You can listen to Sound and Touch in BookLink and on the Telephone Information Service (TIS) menu 176. The latest issue is also available to download as an accessible MS Word document (.doc) or an electronic braille file (.brf) below.

You can subscribe to receive Sound and Touch by post in large print, braille, or audio CD. Contact to subscribe.

Download the latest issue of Sound and Touch:

Sound and Touch September 2017 (.doc)

Sound and Touch September 2017 (.pdf)

Blind Foundation book clubs

To see if there’s book club near you, visit Blind Foundation Events.

Woman using an iPadWelcome to the Blind Foundation Library

Our library features books, magazines, newspapers and other content in a range of accessible formats. There are different ways to access our collections, depending on your needs. Explore our collections and service options below.


Search our online catalogue.

Our collections

For adults

Our collections for adults include fiction, non-fiction and periodicals. These are available in one or more accessible formats:

  • braille (UEB)
  • DAISY audio
  • e-braille (brf format)
  • electronic text (HTML, Microsoft Word and plain text formats)
  • large print (18pt font size)

Our largest collection by format is audio.

For youth

Our collections for children and young adults include fiction, non-fiction and educational resources. These are available in one or more accessible formats:

  • braille (UEB)
  • collage (tactile picture book with braille overlaid)
  • e-braille (brf format)
  • DAISY audio
  • electronic text (HTML, Microsoft Word and plain text formats)
  • kitset (print book, braille book, audio CD)
  • large print (18pt, 24pt and 36pt font size)
  • playaway (small, portable device containing a single audio book)
  • twin vision (print picture book with braille overlaid, so that braille and print readers can read along together)

The Blind Foundation’s Youth Library is located at the BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ) Homai Campus in Manurewa, Auckland. The Youth Library welcomes visits from Youth Library members and their families. Contact/visit us.

Our services


Choose your own audio titles with BookLink, our online lending and reading service.

Person using an iPad

BookLink provides instant online access to our DAISY audio collections, including books, magazines and newspapers. Youth Library print collections are also available on request.

BookLink is currently available in your web browser and as an Apple iOS app (for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch). If you don’t have an Apple device you may be eligible for an iPad Mini on long-term loan from the library.

Read more about the Booklink service.

CD Service

Receive a selection of audio titles with our CD service.

Person using a DAISY player

Our CD service offers DAISY audio books and magazines via post. You can listen to them with a DAISY Player, available for long-term loan from the Library.

When you join the library and register for our CD service we’ll set up a profile for you, that will allow us to send out books and magazines to you, based on your interests.

Other formats on request

We have large print, electronic text and braille collections available on request. Large print and braille are posted to you, while electronic text is emailed to you.

Search our collections using the online catalogue

If you don’t use BookLink, our lending and reading app, you can still search our collections, using the online catalogue. Search our online catalogue.

Request an item

To request items from our adult collections, call us on 0800 24 33 33 or email and tell us the book’s title and book number.

To request items from our youth collections, phone us on 0800 24 33 33 or (09) 268 3215 or email and tell us the book’s title and book number.

Bookshare library

Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. If you are a registered Blind Foundation client, you can receive your first year of subscription free of charge (paid for by the Blind Foundation). Visit our online shop for more information.


The Blind Foundation also has an online heritage repository, Revisionary. This archive preserves the unique history of the blind and low vision community in New Zealand.

It holds over 125 years’ worth of archives, such as minutes, reports, brochures, posters, photographs and videos (some of which have been digitised), and a small but growing collection of born-digital archives.

Revisionary is our way of making our Archive more accessible to all of the Foundation’s clients and staff, as well as to students, professional researchers and the general public.

Revisionary was made possible with the generous support of the Lottery Grants Board, and with the development work of software company NZMS.

Helen Beeb holding a photo of her familty

At 94, Helen receives services from the Blind Foundation and has also sponsored a talking book in loving memory of her family.

“I am the only living member of my family and wanted them to be remembered with a talking book.  I didn’t want to sponsor a love story but I love a good thriller. Listening to talking books is my favourite pass time.”

Helen donated the book ‘Five minutes alone’, a thriller by Paul Cleave for everyone using Talking Books to be able to read.

“I started a degree in literature when I was 60 and it took me 10 years to complete part time.”

“After that I joined the Blind Foundation and it is has meant that I have been able to continue my passion for reading by means of Talking Books.”

Helen says, “The Blind Foundation does such a fine job by caring for people with seeing problems.”


Lance and guide dog Yogi using BookLink

Lance Girling-Butcher has always loved reading, but it became a challenge when he lost his sight nine years ago. The launch of the Blind Foundation BookLink app last year has been a breakthrough that allows him to continue reading.

The app gives readers access to the Blind Foundation digital library. It has over 11,000 audio books to choose from, and more than 70 New Zealand national and regional newspapers.

Lance says BookLink puts people who are blind or have low vision on a level playing field with a sighted person.

“BookLink gives me the independence of choosing my own book with a click of a button. I no longer have to go through the library to request a book to be made in my preferred format, then waiting for it to arrive.

“I’m impressed with this app it’s so easy to use, it’s a brilliant breakthrough. The search function helps me find any book I am looking for. I find it easy to navigate through, it operates in a logical way.”

Lance uses the app several times a week to read books, and his local newspapers. Based in New Plymouth he keeps up to date by listening to the Taranaki daily news and the Mid-week News.

With magazines soon becoming available, Lance expects it will be a popular addition.

“I’ll definitely be listening myself. I’d be interested in the Listener magazine and keeping up to date with topical events and business stories.

“I recommend BookLink to anyone with the capability of using a computer, or Apple device. It’s a great opportunity a keen reader shouldn’t miss out on.”

Download on the Apple App Store

a lady using her ipad with headphones

This morning the Government announced that the Marrakesh Treaty is one step closer to being ratified in New Zealand.

The Marrakesh Treaty aims to make it much easier for people to access, distribute and share a wider variety of copyrighted works in accessible formats.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith made special mention of the 653 people who responded to the Blind Foundation’s Marrakesh Treaty survey earlier this year.

The Blind Foundation would like to thank everyone who took the time to have their say on this important topic.

This feedback will help shape the next phase of work which is the preparation of a National Interest Analysis to be presented to the House for examination.

We look forward to updating you on the progress of the Treaty later in the year.

You can read the full press release on the beehive website.

BookLink app on iphone

The Blind Foundation is pleased to announce that there will be a new version of the BookLink app which will be available on March 30.

BookLink version 1.3 is packed with exciting new content functionality and accessibility and display features.

Users will be spoilt for choice with access to over 70 newspapers along with an added youth library. While listening to your daily news you can control the speed of the narrator’s voice with the added voice button.

Navigating the app with voice over will also be much easier with an updated search function. Now you won’t lose your place when you search. After completing a download, the focus will return to the place you were in the search results screen.

National Library Manager Chris Pigott says he is looking forward to the new release.

“Feedback from clients has been incorporated into the changes, and there has been lots of great work in the background from the design team and the developer. We’re hoping clients will find this version to be better, bigger, stronger, more handsome and an all-around more rewarding accessible reading experience.”

To install the new version, please go to settings and tap ‘Get Latest Updates.’

The app is free to all Blind Foundation clients.

Download on the App Store

For help call the Blind Foundation Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33.

a guide dog puppy with a laptop

Welcome to the new-look Blind Foundation website!  We hope you enjoy your time on here, and can quickly and easily find the information you’re after.

If you’re used to seeing the old site, this will look and feel really different.  To help you find your way around, here are a few hints and tips:

Easy Navigation – there’s one series of navigation (or information) tabs – so you can find what you want without being distracted by lots of different information.  Each time you click on a navigation heading, the next layer of information appears, until you get to what you want.   You also have breadcrumbs at the top of the page to help show you where you are.

Search that Works –  the new search function is slick.  Your top ten options will come up with short descriptors – and we’re confident they’ll have what you’re looking for first go.

Events – events are now one click away from the home page, and in one section. You can search for a particular type of event or can browse events in your region.

News –  just like events, all news is now in one section.  You can search for particular news items you want to read about using the Topics filter.

Shop – the new look shop is big and bold, with clear navigation options and easy processes.  You should be able to find what they want easily, get all of the information you need about any product in one go, and make your purchase easily.

Accessible – Following WCAG guidelines, the site was created with accessibility as a priority.  The functionality and design were tested with different blind and low vision users, so you should find that the site is easy to use.

Take a look around.  We’d love to hear any feedback – simply get in touch on